Donna Breault, a professor in West Virginia University’s College of Education and Human Services, won an award from the American Educational Research Association for her latest book, “The Red Light in the Ivory Tower.” Breault along with co-author and former WVU professor David M. Callejo Parez, received the Society of Professors of Education Award at the organization’s annual conference in San Francisco.

The book analyzes the operational behaviors of prestigious and prestige-seeking universities. It examines how universities try to improve their rankings, particularly in US News & World Report, an outlet that ranks universities based on admissions standards, sports and research productivity. In addition to shedding light on the academic and personnel costs of pursuing prestige, Breault and Callejo-Perez offer six case studies to contrast genuinely prestigious institutions from those attempting to earn more prestige.

“David and I were interested in this because we have seen the brutal costs of institutions pursuing images of prestige at the expense of programs, faculty, and students,” said Breault.

“We believe this book offers a call to faculty and university administrators to find ways to build capacity for research and scholarship while simultaneously protecting program integrity and cherishing faculty and students.”

Breault has used the text in her curriculum, as she believes students preparing to become teachers will benefit from the insight and understand the influence of markets and rankings as they develop and implement academic programs.

The “Red Light in the Ivory Tower” was published by Peter Lang International as part of its “Studies in the Postmodern Theory of Education” series.



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CONTACT: Christie Zachary, College of Education and Human Services