By Robert Mann
It’s a forceful rebuttal to those — like Gov. Bobby Jindal and his allies in the legislature — who judge the value of the state’s other universities largely on whether degrees awarded lead immediately to real jobs.
In other words, let’s turn LSU into a trade school.
Calls to reorganize the university to abolish programs “that don’t lead to real jobs” ignore another important reality: Such reorganization would eliminate one of the most fundamental purposes of a university. Colleges and universities don’t just prepare students for a job, they develop civic and community leaders and help to create better citizens. The humanities and social sciences play a central role in this essential function of a university. They help students appreciate and understand the nature of their own culture and society — what their society values, how it functions, how it can be improved. And they introduce students to other cultures and societies. In an increasingly global economy and often dangerous world, young Louisianans have never been more in need of an understanding of the rest of the world.
You can read Foster’s entire letter at this link.
- Universities as Trade Schools: What is to be done? (philosopherscocoon.typepad.com)
- Williams College President: The Importance of the Liberal Arts (recklesshistorians.wordpress.com)
- A College Education Isn’t Just About Job Prospects (The Hechinger Report) (collegebenefitsresearchgroup.wordpress.com)