Tuesday, September 27, 2005

University Presidents aren't leading the way to excellence

Victor Davis Hanson has a thought provoking essay posted at OpinionJournal.com. He writes about four different university presidents. Each one is working hard to ensure “diversity” on their campus. Yet none of them offer a compelling reason for this stance. He concludes his article:

The signs of erosion on our campuses are undeniable, whether we examine declining test scores, spiraling costs, or college graduates' ignorance of basic facts and ideas. In response, our academic leadership is not talking about a more competitive curriculum, higher standards of academic accomplishment, or the critical need freely to debate important issues. Instead, it remains obsessed with a racial, ideological, and sexual spoils system called "diversity." Even as the airline industry was deregulated in the 1970s, and Wall Street now has come under long-overdue scrutiny, it is time for Americans, if we are to ensure our privileged future, to re-examine our era's politicized university.

In pointing out the failures of these four university presidents, he is not trying to play tabloid headline games. He is trying to highlight the decline of the American University and propose one important cure. In reading his remarks, I was reminded of a talk given by Dallin Oaks at BYU, where I work.

1 comment:

Scott Hinrichs said...

I also loved the VDH article, and I also thought of Elder Oaks' 1999 BYU talk as I read it. Wonderful truths. I hope that they hit home with people that can make a difference in this arena.