Scientific articles To the most “Gracious Mother” of them all A joyous yet ambiguous celebration in Berlin, October 2010
If one wants to understand the arguments for institutional and ideological change propagated today, a closer study of the developments during the “long 19th century” is crucial, simply because this particular period in the history of higher learning continues to play a central role in the ongoing discussions on the future of the European university — Wilhelm Freiherr von Humboldt certainly casts a very long shadow.
Published in the printed edition of Baltic Worlds pages 33-36, BW 2010 vol III:3
Published on balticworlds.com on september 22, 2010
In 1910, with due pomp and circumstance, die königliche Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität zu Berlin celebrated its first century of existence. Apart from the obvious chauvinistic bombast that characterized and even poisoned this and similar events, it is nevertheless fair to say that when the undisputed “Center of Excellence” and “Model University” of its day with well-founded pride and bristling self-confidence solemnized its centennial, the tradition of university jubilees had found its remaining formula and its two main purposes.1
The first main objective was — and is — internal and is primarily about what could be labeled identity formation, where the socio-cultural solidarity or unity of the institution is strengthened. By reminiscing and celebrating gallantly and victoriously fought historic battles in the holy name of science and scholarship — often against ignorant enemies in an overwhelm-ingly hostile world — these jubilees are expected to strengthen and deepen the feeling of a common institutional heritage and even a common “destiny” in the joint service of enlightenment and truth-seeking.
The second main objective is external. There the crucial target-groups are the “owners”, the possible patrons/sponsors, and the presumptive students. It is, plainly speaking, all about what we in our anglophile days would give the comprehensive label “branding”: i.e. the overall goal is not only to increase the medial exposure and presence of the institution but also to make the name of the university be almost automatically associated with a number of certain central academic and even societal values and qualities. It is fair to say that in this dual ambition the Berlin University was exceedingly successful in 1910.
And now yet another century has passed, a century which, especially for the city of Berlin, its inhabitants, and its universities was marked by rapid expansion, great turbulence, ultimate cataclysm, noticeable con-traction, and sudden rebirth. Thus, it is high time for another celebration. In my view, however, there are some problems connected with celebrating the jubilees of the present Humboldt University — or of any Berlin university, for that matter. Because what you are celebrating to a very high degree determines the number of celebratory years. Thus, I maintain that die Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in October 2010 could, simultaneously, be commemorating its 200, its 100, and its 20 years of existence.2
A 200-year anniversary: The research university as idea and moral-philosophical concept
In intellectual history, certain artifacts acquire an “afterlife” that makes them significant far beyond the times in which they were created and sometimes for reasons far different from those the author probably envisioned. This is probably the case with Wilhelm von Humboldt’s two short “white papers”: Über die innere und äußere Organisation der höheren Wissenschaftlichen Anstalten in Berlin: Unvollendete Denkschrift, and, his final proposal, Antrag auf Einrichtung der Universität Berlin Juli 1809. These few and scattered pages, written in clear, un-bureaucratic German, have set off an almost innumerable number of more or less qualified books, essays, references, and reflections during the last 200 years. Thus, in the last 25 years there has probably not been even one academic Festrede that did not mention either Wilhelm von Humboldt or the “Humboldtian Idea of the University”.3
To no small degree because of its powerful intellectual appeal and “open-endedness”, the concept “Humboldtian University” is — and has always been — used and abused, not only as an unproblematic analytical and descriptive tool: it has also been used as a potent ideological and political instrument to promote or prevent the implementation of certain policies. Hence, if one wants to understand the arguments for institutional and ideological change propagated today, a closer study of the developments during the “long 19th century” is crucial, simply because this particular period in the history of higher learning continues to play a central role in the ongoing discussions on the future of the European university — Wilhelm Freiherr von Humboldt certainly casts a very long shadow.
In some curious way the central question then becomes not Wilhelm von Humboldt’s actual proposals but rather why these ideas have come to play such an exceptional role during two centuries, regardless, it would seem, of how far from his original thoughts the European university systems have moved. One tentative answer would be that Humboldt was not only able to formulate a comprehensive idea of higher learning and what the systematic pursuit of knowledge should be, but he was also able to convincingly argue why it must be considered as one of the central interests and indeed obligations of the rising nation-state to support such an undisputed public good.
