A reader writes that Stanley Fish’s characterization of the University of Phoenix as a simple delivery system for marketable skills, bereft of liberal arts, is just wrong. This reader teaches religion, philosophy, and history as an adjunct at several U of P campuses around Chicago, and his classes are comparable to liberal-arts courses he has taught at more traditional universities.
U of P students are required to take certain electives, if that’s not a contradiction in terms, and these include the humanities. Many of the students have little or no background in the humanities due to poor high-school preparation, but in his courses they will read Nietzsche, Kant, and more. In addition, the writer is himself engaged in scholarly research and writing. This is heartening to hear–and a caution to be wary of those who proclaim the death of the liberal arts.