Land-grant university expert and WVU faculty member to speak at University of New Hampshire 150th anniversary celebration

nathan sorber

Research efforts of West Virginia University faculty member Dr. Nathan Sorber are being noticed. The result of an invitation following a presentation given at a meeting of the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities , Sorber will be the keynote speaker for an event to celebrate the University of New Hampshire’s 150th .

Author, land-grant university expert, and director of the higher education administration program at the WVU College of Education and Human Services, Sorber will speak about the history and impact of land-grant universities and the key roles they should have moving forward.

Following his keynote address, How Land-Grant Universities Transformed American Higher Education: The Past As a Foundation for the Future, Sorber will join a panel discussion: “ What is UNH’s Role in Serving the Public Good?”. The panelist will include Nancy Targett, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of New Hampshire, Steve Taylor, Former NH Commissioner of Agriculture, and Michael Ettlinger, Director of the Carsey School of Public Policy.

“We’re very much looking forward to Dr. Sorber’s keynote talk at the University of New Hampshire. His deep expertise in land grant institutions, their history and what it means to be one today, will be invaluable to the UNH discussion of its role as a Land, Sea, Space grant university in the 21st century," said Ettlinger.

Sorber’s research on land-grant universities began with a focus on the origins of the relationship between higher education and the American economy. According to Sorber, it was the land-grant universities that forged this relationship in myriad ways.

“Land grant universities brought higher education into service of the American economy by teaching and researching the applied sciences, especially agriculture and engineering. Overtime, land-grant institutions further engaged society through extension divisions and other outreach activities,” stated Sorber. “Today, however, the climate is changed. Higher education is increasingly viewed as a private good that parents and students should pay for. Yet it is my sense that the people still desire a broader public purpose for higher education, and institutional leaders are searching for ways to rebuild the land-grant covenant to sustain the movement for another 150 years.”

Sorber is the co-author of “The Land-Grant Colleges and the Reshaping of American Higher Education” and the author of two forthcoming books, “The Morrill Act in Yankeedom: A History of the Origins and Early Years of the Land-Grant Colleges” and “American Higher Education in the Postwar Era, 1945-1970”.

The event will take place on the U of NH campus in Huddleston Hall Ballroom, March 29, 2017 from 4:30-6:00pm.

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