In conjunction with the publication of Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters, I've been having conversations with groups around the country on the future of higher education.
The assault on education has been brutal in many parts of the world -- especially education for girls and women. In our own country, the effort to deny a broad, contextual education to large segments of the population is a symptom of growing economic inequality -- not a viable response to it. People are afraid of education when they want to defend the status quo, or so I argued in this brief talk at the Social Good Summit in New York.
Later in the fall semester, Ruth Simmons and I had a public conversation at the Chicago Humanities Festival. Dr. Simmons is the former president of Smith College and Brown University, and she offers a stirring defense of the value of a college education. This video is almost an hour.
Education can be your cause when you believe in empowerment through learning. Education can be your cause when you believe that inquiry and communication can lead to positive change in the world.
Let's make education, a broad and pragmatic liberal education, our cause in 2015.
Michael S. Roth is president of Wesleyan University. His most recent books are "Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters" and "Memory, Trauma, and History: Essays on Living With the Past."