Sunday, February 18, 2018


Former Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks is apparently writing a book about about the history of universities. This endeavor may be a continuation of a project that was underway when he was chancellor and delivered what amounted to a lecture on undergraduate education to the regents.*

In an interview today in the LA Times, he is quoted as follows:

While the American university has become the world standard for excellence in teaching and research, it has also been under growing attack. It’s the whole set of headlines from the cost disease, the irresponsibility of administrators, the runaway nature of college sports, the prohibitions on free speech, the coddling of students, the incidents of sexual harassment. … It’s a call to arms for people to step up and … call out the fact that this kind of generalized attack has really been chipping away at any kind of previous consensus that public universities really do provide a significant public good. … A lot of it is a function of our polarized political situation. But I also think it’s because there's a sense that universities like Berkeley are public in name only and they're not really open to the public.

Full interview at
*Lecture at the link below:

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