Monday, March 27, 2006

The Rise and Fall of the Evangelical University

Over on the First Things blog, Jody Bottum has a post about Baylor University's lack of success in recreating itself as a premier Christian school of higher ed.

Today, the plan is in tatters, and Baylor has apparently decided to sink back into its diminished role as a not terribly distinguished regional school. President Sloan is gone, the new high-profile faculty are demoralized and sniffing around for positions at better-known schools, energetic programs like the Intelligent Design institute have been chased away, and the bright young professors are having their academic careers ruined by a school that lured them to campus with the promises of the 2012 plan and now is simply embarrassed by them.

Well, having the creationist Discovery Institute decamp is a feature, not a bug. But I certainly sympathize with the faculty who have suddenly had the rug pulled out from under them. It makes me appreciate my alma mater more, which concentrated on teaching not research, and hired professors not graduate assistants to do so. There were no hood ornaments on the faculty at my old college.

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