Southwest Minnesota State University history professor Jeff Kolnick writes in MinnPost about why he thinks universities have become too timid and conservative:
Scarce dollars cause colleges to chase money from billionaire philanthropists who push free-market solutions to every conceivable problem. University leaders feel the need to appeal to increasingly conservative state legislators who despise government.
University governing boards, chancellors, presidents, provosts, deans and chairs (and, sadly, even most faculty) are afraid to challenge the conservative orthodoxy because they desperately want to save what is left of higher education. Colleges and universities, as institutions, used to challenge authority with facts and reason. This is less common today and stems, I believe, from the austerity agenda of the super rich.
And what might this mean for this year’s freshmen?
I fear that they will find instead institutions that prepare them only for work and not to think or, when necessary, to challenge stale orthodoxy.