Trow, Martin A. 1926-2007

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Trow, Martin A. 1926-2007


See index for CA sketch: Born June 20, 1926, in New York, NY; died of a brain tumor, February 24, 2007, in Berkeley, CA. Sociologist, educator, and author. Trow was one of America's leading experts on the higher education system and was the author of a landmark 1973 study of its evolution. After service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology in 1947. Trow worked briefly as an engineer before going back to school to study sociology. He attended Columbia University and earned a doctorate in 1957. While still a graduate student, he taught at Bennington College in Vermont. In 1957, he joined the University of California at Berkeley faculty, which had just created its Center for Studies in Higher Education, the first such research facility of its kind. Trow directed the center from 1977 until 1988. As a scholar, he studied the changing higher education system in America and other countries, particularly after World War II, and also wrote on such subjects as student culture and student satisfaction in undergraduate courses. In 1973, he published his landmark study with B.R. Clark, Students and Colleges: Interaction and Change. He noted how colleges and universities had changed from elite to more public institutions, beginning with the education of former soldiers who went to school on the G.I. Bill. While offering higher education to a broader spectrum of students had its benefits, the authors also felt that there were problems with this change, including the increasing obligatory nature of a college education that led to student boredom and lack of motivation. During the Vietnam War student protests, Trow's expertise was sought by the University of California at Santa Barbara. Students rioted in the Isla Vista neighborhood near the campus, and Trow's study of the problem led him to conclude that the poor public services, uncontrolled student population growth, and lack of involvement by the university led to the crisis. During the 1960s and 1970s, as well, Trow's writings about student culture were credited with leading to a much stronger understanding of college student issues. The head of the University of California Academic Senate from 1991 to 1992, Trow retired the next year as professor emeritus. He was also the coauthor of Union Democracy (1956) and The British Academics (1971), the author of Right-Wing Radicalism and Political Intolerance: A Study of Support for McCarthy in a New England Town (1980), edited Teachers and Students (1975), and coedited University and Society: Essays on the Social Role of Research and Higher Education (1991).



Los Angeles Times, March 8, 2007, p. B10.

New York Times, March 7, 2007, p. C11; March 13, 2007, p. A2.

Times (London, England), March 5, 2007, p. 51.

Washington Post, March 9, 2007, p. B7.

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Trow, Martin A. 1926-2007

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Trow, Martin A. 1926-2007