5.5.15

THE CONSEQUENCES OF BREAKING THE SOCIAL CONTRACT.

Higher education has acquired an image as an endeavor that deconstructs the very institutions and traditions that make critical inquiry possible.  There are limits to the forbearance of state legislatures.
With higher ed costs rising inexorably, many conservative state representatives are likely wondering just why the state is offering tenured professorships in Transgressive Gender Studies with lots of time for ‘research’, and they are becoming more aggressive in trying to shake-up the higher ed system.

There is a lot of anti-intellectualism mixed up in all of this, in addition to some good old fashioned score settling. But there’s also a lot that’s right. Costs really are rising unsustainably, and many administrative bureaucracies have lost touch with common sense—to say nothing of being economically useless administrative make work bailiwicks. Moreover, a number of disciplines are so dominated by one political point of view that they look more like PACs and NGOs than like assemblies of disputatious scholars.

As a few red states rise to face these failings, they pose a much greater threat to the modern American public university than many tenured radicals and cocooned administrators understand. Red states are such a serious threat to the status quo not necessarily because red politicians have great ideas about university governance—quite often, they don’t—but because American universities these days are so poorly run and so lopsidedly left in their orientation that they have lost the confidence of those who they ostensibly serve.
Years ago, I suggested in a public forum that legislators were beginning to question the efforts of the early multicultural-political correctness initiatives that were in my view crowding out education.  It's taken a long time, and the damage the multicultural project and access-assessment-remediation-retention brings is greater, and yet it can be reversed.

No comments: