Monday, April 22, 2013

The End of the University (I'm sure of it)

It's over - the entire enterprise.  Begun in the Athenian groves of Akademos, reconvening in Paris to become what Newman called the glory of the Middle Ages, and surviving until 2013... but now it's done. The University as we know it is finished.  What killed it?  The internet.  So just before I submit my job application to another industry (all of which are doing splendidly), I'm offering you one last declaration of doom, so you can't say you weren't warned:
The typical liberal arts college... is obsolete.  Its sovereign isolation, its protected students, the one-track careers of its faculty, its restricted curriculums and teaching and its tepid purposes make it unsuited to the needs of the decade ahead.  To have a bright future, private colleges must struggle to surmount these defects in a context of significantly altered purposes.
To my embarrassment I now realize that said paragraph, perfectly mirroring the rhetoric of 2013, was published nearly half a century ago, and the University (curiously enough) survived.  But don't let a mere clerical error of mine throw you off.  It's over.  For real this time.