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Nathan M. Sorber, Ph.D.


Nathan M. Sorber is an associate professor of higher education administration at West Virginia University. He is the author of Change and Continuity in American Higher Education: Lessons from Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Innovations (Routledge, 2020), Land-Grant Colleges and Popular Revolt: The Origins of the Morrill Act and the Reform of Higher Education (Cornell University Press, 2018),  co-author of  American Higher Education in the Postwar Era (Routledge, 2017), and co-author of Land-Grant Colleges and the Reshaping of American Higher Education (Transaction Press, 2013). Sorber has written extensively on land-grant colleges, the history of American higher education, and the relationship between higher education and American capitalism. He is the co-editor of the book series Perspectives on the History of Higher Education (Routledge), and has published pieces in the Higher Education Handbook of Theory and Research, International Encyclopedia of Higher Education, History of Education Quarterly, History of Agriculture, and Higher Education in Review, and has presented numerous papers at the annual meetings of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), the American Education Research Association (AERA), and the History of Education Society (HES). 

At West Virginia University, Sorber is the Department Chairperson, and teaches several courses: History of American Higher Education, International Higher Education, Contemporary Issues in Higher Education, and Higher Education in Popular Culture. Sorber received a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the Pennsylvania State University, a M.Ed. from Vanderbilt University in Higher Education, and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Bucknell University.

Academic Degrees

Ph.D., Education Policy Studies: Higher Education 
Pennsylvania State University, 2011

M.Ed., Higher Education 
Vanderbilt University, 2004

B.A., Economics and Political Science 
Bucknell University, 2002

Teaching and Research Areas

  • History of American Higher Education
  • International and Comparative Higher Education
  • Land-Grant Colleges and Universities
  • Higher Education State and Federal Policy
  • Higher Education in Popular Culture

Selected Publications

Nathan M. Sorber (2020). Change and Continuity in American Colleges and Universities: Lessons from Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Innovations. Perspectives on the History of Higher Education. New York, NY: Routledge.. 

Nathan M. Sorber. (2019). History of the American Land-Grant Universities and Regional Development. In Erdős Katalin & Attila Varga (Ed.) Handbook of Universities and Regional Development.

Nathan M. Sorber (2018). Land-Grant Colleges and Popular Revolt. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Geiger, R. L, Sorber, N. M. & Christian K. A., (Eds.). (2018). “American Higher Education in the Postwar Era, 1945-1970.” Perspectives on the History of Higher Education, Volume 32. New York, NY: Routledge.

Nathan M. Sorber (2018) “Early Land-Grant Colleges and Students in the Northeastern United States: A History of Regional Access and Mobility Patterns in Maine, Massachusetts, and New York, 1862-1878,” Agricultural History.

Nathan M. Sorber (2016). “The University Tradition in the United States,” in Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions, Shin, Jung Cheol, Teixeira, Pedro, editors.

Nathan M. Sorber (2015). “The Rise and Fall of the Grange’s Land-Grant Colleges” in Science as service: Establishing and reformulating American land-grant universities, 1865 – 1930, Alan Marcus, editor. University of Alabama Press.

Nathan M. Sorber & Roger L. Geiger (2014). “The Welding of Opposite Views: Land-Grant Historiography at 150 Years.” Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, 29, 385-422.

Geiger, R. L., & Sorber, N. M., (Eds.). (2013). The Land Grant Colleges and the Reshaping of American Higher Education. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Press.

Nathan M. Sorber (2013). “Creating colleges of science, industry, and national advancement: The origins of the New England land-grant colleges.” Perspectives on the History of Higher Education, 30, 41-77.

Sorber, N. M. (2012). Book Review of The History of U.S. Higher Education: Methods for Understanding the Past, History of Education Quarterly, 52.

Sorber, N. M. (2011). The era of the student bureaucracy and the contested road to the Harvard Red Book. Higher Education in Review, 8, 13-40

Sorber, N. M. (2011).”Tarnished Icon: William Smith and the College of Philadelphia,” Perspectives on the History of Higher Education, 28, 13-40.

View full Curriculum Vitae