Phi Beta Cons

Hamilton’s Shame

Former Hamilton College trustee Carl Menges rips his alma mater for losing its way. An excerpt:

Examine the current curriculum! What curriculum? The present situation is in disarray, a “cafeteria styled” offering with no interdisciplinary coherency, no emphasis on classical instruction or Western civilization. The sophomore seminar has proven to be an abject failure, to be discontinued in 2008. There is, as you yourself have observed, an inordinate emphasis on “diversity and social justice” subjects, taught from a disgraceful perspective of activism and advocacy, to the severe detriment of intellectual diversity, scholarship, and teaching rigor. Hamilton should be ashamed of what her students are NOT learning. …
Yes, I am disheartened and discouraged. Hamilton is NOT on the right track. There is no mission statement to lead the institution to higher scholarship, academic excellence, or teaching rigor. Where o’ where has the leadership gone?  Yes, much attention has gone to improving and expanding the plant, but shiny climbing walls and new squash courts (or even Science Buildings and Art Galleries) do not a great college make.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.


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