W. Robert Connor: Outside the box

November 12, 2012 

Outside the box

It was unfortunate that the headline “At UNC: Jobs vs. knowledge” to your thoughtful Nov. 11 report reinforced a widespread and misleading antithesis between a solid undergraduate education and success in the job market. The reason some of us are so committed to liberal education is not because we want students to wander through obscure and irrelevant fields of study in a meaningless quest for “breadth” but because from first-hand experience we know the immense, life-long benefits of rigorous study of the liberal arts and sciences.

Among other benefits such study strengthens clarity of written and oral expression, critical and analytic reasoning, and the creativity to think outside the box – survival skills in a tough and ever-changing economy.

W. Robert Connor


The writer has served as director of the National Humanities Center, Professor of Classics at Princeton University and president of the Teagle Foundation in New York.

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