The End of College as We Knew It?

Jun 5, 2020 by

Restaurants get eulogies. Airlines get bailouts. Shakespeare gets kicked when he’s down.

We need doctors right now. My God, we need doctors: to evaluate the coronavirus’s assault, assess the body’s response and figure out where, in that potentially deadly tumble of events, there’s a chance to intervene.

We need research scientists. It falls to them to map every last wrinkle of this invader and find its Achilles’ heel.

But we also need Achilles. We need Homer. We need writers, philosophers, historians. They’ll be the ones to chart the social, cultural and political challenges of this pandemic — and of all the other dynamics that have pushed the United States so harrowingly close to the edge. In terms of restoring faith in the American project and reseeding common ground, they’re beyond essential.

And I’m not sure we get that.

Colleges and universities are in trouble — serious trouble. They’re agonizing over whether they can safely welcome students back to campus in the fall or must try to replicate the educational experience imperfectly online. They’re confronting sharply reduced revenue, severe budget cuts, warfare between administrators and faculty, and even lawsuits from students who want refunds for a derailed spring semester. And a devastated economy leaves their very missions and identities in limbo, all but guaranteeing that more students will approach higher education in a brutally practical fashion, as an on-ramp to employment and nothing more.

Source: Opinion | The End of College as We Knew It? – The New York Times

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.