Thus, I am prepared to state that the seminal and even revolutionary importance of what happened in Berlin 1810 did not primarily concern the institutional fabric but what occurred at the level of ideology. Humboldt’s actual interest in institution building was secondary or at least not articulated precisely. The main and enduring achievement of Wilhelm von Humboldt was that he, out of the almost innumerable philosophical and pedagogical neo-humanist ideas on knowledge and learning floating around in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, was able to deduce and articulate a consistent Idea of the institution he and his intellectual friends called the university.4
Traditionally, the defining properties and basis of the “idea” of Humboldt’s university/vision have been described as:
Knowledge as a unified indivisible entity.
Einheit von Forschung und Lehre (unity of
research and teaching).
Primacy of Wissenschaft and research, which also presupposed a new institutional order and cognitive hierarchy.
The individual and common pursuit of “truth” in Einsamkeit und Freiheit (solitude and freedom).
Lehr- und Lern-Freiheit (freedom in teaching and learning)
The creation of a unified national culture with Wissenschaft and the university as the centerpiece: Bildung.
Wissenschaft and (higher) education as the second categorical imperative of the
central state beside national defense: as the basis of a modern Kulturstaat.
Eventually, the Humboldtian initiatives also had far-reaching institutional consequences. As regards Wilhelm von Humboldt himself his main constitutional dilemma and concern could be formulated as follows: How is it possible to establish a socially integrated yet autonomous institutional order for qualified scientific training? An institutional order which, at the same time, could guarantee an optimal and perpetual growth in knowledge but also provide a dimension of Sittlichkeit (virtue) to the individual?
Wilhelm von Humboldt’s pragmatic solution — or even historical compromise — was: The regally (state-) protected and fully endowed Ivory Tower combined with an elitist and gate-keeping Gymnasium/Abitur. The creation of an Ivory Tower was precisely what he was striving to achieve ultimately. Accordingly, the state must be persuaded that it was in its own well-founded, long-term interest to optimally promote the expansion of scientific and scholarly knowledge, and this could only be accomplished by securing the freedom of the individual scholar. Reciprocally, the king should keep the prerogative of appointing professors — not primarily as a means of control but in order to protect the institutions from succumbing to the vices of internal strife and nepotism.
Between 1810 and 1860 the “new” German university underwent a gradual institutional and professional transformation, which eventually would permeate and influence almost all Western university systems.5 From having been regarded as Trivium the Philosophical Faculty was elevated to the indispensable core of the “new” university — a revolutionary transformation, which, although it had far-reaching institutional consequences, primarily reflected the epistemological and ideological cornerstones of German Neo-Humanist thinking. The unity of knowledge was not only a cognitive and epistemological pillar of German Idealistic philosophy; it also constituted, in some respects, its basic philosophical and moral foundation. This unity was primarily to be achieved and secured through the reign of philosophy.
Furthermore, the hierarchical triad of Fakultäten—Disziplinen—Lehrstühle (chairs) was formally established where the actual power rested with the full professors (die Ordinarien). Thus the European university became a rule-governed community of scholars — a loosely coupled institutional framework without an administrative center of gravity within which individual professors remained more or less autonomous. In due course this institutional autonomy/fragmentation would turn out to be one of more decisive institutional differences between the European university and its rapidly expanding North American sisters.6 When it comes to pedagogical change the introduction of the seminar could be seen as an attempt to establish an ideal-typical form of free, discursive, and common scientific inquiry of professors and students.
