Marketing the Liberal Arts

University Business: Editor’s Note

University Business reported the results of a survey conducted by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) as part of a project to help bridge the “disconnect among the business community, IHE’s, students, and parents over the meaning–and value–of a liberal arts education.” Wheaton College (Mass.) President Ronald Crutcher noted in his discussion of the report:

“We conducted a survey that asked high school juniors and seniors what they thought a liberal arts education means. I wish I was making this up, but they said that they though it meant ‘a liberal way of thinking’ …meaning you’re a leftist, or something other than a Republican.”

Something about that scares me, particularly when coupled with the recent Knight Foundation report that found that “over a third of the 100,000 students questioned felt the First Amendment went ‘too far’ in guaranteeing freedom of speech, press, worship and assembly.

Maybe we could call ourselves “freedom arts” colleges…