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Bowen, William G.

Bowen, William G.

PERSONAL: Male. Education: Denison University, A.B., 1955; Princeton University, Ph.D., 1958.

ADDRESSES: Home—Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, 140 E. 62nd St., New York, NY 10021.

CAREER: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, member of faculty, beginning 1958, provost, 1967–72, professor of economics and public affairs, 1972–88, president, 1972–88; Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, NY, president, 1988–. Chair of board, Ithaka Harbors, Inc.; board member, JSTOR, American Express, and Merck; member of the board of overseers, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association and College Retirement Equities Fund.

AWARDS, HONORS: D.H.L., Carnegie Mellon University.

WRITINGS:

NONFICTION

The Wage-Price Issue: A Theoretical Analysis, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1960.

Wages Behavior in the Postwar Period: An Empirical Analysis, Department of Economics, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ), 1960.

Economic Aspects of Education: Three Essays, Department of Economics, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ), 1964.

(Editor, and author of introduction) Labor and the National Economy, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1965, revised edition, with Orley Ashenfelter, 1975.

(Editor, with Frederick H. Harbison) Unemployment in a Prosperous Economy: A Report, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ), 1965.

(With William J. Baumol) Performing Arts, the Economic Dilemma: A Study of Problems Common to Theatre, Opera, Music, and Dance, Twentieth Century Fund (New York, NY), 1966.

The Economics of the Major Private Universities, Carnegie Commission on Higher Education (Berkeley, CA), 1968.

(Editor, with others) The Princeton Symposium on the American System of Social Insurance: Its Philosophy, Impact, and Future Development, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ), 1968.

(With T. Aldrich Finegan) The Economics of Labor Force Participation, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1969.

(Editor, with Orley Ashenfelter) Labor and the National Economy, Norton (New York, NY), 1975.

Ever the Teacher: William G. Bowen's Writings as President of Princeton, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1987.

(With Julie Ann Sosa) Prospects for Faculty in the Arts and Sciences: A Study of Factors Affecting Demand and Supply, 1987–2012, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1989.

(With Neil L. Rudenstine) In Pursuit of the Ph.D., Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1992.

(With others) The Charitable Nonprofits: An Analysis of Institutional Dynamics and Characteristics, Jossey-Bass Publishers (San Francisco, CA), 1994.

Inside the Boardroom: Governance by Directors and Trustees, J. Wiley (New York, NY), 1994.

(With Jed I. Bergman and Thomas I. Nyguen) Managing Change in the Nonprofit Sector: Lessons from the Evolution of Five Independent Research Libraries, Jossey-Bass (San Francisco, CA), 1995.

(With Derek Bok and others) The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1998.

(Editor, with Harold T. Shapiro) Universities and Their Leadership, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1998.

(With James L. Shulman and others) The Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2001.

(With Sarah A. Levin and others) Reclaiming the Game: College Sports and Educational Values, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2003.

(With Martin A. Kurzweil and Eugene M. Tobin) Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education, University of Virginia Press (Charlottesville, VA), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: William G. Bowen, a former president of Princeton University, is the author of numerous books on college policies. In Pursuit of the Ph.D., written with Neil Rudenstine, analyzes the ways in which doctoral degrees are earned at ten of the leading research universities in the United States. The authors' main findings from their study are that ensuring the financial support of graduate students fails to produce a higher degree of completion rates or a compressed rate of time to complete the degrees. They also found that smaller graduate programs generated many more successfully completed degrees than did larger ones. As Charlotte Kuh stated in Industrial and Labor Relations Review, "Labor economists searching for the application of econometric methods to models of Ph.D. production … should look elsewhere. Bowen and Rudenstine's analyses are both conceptually richer and technically more circumscribed than such econometric work. The mass of descriptive detail in this book should, however, provide empirical grist for those who wish to analyze the university as a firm or graduate education as an industry."

Bowen contributes to the understanding of the place of sports on college campuses in a pair of books: The Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values and Reclaiming the Game: College Sports and Educational Values. In the former, Bowen and coauthor James L. Shulman amass an array of statistics involving sports and education, statistics that "should intrigue anyone interested in higher education today," remarked James Deutsch in an American Studies International review. The authors argue that college athletic programs are in need of much stronger ties to the educational aspects of their schools, and report the existence of an athletic subculture that has little relation to the rest of the university world. As a Publishers Weekly reviewer advised, "the book presents a lot of interesting data that contradicts the conventional myths about college sports."

