Baylor University president Ken Starr, who is best known for leading the investigation that resulted in the impeachment of former president Bill Clinton for perjury, recently stated that American universities need to reinstitute stronger academics and morality.
In a speech sponsored by the John W. Pope Institute for Higher Education Policy titled “American Higher Education: Working Hard … or Hardly Working?” Starr said the system of higher education is in need of major reforms.
According to The College Fix, Starr led off his remarks with a quote from the Northwest Ordinance, which was signed by George Washington in 1789: “Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
Starr offered three steps, which colleges can take to improve education.
First, he said that colleges and universities must commit themselves to a rigorous curriculum.
“Students have decreased their study time…from 40 hours per week when I went to school to 23 hours per week,” Starr said.“That says one of two things: those students are either not studying, or more so about what they are studying. The things they are studying might not be essential.”
“I know that [a] public university cannot require the religion classes,” he added, “but with our Baptist background, Baylor has found these to be essential.”
Second, Starr posited that educational standards should be enacted with the goal of imparting wisdom.
“What makes us human?” he asked. “You, like at Baylor, could take this for a theological perspective, or from a different one at a public university. There needs to be an aim for the wise life.”
Third, Starr stated colleges and universities “must promote freedom and secure the blessing of liberty.”
Starr said that universities must be “a marketplace of ideas” so that “students and the community can flourish to their full potential.”
Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.