In April 2009, influential religion scholar Mark C. Taylor (currently chair of the Religion Department at Columbia University) published one of the most widely read and provocative Op/Ed's in recent memory when his End The University As We Know It appeared in The New York Times.
Due to the passionate response (both for and against) and the wide-readership/discussion which it generated, the publisher Knopf approached Taylor about writing a book-length version of the Op/Ed. Now, on August 31st, that book will drop both online and in stores. The publishing of Crisis on Campus: A Bold Plan for Reforming Our Colleges and Universities looks to be a significant (perhaps even landmark) moment in the on-going discussion of the future(s) of the university and of academic departments.
An excellent place to learn more about the ideas behind the book as well as Taylor's career as a provocateur in fields as disparate as religion, the arts, and educational/pedagogical theory is this January 2010 article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Provocations of Mark Taylor. Also of note, particularly regarding Taylor's views on teaching religion, is this 2008 Q & A session with Columbia University Press shortly after he became chair of the Religion Department. -- Leif