For conservative academics who are intimately aware of university life under leftist machinations, “The University We Need: Reforming American Higher Education” by Warren Treadgold is a book that not only will augment personal experiences, but will offer what just may be a way out of the apparently hopeless mess that leftists have made of higher education.
VIDEO: Chicago radio station interview with Warren Treadgold, author of ‘The University We Need: Reforming American Higher Education’
You would think that the college campus is where young minds are free to explore a wide range of ideas, sharpen their perception and expand their horizons. Yet, your thinking would be “wrong” and unwelcome on so many of today’s campuses, if your concept of exploration, sharpening and expansion included overt exposure to conservative thought.
This wrongheadedness is especially noticeable as a student progresses through the “progressive” education system. At the Ph.D. level, a student is likely to be encouraged to be a Mini-Me to his leftist faculty dissertation advisor with independent thought often discouraged or even dangerous.
The emergence of entrenched leftist ideology is admirably portrayed in “The University We Need” by Mr. Treadgold, who earned his BA from Harvard in 1970, staying on for a Ph.D. a few years later. Through his many subsequent teaching and research positions, the author experienced the evolution that trended from the 1960s counterculture through to the contemporary campus culture we have today.
Mr. Treadgold astutely discerns some serious deficiencies in the postmodern ideology infesting American educational institutions. He notes in a section titled “How to Judge Research” that the worst defect of postmodernism “is its excessive tolerance of errors, fallacies, and obscurities, as long as they are postmodernist, ‘innovative,’ and ‘interesting.’”