Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 135:539 (Jul 78) p. 263
“How to Kill a College: The Private Papers of a Campus Dean,” Theodore L. Gross, Saturday Review, February 4, 1978, pp. 13-20.
The author is dean of humanities of the City College of New York, a unit of the City University of New York. In this article he rehearses the academic (and almost literal) destruction of that college within this decade by the introduction of (a) an open admissions policy and (b) departments of ethnic studies. More recently New York’s economic crisis has brought an end to the open admissions policy, but the damage has been done—the college has been killed as an academic center.
From its inception until the current economic crisis CCNY had been a tuition-free institution that provided the poor an opportunity to secure a college education. It had established a great reputation as “the proletarian Harvard.” Gross states that “class, race, religion, or national origin” never were considered in admissions policy, but academic standards were. The introduction of an open admissions policy removed those standards. Any resident of New York with a high school diploma could enroll.
The flood of academically deficient students created havoc in the English department of which Gross was then chairman. Almost overnight the department reversed its emphasis from literature to basic writing composition. “These basic writing courses were deeply remedial,” Gross confesses. “The problem for one third of the open admissions students was literacy, for another third, competence, for the last third, college-level English.” Soon came the “student drift into ‘soft’ subjects that do not require an exacting competence in language.” Finally came the demand for new departments of ethnic studies, which encourage
BSac 135:539 (Jul 78) p. 264
“militant separatism” and built the “wall of segregation” in opposition to the naturally integrative force of American education.
What does this tragedy have to do with Dallas Seminary or with Christian colleges? This incident illustrates the disruptive, disintegrative force of government intervention in education which touched public institutions yesterday and Christian schools today. At the present time, for example, Columbia Bible College is fighting the demand of the federal government that CBC accept alcoholics and drug addicts as “handicapped” military veteran students. Who is next?
“Was Jesus Crucified under Pilate? Did He Even Exist at All?” G. A. Wells, The Humanist, January/February, 1978, pp. 22-27.
The January/February issue of The Humanist each year must be in the editor’s thinking the “kick the fundamentali...
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