Victor Davis Hanson begins an article with an interesting title: “America’s Medieval Universities.” His fundamental critique of the universities is:
“Employment rates for college graduates are dismal. Aggregate student debt is staggering. But university administrative salaries are soaring. The campus climate of tolerance has utterly disappeared. Only the hard sciences and graduate schools have salvaged American universities’ international reputations.
For over two centuries, our superb system of American public and private higher education kept pace with radically changing times and so ensured our prosperity and reinforced democratic pluralism.
But a funny thing has happened on the way to the 21st century. Colleges that were once our most enlightened and tolerant institutions became America’s dinosaurs.
Start with ossified institutions. Tenure may have been a good idea in the last century to ensure faculty members free expression. But such a spoils system now encourages the opposite result of protecting monotonies of thought.”
Some of these statements are accurate, though Hanson (a recovering classicist at Hoover) provides no logical basis for blaming the universities and tenure for the faults.