The Value of a Degree

I am a graduate of western carolina with a degree in philosophy and I just got through reading your article on the university as a big business. Good job. After hearing about the budget cuts I was worried that philosophyas a major would be sacrificed and after having spoken with my old faculty advisor on the phone a couple of days ago I’m sure that it will be. Pity. I guess western will be re-named western carolina tech in the near future. It will have to be because after all, what is a university without philosophy or other liberal arts programs? It is worth pointing out that theworld’s first university was founded by a philosopher; you may have heard of him his name was plato and the university was plato’s academy. Poor liberal arts, every time a bean counter screws up a budget the true academics have to start looking for employment elsewhere. The sad thing about it all is that the liberal arts people are at a huge disadvantage in defending their existence since the state is arguing numbers while the educators are arguingthings like a well-rounded education or personal growth or appreciation of knowledge. None of these things concern the state of course. The value of a liberal arts degree can and should not be measured in dollars or prestige; the value of a degree in this field is its ability to stay with you throughout your life. One learns to appreciate learning and knowledge for their own sake rather than for the sake of the almighty resume. As Einsteinsaid, “the value of a liberal arts education is that it teaches you to think.” Hmmm, now there’s something I’d like to see the administration do.

sincerely,Blake Johnson