Where have all the "alternative" campuses gone? Gone to The Establishment (or disappeared completely), every one. Well, not every one. Some of the hundreds of distinctive colleges and universities founded in the turbulent and revolutionary 1960s and early 1970s have managed to survive, even to thrive in the face of a world that increasingly uses a bottom line mentality to judge worthiness-and these maverick institutions of higher learning have much to teach their more traditional counterparts, says a Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU) administrator who has written a book on the subject. Joy R. Kliewer, PhD, WesternU’s assistant director of the University Center for Graduate Studies and Lifelong Learning, has studied the hows and whys of thriving "alternative" college and universities, and has published her findings in the book, The Innovative Campus: Nurturing the Distinctive Learning Environment, to be released December 31 by The Oryx Press and the American Council on Education. "Some of the practices of these innovative institutions, if taken on by the more traditional colleges and universities, could go a long way to revitalizing academia today," Dr. Kliewer says. "These are transformative institutions and they produce transformative thinkers." Among the distinctive colleges and universities studied by Dr. Kliewer are Pitzer College in Claremont, California; and the University of California, Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, California. Innovative institutions of higher learning tend to have five characteristics in common, according to Dr. Kliewer. They are: interdisciplinary teaching and learning; student-centered education; egalitarianism (with faculty, administrators and students often sharing an equal voice in decision making); experiential education; and an institutional focus on teaching (rather than on faculty research or publication). Many of the maverick colleges and universities founded in the 1960s and early 1970s had closed their doors by the late 1970s, Dr. Kliewer says, victims of that decade’s dramatic economic downturn; a severe drop-off in the number of college-age applicants, with the focus of those applicants turning increasingly from altruistic to "careerist" motivations; a changing political and social climate; and the extreme difficulty-typical for any entity that goes against the status quo-of retaining their "alternative" missions in the face of traditional academia. Those innovative colleges and universities that did survive – and continue to thrive – tend to share five key characteristics, Dr. Kliewer says. They are: the presence and support of founding faculty members; new faculty members who share the founders’ passion and spirit for innovation; an academic reward system that values innovation; free-flowing, nondepartmental organizational structures; and administrative support for innovation. "Innovative colleges and universities fill a distinct niche in the higher education community," Dr. Kliewer writes, "offering refuges for those who are dissatisfied with the mainstream practices and approaches of conventional higher education. They produce graduates who are successful entrepreneurs and leaders with imaginative hearts and spirits." Finally, mainstream colleges and universities could look to their more rebellious counterparts to improve or revitalize their teaching and learning environments," Dr. Kliewer says. "There is much to be learned from the imaginative practices and programs of the innovative colleges and universities."