The Chronicle of Higher Education
September 18th, 2015
About three minutes into her opening speech at a symposium here on
Thursday about the value of the liberal arts, Sen. Susan Collins
addressed an underlying theme of the gathering with a blunt statement:
"The importance of the liberal arts to a free and democratic society
was known to antiquity," said Ms. Collins, a Republican from Maine. "Why
is it that we need to keep reminding ourselves — and, more to the
point, the public — of its value?"
The symposium, with the Phillips Collection’s modern-art masterpieces
as a backdrop, was set up as the culmination of a nearly three-year
campaign that the Council of Independent Colleges has waged to publicize
the value of a liberal-arts degree, the main offering of many of the
council’s member colleges. That might feel like an uphill battle, given
the nation’s recuperating economy and the tone of the discussion around a
degree’s return on investment.