The Nov. 3 Point of View “A troubling for-profit past” was indeed troubling. The authors’ lament that the hiring of Margaret Spellings is an abandonment of the liberal arts educational ideal leads to a dead-end political argument.
The uniformly Republican UNC Board of Governors will simply respond, “What’s the practical use of reading the poems of Wordsworth?” This question has an unassailable internal logic to Republicans. It speaks to their authoritarian belief that the purpose of education is to train human widgets to be cogs in the great machine of capitalism.
The authors, however, do convincingly outline Spellings’ moral disqualification for the position of UNC president. To refute their argument, we must delve deep into the Republican psyche.
Republicans abhor the federal government. But the financial elite of the party have a strong admiration for anyone able to make a buck off the feds. And, by preying (via her roles with the University of Phoenix and Ceannate) on the gullible (especially military veterans), Spellings has made a nice chunk of change.
Thanks to the feds’ guarantee of defaulted student loans, Spellings is a poster child for corporate welfare queens. And the Board of Governors was dutifully impressed!