What’s gone wrong with the American university? Everything, really: politicised teachers — agit profs, we might call them — inciting know-nothing students; pusillanimous presidents cringing before mobs of ‘activists’; teaching standards hollowed out, with classes taught by grad students and adjuncts; the ‘mission’ turned from teaching something useful to Social Justice, the healing of a universe sullied by white capitalism, and the endless milking of alumni for donations; and all of it at a cost that’s been rising ahead of inflation every year since 1980, while teaching standards and the value of a degree have been steadily dropping.
Take Yale University, for instance. A gem of an Ivy League campus, riding stately over the poverty, crime and racism of New Haven, Conn. while its tenured geriatrics lecture the rest of us about social justice. Scene of the infamous mob assault on professors who had suggested that it was still possible to have fun on Halloween without committing historical micro-and macro-agressions against the people whose costumes the students might wear. Scene of the illiterate and ignorant expunging of the title ‘Master’ for the head of a college, because of the term’s purported associations with slavery. Never mind that students were studying under a ‘Magister’ centuries before the New World was discovered. Never mind truth, facts, or even value for money.
Sounds like a case study for the Life’n’Arts podcast. This week, I’m talking with Jamie Kirchick. He’s an author (The End of Europe), journalist, and fellow at the Brookings Institute — despite having attended Yale. And he’s had enough. This year, Kirchick is running for a seat on Yale’s board. Listen to what made him do it, what he thinks has gone wrong with the American university, and how he’ll try to fix it by holding Yale’s board accountable, on this week’s podcast.
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