Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

On our fading universities

Peter Berkowitz uses the format of a review of Donald A. Downs’ book, to remind us what is ailing with our universities, and what may be done about them. I like this paragraph:

And universities must cultivate courageous and eloquent leadership. In part this means governing boards and trustees willing to select leaders with guts who would rather lose their jobs than kowtow to campus thought police. In part it means leaders with the confidence and clout to shift resources and implement changes: Institutional frameworks must be revised; new courses must be developed; a new generation of scholars and teachers must be trained. And not least it means leaders who will use their positions as bully pulpits to speak on campus and to the wider public on behalf of the worth of a liberal arts education. Not since A. Bartlett Giamatti stepped down from the presidency of Yale in the mid-1980s has the leader of a major American college or university seen it as part of his or her responsibility to educate students, faculty, and the nation about the true mission of the university.

Discussions - 1 Comment

Well, I don’t know. Seems to me that John Silber in the 1990s qualifies as well. He was controversial, but he was also strong, outspoken, and a leader. He certainly cared about public education as well as "truth-seeking."

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