May 05, 2017

Melodramatic Universities Have Become a Classical Tragedy

Some terrific insights in the latest column from the classicist and military historian Victor Davis Hanson:
"Studies" activist courses too often are therapeutic. They are neither inductive nor Socratic, and they rarely teach facts, methods and means of learning without insisting on predesignated conclusions. Instead, the student should leave the class with proper group-think and ideological race/class/gender fervor of the professor—a supposed new recruit for the larger progressive project. ...
One reason that tuition is sky-high is because behind the facade of "trigger warnings," "safe spaces" and "culture appropriation" are costly legions of deputy associate provosts, special assistants to the dean, and race/class/gender "senior strategists" and facilitators (usually former faculty who no longer teach).

Few admit that a vastly expanding and politically correct administrative industry reflects a massive shift of resources away from physics, humanities or biology—precisely the courses that non-traditional students need to become competitive. ...
Careerist university administrators more often make the university change to accommodate the student rather than asking the incoming student to prepare to accommodate the time-honored university. ...

Apart from the sciences and the professional schools, campuses are a bubble of unearned self-congratulation—clueless that they have broken faith with a once-noble legacy of free inquiry and have lost the respect of most Americans.
The now melodramatic university has become a classical tragedy.

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