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Higher Education in the 21st Century

April 7, 2018

On Tuesday I’ll have lunch with a friend from my undergraduate days at Pitt who has been active in the Christian ministry in Uganda.  His current project is a new university in Uganda, Uganda Christian University, that was founded in 1997.

Here’s a link to that institution.

Working here in United States in the field of higher education has been a struggle. American higher education has been affected by a crisis in civilization that began in Europe in 1848, was enhanced by our Civil War, America’s entry into World War I and the secularization of American culture that ensued. Few wealthy Americans in the 20th century founded new universities, and the old ones became secular, undefined in mission, and in the case of many religious colleges–faithless.

Remedying that decline in higher education is not easy.

Dr. Peter Wood, President of the National Association of Scholars and I conducted a seminar on that topic on December 5. And I’m writing a new book that explains what is required to recover from that decline of civic culture.

Starting a new college or university–and we need fifty good new ones in the next twenty-five years–requires money and skill. Believe me, I’ve prospected for wealthy conservatives to fund the startup of a solely Internet institution and they can be found.

But, managing a university requires knowledge of a crazy regulatory system, begun in 1885, that makes it extremely difficult to become accredited. Not only must you know and be committed to a “mission,” you must find instructors and administrators who believe in that mission. Very few wealthy conservatives know how to staff a new institution.

Dr. Wood was formerly a Provost at a Christian college and he looked for faculty in Europe because they were less likely to be infected by Political Correctness. Then you must understand new technologies that are effective for disseminating courses for degree credit.

Having wealth is not an indication that you’ll be interested in higher education, nor that you’ll know how to build a new college. I know of only two others with the knowledge needed to develop effective courses using those new technologies and who have mastered the regulatory thicket of this business.

We are now fifty years from the time that there was a viable cohort of conservative faculty. Many are deceased, ready for retirement, too old, or struggling in backwater colleges and community colleges.

In another twenty-five years, there will be none to hire. That’s the greatest problem.

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