[A] cultivated intellect, a delicate taste, a candid, equitable, dispassionate mind, a noble and courteous bearing in the conduct of life; these… are the objects of a University.
—John Henry Newman, The Idea of a University (1852)
The idea that the curriculum should be converted to any partisan purposes is a perversion of the ideal of the university. The objective of converting the curriculum into an instrument of social transformation (leftist, rightist, centrist, or whatever) is the very opposite of higher education.
—John Searle, “The Storm Over the Universities” (1991)
It was not long ago that these preeminently liberal propositions drawn from Cardinal Newman and the philosopher John Searle could have been embraced as mottos by the American academic establishment. This is not to say that our institutions of higher...