Richard Arum is an American sociologist of education and stratification, best known for his research on student learning, school discipline, race, and inequality in K-12 and higher education.
Arum’s most notable contributions to research on higher education stem from his work on the CLA Longitudinal Study, a project he led as Education Research Program Director at the Social Science Research Council from 2005-2013. The CLA Longitudinal Study was a large-scale longitudinal study that “tracked over 2,000 young adults as they made their way through college and transitioned into the labor force and graduate school.”
Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses (University of Chicago Press, 2011) is a book based on the first two years of the study. It received national media attention for its finding that, after the first two years of college, a significant number of students demonstrated no improvement in a range of skills, including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing. A follow-up book to Academically Adrift, entitled Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates, was released in September 2014. Arum co-authored both of these books with Josipa Roksa, associate professor of sociology and education at the University of Virginia.