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I had to capture this moment on Amazon:  “#1 Bestseller in Education Policy and Reform.” One year away from publication, it is astonishing to be a “bestseller.”

The whole purpose in writing this book for a general audience –in editing and editing again to make it readable to a wide audience–was to provide a tool for those who are seeking to make good, wise, constructive, important changes in higher education. The book features so many inspiring faculty, administrators, and students who are working to change higher education.  I’m thrilled this book gives them a powerful voice and, as I hear often, empowers and inspires others.

Being the recipient of the 2019 Frederic W. Ness Book Award from The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) is the reason, of course.  The Award will be presented at the Association’s annual meeting.  It is the top book award from this Association.  I am honored beyond words.

Here are the words of the President of AAC&U:

“The New Education offers compelling insights into the future of American higher education, emphasizing the need to challenge students to address unscripted, real-world problems. We are thrilled to honor Dr. Davidson with the Ness Book Award and are grateful for her many contributions to the academy,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella.


This is rare in an individual life–singular in my life.  I am honored, humbled, astonished.  And I’m excited that the award has prompted many who have not yet read the book to pic it up.

This is not about sales. For those who do not know, an author earns less than $1 dollar a book on sales and a “bestseller” in the education arena isn’t exactly like a James Patterson or Stephen King novel!  Also, I have set up a scholarship fund to which I donate the equivalent of royalty income each year.  I’m delighted if that fund grows this year but, mostly, I am pleased that so many educators are dedicated to making higher education as strong as it can be.

Or, as I said upon receiving the award:

“I am deeply honored by the recognition that AAC&U is giving to The New Education and am inspired by the organization and its members for all they contribute to the future of higher education,” said Cathy N. Davidson. “In this time when higher education is under attack and under duress on so many fronts, I am in awe of the many people and institutions who are working to transform higher education in order to prepare the next generation for a complex and challenging future.”


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Cathy N. Davidson

Cathy N. Davidson

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