On the professional level it has been convincingly argued that this period also signified the emergence of the modern academic career system and consequently also the establishment of an informal but nevertheless obvious institutional hierarchy. In the second half of the 19th century Germany had become a national academic labor market where professors pursued highly competitive academic careers. It was also now that the Berlin University definitely established itself as the pinnacle of academic excellence and fame.7
Simultaneously, the university professors advanced markedly in social status until they, eventually, in the imperial era, attained a mandarin-like position — or in the words of Jürgen Mittelstrass: “What God was among the angels, the learned man should be among his fellow men.”8
But also in another respect, namely by its physical location, did the newly established Berlin university probably become somewhat of a role model. The main reasons to locate the university in the state capital were two. First, it was argued that it would be sensible and rational to use and further expand the already existing and superior scientific and learned infrastructure, which Berlin with its museums, libraries, collections, and personalities possessed. Secondly, and certainly no less important, beside the argument of a superior “critical mass”, the decision to locate the new university in the capital also reflected the central strategic position of the university in the reorganization of the Prussian nation-state.9 After the defeat in the Napoleonic war it became a deep conviction among the reformers around Freiherr vom Stein and Fürst Hardenberg that the state must be reformed and rebuilt from within, or in the words attributed to King Friedrich Wilhelm III himself, Prussia had to “make up in spiritual strength for the physical strength it has lost”.10 This included the notion or concept of national education as an absolute centerpiece, or to quote a fellow Humboldtianer:
The Prussian imperial desire to strengthen […] the humanist-idealist demand for “national education”, and the reformers’ aim of having a tertiary educational institution in the service of civilian society all came together and formed the amalgam, which ran like a red thread through the university success story of the 19th century … 11
This location pattern, which underlined the university’s standing as a central and even crucial institution of the nation-state, was soon to be followed in other German and European states with roughly the same arguments. For instance, in Bavaria the old university was relocated from Landshut to Munich 1826. Likewise, the University of Saint Petersburg was founded in 1819. And in 1827 and 1829 University College and King’s College in London were given their charters. Perhaps even more significantly following the dual principles laid down in Berlin were the architecture and placement of the two Nordic national universities in Oslo in 1811 and Helsinki in 1829. The list could be extended.
The Establishment of the Modern Research University as Institutional Reality and of Wilhelm von Humboldt as “Gründer-Vater”
It must be pointed out that the driving-force behind the massive international impact of the German university in the second half of the 19th century was not primarily a matter of formal organization or institution building but rather an effect of an almost exceptional expansion of scholarly and scientific creativity in Germany in practically all academic fields.12 And since “nothing succeeds like success”, in academia as well, in less than half a century the Friedrich- Wilhelms-Universität zu Berlin became the undisputed exemplar of an institution.
This gradually led to the second “institutional revolution”: the emergence of the modern research university, which in reality brought about a restructuring of practically all university systems, at least in the so-called Western world. With Berlin University as the prime mover and ideal-type, the transformation gradually took place in the period between 1860 and the outbreak of the World War I. As already indicated, the driving forces behind these fundamental changes came to no small extent from within science and scientific theory itself. With the emergence of the post-Newtonian natural sciences and with their gradually demonstrated industrial potential it became virtually impossible to define the scientific endeavor and the academic profession as “the pursuit of curious individual gentlemen of ingenious minds”. After Justus Liebing, Herman von Helmholtz, Robert Koch, Rudolf Virchow, etc. (laboratory), Albert Einstein, Max Planck, etc. (theory), but also Carl Bosch, Fritz Haber etc. (application) the pursuit of knowledge had become a central concern for almost every sector of modern society. Hence, the combined effects of the fundamental revolutions on the scientific-cognitive level and the demonstrated and potential impact on the macro-economic and eventually also political level, had thorough-going ideological, professional, institutional and policy consequences, which in many ways collided with the basic Humboldtian ideas and ideals.
First, science had turned into a collective task or “intellectual industry”, which demanded scale, organization and, perhaps above all, money, and where the notion of Einsamkeit und Freiheit seemed to be utterly obsolete.
Second, and for more or less the same reasons, the goal of amalgamating Forschung and Lehre gradually became almost impossible.13 The most striking illustration and manifestation of this fact became the establishment of the Kaiser-Wilhelm- Gesellschaft and its string of more or less autonomous research institutes in 1910/1911. It was, perhaps, also the ultimate indication of the deplorable fact that “excellence” had actually started its gradual exodus from Humboldt University.
Third, the steadily growing costs and societal impact of research not only led to institutional changes but also to innovations in research policy and (targeted) funding, which had consequences for the autonomy of the institution.14
Fourth, and perhaps, even more seminal, modern science finally and irrevocably crushed the illusion of the “unity of knowledge under benevolent aegis of philosophy” and was gradually superseded by the idea of two distinct scientific “cultures”. Significantly enough, it was in Germany that this distinction between Natur- und Geisteswissenschaften was discussed and philosophically codified in the second half of the 19th century by scholars, such as Wilhelm Dilthey, Heinrich Rickert, and Max Weber, while it was also discussed by intellectual industrialists, such as Werner von Siemens.15
However, in our context it is equally interesting that this process of cognitive and institutional disintegration, which in many respects signified a fundamental break with the original Humboldtian ideals, was not only explicitly presented as the ultimate fulfillment of Humboldtian dreams, it also, ironically enough, marked the reinvention and even canonization of Wilhelm von Humboldt as the spiritual and practical institutional founding-father of the German (European) university. It is in connection with the centennial anniversary in 1910 that Wilhelm von Humboldt’s ideas and ghost were transformed into some kind of “universal weapon” (Allzweckwaffe) in the German and gradually also the international debate on higher education institution building and policy-making.16
During the entire 19th century Wilhelm von Humboldt was hardly a reference point, or even mentioned, in the university policy discussion. Instead the von Humboldt that indeed was often referred to was his younger brother Alexander, whose crucial importance regarding the development of the sciences in Germany was frequently emphasized.17 Thus, it is perhaps interesting to note that even if the two brothers in the last 100 years have remained equally illustrious and been constantly referred to, each epoch of German history has crafted its very own Alexander — and sometimes (1949—1989) even more than one — while Wilhelm, on the other hand, seems to have always remained the unchangeable “neo-humanist genius and university-builder”!
