Mansfield on Summers

Writing in the Claremont Review of Books, Spring 2006, Professor Harvey

Mansfield ruminates on the ouster of Larry Summers at Harvard. You can read

the essay here.
There is a lot to applaud in Mansfield’s piece. I particularly like these

lines: “Summers proposed a curriculum review that would result in solid

courses aimed to answer students’ needs, replacing stylish courses designed

to appeal to their whims. Such courses would require professors to teach in

their fields, but out of their specialties; no longer would they assume that

the specialized course they want to teach is just the course that students

need.”
Mansfield has put his finger on an important problem that is to be found at

many of America’s colleges and universities. Unfortunately, Summers won’t

have the opportunity to continue his project of curricular improvement at

Harvard and it’s very hard to find efforts in this direction at other

schools.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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