Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Astonishing

The liberal arts are “endangered,” according to a new report. The New York Times describes the document’s high profile: “Requested by a bipartisan group of legislators and scheduled to be distributed to every member of Congress, it is intended as a rallying cry against the entrenched idea that the humanities and social sciences are luxuries that employment-minded students can ill afford.

And who was the co-chairman of the commission that produced the report? None other than . . . Richard Brodhead.

In what other profession would a figure as utterly discredited by his actions—at least to anyone outside the profession—as Brodhead then be tasked with writing a major policy document justifying the existence of a key portion of that same profession?

Perhaps, it might be surmised, a reason why the liberal arts are “endangered” is that they embody a profession in which accountability seems like a dirty word.

13 comments:

skwilli said...

Next thing you know, Iran will be in charge of the UN's Human Rights Division. Oh, wait...

Anonymous said...

He made it to the PBS news hour 6/19/2013. Didn't mention Collegiate athletics as a character building factor.

Anonymous said...

Progressivism rolls on, steamrolling everything in its way, oblivious to the carnage in its path, disdainful of the morality governing others; did we ever REALLY define 'is'?

Big Al

Anonymous said...

Great. We had 53 commission members (were they compensated?) plus staff, secretaries, and travel expenses (if any), to prepare a report that says that studying the humanities is a good idea.

“Requested by a bipartisan group of legislators and scheduled to be distributed to every member of Congress...”

Is even one member of Congress going to read the thing?

Who decided we needed this commission? How many other such commissions and committees are out there?

Who chose the membership (and chose Brodhead for Chair)?

Come on, there have to be specific individuals responsible for this--who chose Brodhead?

KC Johnson said...

To 9.35:

I agree completely: that's precisely the question.

The purpose of this report wasn't to break any new intellectual ground (it didn't), but to sell the liberal arts to policymakers. And yet the members of the commission--or whoever else chose the co-chairs--believed that of all the possible college presidents to choose, Richard Brodhead would put their best face forward?

Anonymous said...

The report seems to primarily be referring to threats to the humanities (and to a lesser extent social sciences)--not the liberal arts. Contrary to popular misconception, the term "liberal arts" is not synonymous with the humanities and includes both the natural sciences and mathematics.

Mike Lee said...

Accountability a dirty word- mostly in government and academia. What other profession allows you to lie under oath to your bosses (i.e. Congress) and keep your job?

If there were any accountability in government, James Clapper, Lois Lerner, Eric Holder, and many many others would be unemployed.

Anonymous said...

Or, alternatively, Brodhead has not actually been thoroughly discredited by his actions. Shocking, I know.

Anonymous said...

OT: Are you starting to see some parallels between the Zimmerman case the Duke Lacrosse case, or are you still blinded by your personal brand of academic leftism?

http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/06/zimmerman-trial-day-end-of-day-analysis-video-of-states-witnesses/
http://www.talkleft.com/story/2013/6/26/223210/512/crimenews/-Rachel-Jeantel-Court-Antics-and-How-Martin-Profiled-Zimmerman
http://www.talkleft.com/story/2013/6/27/143817/705/crimenews/Zimmerman-Rachel-Jeantel-Finishes-Testimony-For-Now
http://theconservativetreehouse.com/

Anonymous said...

Zimmerman Trial Day 5 – Analysis & Video – State’s own witnesses undercut theory of guilt

Anonymous said...

Now playing in the Theater of Racial Reconciliation: the George Zimmerman trial.

Anonymous said...

The Nest – Understanding The Trayvon Martin Family and Political Connections

Anonymous said...

This is a horrifying report.