Sheldon Rothblatt

Job title: 
Professor of History Emeritus, UC Berkeley, former Director, CSHE

Professor Rothblatt is Professor of History Emeritus and former Director of the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley.  He was educated at Berkeley and King's College, Cambridge University, and has an honorary degree from Gothenburg University in Sweden.  He has been honored by the Swedish king as Knight Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star, Sweden’s highest award to foreigners other than heads of state. Besides his career at Berkeley, he has taught at Monash University in Australia, Stanford University, the University of Vienna, New York University, Samford University in Alabama, the University of Oslo in Norway and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.  He has also held visiting appointments at Nuffield, St. Cross, New and Magdalen Colleges, Oxford University, at Princeton University and at Uppsala University in Sweden.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of Britain, a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Education (U.S.), a Fellow of the Society for Research into Higher Education, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. He was the Bishop Waynflete Lecturer for 2002, Magdalen College Oxford University: “The  Elite University and Democracy,” May 13, 15, 20, 22, 2002. He gave the Sir Douglas Robb Lectures at the University of Auckland in New Zealand in March 2008 in honor of that University’s 125th birthday. He has been a columnist for the Times Higher Education Supplement (The Higher) and a reviewer for the London Review of Books. 

Upon retirement, Rothblatt received the “University of California Berkeley Citation for distinguished achievement and for notable service to the University,” the campus’s highest award to faculty, and he has also been selected as a Berkeley Fellow.

Key Publications

  • The Revolution of the Dons: Cambridge and Society in Victorian England (London: Faber and Faber, 1968; New York: Basic Books, 1968). Reissued with new introduction, Cambridge University Press, 1981.
  • Tradition and Change in English Liberal Education: An Essay in History and Culture (London and Boston: Faber and Faber, 1976).
  • The Modern University and its Discontents, The Fate of Newman’s Legacy in Britain and America (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). – reissued as paperback, CUP 2006. A Chinese language version was published by Peking University press in March 2013.
  • Education’s Abiding Moral Dilemma: Merit and Worth in the Cross-Atlantic Democracies, 1800-2006 (Oxford: Symposium Books, 2007).
  • Clark Kerr’s World of Higher Education Reaches the 21st Century: Chapters in a Special History (Springer: Dordrecht, 2012).
Research interests: 

Modern British and European history and the comparative history of universities