Accordingly, it is typical that when the prime intellectual and bureaucratic movers, the theologian Adolf von Harnack and the almighty Ministerial-Direktor Friedrich Althoff,18 instigated the institutional revolution of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institute, they were never-theless very keen to use and stress all the supportive arguments they could possibly find in Wilhelm von Humboldt’s recently rediscovered and immediately canonized Denkschrift.19 Luckily enough for Harnack and Althoff, in his deliberations Humboldt had indicated that a complete science organization should have three major institutional components or levels: beside the free academy and the university, there should also be “Hilfs-Institute”. But with these “leblose (life-less) Institute” Humboldt had hardly meant the powerful centers of excellence that now were established.20
The 20th Anniversary:
Celebration of a most remarkable historical event Or Alma Mater Berolinensis Rediviva
Regarding the driving forces — beside the well known international political upheavals — and the actual course of events that eventually led to the restoration of the present Humboldt University in 1989—90, these still remain to be elucidated and historically analyzed.21
My only personal comment, not simply in my role as a “participating observer” in the 1990s, might be that it probably would be almost futile to try to detect any form of conscious and articulated university or research policy in this process. Instead, there was, in substance, a simplistic politically determined institutional reorganization, which meant that the present Humboldt University was simply integrated into the existing, not-too-well-functioning — “West German” university and research system.
In so doing, both Berlin and Germany, in my view, missed a historic opportunity to kick-start the reestablishment of Berlin as the European intellectual and scholarly center the city and its universities had — and still have every potential to become. Let us hope that the jubilee(s) in 2010 will eventually result in a similar qualitative leap forward as it undoubtedly did in 1910. Having said this, one should at the same time pray that the future societal and political context in which Humboldt University is embedded is totally different from the political and moral abyss it — with some interludes — was part and parcel of during 75 years — 1914–1989.
Concluding reflections and caveats
Coming back to the two “Humboldt revolutions” of 1810 and 1910, I would like to point to the fact that successful transformations in higher education are not always — and have seldom been — about the expansion of the tasks and obligations performed by the university. I have, however, the slightly worrying impression that, being caught in a curious type of simplistic analogy-thinking, the universities have a tendency to believe that the expansionism of the 1960—1970s is forever relevant. In short, whenever the universities are being told to respond to “new challenges” or are asked to “reformulate their mission”, they tend to conclude that they must take on any new task or responsibility vested interests in “society”, on an almost daily basis, are trying to shift on to them. This is a grave mistake, simply because, when it comes to knowledge and research, “society” very seldom actually knows what it really needs in fifteen years time!
The two Berlin-based “revolutions”, which thoroughly rejuvenated the Euro-American research universities and turned them into the real intellectual and economic power houses they became for almost two centuries, had very little to do with expansion. On the contrary! Wilhelm von Humboldt’s exceptionally successful ideological reforms of 1810 in fact meant retraction and “purification”. The establishment of the modern US research university at the turn of the previous century also meant that the universities
defined their core mission in a much more restricted way than they had previously done. So, when we, today, are discussing how to respond to the “new challenges and demands” and to “redefine our mission” in society, we should also perhaps try to remember that all great universities always have, at the same time, been institutionally adaptive, intellectually creative, and ideologically conservative institutions.22
If the other important university ideologue of the 19th century, John Henry Cardinal Newman, who incidentally formulated his vision of the university in direct opposition to the German/ Humboldtian Wissenschafts-Universität, could be said to have taken an existing formal institutional order, Oxford University, and transformed it into an Idea of a University,23 then Wilhelm Freiherr von Humboldt’s major achievement was to synthesize a number of ideas on science, Bildung, and learning, which 100 years later were transformed, or elevated, or perhaps even perverted into an institution soon to be decreed as the university. From this saga we may learn that not only “institutions and money matter”. This is equally true of ideas.
