Phi Beta Cons

Long, but Hard-hitting Essay by a Canadian Prof

I don’t think I had ever heard of the University of Prince Edward Island before today, when I came across an essay on L.A. Review of Books by Ron Srigley, who teaches at the institution. It is entitled “Dear Parents: Everything You Need to Know About Your Son and Daughter’s University But Don’t.”

Professor Srigley is fed up with the dumbing down of higher education and the way it has been hijacked to serve purposes other than education. He writes that most of the people now working in higher education “have chosen to serve other interests (money, power, expediency, reputation, career advancement, convenience, compliance with the zeitgeist) in preference to the ones that were once our raison d’etre — intelligence and learning for both our students and ourselves.

The transformation of higher ed has altered the incentives facing the faculty: “you will stop doing what it is you do (serious study of texts and historical events, honest lectures with real content) and start doing what you are expected to do (keep an increasingly disengaged and intellectually limited group of young people entertained or otherwise distracted for three hours a week.)”  Correct, and if you’re not pretty good at that, out you go.

Here’s the money quote from the essay: “How can you cease to do, or at least do badly, what you claim is the raison d’etre  of your institution — cultivating intelligence and learning — while still persuading people to pay you large sums of money for your services? Without putting too fine a point on it, you lie, obfuscate, and ‘redefine’ your mandate so as to hide the truth….”

Read the whole thing.

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

Most Popular

The Trail Leading Back to the Wuhan Labs

It is understandable that many would be wary of the notion that the origin of the coronavirus could be discovered by some documentary filmmaker who used to live in China. Matthew Tye, who creates YouTube videos, contends he has identified the source of the coronavirus — and a great deal of the information that ... Read More

The Trail Leading Back to the Wuhan Labs

It is understandable that many would be wary of the notion that the origin of the coronavirus could be discovered by some documentary filmmaker who used to live in China. Matthew Tye, who creates YouTube videos, contends he has identified the source of the coronavirus — and a great deal of the information that ... Read More
World

All Signs Point to China

Just one big story today: collecting and sorting through what we know about the coronavirus's origins, and what makes sense and what doesn’t in the theory that it originated from someone eating bats or pangolins from the Huanan Seafood Market. What We Know and What We Don’t Know about the Source of ... Read More
World

All Signs Point to China

Just one big story today: collecting and sorting through what we know about the coronavirus's origins, and what makes sense and what doesn’t in the theory that it originated from someone eating bats or pangolins from the Huanan Seafood Market. What We Know and What We Don’t Know about the Source of ... Read More