Thursday, March 22, 2018

The University as Trade School

Long book-filled shelves in a library

[Photo by Priscilla Du Preez at Unsplash]

The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point is reportedly discussing a plan to eliminate 13 majors including English, philosophy, history and Spanish. 

Read the rest of the article at The Hill.

If the plan is adopted they will still offer classes in those subjects, but won't have majors. That sounds like a ruse. Without a major-driven program, those classes will be fewer and fewer.

A university is not a trade school. Although universities should provide teaching in subjects that can aid careers, they also have a responsibility to preserve and promote knowledge. Besides that, a person who has studied history or philosophy has acquired knowledge that can apply in a wide variety of jobs. The individual is also closer to what most of us regard as "well-educated."

They should have classes on French literature, Chinese art, and an assortment of unusual subjects. If the universities don't, who will?

No comments: