Hutchins, Robert Maynard

Hutchins, Robert Maynard,

1899–1977, American educator, b. Brooklyn, N.Y., studied at Oberlin College, grad. Yale, 1921, taught in the Yale law school (1925–27), and served as dean (1927–29). He became president of the Univ. of Chicago in 1929 at the age of 30 and held that position until 1945; he served as chancellor there from 1945 until 1951. After 1943 he was chairman of the board of editors for the Encyclopaedia Britannica. An enthusiast for adult education, he received in 1946 a year's leave of absence to promote the "great books" program. He was associate director of the Ford Foundation from 1951 to 1954, when he became president of the Fund for the Republic, and later founder and president of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara, Calif. From 1969 to 1974 he was chairman of the board. His books include The Higher Learning in America (1936), Education for Freedom (1943), The Conflict in Education in a Democratic Society (1953), and The Learning Society (1968).


See biography by H. S. Ashmore (1989).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Hutchins, Robert Maynard

(1899–1977) university president; born in New York City. He earned a B.A. and LL.B. from Yale. He made a name as one of the country's foremost—and youthful—educational innovators. He rejuvenated Yale Law School as dean (1927–29) and at the University of Chicago (president 1929–45, chancellor 1945–51), he introduced the "Chicago Plan," which included the Great Books program, the admission of high school students, and the abolition of course credits and compulsory attendance. His concentration on bolstering Chicago's undergraduate education was profoundly controversial at the primarily graduate institution. Hutchins was long associated with the Ford Foundation's Fund for the Republic and Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions (1954–74). His many books include The Higher Learning in America (1936) and The University of Utopia (1953).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hutchins, Robert Maynard. The Great Conversation: The Substance of a Liberal Education.