Becoming a Modern Public Research University: The Postwar Challenges of Rutgers and Penn State, 1945-1965

Roger L. Geiger


Both Rutgers and Penn State Universities developed into modern research universities in the two decades after World War II. This paper describes how both overcame uncertain relations with their respective states and relatively weak financial support. Both evolved a significant share of the public provision of higher education. And both also strived to establish a reputation for quality undergraduate education. For research, it was necessary to obtain the resources to compete for grants in the federal research economy. Continuation of the advances made in these decades have allowed both institutions to solidify their standings among the top 40 American research universities.

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