Book by Ray Bacchetti and Thomas Ehrlich
Review by Curtis Good
Academic Program Director
Kent State University

Reconnecting Education and Foundations is an informative volume designed to mark the centennial of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  In this volume, editors Bachetti and Ehrlich allow the audience to see the monumental impact foundations have had on education and how this relationship has changed over time.  In addition, the volume also details the differing perspectives of foundation and institutions of education that benefit from their support.

Baccchetti and Ehrlich divide their volume in four parts: the history of foundational support for education, K-12 relations, higher education relation, and those topics that cover multiple levels of education.  The result is a comprehensive detail of why foundations offer support and what education institutions would like to do with this financing.  Not surprisingly, the perspectives between the two parties are typically misaligned.  This misalignment is described perfectly at several points, and helps the reader to better understand how foundations have grown continuously discontent over time with educations freightliner like movement towards change or immediate impact.  Given the fact that institutions of education, especially higher education, tend to move cautiously avoiding change along the way, the relationship between the two parties suffers. The volume’s numerous authors may be its most positive feature.  The varied perspectives of the authors allows the reader to see that though all of them feel the relationships have change over time, they do not necessarily agree to the degree of that change or that the change is necessarily negative.  Of particular interest is the chapter prepared by Charles T. Clotfelter whose perspective differs from Bacchetti and Ehrlich.  Clotfelter does a masterful job of describing the multiple perspectives of both higher education and foundations in their partnerships.  Clotfelter’s more optimistic viewpoint gives leadership in both camps a wonderful insight on how foundation support for higher education is a mutually benefiting practice.

This volume is a valuable resource for those advisors wishing to better understand the funding intricacies and the role foundations play in financial and cultural support.  Even though I do not feel this volume offers much applicable value to the role of the advisor, it is remarkably informative in its content and message.  While I felt the volume was somewhat thin on solutions to improving the relationships between foundations and institutions of education, it is extremely valuable to those educators attempting to build perspective on the role of foundations and the impact they have had on the educational landscape.

Reconnecting Education and Foundations: Turning Good Intentions into Educational Capital. (2007) Book by Ray Bacchetti and Thomas Ehrlich (Eds.). Review by Curtis Good. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 528 pp., $55.00 (hardcover). ISBN: # 978-0-7879-8818-0
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