I'm very interested in higher education both from an economic perspective and more generally as an institution which exerts a powerful effect upon American society. I've been reading a lot lately about the shift away from liberal arts, tenure track faculty, in general away from the structure of academia for most of the 20th century. An example paper: http://www.thenation.com/article/160410/faulty-towers-crisis-higher-education?page=0,3 A lot of these screeds carry a similar warning: as universities are viewed more and more as career training rather than centers of humanist education their core mission of creating an educated citizenry is being subsumed, and that this is bad for society. I'm of two minds about this. On the one hand I do think there is some value to a classical humanist education in arts and letters. I think it makes people more thoughtful and open to the world around them and informs political, moral, and ethical decision making. As such the squeeze being put on humanities departments worsens us as a society. On the other hand college is very, very expensive, even as it becomes almost a requirement for a middle class life. Unemployment is a lot lower among engineering grads than humanities grads, and engineering grads arguably make greater contributions to the economy and nation than English majors. Much of the cost of universities goes into sponsoring departments that do basic research that very few people read or care about; philosophy departments dick around with word puzzles, English departments study queer theory in Shakespeare, in general academic humanities have become very disconnected from any semblance of relevance to the vast majority of people. The university tradition venerates classical education but when universities were founded there wasn't much else to study but classics (e.g. no computer science in the 16th century), and as only the already-rich aristocracy went to university you could afford to ignore career training. That is no longer the case, and universities need to adapt to changing economic and social conditions like everyone else. What say you F54? Are universities in danger of losing what is most valuable about them as humanities departments shrink and disappear, or is that just an outward sign of an institution shedding the irrelevant trappings of its past as it grows into its future?