Congratulations to my friend and Trinity colleague, Charles Larkin – his measured anger at higher education ‘reform’ was published (at length) in Foreign Affairs just this month: letter: An Academic Debate. For my own piece on academic values, I drew heavily on conversations with Mr. Larkin (Prof. Larkin according to the journal, and if they said it, it must be true!); however it’s better to read his own views rather than through my filter. So go read it.
The justification for the academy, according to William Brody, is to be found in its ability to provide the credentials and the research that form part of the engine of economic growth. But this view of education is the antechamber to academic stagnation. Its realization would mean that only “useful” ideas and disciplines would be cultivated, whereas others would be allowed to wither on the vine.