WASHINGTON, March 21, 2018: In our previous article on this topic, we discussed the hows and whys behind the radical reduction in useless academic disciplines currently underway at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. On the chopping block: senseless departments that evolved into little more than left-wing propaganda mills and the tenured professors who ran them.
The high cost of college propaganda mills
Statistics demonstrate conclusively that graduates holding degrees in useless academic majors entered the job market lack the skills today’s better paying jobs require. As a result, high cost degrees from propaganda mills don’t help them earn a living wage in the real world. Neither does holding a recognizably grievance-based college degree.
In other words, in a world where college tuition continues to skyrocket – along with sky-high post-college student indebtedness – such departments are no longer worth a student’s investment of time and treasure.
“The University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point is the harbinger of a vast transformation that lies ahead for American higher education. The cohorts of students headed for colleges and universities is declining, and tuition has now priced itself beyond reach for many. The folly of student loan indebtedness is becoming clear to more and more young people and their parents. Meanwhile, online higher education is available for a tiny fraction of the cost of physical presence on a campus, and the pay and job prospects of many blue collar trades – where labor shortages are severe in many fields – will persuade many potential customers for a college degree to instead see better opportunities in vocational education.”
Students are wising up
Backing up Lifson’s observation in real life, students themselves are beginning to wise up. As a result, at Stevens Point, this means fewer and fewer of them choose to pursue courses in the propaganda mills targeted for extinction.
Tenured, universally leftist professors running these propaganda mills disguised as academic departments gradually find themselves teaching fewer and fewer students. Thus, departments like these and their professors at Stevens Point and elsewhere stand out as eminently expendable. As in the real job world, if your division gets cut, your job automatically gets terminated as well. Likewise, in academia, even tenure doesn’t help you avoid a similar fate.
Propaganda mills to be deleted by Stevens Point
Stevens Point academic programs and/or departments on the chopping block include:
- American studies,
- art (excluding graphic design),
- English (excluding English for teacher certification),
- history (excluding social science for teacher certification),
- music literature
- political science
We largely agree with this list. Additionally, any university department or discipline containing the word “studies” should get the hook. All such departments exist as playgrounds and propaganda mills of, by and for the bigoted and under-qualified. We no longer need to fund this wasteful nonsense.
The unfortunate graduates who majored in such fake disciplines soon find themselves at a career dead end. Consequently, they join a growing, angry cadre of undereducated and under-employed college graduates. Eventually, their smoldering rage explodes when they realize what their smug, tenured, hard-left professors have done. Ironically, however, this rage never targets the fake professors who preyed on them, their tuition dollars and the public trough to fund their cushy lifestyles. Instead, they target the evil capitalists and “deplorables” their coursework taught them to hate.
The intentional death/fundamental transformation of English language, literature and Western Culture courses
With regard to those soon-to-be-defunct Stevens Point departments, like Thomas Lifson, I, too, feel “sad beyond measure” to see that Stevens Point has guillotined English, for example.
“I love the humanities and social sciences of pre-PC academia. I received an excellent liberal arts education as an undergraduate and strongly believe that it provided me with valuable insights and skills. But alas, the liberal arts disciplines have been thoroughly corrupted to the point where they are worse than useless in the hands of many professors. I went on to receive three graduate degrees, including a PhD in sociology just as politicization was starting to take hold. I watched with great sadness in my heart as academia fell from its heights.”
So did I. Like Lifson, I earned a Ph.D. in English and American Lit back in the day. In the not-too-distant past, a degree like this was genuinely worth something. That’s because, in the not-too-distant past, there was a reverence for history, literary achievement, reason, logic and fine, accurate, well-researched and readable writing. Yet I was never able to usefully employ the skills I had acquired and was eager to hand down to generations of students, essentially for the reasons Lifson cited.
Quota systems: The care and feeding of propaganda mills
Unmentioned by Lifson, however, was another issue that began to surface in the mid-to-late 1970s: The radical re-interpretation of Title VII and Title IX of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Hard left faculty and administrators soon figured out how to weaponize Title VII (and to an extent Title IX). Their method involved re-interpretating these sections to effectively impose racial and gender quota systems for new tenure track hires. Almost overnight, tenure track applications from male, Caucasian candidates got logged, then rejected. (Unless, of course, applicants held degrees from Harvard or Yale.)
Meanwhile, a legion of unqualified radicals began to replace the retiring, respectable old-school scholars the rest of us had long admired. American higher education was ruthlessly and relentlessly re-shaped by a horde of rigidly left-wing Boomer ideologues. They promptly shredded cademic discipline and Western culture and flushed them down the commode. American higher education has been in decline ever since this “fundamental transformation” of the academy began.
Hard choices for post-grads whose degrees have become useless
I received dozens and dozens of insincere form rejection letters in response to my teaching applications. Then, I finally grasped the obvious. I possessed the wrong racial and gender qualifications the academy suddenly required. My proven teaching and writing abilities no longer counted. With a young family to support, I had to consider alternatives.
Academic employment choices for me and countless others like me were far from promising. Most of us were doomed to becoming either “adjunct” professors earning slave wages and dismissable at will. Alternatively, we’d subsist as “gypsy scholars.” Then and now, these long-term temps get seduced with vague promises of advancement. Nothing happens, and they are subsequently canned after a 3-year stint and forced to look for a similar slot. Clearly, there was little value in any attempt to land a tenure-track position in our chosen profession. As a result, most of us reluctantly chose to leave academia. The left-wing ideologues moved in, taking their disciplines, their students and their country down a path of no return.
What kind of future do American colleges and universities face?
Looking at the present and the immediate future, Lifson seems to share a similar perception of the situation.
“There will be many innocent faculty victims of these closures. I feel sadness for those who devoted many years of their lives to obtaining the graduate degrees necessary for teaching in higher education. But by standing by and allowing their disciplines to decline and ignore relevance and utility to students, they may bear some degree of culpability.”
Students of the Marxist professors who encourage them to earn degrees from their propaganda mills seem clueless. The leftist academics these students admire are no different from Washington’s Deep State political class. Both groups are owned and operated by anti-American elitists who place position ideology and hatred above truth. That’s something we currently endure in every election cycle. This poisonous, anti-intellectual bias has brought America to its intellectual knees. The visible fallout – the inability of college graduates to reason – drives today’s real and fake news headlines.
I’ll have more to say about this in another article. But let’s let Lifson take us out today:
“No doubt, those who celebrate this transition will be castigated as anti-intellectual barbarians. But the real barbarians are those who drove academia into self-absorbed obsessions of the left, making it irrelevant to the needs of students, while overloading their schools with administrative dead weight that has pushed up tuition to unaffordable levels.”
Next: University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point offers an admirable template for rescuing American education and western culture from the barbarians.