Liberal education

Faculty and administrators know that, in principle, if you are never asked to examine, let alone defend, your beliefs, your
Michael S. Roth is president of Wesleyan University. His most recent books are "Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education
Benjamin left behind a small trace of himself, however. Three years before Benjamin's death Australian naturalist David Fleay
Each year the Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts runs an essay contest asking students to reflect on the importance
Are college professors too liberal? Do we need more conservative professors? Has a lack of political diversity turned campuses into centers of liberal indoctrination?
When Alexander Hamilton's generation considered higher education, many believed it was crucial that students not think they already knew at the beginning of their studies where they would end up when it was time for graduation.
In today's climate of renewed economic anxiety, many are prompted to jettison this tradition of pragmatic liberal education. In search of short cuts to vocational success, they undermine students' ability to respond to changes in the economy by preparing them only for what is valued right now.
The newly admitted members of the class of 2020 are now trying to decide which school will provide the best combination of resources and challenges to enable them to thrive for four years in ways that they will build on for the rest of their lives.
Fears of being crushed by debt or of falling off the economic ladder are pressuring students to conform, and we must find ways to counteract these pressures or we risk undermining our scientific productivity as well as our broad cultural creativity.
Today, many religious institutions have still not embraced the very notion of liberal education. There is an ongoing fear that allowing students to think for themselves will lead them towards the "wrong" options. This is a mistake.