Harvard Hardly Recognizable

Fact: every student at Harvard carries a Bible and searches the scriptures daily.

Yes…that’s a fact! Unfortunately, it’s a fact from the 1600s but nonetheless it was fact. Harvard was founded as a Bible college during America’s colonial period.

Contrast that with the Harvard of today where Christianity is belittled, if not condemned, and where the Bible is probably used as a coaster in the school library.

There’s no doubt, Harvard University has forgotten its cherished past in pursuit of popularity. And, I am not the only one who’s saying this.

One of the school’s former administrators admits that the school is off-track. Former Dean of the College, Harry Lewis, says in the Chronicle of Higher Education "Harvard University has drifted from its mission of educating students, and it now privileges student satisfaction over intellectual growth" according to an article in the Harvard Crimson. "Harvard teaches students but does not make them wise,” Lewis wrote. "They may achieve extraordinary excellence in both academic and extracurricular endeavors, but the whole educational experience does not cohere."

Lewis’ remarks come from the conclusion of his new book, "Excellence Without a Soul: How a Great University Forgot Education," which will be in bookstores this May.

Lewis believes "Harvard no longer teaches students many of the fundamentals of a ‘liberal education’ — and today’s Harvard education lacks a ‘common thread’ that guided it in centuries past," according to the Crimson.

Couple Lewis’ statements with the latest dilemma now facing Harvard: "moral reasoning" classes which may no longer be required of students.  According to the Harvard Crimson such classes promote critical thinking about ethics and ask students "to question their own beliefs. What is justice? If there is no God, is all permitted? And other such quandaries."

But the Crimson article goes on to say that under a new plan proposed by the Committee on General Education, "moral reasoning classes may be stricken from the catalog. The proposal stresses the importance of moral and ethical education, but stops short of a requirement."

Thomas Scanlon, Alford professor of natural religion, moral philsophy, and civil polity said, "In one way, it’s more agreeable to teach classes where all of the students there want to be there, rather than because they have to fulfill a requirement that they don’t particularly like."

But the Harvard Crimson cites one young intellect who’s worried that those who truly need the "ethics classes" are the ones who may be most likely to avoid them.

Sounds like this kid should be teaching the teachers at Harvard.
Bottom line — Harvard is hardly the school it once was. Religion, faith, morals and values have taken a backseat to status and student desires. While I’m sure there are still pockets of well-qualified administrators and professors within the Ivy League institution, it appears the best and brightest are on their way out.

And at what point should we all just give-up hope for Harvard? Well, for me, it’s when they ask Ted Kennedy to teach one of these "moral reasoning" courses.

Oh, you know it’s coming!