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#1 User is offline   pepperonikkid 

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  Posted 08 September 2019 - 07:26 AM

From Icon to Just a Con

Victor Davis Hanson
September 1st, 2019


Most of us who came of age in the 1970s revered the university—even as it was still reeling from 1960s protests and beginning a process that resulted in its present chaos and disrepute.

Americans of the G.I. Bill-era first enshrined the idea of upward mobility through the bachelor's degree—the assumed gateway to career security—and the positive role of expanding colleges to grow the new suburban middle classes.

Despite student radicalism and demands for reform, professors had been trained in the postwar era by an older breed of prewar scholars and teachers. As stewards, they passed on their sense of professionalism about training future scholars and teachers—and just broadly educated citizens. In classics, I remember courses from scholars such as British subjects H.D. Kitto and Michael Grant, who lectured on Sophoclean tragedies or the late Roman emperors as the common inheritance of undergraduates.

Overwhelmingly liberal and often hippish in appearance, American faculty of the early 1970s still only rarely indoctrinated students or bullied them to mimic their own progressivism. Rather, in both the humanities and sciences, students were taught the inductive method of evaluating evidence in hopes of finding some common explanation of natural and human phenomena.

Yes, we studied "mere" facts—dates, names, grammar, syntax, and formulae—but deliberately to ground or refute theories with evidence and to illustrate and enhance argumentation. Essays bled red by old masters of English prose style, whose efforts were aimed at ensuring students could communicate effectively but also with a sense of grace.

As an undergraduate and graduate student at hotbeds of prior 1960s protests at UC Santa Cruz and Stanford, I don't think I had a single conservative professor. Yet there were few faculty members, in Western Civilization, history, classics, or mandatory general education science and math classes, who either sought to indoctrinate us with their liberal world view or punished us for remaining conservative.

It was jarring to see old-fashioned demands for Ciceronian style in Latin prose composition classes occasionally coming from professors with jeans, long hair, and scandals, or to be introduced to artificially informal profs ("Oh, just call me Bob—no need for 'Doctor' or 'Professor'"), who nonetheless insisted on grounding ancient historical arguments with precise references to Greek quotations in classical authors.

I can remember aging, new-age guru Norman O. Brown (known on campus with false intimacy as "Norman" or "Nobbie") railing at a student in Greek lyric poetry class for his failure to recognize that nosos ("disease") belonged to the quite rare group of second-declension feminine Greek nouns. His wild etymological rants were nonetheless grounded in philology.

Cost Saving

Administrators in the 1960s and 1970s were relatively few. Most faculty saw administration as a temporary if necessary evil that took precious time away from teaching and research and so were admired for putting up with it. Often the best scholars and classroom teachers were drafted for such unwelcome duty, and were praised for their sacrifices of a year or two.

Professors taught large loads—four or five classes a semester for California State University faculty. Conferences were rare. Teaching was still valued as much as scholarship.

The result was that both college tuition and room and board stayed relatively inexpensive. There were few student loans. Students who went into limited debt usually paid off their obligations in a year or two after graduation. Most students found part-time jobs on campus and lived frugally. Most did not even own used cars; those who did were valued as rare assets.

There was hardly a single dorm room to be had. And there was nothing in the student union or gym analogous to a rock-climbing wall, latte bar, or ATM. No one had TVs in their rooms. Affordable college still retained elements of boot-camp poverty.

In the campus free speech areas, protests were always left-wing and loud, but characteristically voiced themes calling for more free speech, less censorship, and an end once and all to racial segregation and discrimination.

Full Story


#2 User is offline   Bookdoc 

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 06:40 PM

I went to college 1968-72 at a private Catholic college. The majority of the professors (including a shared Nobel laureate) were priests and brothers. You learned and passed or you were kicked out. There were decreasing numbers of rooms for each class through Senior. I worked all the way through and had summer jobs when I could find them. I did get a student loan of about $2800-terms were $75/every 3 months. I paid it off in a year and a half. Cars and off campus housing were prohibited until Junior year and the permission was withdrawn if grades fell to probation levels. No one had a TV-there was one in the common room. There was a snack bar that, by my junior year, served BEER!
Now it was 3.2 but it was beer. We had a pool, running track and weight room for those who wanted them. That was it. Very few students went more that 4 years unless they had a major change or something. Also a guy or girl would be expelled if they had a member of the opposite sex in their room! (One friend got a free government sponsored tour of SE Asia after being caught with a girl in h is room-and the Dean of Men actually contacted his draft board!) If you were not competent at reading, writing, and math, you were simply gone in a few weeks. NO remedial courses-this was COLLEGE. I get the feeling that colleges now have two purposes-one to indoctrinate students into the libturd sheeple the government can use and, second, to turn government loans into high salaries for administrators and some teachers as well as all those luxuries mentioned. One last note-when I got the loan, I never saw the money so no chance to vacation or buy luxuries-it went straight to the college and I could access it for books, fees and the like and that was it. :soapbox:

#3 User is offline   Bookdoc 

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 06:51 PM

Read the full article and wanted to add one more issue-College presidents and deans seem to feel that their primary job is to raise money-those that get the most money move to a bigger school. The major university in our city has had a number of presidents and that has been true with each. One exception-a woman got the job, did not raise as much money and then forbid alcohol at the tailgates. She didn't last long...

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