At the time of the initial professionalization of the academic fi eld in the early 20 th century, the American academic was characterized by his medieval, vocational DNA and his advancement to Humboldtian professionalism. First monastic tutors in the colonial colleges and then researcher-scholars in the university, the American university faculty evolved in conjunction with the university. Accordingly, the professionalization of both the faculty and university did not really take shape until the late 19 th to early 20 th centuries (Cohen & Kisker, 2010 ). Carrying the “main burden of the college” (Brubacher & Rudy, 1997 , p. 28), faculty organized their professional identity as trustworthy knowledge experts in service to the public through teaching and scholarly production. As the linchpin in the American university’s social contract embedded in which are liberal values and democratic imperatives, the academic held a unique position in American society in the Transformative Era, 1870-1944 (Cohen & Kisker, 2010 ). The American academic profession, as all expert classes that are essential for the enlightenment of the public and government authorities in a democratic society, was charged with the work of the liberal-democratic public through free inquiry and knowledge transmission that is the outcome of special expertise. Their identity as self-directed and self-governing professionals developed in this era largely as a campaign conducted by “reform-minded academics” sympathetic to (and some the authors of) the “moderate Progressive movement” of the period (Schrecker, 2009 , p. 522). In the late 19 th century and early decades of the 20 th century, academic leaders like John Dewey thought that the social conditions brought about by individualism and laissez-faire nation-building exacted service that employed “effective intelligence” or knowledge relevant to social concerns 3 in order to renew liberalism and ensure democratic progress (Dewey, 1927/1946). With the unprecedented growth in graduate training and research, and the
proliferation of academic specialization and differentiation in the fi rst quarter of the 20 th century, the American university faculty were poised to apply their expertise to public service and did so, “on a scale heretofore unknown” (Finkelstein, 1984 , p. 26). By the 1930s, faculty were serving as consultants to all levels of government.