More Scenes from the College Apocalypse

Two more colleges have just announced cuts in whole departments that conform to my thesis that the politically correct social sciences and humanities are going to wither and die in favor of STEM subjects and practical subjects like business and economics.

First up is Goucher College in Maryland, a small liberal arts college that was once a women’s college but which went co-ed in the 1980s. (Jonah Goldberg was in the first class of men admitted to the school, FWIW.) It has just announced that it is eliminating several majors, including music, physics, religion, Russian, elementary and special education, studio art, theater, book studies (whatever that is), German, and Judaic studies. But also on the chopping block is math. I’ll argue that math and physics at a small liberal arts college will only thrive if the other social sciences and humanities are also healthy, but that’s a subject for full discussion another day.

Read the whole story at the link above and you’ll see the usual double-talk about aligning curriculum to their “customers,” but make no mistake, this is another institution that can’t actually explain itself in a cogent way, let alone understand what its education mission is other than keeping open and making payroll.

Meanwhile, the University of Akron in Ohio has announced that it is closing up 80 (eighty!) degree programs—almost 20 percent of its current academic programs—and is going to replace them with, among other things, a splashy new program in esports. That’s not a typo:

As the university ends what it deems unpopular degrees, it is leaning into a current trend on college campuses: competitive video gaming, known as esports. On Thursday, Akron announced that it would open three facilities to accommodate varsity, club, and recreational gamers. The university said the centers would represent “the largest amount of dedicated esports space of any university in the world to date.”

Five inaugural varsity teams will compete this fall in the video games Overwatch, League of Legends, Hearthstone, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Rocket League. The games explore themes of fantasy and horror; thwarting insidious terrorist plots; and soccer with rocket-powered cars. . .

And Akron is taking esports “seriously,” the university said in a statement on Thursday, by “providing student gamers with esports facilities unlike any other kind in the world.”

Hope for every kid living in their parents’ basements, playing World of Warcraft all night long! Look, I respect the game designers at places like Electronic Arts in Silicon Valley (I know a couple), and can see how this is somewhat of a practical subject, but this is ridiculous for an a place that wants to be taken seriously as a university.

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