Notes & Comments: February 2006
The Peter Principle at Wabash?
People looking around for bright spots in American higher education often mention Wabash College, a small, well-to-do liberal arts institution for men in Crawfordsville, Indiana. With 850 male students, an endowment of $325 million, and a commitment to educate students "broadly in the traditional curriculum of the liberal arts" and "to cultivate qualities of character and leadership" Wabash seems like a welcome atavism: an institution of higher education dedicated to serious study, decorousness, and what the college literature proudly hails as "the gentleman's rule": "A Wabash man will conduct himself at all times, both on and off campus, as a gentleman and a responsible citizen." When was the last time you saw the term "gentleman" used at a college campus without an accompanying sneer?
A refreshing change, all that, from the usual po-mo, transgressive, dumbed-down, activist, anti-American spectacle we see at so many colleges and universities today. The question is, Can it last? Can Wabash maintain a modicum of independence from the politically correct group-think that has infected most educational institutions? We hope so. But news that, in its search for a new president, Wabash has named Dr. David C. Paris as one of three finalists for the position is not encouraging. As assiduous readers of these pages will remember, Dr. Paris, the outgoing Dean of the Faculty at Hamilton College, presided over a number of debacles at that once-distinguished college in Clinton, New York. Back in …
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Publication information: Article title: Notes & Comments: February 2006. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: New Criterion. Volume: 24. Issue: 6 Publication date: February 2006. Page number: 1+. © 1999 Foundation for Cultural Review. COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group.
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