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Open access

Steven Dandaneau

Open access

Steven P. Dandaneau

How will land-grant universities fulfill their democratic mission in an era of declining public support? A case study of Milton S. Eisenhower's presidency of Kansas State College (1943–1950) explores the entrenched ideological tensions with which land-grant university leaders must still contend, and through historical analysis illustrates key elements in their past successful navigation. Recognized today more often for his fraternal relationship to the 34th President of the United States, this paper argues that Milton Eisenhower, four times a university president and a long-time public servant in his own right, is a leader from whom much can be learned. It is argued, furthermore, that today's public higher-education leaders face challenges similar to those faced by Eisenhower, the resolution of which will determine whether the democratic heritage articulated in the Morrill Act of 1862 is preserved or abandoned.