Those who argue that colleges and universities lack standards may be incorrect but only technically. “Under the current curriculum guidelines, students must take four humanities and two social science classes that could include history and political science,” Bucknell’s Nick Mozal writes of that Pennsylvania university’s “Common Learning Agenda.” “However, there is no course requirement to teach students the core history and cultural heritage of the United States.”
“Students have difficulty even finding such a course.” Mozal presides over the Bucknell University Conservatives Club, which publishes The Counterweight newspaper, in the December 2007 issue of which his remarks appeared.
“The Common Learning Agenda currently has requirements for ‘Perspectives on the National and Fabricated Worlds’ and ‘Perspectives on Human Diversity,’” Mozal points out by way of contrast. Bucknell has been governed by the Common Learning Agenda for about a decade and a half.
At Bucknell, even when the subject matter is sound, the instructor might be considerably less so because the university takes the “human diversity” it teaches very seriously. “For the sake of ‘fairness’ and ‘equality,’ the Bucknell administration recently deprived students of an excellent and experienced professor,” Sarah Schubert writes in that same issue of The Counterweight. “In the Chemistry Department’s search for a new tenure-track biochemistry professor, the administration only consented to interviews with two of the three candidates who had been short-listed by the Department’s search committee.”
“The third candidate was not allowed to interview because he has more experience that the other candidates; the administration felt it was ‘unfair’ to compare him to the two other short-listed candidates.” Schubert is a sophomore at Bucknell. She has a long way to go.
Meanwhile, though its curricula may be stagnant and its new faculty hires mediocre, administration at Bucknell is something of a growth industry. “A simple glance at the staff directory shows how bloated it is with staff assistants of no meaningful use,” James Roesch writes in The Counterweight. “It is these gluttonous hiring practices that have contributed to Bucknell’s exorbitant tuition—over $46,000—one of the highest in the country.”
Perhaps this gluttony could also account for such official outreach offices at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Office. “Cary Grant was also named a ‘GLBT Person of the Day,’” Samantha Soller reports in The Counterweight. “Though Grant vehemently denied being a homosexual, the LGBT office brought him out of the closet posthumously.”
Actually, one of Grant’s ex-wives, Betsy Drake, said in an interview for a documentary on her husband that appeared on Turner Classic Movies, that she and her then-spouse did not pay too much attention to such rumors. “We were too busy f*****g,” she explained.
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.