From the start, the contemporary university's relationship with students has a solicitous, nearly servile tone. As soon as someone enters his junior year in high school, and especially if he's living in a prosperous zip code, the informational material -- the advertising -- comes flooding in. Pictures, testimonials, videocassettes, and CD ROMs (some bidden, some not) arrive at the door from colleges across the country, all trying to capture the student and his tuition cash. The freshman-to-be sees photos of well-appointed dorm rooms; of elaborate phys-ed facilities; of fine dining rooms; of expertly kept sports fields; of orchestras and drama troupes; of students working alone (no overbearing grown-ups in range), peering with high seriousness into computers and microscopes; or of students arrayed outdoors in attractive conversational garlands.
But mulling over my evaluations and then trying to take a hard, extended look at campus life both here at the University of Virginia and around the country eventually led me to some different conclusions. To me, liberal-arts education is as ineffective as it is now not chiefly because there are a lot of strange theories in the air. (Used well, those theories can be illuminating.) Rather, it's that university culture, like American culture writ large, is, to put it crudely, ever more devoted to consumption and entertainment, to the using and using up of goods and images. For someone growing up in America now, there are few available alternatives to the cool consumer worldview. My students didn't ask for that view, much less create it, but they bring a consumer weltanschauung to school, where it exerts a powerful, and largely unacknowledged, influence. If we want to understand current universities, with their multiple woes, we might try leaving the realms of expert debate and fine ideas and turning to the classrooms and campuses, where a new kind of weather is gathering.
Why Getting A Liberal Arts College Education Is ..
CRISTELLE BASKINS is an associateprofessor in, and chair of, the departmentof art and art history at Tufts. Herarticle in this issue is based on the exhibitionshe co-curated, The Triumph ofMarriage: Painted Cassoni of the Renaissance,which runs through January 18,2009, at Bostons Isabella Stewart GardnerMuseum.
Why Getting A Liberal Arts College Education Is Not A Mistake
“On or about December, 2014, student character changed,” Roger Copeland, a professor of theatre and dance, announced early one afternoon. We were sitting at a table in the Feve, a college-town grill. Copeland was wearing an extremely loud Hawaiian shirt. He has thinning silver hair, glasses that darken in the sunlight, and a theatrical style of diction that most people reserve for wild anecdotes at noisy cocktail parties. At one point, I looked up from my notepad to find that he had donned a rubber nose and glasses.
The New Activism of Liberal-Arts Colleges | The New Yorker
2 A list of approved general education electives (humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, mathematics, science, and personal wellness) is provided in the General Education section of the catalog under Curriculum Planning and Design. To avoid transfer problems, students should carefully select courses to fulfill elective requirements with the assistance of their advisors and upon an investigation of the transfer requirements of the institution to which transfer is contemplated.
Liberal Arts Education, as per Mark Edmundson - …
And if what's called tenure reform -- which generally just means the abolition of tenure -- is broadly enacted, professors will be yet more vulnerable to the whims of their customer-students. Teach what pulls the kids in, or walk. What about entire departments that don't deliver? If the kids say no to Latin and Greek, is it time to dissolve classics? Such questions are being entertained more and more seriously by university administrators.