Aditya just broke this story just a few hours ago and I thought I would give some thoughts on Oxtoby's speech, which you can find here.
Rarely are we given such a Rosetta stone to decode President Oxtoby’s beliefs as his speech before
(We are currently checking on whether or not Gann gave a speech and if so, what that speech discusses. Any help would be great.)
- Oxtoby says that he is committed to “building a stronger relationship with Asian and with
, as well as our commitment to work together to achieve that.” Singapore
And yet, Oxtoby admits illegal immigrants and gives them financial aid at
- Oxtoby’s speech is entitled “Liberal Arts and Citizenship” explains the origin of the term “liberal arts,” which he says comes from the Latin “‘artes liberales,’ which can be literally translated as the ‘skills of freedom.’” He then says that “a liberal arts education at its deepest aims to teach students the skills they need to function effectively in a democracy.”
For all his rhetoric on the importance of culture, did Oxtoby fail to note that
Freedom of speech is significantly curtailed under the guise of protecting minorities. (Hey, that sounds kind of like Pomona!) Drug offenders face hard punishments. In fact, as of 2005,
According to the State Department, firearm owners ought to especially careful.
And just like at Pomona College, there is no real right to a jury for judges (read: administrators) make all sentencing decisions.
- Next Oxtoby discussed Max Weber's views on education, which he says are pretty much his own.
By quoting Weber, Oxtoby shows his ignorance of Austrian School of Economics, which directly challenged Weber's contentions and ignores Schumpeter's analysis of economic liberty.
Indeed, Weber's justification of a social hierarchy that becomes the government directly challenges the very ideas of education and citizenship to which Oxtoby's speech pays homage!
(I'm sure other blog readers have more thoughts on this history, but I thought I would just start the conversation.)
- Oxtoby also says that the "old model of broad education through high school and narrow training in a single field in our colleges and universities is not adequate for the modern world."
Oxtoby never addresses this underlying question. That he does not shows he is ignorant of the situation many Singaporean families face when considering sending their children to the United States.
- Oxtoby also says after a long paragraph extolling the virtues of teaching religion and culture that "if we are to engage the big questions of the world, we need an education that is as big as those questions, one that will challenge our young people to probe and to learn from one another."
Oxtoby doesn't say. Too bad.