So, Vivat Academia Berolinensis — whichever anniversary You are celebrating in 2010!
- To illustrate the self-understanding and the almost unbounded self-confidence of the German professoriate as early as 1869, one can quote from a speech, “Über Universitätseinrichtungen”, by the Rector of Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Emil Du Bois-Reymond: “It is reasonable to maintain that in the field of higher learning the German universities are superior to those of any other country. Indeed, given the fact that none of man’s works is perfect, the German universities have such an institutional strength that they could only have been created by an act of the most fundamental legislative wisdom”, in Emil Du Bois-Reymond, Biographie, Wissenschaft, Ansprachen, 2. Issue, Leipzig 1887, p. 337. As an illustration of the profound and long-term international impact one can quote Abraham Flexner’s “self-evident” introduction to the German chapter in his famous book Universities: American–English–German, New York 1930 (1962): “Of the countries dealt with in this volume, Germany has in theory and practice come nearest to giving higher education its due position.” (p. 305)
- If the sister in Dahlhem was allowed to participate in the celebrations, which could certainly be considered quite appropriate, one would have to add an additional 62 Years’ Anniversary; see “Der Malteser Kreis – Humboldt stand drauf, das Gegenteil war drin”, in Tagesspiegel, May 31, 2010. And it certainly would be even more controversial and almost bewildering if one celebrated the present name of the Humboldt-Universität, which was officially decreed on October 26, 1949; see John Connelly, “Humboldt im Staatsdienst. Ostdeutsche Universitäten 1945–1989”, in (Hg.), Mythos Humboldt: Vergangenheit und Zukunft der deutschen Universitäten, Wien 1999, p. 80)
- Wilhelm von Humboldt, “Ueber die innere und äussere Organisation der höheren wissenschaftlichen Anstalten” (Original 1810), in Werke in fünf Bänden. Andreas Fleitner u& Klaus Giel (Hg.). Bd. 4, Stuttgart 1964, pp. 255–266; Wilhelm von Humboldt, “Antrag auf Errichtung der Universität Berlin” (vom 24. Juli 1809), in Werke in fünf Bänden. Andreas Fleitner & Klaus Giel (Hg.). Bd. 5. Darmstadt 1964, pp. 113–120. The Humboldt literature has, especially in the last few years, become almost boundless. For an overview and references, see Thorsten Nybom, “The Humboldt Legacy: Reflections on the Past, Present and Future of European Higher Education”, in Higher Education Policy 16:2003; Olaf Bartz, “Bundesrepublikanische Universitätsbilder: Blüte und Zerfall des Humboldtianismus”, in Die Hochschule. Journal für Wissenschaft und Bildung, 2:2005, pp. 99–133; and not least Ash (1999), and Rainer Christoph Schwinges (Hg.), Humboldt International: Der Export des deutschen Universitätsmodells im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, Basel 2001. — For a more extended analysis and discussion on my own part, see “A Rule- Governed Community of Scholars: The Humboldt Vision in the History of the European University”, in Peter Maassen & Johan P. Olsen (eds.), University Dynamics and European Integration, Dordrecht 2007, pp. 55–79, and “Humboldts Vermächtnis. Betrachtungen zu Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft des europäischen Hochschulwesens”, in Bernd Henningsen (Hg.), Humboldts Zukunft: Das Projekt Reformuniversität, Berlin 2008, pp. 297–323.
- The participants in this intense and extensive debate between 1790 and 1820 included almost every notable German intellectual and academic of the day. The theoretical and ideological starting point for these discussions was Immanuel Kant’s essay of 1798, Streit der Fakultäten. — For an overview of the central contributions, see Ernst Müller (Hg.), Gelegentliche Gedanken über Universitäten von Engel– Erhard–Wolf–Fichte–Schleiermacher–Savigny–von Humboldt–Hegel, Leipzig 1990, and Ludwig Fertig (Hg.), Bildungsgang und Lebensplan: Briefe über Erziehung von 1750 bis 1900, Darmstadt 1991.
