Friday, April 10, 2015

Is the Modern American University a Failed State? From

Is it too late for solutions?
For many youths, vocational school is preferable to college. Americans need to appreciate that training to become a master auto mechanic, paramedic or skilled electrician is as valuable to society as a cultural anthropology or feminist studies curriculum. There are far too many special studies courses and trendy majors -- and far too few liberal arts surveys of literature, history, art, music, math and science that for centuries were the sole hallowed methods of instilling knowledge.
Administrators should decide whether they see students as mature, independent adults who handle life's vicissitudes with courage and without need for restrictions on free expression. Or should students remain perennial weepy adolescents, requiring constant sheltering, solicitousness and self-esteem building?
Diversity might be better redefined in its most ancient and idealistic sense as differences in opinion and thought rather than just variety in appearance, race, gender or religion.
The now-predictable ideology of college graduation speakers should instead be a mystery. Students should not be able to guess the politics of their college president. Ideally, they might encounter as many Christians as atheists, as many reactionaries as socialists, or as many tea partyers as Occupy Wall Street protestors, reflecting the normal divisions of society at large.
The rest.


  1. "The unemployment rate of college graduates is at near-record levels. Universities have either failed to convinced employers that English or history majors make ideal job candidates, or they have failed to ensure that such bedrock majors can, in fact, speak, write and reason well."

    Yep, the author failed to convinced me!

    1. Whatever the unemployment rate for college grads is at present, the unemployment rate for non-college grads is substantially higher. I think the author may have meant "recent college graduates," but the comparison still holds. It's not like employers are posting jobs and failing to fill them, as far as I know.

  2. This TownHall is a scary place. Ann Coulter with her whole "there's no rape on campus" thing. Obama bashing Christians. I feel so icky for going there.

  3. Can we ever convince some people that college is not simply training for specific jobs?

  4. NPR has had some interesting coverage of Germany's apprenticeship system lately. There are some downsides (and their definition of "vocational" training seems to be pretty broad, encompassing, for instance, some engineering jobs), but, on the whole, it sounds like a good system. I really like the fact that the US system makes college accessible to a broad range of students, of varying background, at different points in their lives, etc., etc., but college is still not for everyone, and definitely not for every 18-year-old. We could really use some additional viable choices for recent high school grads beyond college, the military, and low-paid (often part-time) work.

  5. I'm familiar with the author. He basically thinks anyone who is not a white, Christian male should not be in college. We do need some sort of technical apprentice system but I suspect the Townhall author thinks that's for "those people" and not "his people"