Updated: Nov 12, 2021
Jordan Peterson is so perplexed by how tertiary education has gone off the rails (he means the humanities, of course, always the humanities). So much so that he wants to start his own humanities college. His voice joins thousands (principally on the right side of politics) who are sure that ‘political correctness’ has overwhelmed our teaching systems and that Universities have become left-wing-centred ideology centres.
There are, of course, serious problems with the academy, but these problems are much more complex than simply suggesting everything is a political conspiracy. Universities are educational behemoths that have multiple aims and produce myriad results. Still, it is nice to be reminded that there are good things about living the academic life. John Tregoning (Medicine, Imperial College, London) in The Times Educational Supplement reminds us it is not all bad. In ‘Being an academic is great, so start enjoying yourself’ he gives his own (complicated but generally positive) take on being an academic. He celebrates the chances he has to have time to think and time to investigate. He tells colleagues that if they don’t like how management are running their institutions – then get involved – because ultimately it is academics who contribute to university governance. He also notes the ways in which university management not only direct, control, and impinge on academics free time, sometimes with seemingly useless administrative tasks, but also how they protect the freedom and financial viability of professional scholars who are creating new knowledge. He runs a blog at http://drtregoning.blogspot.com/ which gets technical, but which is a fascinating insight into how one scientist kept himself happy while working through our recent pandemic years.