Thursday, April 21, 2022

Preregistration is the Enemy of Liberal Education, and Other Crimson Op-Eds

The Harvard Crimson yesterday published my op-ed on preregistration (AKA the end of "shopping period"), a matter expected to be voted by the Faculty on May 3. (On this matter, see also the excellent letters in Harvard Magazine by Howard Georgi and an impressive list of alumni, not that I expect such sentiments to have much traction with the faculty or the current administration.) I have long been puzzled that the humanities faculty seem favorably disposed toward preregistration, which will mark the end of any hope they have of attracting new students into their fields. As the College becomes more consumer-oriented and the socioeconomic profile of the student body shifts, however gradually, toward the inclusion of more disadvantaged students, it will become more, not less, important for the humanities to make their case to the incoming 18-year-olds about their fields, because, given the state of secondary education in America, those students will not arrive at Harvard thinking the humanities are anything but an exotic luxury for the well-to-do.

Here is the op-ed.

Preregistration is the Enemy of Liberal Education (April 20, 2022)

Now while I was at it, I thought I would pull together everything I have written for the Crimson over the years. I think this is the full list but I may be missing something; do let me know if you spot an omission. In some cases the Crimson itself doesn't have an active version, and I have resorted either to the Internet Archive or to my own records.

Athletes Can Change Their Minds, Too (Letter to the Editor, February 27, 2020)

Lewis Letter to Khurana (about single-gender social organizations; January 31, 2017)

No Values Tests (with Eric Nelson, Margo Seltzer, and Richard Thomas; September 13, 2016)

Mandela and Harvard (December 11, 2013)

Remembering Peter Gomes (May 26, 2011)

Copyright Harvard 2008 (June 4, 2008)

We Shouldn’t Be Afraid of the Truth (Letter to the Editor, September 30, 2008)

Stumbling Blocks (November 8, 2007)

What Happened? (June 7, 2007)

Talking About Elections, Identifiers Must be Qualified (Letter to the Editor, April 20, 2007)

College Sends Grads Off with Exhortation to “Serve Society” (Letter to the Editor, October 27, 2006)

Memorial Hall Transept Should Honor the Dead (Letter to the Editor, October 13, 2006)

Lessons for the Future (June 7, 2006)

Amateurism On and Off the Field (April 21, 2006)

Donors, Not Harvard, Should Give to Relief Efforts (Letter to the Editor, October 24, 2005)

In Memory of Archie Epps (September 12, 2003)

Shopping for an Education (June 5, 2003)

Harvard in a Beer-Ad World (November 4, 2002)

Harvard in America, a Year Later (September 11, 2002)

Things to Think About (September 14, 2001)

The Racial Theory of Grade Inflation (April 23, 2001)

Raise the Council Fee (November 29, 1999)

Romance and Love at Harvard (February 19, 1999)

Tales from the Chad Box (Fifteen Minutes; February 12, 1999)

College’s Actions Justified in Reporting Elster’s Arrest (Letter to the Editor; February 19, 1998)

Clarifying the College’s Policy on Alcohol (Letter to the Editor; October 24, 1997)

Letter to the Editor (alcohol policy; February 21, 1996)

Logical Process for PBHA (with Theda Skocpol; December 6, 1995)

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