Thursday, July 17, 2003
The vital issue facing us today is not who gets in but what goes on once they're there. That is to say, why do we fuss endlessly about admissions (especially when the great majority of colleges and universities in America let almost anyone in) when we seem to care little or nothing about what is taught and what graduates come away with? The great triumph, it seems, is to be admitted to a prestigious college or university. After that, silence.Read the rest.
UPDATE: Reader John Bruce notes that apparently NAS' archives are phooey. I've relinked to the main Forum page: Please scroll to the July 3 entry. John notes
The academic blogs have somewhat recently re-stressed the point that to succeed in the academic job market, you need to have received your degrees from the various top-10 or top-20 institutions (Michigan among them). Yet when flaps arise at the same institutions, as over the anti-Semitic poet variously invited and disinvited and reinvited to speak at Harvard, commentators have suggested that, to gain insight into who's doing this, one browse the faculty profiles on the Harvard English Department's web site. This is a discouraging exercise, people whose main accomplishment seems to have been to acquire credentials trendy or correct or diverse enough to satisfy a bunch of trendy, correct, and diverse peers.Links are mine. He's right.