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A better solution

Reader comment on item: Repairing America's Broken Universities

Submitted by Stuart Fagin (United States), Mar 21, 2019 at 17:11

I have not read the book being reviewed, The University We Need, but relying on Dr. Pipes' description I offer these comments:

1. The degradation of academia is indeed of immense importance. The continuing radicalization of the Democratic Party vindicates the dictum "politics runs downstream from culture".

2. Treadgold's solution, creating a new university from scratch, is no solution. Such a university is destined to be a minor player amongst American universities have little effect. Indeed, there already exists a very good university dedicated to transmitting and preserving Western culture, Hillsdale College. Hillsdale is valuable as a standard for humanities scholarship and as an educational institution for those students who take advantage of it. However, it has little value as an influencer of greater academia. The radicalization of the American university has continued apace over the past decades without taking notice of the existence of Hillsdale.

3. In fact, there is a straightforward solution to reverse university radicalization, applicable to our public state universities: state government should take control of the hiring, tenuring, and promotion of faculty. Such staffing decisions should be made by committees that report to the state's board of regents. These staffing committees would, in turn, make staffing recommendations guided by boards of discipline experts that they retain for this purpose. Properly constituted, these boards can be expected to make recommendations based on scholasticism rather than political orientation.

4. Our state universities are public institutions. We should not abide their control by cliques of radicalized faulty and administrators.


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Daniel Pipes replies:

2. Prof. Treadgold disputes your view of Hillsdale, having taught there. Best to read his book rather than my summary for the full argument.

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