The Breakdown of Higher Education: How It Happened, the Damage It Does, and What Can Be Done

The Breakdown of Higher Education: How It Happened, the Damage It Does, and What Can Be Done

by John M. Ellis


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A series of near-riots on campuses aimed at silencing guest speakers has exposed the fact that our universities are no longer devoted to the free exchange of ideas in pursuit of truth. But this hostility to free speech is only a symptom of a deeper problem, writes John Ellis.

Having watched the deterioration of academia up close for the past fifty years, Ellis locates the core of the problem in a change in the composition of the faculty during this time, from mildly left-leaning to almost exclusively leftist. He explains how astonishing historical luck led to the success of a plan first devised by a small group of activists to use college campuses to promote radical politics, and why laws and regulations designed to prevent the politicizing of higher education proved insufficient.

Ellis shows that political motivation is always destructive of higher learning. Even science and technology departments are not immune. The corruption of universities by radical politics also does wider damage: to primary and secondary education, to race relations, to preparation for the workplace, and to the political and social fabric of the nation.
Commonly suggested remedies—new free-speech rules, or enforced right-of-center appointments—will fail because they don’t touch the core problem, a controlling faculty majority of political activists with no real interest in scholarship. This book proposes more drastic and effective reform measures. The first step is for Americans to recognize that vast sums of public money intended for education are being diverted to a political agenda, and to demand that this fraud be stopped.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781641770880
Publisher: Encounter Books
Publication date: 03/17/2020
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 25,054
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

John M. Ellis is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of German Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has a B.A and Ph.D from University College London, and taught at universities in England, Wales and Canada before joining the University of California in 1966, serving as Dean of the UCSC Graduate Division from 1977-86. He is the author of ten books and numerous articles on German literature, literary criticism, the theory of language and the state of higher education. His Literature Lost (Yale University Press) won the Peter Shaw memorial award of the National Association of Scholars for “exemplary writing on issues pertaining to higher education and American intellectual culture.” He has been active in the cause of higher education reform for some 30 years, founding the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics in 1993, and serving as President of the California Association of Scholars from 2007-13 and chairman of its board since then. His articles on higher education reform have appeared in various national newspapers and websites including the Wall Street Journal , the New York Times , the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Chapter 1 What Do Those Near-Riots Tell Us about the State of Higher Education? 1

Chapter 2 Who Are the People Destroying Our Universities? 25

Chapter 3 How Was it Possible for This to Happen? 47

Chapter 4 Sabotaging Education for Citizenship 73

Chapter 5 Graduates Who Know Little and Can't Think 99

Chapter 6 The Wretched State of the Campuses 119

Chapter 7 The Campus World of Lies and Deceit 145

Chapter 8 What Can Be Done to Restore Higher Education? 171

Acknowledgments 195

Notes 197

Index 205

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