Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dennis Keeney: The changing university - Dennis Keeney, Ames Tribune

The routine is familiar, cut taxes on the rich, pay for the budget deficit by cutting programs and overall university budgets or changing program emphasis. All of this is done while the faculty quietly acquiesce to external pressures rather than protest. Disengagement becomes the norm; research is directed to applied and commercial oriented problems and intellectual curiosity has little value. In the effort to do more with less, low-cost adjunct professors are hired, and online courses are used to help close the gap, delivering “courses in a can.” The changing nature of academia is striking, but few pay attention to the outcomes. It will supply highly trained technocrats for the present. Lost will be the breadth and beauty of a liberal arts education, even for the scientists. Academicians mourn its passing, while corporate leaders applaud the outcomes.

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