Friday, August 14, 2015

Liberal Arts, a Lost Cause?

New York Times
July 31st, 2015

Twenty-five years ago, the economist David W. Breneman published a controversial report lamenting a shift away from liberal arts toward practical courses like engineering and business. Now, more and more university students enroll in professional programs, and the small colleges that were the hallmark of a liberal education are increasingly adding market-oriented programs. Some are closing. Sweet Briar, the 114-year-old women’s college in Virginia horse country, is one of the latest to run into trouble. Dr. Breneman, who had just finished six years as president of Kalamazoo College when he wrote his paper, went on to be dean of the school of education and a director of the school of public policy at the University of Virginia. After 10 years on Sweet Briar’s board, he stepped down in June as a new crew took on a rescue mission.

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