The Power Line Show, Ep. 83: The University We Need

Prof. Warren Treadgold

This week’s edition of the Power Line Show is a couple days late getting posted up because I’m traveling a lot and behind on everything. As previously mentioned, over the weekend I traveled back to Grove City College in Pennsylvania—where I met some loyal Power Line readers!—to participate in a conference of the National Association of Scholars. (Do join NAS, by the way, even if you aren’t an academic. Their journal, Academic Questions, is really good and actually readable!)

While there I was able to spend a few minutes talking with Warren Treadgold, who is a professor of Byzantine Studies at St. Louis University, and author of a terrific new book just out from our friends at Encounter Books, The University We Need: Reforming American Higher Education. The book is really fresh and original, and not just a variation of the too familiar critiques of political correctness and administrative bloat and incompetence. The book concludes with a radical suggestion: the time has come for some serious people to found a new elite university (we haven’t had a new premier university founded since Stanford back in the 1890s) that will operate on a different governance model than universities today, and hence offer competition to the existing rotting ivy walls. We also spend a few minutes talking about his fascinating but often overlooked field, Byzantine Studies. He really comes alive in the last few minutes of our brief chat, as you’ll hear. I learned about Procopius’s Secret History for the first time, and now it’s on my reading to-do list.

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