The current spectacle of campus upheaval in so many U.S.
colleges and universities is a dark omen for what has become
in recent years a “liberal” education. (Please notice that I do
not say “liberal arts” education.) Unfortunately, U.S. higher
education on very many campuses, including virtually all of
those which have traditionally held the most prestige, has
become overwhelmingly politicized to the far left, a
consequence of the views and impositions of many
professors at these institutions.
Campus life began to change dramatically in the 1960s as
many students and professors joined a national antiwar
movement protesting our involvement in Viet Nam. This was
the time that I was attending both undergraduate and graduate
universities, one in the East and the other in the Midwest. (In
full disclosure, I participated in some of those protests.)
After Viet Nam, campus life in most institutions of higher
learning “quieted down,” only to re-heat following the end of
the Cold War in the early 1990s when aggressive U.S.
radicalism and neo-Marxism, having no power base in the
then-defunct Soviet Union and the turning-to-state-capitalism
of China, went into political hibernation on American campuses.
During the administration of President George W. Bush, this
radical impetus was revived on campuses across the nation,
and was accompanied by the rise of “political correctness”
and various “hot button” issues such as global warming and
The attempt to intimidate college administrations by student
and professor protest, of course, is not new, but one might
think that college presidents today would have learned
something from the past. The shameful spectacle of college
presidents now pandering to these protesters indicates that
they have not learned much from the past.
In the 1960s, the most expensive college education (at an Ivy
League university, for example) was about $2500 per year. Today,
that price tag is approaching $70,000 per year! By paralyzing
campuses, destroying a true “liberal education,” and wrecking
the value of higher education in the work place, the current
upheaval, it would seem, is sowing the seeds of its own
destruction. How many parents, regardless of their own views,
are willing to shell out between $10,000 and $70,000 per year
per student for a degree that will have reduced or little value?
Colleges and universities will survive, but the current sad
spectacle will likely only hasten the demise of traditional campus
life. For the first time in history, there is a credible alternative,
and that is quality online higher education.
In their quest to destruct American higher education, the radical
students and professors only hasten the exhaustion of their own
unstable and self-annihilating movement.
Copyright (c) 2015 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.