Williams education not mere ‘product’

Though I am impressed with much of what I have heard about our new president I take issue with one of his concepts about the role of Williams and liberal arts education. As quoted in the Record, Dr. Schapiro said Williams must market itself better and “ensure that we are providing the best product.”

Breakfast cereals and dishwashing powders should be marketed. Liberal arts educations should be extolled in every way possible but not submitted to the indignity of standing alongside other consumer products.

I understand Dr. Schapiro is an economist but for all he says of the need of good liberal arts must he think of such education—the process of intellectual growth—as a mere “product” to be hawked on the market? I hope not and strongly believe such economic, market-oriented language degrades the concept of good education.

Morgan Barth ’02

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