same boat. They thrive or decline together. The powerful information gathering,
categorizing, and disseminating abilities that you command can be of great
assistance in motivating needed investment. I conclude by asking you to take on
one additional task: use those abilities to help your universities in their quest to
maintain and grow state and federal funding and private giving. Without such
growth, the synergy of the undergraduate, graduate, and research environment
cannot be nurtured and if it is not, the role of research university libraries will
Without the set of research university accomplishments Jonathan Cole
describes in The Great American University, life today would be far less
productive, far less rewarding, far more mysterious, and far shorter. I am
optimistic that we as a society will realize the enormous cost of letting our
research universities deteriorate and will take the actions required to preserve
and strengthen these great institutions.
Jonathan R. Cole, The Great American University: Its Rise to Preeminence, Its Indispensable National Role,
Why It Must Be Protected, (New York: Public Affairs, 2009).
© 2011 David Shulenburger
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-
Share Alike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit
To cite this article: David Shulenburger. “The Future of the US Research
University.” Research Library Issues: A Bimonthly Report from ARL, CNI, and
SPARC, no. 274 (February 2011): 1–10.
The Future of the US Research University
C O N T I N U E D
FEBRUARY 2011 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC