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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 6, 2014 / 8 Sivan, 5774

The troubling plight of the modern university

By Victor Davis Hanson




JewishWorldReview.com | Employment rates for college graduates are dismal. Aggregate student debt is staggering. But university administrative salaries are soaring. The campus climate of tolerance has utterly disappeared. Only the hard sciences and graduate schools have salvaged American universities' international reputations.

For over two centuries, our superb system of American public and private higher education kept pace with radically changing times and so ensured our prosperity and reinforced democratic pluralism.

But a funny thing has happened on the way to the 21st century. Colleges that were once our most enlightened and tolerant institutions became America's dinosaurs.

Start with ossified institutions. Tenure may have been a good idea in the last century to ensure faculty members free expression. But such a spoils system now encourages the opposite result of protecting monotonies of thought.

In a globalized world where jobs disappear in an eye blink and professionals must be attuned to the slightest changes in the global marketplace, academics insist that after six years they still deserve lifetime guarantees of employment.

In the age of the Internet and global readerships, faculty promotion is still based largely on narrow publication in little-read, peer-reviewed journals. Many are often incestuous and have no bearing on enhancing faculty teaching skills.

Post-tenure review and peer evaluations have become pro forma quid pro quos among guild members. The result is a calcified professoriate that demands it alone can still live in the protected world of the 1950s.

Part-time teachers and graduate students are not so lucky. They are often paid less than half for the same work done by full-time faculty, in illiberal fashion that would be unacceptable at Walmart or Target.

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Universities are the least transparent of U.S. institutions, defending protocols more secretive than those of the Swiss banking system. Few colleges publish the profile of those students who were favored in the admission process through legacies, athletic prowess, or race and gender preferences. The result is that almost no one knows why one student gets into Yale or Stanford and another with a far more impressive academic record does not.

Universities claim they are committed to creating a student body that looks like America. In fact, they deliberately ignore the most important diversity of all -- thought. About half the country is fairly conservative. Yet by any measure -- faculty profiles, campus speakers, student organizations -- colleges discriminate against those not deemed sufficiently progressive.

Conservative speakers are now routinely disinvited from commencement addresses. Students or faculty members who offer public skepticism about gay marriage or unfettered abortion, voice pro-Israel sentiments or express doubts about man-caused global warming can easily earn campus pariah status.

The liberal arts curricula are likewise fossils of the 1960s era of their professors' race, class and gender activism. Such therapeutic courses short the very skills -- written and oral proficiency, historical knowledge, and math and science mastery -- that alone prepare graduates for a chance at a successful career trajectory.

Most disturbing is the inability of the modern university to adjust to the 21st century workplace. Students are not graduating in four years. They are piling up crippling debt. They cannot figure out the Byzantine nature of their high-interest student loan packages. And they are hardy assured of jobs commensurate with their unsustainable investment in education.

The university's reactionary response is to keep jacking tuition higher than the rate of inflation, to count on still more open-ended federally guaranteed student loans, and to keep its budgetary figures mostly hidden.

How odd, then, that the campus is more reactionary than the objects of its frequent vituperation, from the corporation to the military. Academics resist the sort of long-needed reforms that they always seem to demand of others in American society.

We cannot expect the current self-interested establishment in charge of the university to reform it. Its failure to educate students for well-paying jobs while charging them excessive fees may alone force a reckoning.

The Internet, tech schools and correspondence courses are already eroding the monopolies of the campus. Whether the academic establishment likes it or not, a new generation of leadership will have to ensure equal pay for equal work, an end to lifetime sinecures, a new way of assessing university achievement, transparency in budgeting and admissions, political balance and tolerance, and a complete overhaul of the liberal arts curriculum.

Either higher education will give up its medieval privileges, begin to be accountable and live in the modern world, or it will be reduced to a costly relic for a tiny elite.

An aging campus generation that has nearly wrecked the university should bow out and let more open-minded and innovative minds repair the damage that the old generation has wrought.

Victor Davis Hanson Archives

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution and Stanford University.


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