Hoped-For Change Derailed

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Scholars who go against the academic grain and suffer the consequences for their apostasy have pinned some hopes for change on developing technology. “Already I have begun to encounter university colleagues, marginalized for their conservative views or for their dissatisfaction with the way things are done, who are looking for other ways of continuing the great tradition of higher learning, and of passing on to the next generation some of the knowledge that was passed onto them,” Roger Scrutton writes in the September 2010 issue of The American Spectator.

“Such is the prevailing spirit in America, that I suspect the cyber-university will be a day-to-day reality, long before the old universities wake up to the fact that they have priced themselves out of the market.” Perhaps, but they are not giving up without a fight, or without allies or enablers, some of whom may surprise you.

“Under DOE Secretary Margaret Spellings the Bush Administration directed a little known appointed board to revoke the charter of the American Academy for Liberal Education,” Richard Bishirjian, the president of Yorktown University notes. “This capricious action aimed at the only conservative accrediting association sent a signal to the Left: In order to control higher education, all you have to do is threaten to revoke the charter of accrediting associations.”

Yorktown is an online university. Spellings named the Department of Education’s building after fellow Texan Lyndon B. Johnson.

“Hillsdale College under the late George Roche chose not to participate in U. S. government tuition assistance programs,” Bishirjian observes. “He argued that this would entail federal control.”

“True enough, but as a result of the politicization of the system of accreditation started by Margaret Spellings and now continued by Arne Duncan, little Hillsdale must toe the DOE line—or lose its regional accreditation.”

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org.