Alan Charles Kors: ‘On the sadness of higher education’ in ‘The New Criterion’
May 6, 2008
Be sure to read FIRE co-founder and chairman emeritus Alan Charles Kors' deeply insightful, elegant, and stirring account of his experiences in higher education over the last five decades. Examining the changes in academia he has seen over his lifetime, Alan writes:
Under the heirs of the academic Sixties, we moved on campus after campus from their Free Speech Movement to their politically correct speech codes; from their abolition of mandatory chapel to their imposition of Orwellian mandatory sensitivity and multicultural training; from their freedom to smoke pot unmolested to their war today against the kegs and spirits—literal and metaphorical—of today's students; from their acquisition of young adult status to their infantilization of "kids" who lack their insight; from their self-proclaimed dreams of racial and sexual integration to their ever more balkanized campuses organized on principles of group characteristics and group responsibility; from their right to define themselves as individuals—a foundational right—to their official, imposed, and politically orthodox notions of identity. American college students became the victims of a generational swindle of truly epic proportions. If that part of the faculty not complicit in this did not know that it was happening, it was by choice or willful blindness.
FIRE can attest to the speech codes, repression and violations of private conscience that plague American campuses. Read the article, and if you would like to hear more of Alan's thoughts on higher education today, watch our videos FIRE on Campus: An Introduction to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and Make No Law: Protecting Individual Rights on Campus.