“student Loans And The Arts: Navigating Education In Creative Fields” – Student Debt and the End of the Liberal Arts Dream The corporatization of the university experience is coming to an end

Most people know that student debt is a problem, and most people agree that “something needs to be done about it.” The consensus seems to be that something needs to be done because it is “not fair” to young people. According to a recent poll conducted by the Pew Charitable Trust, 80 percent of Americans believe that “the government should make it easier to pay off student loans.”

“student Loans And The Arts: Navigating Education In Creative Fields”

Even so, there is very little understanding of why student debt has become so burdensome in recent decades. It’s as if we thought student debt was an unfortunate fact of nature, like a weather front that had passed through that left us with no choice but to put on a warmer coat if we could find one, and if we couldn’t find one, it was welcome to a brave new world of cold and indifference.

How Do Student Loans Work?

And yet, it wasn’t that long ago that things were very different. I was born in a working-class suburb of San Francisco in 1951. At the time, public education was good, teachers still had some social prestige, universities were affordable (cheap, in fact), and few students graduated with debt. It was possible for me to move on without the threat of young adult bankruptcy.

In other words, at that time students were freer to choose what they wanted to study and freer to explore their careers. As for me, I was free to be a student of literature and philosophy at the University of San Francisco. I learned to play classical guitar up the hill at Lone Mountain College. I was also a long haired war resister and recruitment advisor in the chaplain’s office. And I was mostly sure that I would not be punished for these decisions, or not soon.

Unfortunately, the university as I knew it no longer exists. Through decades of Reaganomics and neoliberal austerity, an elite decision was made that the state should no longer pay for public higher education; henceforth, universities would be financed through personal debt. Tuition for public colleges and universities has become an inflated “user fee” for access to state-linked services, such as gaining access to parking. New arguments gained traction: students were just another type of consumer, and “student demand” should determine the content of the curriculum. What was lost in such market logic was the fact that programs in the arts and humanities—not just at universities but at all levels of education—became the primary way in which we were allowed to think about who we were, where we were , how we got here and what, if anything, we’d like to see change. Instead of that valuable process, we are left with what David Harvey succinctly described: “Traditional university culture, with its strange sense of community, has penetrated, disrupted and reconfigured the power of raw money.

In both the public and private sectors, the corporate university has been growing slowly for many years, but has now become more brazen in its destructive tendencies. As an example close to my heart, the Illinois Wesleyan University (IVU) Board of Trustees in Bloomington, Illinois, announced in May 2020 that it was considering eliminating many long-established programs, all of which were in the liberal arts. and social sciences. I say this personally because my wife, Georganne Rundblad, taught sociology at Wesleyan for twenty-five years, and many of the professors there were among our friends.

Working Nights In A Doughnut Shop And Days At A Paper Products Plant, Robert Gilbert, 30,

Without the consent of the faculty, the Board of Trustees sent prejudices to twenty-five faculty members and teaching staff in philosophy, anthropology, music, foreign languages, sociology, art and religion — in total, about a quarter of IVU’s faculty. A liberal arts university without a philosopher is a contradiction in terms, but a Wesleyan university without a department of religion is an exercise in self-mockery. No doubt, IVU will continue to claim that its “primary focus” is on “opening students’ minds,” but the business college will have to do most of the opening.

And that is already happening. Those departments that were not eliminated were told they needed “transformation.” Provost Mark Brodle told faculty member Scott Sheridan that “philosophy will support business and accounting, computing and data science.” In another example of what Harold Bloom called

, university president Georgia Nugent (a classics major by training) said the art department will “move more in the direction of art and design,” including graphic design and product design. In other words, before art can transform students, commerce will first transform art. Andy Warhol saw it: art is a can of soup.

Of course, there is no reason to think that this is the end of these transformations, these latest tremors of what Bill Reddings called “the university in ruins.” (Reading: “The modern university is busily transforming itself from an ideological arm of the state into a bureaucratically organized and relatively autonomous consumer corporation.”) The remaining faculties and programs cannot sleep comfortably, wondering who will cut what next, a year, five years from now or ten. University boards can wait—they have waited patiently for fifty years. For fifty years, American universities have moved toward a sense of mission that a businessman can recognize, respect, and, most importantly, donate money to.

Kelli Rae Adams: Forever In Your Debt

But from the perspective of the liberal arts itself, a liberal arts university that does not recognize the value of the liberal arts should transform nothing. He should close his doors, close it all. Better that than becoming what Illinois Wesleyan has become: a watered-down version of Wharton’s business school.

Wesleyan’s trustees felt no need to provide a rationale for their actions beyond the rough idea that the affected programs were unprofitable and that their financial need was somehow threatened in the near future — regardless of the university’s $200 million endowment. They did not offer any educational reasons for the changes, nor arguments for how the changes were consistent with the institution’s values. Like the bandits in John Huston’s Treasure of the Sierra Madre, they said, “Reasons? We don’t need stinking reasons.”

The feelings of teachers and students are raw now because they rightly feel let down. One IVU Liberal Arts Alumni member, Molly McLay, wrote to me:

I am outraged at the lack of humanity and empathy in this process. Most of my professional work revolves around understanding, responding to, and preventing trauma. I really think that this experience at IVU was a collective trauma.

The Wbur Read In: The Cost Of Higher Education

I feel like I’ve just been caught in the middle of a disoriented, rule-changing administration about me late in my career. I bought the ivory tower model, did everything that was asked of me, and now that the economy is down, Covid is raging, higher ed is collapsing, and the University has damaged my professional reputation, I find myself completely sidelined, looking at the necessity of not not only to change my professional goals but also to rethink my life.

Finally, and elegiacally, English professor Michael Teun commented to the Chicago Tribune, “It’s a bad day. The faculty has been stripped of control over the curriculum.”

The motto through the Wesleyan portal should no longer be “Scientia et Sapientia”, knowledge and wisdom. I suggest it reads like the legend of Dante’s Inferno: “No admittance except on business.”

After World War II, there was a huge investment in public education. For the first time, working-class children had the opportunity to study subjects, such as literature, that had previously been the privilege of children of the wealthy. We studied the humanities and social sciences and thus found ways to criticize and resist corporate culture and all its murderous inequities. In the 1960s, universities became known for their “student protests”. The protests may now be in the streets, not on campus, but many of today’s protesters — marching with Black Lives Matter, or against gender bigotry, or against the pro-oil world — got their intellectual kicks at universities taking courses like “Sex and Gender in Society” by Professor Rundblad or “Race and Ethnic Relations”.

Student Lending Art Program Exhibition

But all this time our masters were paying attention and saw clearly and correctly: for many, many students, going to college was and remains a liberalizing experience (hence Biden’s huge advantage over Trump among college-educated voters). Our plutocratic masters concluded, “So this is what happens when you let the working class and minorities go to college. They study things that have no value to us, and they learn to hate us.”

As a result, slowly, decade after decade, universities starved and students became indebted. Meanwhile, the wealthy came to the rescue and became university trustees. In these fallen days, the ideal trustee is someone who has money or knows people who have money, ideally both. (Chair of Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees

Bar education student loans, continuing education student loans, american education student loans, national education student loans, higher education student loans, dept education student loans, us education student loans, student education loans, department education student loans, private education student loans, creative arts in education, student loans for education


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *