Phi Beta Cons

Why the Butterfly Will Prevail against the Nihilist Academy

Peter Wood, executive director of the National Association of Scholars, recently spoke with his usual eloquence about how to gather the various reform initiatives in higher education under one pair of butterfly wings. In sum:

A reform movement has to be moved by one big idea that can contain the stresses and fractures among its participants. The big idea we have to offer is that higher education can be as good as we want it to be.  Higher education belongs to us, the people who believe education in a meaningful sense is possible, not to those who, commandeered by chaos, consent to a university that is a mere whirl of empty forms.  The university by its nature is ours, not theirs.  But restoring it will bring a certain chaos of its own.  Out of that little flap of a butterfly’s wings we will heave hurricanes.