Sep. 25, 2020

Our universities have gone wrong

The University of Chicago, which issued a statement in 2015 supporting the freedom of expression, now thinks the English language is racist, and won’t admit graduate students in the English Department unless they pursue work in Black Studies. LINK

Sadly, our universities have transformed from institutions of higher learning into putrid cesspools of leftist political activism financially supported by long-suffering taxpayers.

In place of respectful discussion and debate of concepts, ideas, and accepted principles as part of an education process, universities stifle free expression of beliefs, concepts, theories and ethics.

The media invariably turns to university professors for expert opinion on any topic in the current news cycle, knowing that the information provided will politically biased. A cloistered and tenured university professor has minimal contact with the real world and will not suffer from bad advice or poor judgement. Their advice and observations are suspect.

They are examples of where our universities have gone wrong. They are not capable of self-examination or of critical examination of the institutions they serve.

How did we stray so far from the seven principles articulated by Oxford University     It is impossible to justify public support for institutions whose primary goal is the dumbing down of those unfortunate enough to enroll.

Instead of producing people with superior skills to analyze and interpret an increasingly complex society and world, universities create drones stuffed with preconceived concepts that they consider indisputable. The people who should lead the way in developing solutions to our complex political, scientific and social problems are part of the problem.

Some individuals survive the indoctrination efforts and graduate without the prejudices their mentors have tried to instill. They should not have to resist the pressures of professors to conform. The should have been honing their skills in freewheeling discussion and debate of issues.   

Political activism is destroying our universities. Over the past three decades, universities and the degrees they offer have become less and less relevant. A corporation that will not hire people without a university degree is not looking for superior intellect; it seeks employees conditioned to accept whatever policies and principles the corporation adopts. Analysts, critical and forward thinkers are not welcome.

On the surface, there is fierce competition between universities for enrollment, but it is an illusion. Most have sold out to attracting international students who pay substantially higher tuition than those from Canada. With public subsidies, they have no incentive to get back to the basics and produce superior graduates.    

China sends thousands of students to Canadian universities, not because we have superior institutions, but because they condition graduates for life in a communist dictatorship. That is a frightening omen for our future.

The cure is to stop public funding of universities. If they can’t survive as independent organizations, they deserve to die. We are not getting our money’s worth, so stop the bleeding. The political activists embedded in our universities can run for office or become politically neutral. Those are their options.