Sports are again the focus in Reclaiming the Game, which Bowen wrote with Sarah A. Levin. Here, the authors take an even-more-detailed look at the backgrounds, academic achievements, and eventual outcomes of the college careers of athletes and non-athletes at various colleges. They examine the forces that have caused, and that perpetuate, the athletic subculture that exists on so many campuses, even at schools that do not offer athletic scholarships. The authors' conclusions are "stark," reported Justin Ewers in the U.S. News & World Report. "Not only are recruited athletes at these schools admitted with lower test scores and grade-point averages than their peers', but they perform worse academically than other students once they start college—and worse even than their own high school GPAs and test scores would predict." Library Journal contributor Samuel T. Huang called Reclaiming the Game a "powerful, thought-provoking work"

Bowen and coauthor Derek Bok present a "provocative, genuinely fascinating book" about college admissions and affirmative-action policies in The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions, according to Timothy Bates in the Southern Economic Journal. Noting the difficulty of the subject, Bates stated that although the authors do not always completely support their conclusions, nevertheless, "the straightforward econometric models that make up the core of the book's analytical content are creative and the outcomes are thought-provoking." Historian critic Frederick Harling had high praise for Bowen and Bok's achievement, asserting that they "have carefully examined the twilight zone of 'affirmative action' and have brilliantly illuminated the darkness." The coauthors' nuanced, thoughtful treatment of their subject was also appreciated by a Journal of Higher Education writer, who stated that the work "is the most thoroughly researched analysis of affirmative action's effects in college admissions that has been done, and few topics are more important to the health and well-being of academic life."

In 2005, Bowen, Martin A. Kurzweil, and Eugene M. Tobin released Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education, which contradicts some of the ideas put forth in The Shape of the River. In The Shape of the River Bowen and his coauthor "dismissed the idea that colleges should do a better job of admitting low-income students of all races," according to Richard D. Kahlenberg in Washington Monthly. Yet in Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education, Bowen and his collaborators are "advocating preferential treatment of poor applicants," according to Kahlenberg. The reviewer found the book's insight into the college admissions process "fascinating."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Studies International, February, 2003, James Deutsch, review of The Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values, p. 236.

BioScience, November, 1990, Barbara B. Mandula, review of Prospects for Faculty in the Arts and Sciences: A Study of Factors Affecting Demand and Supply, 1987–2012, p. 782.

Black Issues in Higher Education, December 21, 2000, "Bok and Bowen Receive Education Award for The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions," p. 14; March 10, 2005, review of Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education, p. 39.

Change, January-February, 1994, Donald N. McCloskey, review of In Pursuit of the Ph.D., p. 46; July-August, 1994, John H. D'Arms, review of In Pursuit of the Ph.D., p. 52.

Christian Century, October 18, 2003, Mark G. Toulouse, review of Reclaiming the Game: College Sports and Educational Values, p. 25.

Commonweal, April 9, 2004, John Savant, review of Reclaiming the Game, p. 23.

Historian, spring, 2000, Frederick Harling, review of The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions, p. 643.

Industrial and Labor Relations Review, October, 1993, Charlotte Kuh, review of In Pursuit of the Ph.D., pp. 146-147.

Journal of Higher Education, September-October, 1993, Jules B. LaPidus, review of In Pursuit of the Ph.D., p. 600; March, 2000, review of The Shape of the River, p. 247; January-February, 2005, John R. Thelin, review of Reclaiming the Game, p. 107.

Library Journal, February 15, 2001, Samuel T. Huange, review of The Game of Life, p. 181; September 15, 2003, Samuel T. Huang, review of Reclaiming the Game, p. 67.

Monthly Labor Review, February, 1991, John Drejimanis, review of Prospects for Faculty in the Arts and Sciences, p. 43.

National Forum, winter, 1999, Debra Armstrong-Wright, review of The Shape of the River, p. 47.

Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, spring, 1999, Daniel Steiner, The Shape of the River, p. 447.

Policy Review, April-May, 1999, Michael S. Greve, review of The Shape of the River.

Public Administration Review, July-August, 2002, Mary M. Timney, review of Environmental Justice through Research-Based Decision-Making, p. 506.

Public Interest, spring, 1999, Nathan Glazer, review of The Shape of the River, p. 45.

Publishers Weekly, February 5, 2001, review of The Game of Life, p. 82.

Southern Economic Journal, July, 1993, David Colander, review of In Pursuit of the Ph.D., p. 251; April, 2000, Timothy Bates, review of The Shape of the River, p. 1011; April, 2002, review of The Game of Life, p. 972.

Sports Illustrated, February 5, 2001, Frank Deford, "Damning Admissions: Two School Presidents Decry College Sports—and Hit upon a Larger Problem," p. R2.

U.S. News & World Report, April 20, 1987, "Trouble in the Groves of Academe: Seven University Presidents Speak out on Everything from Racism to Research," p. 67; September 22, 2003, Justin Ewers, review of Reclaiming the Game, p. 27.

Washington Monthly, May, 2005, Richard D. Kahlenberg, review of Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education, p. 53.

ONLINE

Carnegie Mellon University Web site, http://www.cmu.edu/ (November 14, 2005), "Five to Receive Honorary Degrees at Commencement, Sunday, May 19."

Public Broadcasting Service Web site, http://www.pbs.org/ (November 14, 2005), transcript of Frontline interview with William G. Bowen.

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