The Future of the Liberal Arts, A Continuing Series

Our recent guest, Brad Bateman from Denison University, has an oped in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reflecting on a recent conference in Greece, discussing the future of the liberal arts college.

The piece, like much of the news out of Europe these days, will both shock and annoy.

Here’s a taste:

As it is, the government will not itself accredit private colleges or universities, and a law passed in the last decade disqualifies anyone with a degree from a private university from being a college professor. Therefore, for instance, a faculty member at the American College who earned a an undergraduate degree there and then went on to Princeton, Harvard or Oxford for graduate work is not legally able to teach. One of the best colleges in the country has been placed under constant duress in this way.

Why would anyone try to close a highly successful college? Why would anyone want to take educational opportunities away from young people in a struggling economy?

Because Greek public universities and their professors act like a cartel. Making private universities essentially illegal and preventing their graduates from teaching increases enrollment at state universities and benefits the professors who work for them. Both of the main parties buy votes by protecting these professors’ jobs.

Sadly, the future doesn’t appear to be too bright for Greece.   Unless you count watching the economy burn.