Esteemed columnist George Will, whom I seldom endorse, has a point when he applauds Purdue University, especially its leadership, following Princeton and the Chicago policy affirming freedom of speech and search for truth in academia. Higher education is indeed a house in disarray (The Advocate, December 20, 2015: 7B).
Reality principle that sustains search for knowledge can’t survive in a culture where education is commoditized based on pleasure — rather than reality — principle.
The demise of dissent is a new reality. A mindlessly hierarchized system corrupted by the Byzantine politics of arrogant athletic affluence, inbreeding, local privileges, and perverted versions of political correctness has promoted mediocrity, nepotism, exclusionary practices and a devious system of rewards and recognition that callously alienates meritorious intellectuals with impunity.
How can you ever expect the Chicago policy to succeed when carpetbaggers, careerists, anti-intellectual narcissists sit at the helm of power in the temples of enlightenment and learning?
dean emeritus, LSU School of Social Work