PICK UP THE mission statement of almost any college or university, and you will find claims and ambitions that will lead you to think that it is the job of an institution of higher learning to cure every ill the world has ever known: not only illiteracy and cultural ignorance, which are at least in the ball-park, but poverty, war, racism, gender bias, bad character, discrimination, intolerance, environmental pollution, rampant capitalism, American imperialism, and the hegemony of Wal-Mart; and of course the list could be much longer. Wesleyan University starts well by pledging to "cultivate a campus environment where students think critically, participate in constructive dialogue and engage in meaningful contemplation" (although I'm not sure what meaningful contemplation is); but then we read of the intention to "foster awareness, respect, and appreciation for a diversity of experiences, interests, beliefs and identities."
Professor, Do Yo
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