Saturday, June 20, 2020

Rethink Higher Education - and Corporate HR and PR Departments

One of my favorite "follows" is Steven F. Hayward, a historian, author, brilliant writer, and blogger at, a favorite right-of-center, Minnesota-based site. Until recently, he was a professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkley.
I emphasize, until recently - he's been canceled.
My wife and I met Professor Hayward several years ago at an event we attended organized by our friend, John Heubusch, the estimable leader of the Reagan Foundation that is separate but attached to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.
Commentary Magazine, another favorite, has just published a detailed piece by the professor on how he was canceled by UC Berkley. It emphasizes to me how increasingly monochromatic our system of higher education has become. I even wonder, did I send my sons (and a lot of money) to the right schools for their college degrees?
It is time for all of us to rethink if not totally disrupt higher education. The problem is that we have too many administrators, more so than professors, who are more invested in indoctrination than education and critical thinking along with the skills needed to contribute practically and successfully.
For example, too many campus events are too invested in speakers who reinforce certain ideologies and narratives, even political agendas. "Dangerous" speakers - often conservatives - are banned from campuses. Students are "protected" from thoughts and ideas that challenge these narratives, denying them critical thinking skills. IMHO, too many campus cultures have been spiraling in the wrong direction for a long time, and the result is graduates more focused on politically-driven agendas than on real issues that matter in the workplace. When challenged with other ideas, they run screaming to their "safe spaces" for their Play-Doh and Crayons, and into the comforting arms of their malign enablers.
Sadly, too many corporate HR departments focus on coddling such immature, ill-prepared graduates than helping them transition into and contribute to the workplace. Look no further than the massive virtue-signaling oozing out of corporate PR and marketing departments run by feeble-minded managers who seek to placate rather than mentor. Just look at the food companies who are canceling Black American icons on food labels with no regard for many of the personal and often inspirational stories behind them, while stupidly paying homage to our destructive "cancel culture."
My point is this - rethink higher education (and corporate HR departments). Do NOT subscribe to the view that your children must get into expensive, "prestigious" private universities when, ultimately, it's what you DO with your college education, how you're taught to think critically, not where you go. After all, the legendary Jack Welch, the late former CEO of GE when it was a well run, emergent company, was a graduate of the University of Illinois. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates never earned college degrees. Don't let your children or grandchildren be ruined by expensive colleges.
Choose wisely. Invest wisely.

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