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  • The Idea of The University

    Posted by Assistant Village Idiot on May 16th, 2019 (All posts by )

    Quillette is its usual excellent self.

     

    7 Responses to “The Idea of The University”

    1. Mike K Says:

      I am convinced that universities should consist of science departments (STEM) and the rest should be online education with certificates of completion./

      I was quite concerned about MD and RN continuing education and even had a presentation for the American College of Surgeons annual meeting (which was canceled in SF last fall). The room assigned was modest and then they upgraded it but it was still full to overflowing.

      My idea (pre-internet broad band ) was to have people register, get a DVD in the mail with the large files, Log in for the instruction and then take a quiz with the certificate of completion mailed to the registrant. Web MD beat me to it and bought the other proposal for $300 million.

      Oh well. It could work for college.

    2. Brian Says:

      A university isn’t intended to be a job training site. The problem is we took an existing institution that was designed to train a few professions-doctors, lawyers, engineers, professors, etc-and decided it would be required for EVERYONE for EVERY job.
      The current system is good for universities, that get rich because now everyone is a potential customer fighting for their services, and for big businesses who get another weed-out test for applicants, but the negative consequences for society (and the older paradigm of the university) have been profoundly destructive.

    3. Mike K Says:

      The problem is we took an existing institution that was designed to train a few professions-doctors, lawyers, engineers, professors, etc-and decided it would be required for EVERYONE for EVERY job.

      That is because, in a misguided decision, the Supreme Court ruled that IQ testing for employment was unlawful.

      The Supreme Court ruled that under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, if such tests disparately impact ethnic minority groups, businesses must demonstrate that such tests are “reasonably related” to the job for which the test is required. Because Title VII was passed pursuant to Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, the disparate impact test later articulated by the Supreme Court in Washington v. Davis, 426 US 229 (1976) is inapplicable. (The Washington v. Davis test for disparate impact is used in constitutional equal protection clause cases, while Title VII’s prohibition on disparate impact is a statutory mandate.)

      As such, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment tests (when used as a decisive factor in employment decisions) that are not a “reasonable measure of job performance,” regardless of the absence of actual intent to discriminate. Since the aptitude tests involved, and the high school diploma requirement, were broad-based and not directly related to the jobs performed, Duke Power’s employee transfer procedure was found by the Court to be in violation of the Act.

      Blacks have an average IQ one standard deviation below whites. College education is the only IQ test allowed. Now, that must be eliminated by the new race normed SAT score.

    4. Brian Says:

      Mike: That’s a different issue, more related to what I was referring to with the “weed-out test”–the fact is that if you have a college degree it signals that you are willing/able to get a college degree. What you’re weeding out isn’t actually intelligence, but self-destructive and anti-social behaviors. Used broadly/stupidly, it causes companies to reject military vets who don’t have a degree, but that’s the problem of any weed-out test, it might work in the aggregate but has lots of imperfections. But if it works in the aggregate, that’s good enough for a big company.

      But using a degree as a weed-out test only works because “We” have told people they HAVE to go to college. And that was done because of a combination of historical reasons–post-WWII GI bill was pushed by all sides as far as I know, in order to train the scientists/engineers the economy was supposed to need, and then during Vietnam many used the universities to flee the draft (it’s clear as day that that’s when grade inflation grew out of control, totally destroying the merit-based grading system), and afterwards the left was especially motivated to force people to go through what they had turned into their own indoctrination camps.

    5. Mike K Says:

      then during Vietnam many used the universities to flee the draft (it’s clear as day that that’s when grade inflation grew out of control, totally destroying the merit-based grading system), and afterwards the left was especially motivated to force people to go through what they had turned into their own indoctrination camps.

      Oh, I agree but then the cost of such evasive measures as college as IQ test is horrendous. The dumbed down SAT and now adding a race norming “adversity” factor makes college into a babysitting service for teenagers.

      Look at the organizers of these college disruptions. They are disproportionally black. Too many are victims of mismatch and know it but are driven to justify themselves by demanding useless courses, like “African American Studies” and the like.

      The hollowing out of American manufacturing by the globalists of both parties have hurt blacks far more than the rest of what should be the middle class.

    6. rcocean Says:

      As far as i can tell you have 3 things going on.

      First, the some professions want to restrict the supply of incoming Lawyers, engineers, doctors, CPA’s, etc. and forcing every to go to college accomplishes that.

      Second, we need a lot of STEM types who need to have lots of training and be smart people. Do we really want MD’s getting their medical degrees from an online university? I don’t think so.

      Third, Corporations and the Government are using Colleges to screen applicants and avoid anti-discrimination law suits. Forcing everyone who wants an executive or technical job at Corporation XYZ to have a college degree from the “Right College” reduces the talent pool to a manageable number AND ensures pretty much everyone will be minimally qualified. And it allows them to justify picking their buddy from “Yale” over someone who went to “Wabash U”.

    7. MCS Says:

      Beyond languages and literature for prospective clergy and pretentious fops, colleges and universities had nothing to teach until well into the 19th century. The formalization of Medicine, Law and engineering was lead by Medicine around mid-century while Law and engineering were still enterable by work-study well into the 20th and even to this day occasionally.

      As a non-M.D., med school looks a lot like an apprenticeship. I’ve heard often and believe that the education of engineers begins when they start actually doing engineering and that the same goes for lawyers.

      A lot of the appeal of STEM seems to be the objectivity of numeric answers to problems. This is usually put forth by people that couldn’t balance a check book. I suppose it’s marginally better preparation than regurgitating whatever the professor said about Shakespeare. It’s also usually the most trivial part of solving an engineering problem.

      As far as the sort of academic bullying in the original post: It’s that the ship is sinking fast without enough lifeboats or possibly no life boats at all. It was hard enough to be collegial when all that was at stake was a parking spot, now that a lot of people are about to find out just how much a PHD in whatever-studies is worth in the real world, they’d better hope that they’re in a gun free zone.