Phi Beta Cons

The Reform that Wasn’t

The curricular reform that has been slogging along at Harvard, bereft of vision, is finally inching towards an unexciting conclusion. 
The first courses being proposed under the new regime include one by Louis Menand — all-too-hip English prof, curricular reformer, and contributor to the New Yorker — called “Humanities 10: An Introductory Humanities Colloquium.”
Now, at least on the face of things, this is precisely the type of thing one thinks of with reference to “general” education. And, yet, in spite of numbering it “10” and calling it “general,” it will in fact be a limited-enrolment class for which the permission of the instructor is required to take it. From my experience, many students would like to take this type of course, and many of those will not be able to. 
How should a student hope to fulfil his “general education” requirement?
From The Crimson:

Menand said that his personal vision of Gen Ed includes the availability of “plenty of attractive ways to fulfill requirements.” He urged the Gen Ed committee to “open the floodgates” and “not be too rigid about approving new courses.” 

As I said, Gen Ed at Harvard is a vision-less enterprise.

Travis Kavulla is director of Energy and Environmental Policy at the R Street Institute. He is a former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners who held elected office as a Montana public service commissioner for eight years. Before that, he was an associate editor for National Review.

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