Mark Taylor Deconstructs the University
Written by Bwog Staff
Mark Taylor, Chair of the CC Religion Department, published an Op-Ed in the Times today urging us to, “End the University As We Know It.” He focuses on the problem of the graduate school system, calling graduate education the “Detroit of higher education.” Oof.
He also condemns the trends of early specialization in the university system and cites the Religion Department as emblematic of the problem of “narrow scholarship”: there are 10 religion faculty working in 8 subfields with relatively little overlap. Taylor calls for a complete restructuring of the graduate system and then immediately moving to a reconstruction of undergraduate programs.
Stemming from his frustration with departmental structure and politics, Taylor suggests eliminating all permanent departments and creating in their place “program-based” departments that focus on issues and draw in academics from multiple fields. He lists off a few such departments: Water, Space, and Time (!) among them.
Taylor finally proposes that we expand professional opportunities for grad students and – gasp! – abolish tenure. He finishes with a quote that he often shares with his students with hopes of stirring up even the loftiest fake elbow-patched professors: “Do not do what I do; rather, take whatever I have to offer and do with it what I could never imagine doing and then come back and tell me about it.”
Photo via nytimes.com
Tags: the new york times