By Lisa Speckhard Pasque
There’s been plenty of backlash, some on a national scale, to the idea that the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point would cut 13 liberal arts majors like English and history in favor of technical studies and in-demand fields.
Critics say a narrow focus on job preparation deprives students of holistic education.
“There’s a certain part of society that views higher education as job training and ignores the larger calling of higher education to provide an educated electorate and citizenry,” said Andy Felt, a UW-Stevens Point math professor and president of a local labor union. “That’s very narrow-minded, and it’s going to hurt the United States in the long-run.”
A statement signed by members of 20 scholarly associations pointed out that college graduates are likely to change their careers several times, and “by focusing on preparation only for narrowly defined jobs, Stevens Point administrators risk leaving students with considerably poorer preparation for the full range of careers."
On the Sunday political talk show "UpFront with Mike Gousha," Bernie Patterson, UW-Stevens Point chancellor, agreed that "many of the jobs that our students will be filling in their careers do not even exist today."
Also see: Full interview from "UpFront with Mike Gousha"