American higher education began to lose interest in educating college students for responsible citizenship when progressives who had entered academia were given free rein during the Great Depression to change the content of courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Those changes wiped out classical, free market economics, from course offerings as well as courses in American history and government that formerly celebrated the philosophy of limited government. The idea that the Constitution was "changing" replaced the traditional view that the Constitution embodied a philosophy that limited federal power.
From 1932 to 1960, American higher education saw increased secularization from religion and a radicalization of curricula in the Social Sciences and the Humanities. A bias against classical liberalism and individualism broadened into anti-capitalism and identification of the United States as a primary source of exploitation. That attitude was reinforced in 1931 by Pope Pius XI's Encyclical, "Quadragesimo Anno," which affirmed a theology of "Social Justice." The influence of that idea transformed the curriculum of Catholic colleges and led to their secularization.
When civil disturbances began in the 1960s and early 1970s, students demanded to be free from the traditional "Core" of required courses that was inherited from some distant past.
Without the anchor of required core courses, American higher education became what James Piereson calls "the Left University." That uniform politicization of the Social Sciences and Humanities in higher education is now called "Political Correctness." And even public high schools utilize textbooks that paint America as evil and the capitalist system of free enterprise as a means of exploitation.
Come join Dr. Bishirjian and Dr. Wood as they assess what has been lost during this time period and whether a reaffirmation of the American way of life and the American way of doing business can return to higher education in the United States.
Dr. Peter Wood has served as executive director and president of the National Association of Scholars from 2007 to the present. Dr. Wood was provost of The King's College in New York City and a tenured member of the Anthropology Department at Boston University where he served as associate Provost and chief of staff to BU president Dr. John Silber. He is the author ofDiversity-The Invention of a Concept (2004) and A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Today (2007).
Dr. Richard Bishirjian was founding President of Yorktown University from 2000 to 2016 and is now President of American Academy of Distance Learning. He earned a Ph.D. in Government and International Studies from the University of Notre Dame under the direction of Gerhart Niemeyer. In 1980 and 1981, he served on the transition team of Ronald Reagan and as Associate Director of Education and Cultural Affairs at USICA. He is editor of A Public Philosophy Reader and author of three books, The Development of Political Theory (1978), The Conservative Rebellion (2015) and The Coming Death and Future Resurrection of American Higher Education(August 2017).