“Angell was a linchpin in the evolution of the research university,” says Mark Nemec (’00), who is the President of Fairfield University and who studied the Angell papers for his Ph.D. dissertation in political science from the University of Michigan.
“He recognized that the university couldn’t take its privileged place in society for granted. It needed to demonstrate its relevance, though I don’t think that’s a word that Angell would use.” Nemec’s book, Ivory Towers and Nationalist Minds: Universities, Leadership, and the Development of the American State (University of Michigan Press, 2006), outlines Angell’s contributions to higher education, policy, democracy, diplomacy, and more.
“One way was through his support for and expansion of admission by diploma, where the University of Michigan would accredit high schools in Michigan and elsewhere, even as far west as California, to help set university admission standards. And secondly, he was willing to join the Association of American Universities at its founding in 1900, and was influential about getting skeptics, such as Arthur Twining Hadley (President of Yale), to join. He was an opinion leader among the university presidents.”