We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Universities exist to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and culture that will prepare them for life, while enhancing the intellectual capital upon which we all depend. Evidently the two purposes are distinct. One concerns the growth of the individual, the other our shared need for knowledge. But they are also intertwined, so that damage to the one purpose is damage to the other. That is what we are now seeing, as our universities increasingly turn against the culture that created them, withholding it from the young.
The years spent at university belong with the rites of initiation studied by the Victorian anthropologists, in which those born into the tribe assume the burden of perpetuating it. If we lose sight of this, it seems to me, then we are in danger of detaching the university from its social and moral purpose, which is that of handing on both a store of knowledge and the culture that makes sense of it...
Universities exist to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and culture that will prepare them for life, while enhancing the intellectual capital upon which we all depend.
why assume that's true? I went to kollege because I needed an AB or BA to get into professional school. any degree would have done the trick, so I picked a totally BS one, and after 30+ years of practice, that degree I earned (apart from being a box to check) has been worthless. none of the knowledge, skills or culture I picked up in life came from kollege.
other students sorority chicks seek the MRS degree, which makes better sense if culture is a point of college.
the only ones who seemed to actually need college are the engineer types, because that's how their career path flowed.
otherwise, kollege is as kollege does. in fact it gives a living subsidy / daycare to kids for 4-8 years, provides a recognizable brand for employers, entertains everyone with sports (even on this forum, people k00kgasm over the NCAA), teaches kids what to want (although it would be better if it taught them how to want), all mixed in with girls, beer and spring break.
when was this golden age of kollege whereof you speak?
The Poetry of Violence
Probably. some where in the 1400-early 1990's, when a college education meant among other things you were trained to dispute theology, law (both civil and canon), sufficient STEM courses to be able to manage an estate profitably, plan an artillery barrage or keep accounts, history to learn what worked and what did not and maybe earn one of the minor Holy Orders (sub-deacon, etc) The whole renaissance man idea.
which of those classes, even those of dubious value (including the unmentioned astrology which the U of Paris was famous for) aren't available today? my university had an ROTC, business school, school of theology, science depts., etc. its impossible to teach law (that is, make a good lawyer) with undergrad classes.
you certainly know that, unlike in the 1700s, most of what you'd learn in a college level science course will be outdated in 10 years.
being a renaissance man in the true sense means lifelong study, not a degree from Kollege U.
The Poetry of Violence
Meanwhile, Princeton goes crazy, decides to swim upstream and allow the First Amendment on campus... Princeton Votes for Academic Freedom... Good God, now who'll protect the little ones?!
I am an alumnus of Oxford University. From my experience of the University, its prime purpose is to maintain Oxford University. Processing undergraduates is the means that Oxford uses to achieve its own survival. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. Just that being mistaken about an organisation's real goals isn't a good place from which to begin analysing its errors. What looks like a bug may really be a feature.