The Association of American Colleges and Universities recently released the findings of a Hart Research Associates survey that provides useful data for the ongoing national discussion about whether higher education — liberal education in particular — is meeting national needs, in particular for an educated workforce.
As I approach the end of my 44th year as a higher education professional, I must admit to some astonishment that we are still having this conversation.
In 1984, as a dean at Tufts I gave a talk to parents titled, “Liberal Education and the Real World, or, ‘Why is my Son the Doctor Majoring in Classics.’ ” With my youthful exuberance, I assumed that with the printing and distribution of the speech I’d put an end to the question of liberal education’s relevance once and for all. I guess not everyone read it; 30 years later, the dialogue is still going strong.
Gatherings of liberal arts college leaders still sound — at times — like a convention of Rodney Dangerfield impersonators. And in recent years the discourse in the policy and media spaces has gotten more toxic, more antagonistic and more misguided. <Read more.>