We don’t know, of course, if anyone believes in the common good, or the public good any more, but here are some fragmentary notes from a conversation we had.
1. We should talk much more about research. In class. College has to become more interesting – we cannot allow it to be further redefined as rote credentialing. We need research at lower levels.
2. We need a description of the “academy” from an academic point of view. Everyone else is saying what college should be but what do we say?
3. If the university is a public good, it should be supported by public revenues – not special interests.
4. As a public good, the university has non-pecuniary benefits, and these have value even if it is not measured in gold.
5. The liberal arts – intellectual discipline, intellectual agenda, sets intellectual agendas.