Everyone reading this blog is intimately familiar with one or more of the four thousand college and university campuses – tertiary institutions, as the jargon has it – that now operate in the
Rather than suggest a suite of practical reforms that might marginally improve
I unashamedly and unapologetically begin with the conception of a college as a community whose members are individually and collectively committed to the life of the mind. I have in mind men and women who are in love with ideas, who embrace them, caress them, probe them, celebrate them, and admire their beauty. [And yes, I do really intend the erotic overtones and implications of that language.] All my life, I have sought to understand profound and difficult ideas, to clarify them, to enjoy their beauty, and to share that beauty with others. My enjoyment of ideas is as much aesthetic as intellectual or ideological. A personal story will perhaps help to explain what I mean.
In 1985, when my long marriage to Cynthia Griffin was coming to an end, I spent time in therapy with a wise psychiatrist, Dr. Lenore Boling, whose offices were in the famous
Quite simply, my vision of the ideal college is a community of students and scholars who are capable of experiencing the beauty, the power, and the joy of great ideas. What might such a community look like, in today’s world?