How bad? J. Michel Metz envisions The Coming of the Second Dark Ages. Here's the money quote. "In the last 20 years academia has raced headlong towards their emotional masturbatory techniques, not away from it. When these 'academics' started to realize that their Very Important Research™ was being ignored, they decided to change the vocabulary to sound more scientific." He then shows readers a number of Real Peer Review's Greatest Hits, to summarize, "We are entering into an era of academic irrelevancy. At this juncture, it is virtually impossible for a layman to understand the difference between scientific rigor and multi-syllabic emotional excrement. The academic has no clothes, and to point that out results in beheading by collective fiat." Or getting called a lot of names. Sometimes the only intellectual riposte is "Stuff it."
Rod Dreher's "Out Of Academia’s Ashes" suggests that there might be a regeneracy in place, but you won't find it at Middlebury, or at most of the hothouses that still cling to their U.S. News standing (and sometimes they show up in the bowls and March Madness). But I digress.
N. [a friend attempting, against the odds, to do a humanities Ph. D.] told us that he was assisting a professor in an upper-level undergraduate class in his discipline and was shocked to see that none of the students could write a coherent argument across several paragraphs, Most of them couldn’t even lay out a basic argument in a single paragraph.There's a lesson for the land-grants, mid-majors, and regional comprehensives, if they'd but take it to heart.
Someone at our table on staff at a classical Christian school chimed in to say that the military service academies told their headmaster that they prize graduates of these schools because unlike so many of the graduates of mainstream high schools, the classically educated kids know how to reason.
Both of the linked posts are mini-dissertations that will reward careful study.