Dinesh D'Souza floats a proposal to humble the Ivy League
Dinesh D'Souza, the Indian-American conservative political commentator, filmmaker, and survivor of the Obama virtual gulag whom President Trump later pardoned, has come up with a novel and seemingly workable solution to the problem of leftist bias in our nation's colleges and universities. He proposes a national online university utilizing a hundred or so of the country's finest educators. He states that this "Harvard-level education" could be had for around $5,000 a year while avoiding the requisite radicalization that occurs on a majority of campuses.
D'Souza's outside-the-box thinking has provided a solution in keeping with the times. Thanks to the often oppressive school shutdowns that our students have been forced to endure, online Zoom-style learning is familiar to all. At the university where I teach, Zoom lectures are followed by "break-out rooms" of smaller groups of students to handle aspects of the curriculum requiring individual input. Each of D'Souza University (DSU, perhaps?)'s hundred educators would be responsible for choosing a subset of teachers to further his subject matter. The emphasis would be on the curriculum, not on the "racist evil" of our country's founders.
How ironic would it be if the tyrannical school closings we have endured due to the politicization of COVID were to provide the spark to end the progressive bias forced upon our college-age youths?
A likely tsunami of students migrating to this online opportunity would provide massive competition to existing colleges and universities. This change might well be as significant as was seen with the advent of digital photography. (Has any of you purchased any film lately?) Certainly, the elitist legacy Ivy League education would still be available to those willing to pay the price, but even those costs would be lowered because of the competition. The incredible burden of college loan debt would be greatly diminished. Many students unable or unwilling to mortgage their futures might now reconsider higher education. Perhaps DSU would also have a technical school division for those students wanting to learn a trade and forgo English Lit.
Obviously, the "college experience" would be altered irrevocably. The football stadiums filled with a hundred thousand fans would dwindle in number. There would be no student unions at which the kids could hang out. But college is supposed to be about preparing for future life and the means to earn a living. The four (or more)-year party experience that has developed over the decades would cease to exist. Likely, there would be alternate gathering places for the DSU students. Perhaps local restaurants, nearly destroyed by the politically mandated shutdowns, would rise in phoenix fashion and provide venues for the students to assemble.
Where there's a will, there's a way. Americans are resilient, and answers will be found as problems and questions arise. D'Souza's idea may not be completely fleshed out, but I sure do like the sketches I've seen.
Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.