12.1.12

SPOT THE ENTITLEMENT.

An Inside Higher Ed post documents some recent Occupy Wall Street protests inside Wall Street job fairs at Ivy League universities.  That's fairly standard stuff.  What intrigues is the restricted sense in which the column uses the expression "entitled".
“There’s a sense among students who easily could feel entitled that they have a responsibility to society, as leaders, to improve that society, and that right now for many people that society doesn’t seem to be working,” [Harvard professor of leadership development Rakesh] Khurana said, adding that the number of students interested in solving the world’s problems – environmental, economic, social – is “amazing.”  “I think what we have to do as an institution is to make it easier for students to see the path by which they can do that. We haven’t created, in many ways, the clarity of the career paths in which you get to go do those things.”
There's one sense of entitlement, in which one gets good grades in high school in order to secure admission to Harvard, and gets good grades there in order to hire out with a trading house, or to secure admission to the right business or law program, in order to rack up the big bucks.

There's another sense of entitlement, in which one gets good grades in high school in order to secure admission to Harvard, and gets good grades there in order to go into "public service," perhaps after that stint in law school, in order to spend the taxpayers' money more sensibly than the taxpayers could on their own.

That a Harvard professor is noting a lack of clarity of the career paths might suggest that all of higher education's egalitarian posturing is for nought.

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