Nathan Sorber, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Coordinator, Higher Education Administration Program
Department of Curriculum and Instruction/Literacy Studies

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Contact Information

Office: 608A Allen Hall
Phone: 304-293-5928


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


  • 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


Nathan M. Sorber is an assistant professor of higher education administration at West Virginia University. He is co-author of Land-Grant Colleges and the Reshaping of American Higher Education (Transaction Press, 2013), and the author of the forthcoming book The Morrill Act in Yankeedom: A History of the Origins and Early Years of the Land-Grant Colleges (Cornell University Press). 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 (Transaction Press), and has forthcoming or 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 Program Coordinator of the Higher Education program, 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.

Courses Taught

  • HIED 648 – History-American Higher Education
  • HIED 649 – Contemporary Issues – Higher Education
  • EDLS 654 – College Student Affairs
  • EDLS 763 – International Higher Education


Geiger, R. L., & Sorber, N. M., (Eds.). (forthcoming, under contract). Higher Education in the Post-World War II Era. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Press.

Nathan M. Sorber (forthcoming, under contract). The Morrill Act in Yankeedom: A History of the Origins and Early Years of the Land-Grant Colleges. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Nathan M. Sorber (forthcoming, 2017) “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.