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Taking Back Higher Education

January 1, 2018

During the 18th century, a revolutionary ideology developed in France and was carried to other countries in Western Europe by Napoleon Bonaparte. Alexis de Tocqueville called it esprit revolutionaire and traditional society struggled to resist its implications when their intellectuals adopted French ideas. This condition exists today in American in the form of domination of American colleges and universities by Leftist intellectuals.

Dr. Peter Wood and I gave a presentation on this problem on December 5 that you may access at this link.  At the conclusion of my talk, about 17:49 into this presentation, I accuse wealthy American families by name for neglecting higher education

Instead of focusing on elective politics and public policy, they should take the long term view and follow the example of Leland Stanford, founder of Stanford, or Jerry Fallwell (Liberty University) and Pat Robertson (Regent University) and especially John Sperling (Phoenix). If they begin today, in twenty-five years they will have well established institutions that can grow a leadership elite to replace the declining number of conservative scholars in higher education.

One of the reasons these wealthy Americans do little in this area is due to their ignorance of what and how a university can be founded and managed. There are serious regulatory issues to face including state authorization regulations, accreditation issues and U.S. Department of Education regulations. President Trump blundered into this area of commerce with “Trump University” and was fined $25 million dollars for aggressive marketing of Trump programs.

The second big obstacle is the hiring of scholars not tainted by esprit revolutionaire and modern variants that we associate with Progressive ideology. Let’s assume that you wanted to create a place where future conservative scholars could be educated and earn advanced degrees in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Unfortunately, few good conservative scholars remain whom you would want to hire. Dr. Wood observed that when he was Provost of a college in Manhattan he looked for European scholars who were more likely to have avoided the American disease of Liberalism.

Nevertheless there are scholars to consider for appointment to a new university:

Philosophy (F. Eugene Heath; John Lachs)

History (Mark G. Malvasi; Carey M. Roberts; Larry E. Schweikart)

Classics (David D. Mulroy; E. Christian Kopff)

Art History (Arthur Pontynen)

Political Science (Linda C. Raeder; Jason C. Ross; Clarence F. Sills, Jr.; Scott Secrest)

Literature (Mitchell Kalpakgian; John A. Arnold)

For about $1.5 million a year, a new University can retain conservative scholars to teach courses in disciplines such as those listed above. If wealthy conservatives wanted to follow the example of John Sperling, they could establish a “campus” in a commercial office building and offer graduate programs to educate future scholars to replace the ones lost during the past half century when scholarship was ignored by conservatives.

There are difficult decisions to make such as where to domicile such a university (For God’s sake, don’t establish a university where there are no students). the regional accreditation agency that will accredit new graduate degree programs with a “mix” of online and classroom courses. But all these issues can be sorted out and resolved for under five million dollars a year with an endowment of between $50 and $100 million, if you can find an experienced administrator who has mastered the regulatory system, new technologies, instructional design issues, and is grounded in serious scholarship. Donald Trump should not be your guide.



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