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Higher Education News from the Collegiate Way

These news items about residential colleges, collegiate houses, and the renewal of university life are posted for readers of the Collegiate Way website. For more about residential colleges and collegiate universities please visit the main Collegiate Way page.

The Role of a Residential College Master

— The role of residential college master is a varied one, and it is a role that touches more aspects of university life than almost any other. A news article by Meg Sullivan, originally published in the journal Humanities, profiles Stephen Toulmin, a distinguished philosopher and historian and sometime Master of North College at the University of Southern California. From maintaining academic standards, to providing late-night pizza breaks in his apartment, to pushing university administrators to replace worn out furniture, Sullivan’s profile shows Toulmin carrying out the full range of a college master’s responsibilities. Why does he bother? “Students who go to class are introduced to a lot of intellectual techniques in one particular discipline or another. What they can learn by living in a community is that a lot of these techniques are not self-justifying—and they all have to be related back to the ways in which they affect the qualities of our lives, our personal lives and the lives of our community.”

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© Robert J. O’Hara 2000–2016