Time to Defend Traditional Educational Values!

The world of higher education is still trying to assess the recent firing of University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan because…well, no one really knows why. The goobledygook spewed out by the University Board of Trustees is just that. But here comes this nugget from the Washington Post’s extensive write-up of the situation: one reason the UVA Board, which is dominated and influenced by hedge fund and other financial wizards, wanted Sullivan out was that they felt “Sullivan lacked the mettle to trim or shut down programs that couldn’t sustain themselves financially, such as obscure academic departments in classics and German.”

But…but…but…we’ve been told for years that it is the Left that is trying to destroy traditional learning. It’s all those terrible postmodernists and Marxists and feminists, and that is why we need to purge the Academy of evil left-wing influences that want to undermine the traditional curriculum. That’s what the National Association of Scholars says! Lynne Cheney says we need to keep the traditional humanities curriculum as the way to save western civilization from horrid secular liberals! I’m sure that their love for traditional humanities, like Latin, Greek, and German literature, will inspire them to rise up and defend President Sullivan. I mean, that’s a no-brainer for self-styled defenders of traditional values, right?

I’m anxiously awaiting their criticisms of the multi-millionaire businesspeople who pushed Sullivan out. Just any day now. Just wait…

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

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Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff is a professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles.