Phi Beta Cons

Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of NAS

The National Association of Scholars Conference — A Mighty Maze: Charting the Future of American Higher Education — is less than two weeks away! This event takes place on March 1 and 2 at the Harvard Club in Manhattan.

Participants will convene to address important issues in higher education today and to celebrate NAS’s 25th anniversary. The conference aims to summon a large, liberating view of what higher education can do.

I’m moderating a March 2 panel session on “the higher education bubble and the future of the college degree” — a topic I come face-to-face with daily in a business school full of students who incur debt not to learn, but to obtain a work-force-readiness credential of questionable worth. I also look forward to attending sessions on such topics as the politicization of the liberal arts, the battle over racial preferences, and the declining focus on Western Civilization courses.

The title of the conference (“A Mighty Maze”) is inspired by a line from Alexander Pope’s poem “An Essay on Man: Epistle 1″:

Expatiate free o’er all this scene of man;

A mighty maze! but not without a plan.

Currently, American higher education is a maze of the meaner things: illiberal ideologies, broken promises, and intellectual default. Let’s start working on a plan to change that.

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