The Corner

Politics & Policy

America Needs a New University

So argues Professor Jacob Howland in today’s Martin Center article. 

Most of our colleges and universities have been taken over by “progressives” who use them to advance their visions and true education is being pushed out. That’s what happened at the school where Howland taught for many years, the University of Tulsa. Across the land, nearly all of our prestige universities are in the hands of people who can’t say “no” to any demand for curricular change, bias-training programs, the ousting of non-woke faculty and students, and so on.

Howland writes, “Many Americans cherish liberal education because it has immeasurably enriched their lives, and because it disposes citizens against every sort of tyranny. Some of these people have the means to help found a new university — one dedicated to free and open inquiry into all areas of human experience, in whole and part, and to sheltering the guttering flames of memory, tradition, and language from the blustering winds of justice, equality, and job training.”

For, oh, $500 million or so, he thinks it would be possible to start a new university built on the same principles that our universities were originally built on: scholarship, academic freedom, tolerance, debate. It would be essential to find the leaders and faculty who would stick to the educational mission and eschew the politics that have so badly undermined our schools, and he thinks those people can be found.

Howland concludes, “For higher education, as for the nation as a whole, no future good can grow without turning the rich soil of the past. We still have the tools to do what is necessary, and it would be supremely foolish to let them rust from disuse. Let’s get to work.”

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.