- The statutes of Uppsala University from 1852 could serve as a typical example; see Göran Blomquist, Elfenbenstorn eller statsskepp? Stat, universitet och akademisk frihet i vardag och vision från Agardh till Schück [Ivory tower or ship of state? State, university, and academic freedom in daily life and vision from Agardh to Schück] , Lund 1992.
- Roger Geiger, To Advance Knowledge: The Growth of American Research Universities, 1900–1940, Oxford 1986, and Roger Geiger, Research and Relevant Knowledge: American Research Universities since World War II, Oxford 1993; also Nybom, in Maassen-Olsen (2007).
- Marita Baumgartner, “Professoren- und Universitätsprofile im ‘Humboldt’schen Modell’ 1810–1914”, in Schwinges (2001), pp. 105–129.
- Jürgen Mittelstrass, Die unzeitgemässe Universität, Frankfurt am M., 1994, p. 83. 9 Rüdiger von Bruch, “Die Gründung der Berliner Universität”, in Schwinges (2001), p. 59.
- Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte, Vol. 3: 1849–1918, München 1987, p. 473.
- Bernd Henningsen, “A Joyful Good-Bye to Wilhelm von Humboldt”, in Guy Neave, Thorsten Nybom & Kjell Blückert (eds.), The European Research University: An Historical Parenthesis? New York 2006, p. 95; see also Wehler (1987), pp. 405–485, and Helmuth Schelsky, Einsamkeit und Freiheit: Idee und Gestalt der deutschen Universität und ihrer Reformer, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1963.
- I think Noel Annan has quite correctly called this eruption of intellectual creativity in the 18th and 19th centuries as the “German renaissance”; see Noel Annan, Our Age: The Generation that Made Post-War Britain, London, pp. 335–355.
- For instance, when Albert Einstein was called to Berlin in 1913 he had no teaching obligations, and he was not the only one; see Rudolf Vierhaus, “Wilhelm von Humboldt”, in Wolfgang Treue & Karlfried Gründer (Hg.), Berlinische Lebensbilder: Wissenschaftspolitik in Berlin. Minister, Beamte, Ratgeber, Berlin 1987, p. 73; also Fritz Stern, Einstein’s German World, Princeton, NJ, 1999, pp. 59–164, esp. p. 112.
- Bernhard vom Brocke, “Von der Wissenschaftsverwaltung zur Wissenschaftspolitik: Friedrich Althoff”, in Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte, 1, 1988, pp. 1–26.
- Rüdiger von Bruch, “Langsamer Abschied von Humboldt? Etappen deutscher Universitätsgeschichte 1810–1945”, in Ash (1999), p. 46.
- Sylvia Paletschek, “Verbreitete sich‚ ein Humboldt’sches Modell’ an den deutschen Universitäten im 19. Jahrhundert?”, in Schwinges (2001), p. 103.
- Paletschek, in Schwinges (2001), pp. 98–104.
- On Althoff’s central position in research and university policy-making, see also vom Brocke, “Friedrich Althoff”, in Treue & Gründer (1987), pp. 195–214.
- The seminal Memorandum was not found until 1900 by the historian Bruno Gebhardt when he was writing a biography of Wilhelm von Humboldt; see Bruno Gebhardt (ed.), Wilhelm von Humboldts Politische Denkschriften 1800–1810. Bd. 1, Berlin 1903, and Bruno Gebhardt, Wilhelm von Humboldt als Staatsmann. I–II, Stuttgart 1896–1899.
- On Althoff’s central position in research and university policy-making, see also vom Brocke, “Friedrich Althoff”, in Treue & Gründer (1987), pp. 195–214.
- For some preliminary studies see Friedhelm Neidhardt, “Konflikte und Balancen: Die Umwandlung der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin”, in R. Mayntz (Hg.), Aufbruch und Reform von Oben: Ostdeutsche Universitäten im Transformationsprozess, Frankfurt am Main 1994, pp. 32–60, and Thomas Raiser, Schicksalsjahre einer Universität: Die strukturelle und personelle Neuordnung der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin 1989–1994, Berlin 1998.
- For and equally comprehensive and illuminating analysis of the success of the US research universities in the last century see Jonathan R. Cole, The Great American University: Its Rise to Preeminence—Its Indispensable National Role—Why It Must be Protected, New York 2009.
- Noel Annan, The Dons: Mentors, Eccentrics, and Geniuses, London 1999, pp. 39–60. — For a penetrating analysis of Newman’s The Idea of a University (1852), see Sheldon Rothblatt, The Modern University and its Discontents, Cambridge 1997.