Phi Beta Cons

Make Universities Great Again

A look at college students in T-shirts and tennis shoes, the de rigueur costume of the modern millennial, confirms suspicions they are immature adolescents, in effect ,college children. This assumption is borne out from the academic angle by abysmal test results from American college students compared to other industrialized nations. In math, U.S. college students rank dead last among OECD countries; in reading, in the bottom tier.

Forty years ago, 18-year-olds entering college were assumed to be adults by parents and institutions of higher learning, capable and responsible enough  to manage their own affairs. Freshman on up were vulnerable to the draft, allowed to buy a beer, and they wore coats and ties to football games, not T-shirts. And looming over their heads was the danger of failing out, a fear hardly heard of today, allowing students to glide through four years — or more — without hampering their social life.

But the really appalling result of this maturity paradigm shift is the reality naïve undergraduates have absorbed meaningless and dangerous radical opinions, improper use of the English language and, most notably, ignorance of history — including their own.  What is needed is a Donald Trump-style higher education czar to jerk a knot in American colleges and universities — to make American education great again.

The most forbidding challenge to face the new czar is marshaling the nerve to obliterate the existing monolith of self-satisfied faculty and administrators. After decades of self-congratulation, conceit and power over 18-25-year olds, the professoriate, and their fellow traveling administration apparatchiks,  are imbued with a smug condescending demeanor suited to look  down on  the  families, donors, alumni and, in many cases, taxpayers, who pay the freight — and their salaries.

The new czar will discover these faculty are insulated by their power to exercise carte blanche to teach what they please. And that gullible boards of trustees and governors are impotent and unable to address the underlying scandal: higher education has been the victim of an organized left-wing radical academic coup.

While the governing boards deal with student tuition, demonstrations, capital and operating budget, and ludicrous demands by college activists, they have been powerless to save their own schoold from becoming the incubator of a Comintern-style anti-American propaganda. After four decades, the young and dumb believe that racism, white privilege, poverty, imperialism,  transgender bathroom usage, treatment of  the “unenabled” and, for good measure, environmentalism and animal rights, are the important issues facing  American society.

With chancellors and provosts answerable  to faculty, not trustees, radical scholars have exploited their suzerainty over course content to transform U.S. colleges and universities into the equivalent of Moscow’s Patrice Lumumba University. Before most Americans noticed, a basic liberal arts degree was void of the wisdom of Western civilization over the past 2000 years. In its place, college children have been spoon-fed that the West, mostly America, is to be criticized, not praised. Consequently, the remarkable achievements of the world’s most advanced culture are tossed aside and stained with blame for exploiting everyone but white males.

Any cogent human free of the effects of collegiate propaganda can readily see the Academy, as it likes to call itself, is in need of shock treatment therapy, or a similar last resort. If desperate measures fail, the only alternative remaining is to shut down higher education to smithereens and start again — perhaps this time with a dress code that connotes maturity.

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