Not everyone knows exactly what the term "liberal arts major" means. Many people assume it refers to the creative arts, such as music, theater, film, and dance. Yet English, history, philosophy, foreign languages, anthropology, and political science are all considered liberal arts as well. These areas of study are all important to the educational fabric of our country. But, as the Washington Post reported on Wednesday, the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point is considering eliminating all liberal arts majors.
The Washington Post said:
The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point has proposed dropping 13 majors in the humanities and social sciences — including English, philosophy, history, sociology and Spanish — while adding programs with 'clear career pathways' as a way to address declining enrollment and a multimillion-dollar deficit.
The article continued:
The plan to cut the liberal arts and humanities majors is in line with a failed attempt by Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2015 to secretly change the mission of the respected university system — known as the Wisconsin Idea and embedded in the state code — by removing words that commanded the university to 'search for truth' and 'improve the human condition' and replacing them with 'meet the state’s workforce needs.'
The push away from liberal arts and toward workplace skills is championed by conservatives who see many four-year colleges and universities as politically correct institutions that graduate too many students without practical job skills — but with liberal political views.
People were not having it:
Right. Let’s just scupper the entire purpose of higher education. Oh well— Tim Tepe (@ohiothrowaway) March 21, 2018
Others explained the benefit of a liberal arts education, because apparently school administrators don't get it:
Yes, let's do away art, literature, linguistics, philosophy, religion, ethics, modern foreign languages, music, theater, speech, history, psychology, law, sociology, politics, gender studies, anthropology, etc., because who needs well-rounded individuals these days? pic.twitter.com/PoxSwqUttj— Janna Kathleen (@Janna_Kathleen) March 21, 2018
Stevens Point, Wildlife and Fisheries majors still ought to know how to read, write, learn from history, and interact with human beings.— The Hoffinator (@hoffmanae1) March 21, 2018
Excellent-more Americans who can’t read, write properly or vote with historical insight.— Jann kempton (@Jann_KSJ) March 21, 2018
Oh dear god NO...liberal arts strengthens our democracy— Dan the Bacon Man (@GawdelpusIsland) March 21, 2018
This person didn't know what would be left:
Some openly mused on what kinds of students the school would churn out:
We def need more business majors in America. I'm hoping we can monetize air before I'm dead.— oweniverson (@oweniverson) March 21, 2018
Many zeroed in on likely ulterior motives:
...and now we know why the University of Wisconsin at Stevens is trying to drop liberal arts, like English, from its catalog -so Donald’s writing will be considered Shakespearean.— Cheyenne (@rangesafety) March 21, 2018
And Baird here hit the nail on the head...
The shift away from the liberal arts is a national issue. The role of schools and universities is to educate citizens, not mass produce workers. We must resist attempts by the right to reshape our education system to fit the demands of the elite. https://t.co/tJyLVo423o— Baird Welch-Collins for State Representative (@Baird_WC) March 21, 2018