Subversion is at the heart of the academy.
“A university,” wrote Robert Maynard Hutchins, “must stand for something, and that must be something other than what a vocal minority, or majority, demand at the moment.”
As president of the University of Chicago, Hutchins was pretty sure of what his university should not stand for. A prime example was big-time intercollegiate sports. In axeing them, he remarked that they had nothing to do with education – adding mischievously that had he not acted, the Humane Society would have had to be called in to carry out the task, given the record of lopsided losses incurred by Chicago’s intellectual football players.
Originally published: April 26, 2018
Author: Hanna Holborn Gray
Position: President Emerita
Institution: University of Chicago
Published by: Times Higher Education