As President John Thrasher alienates Florida State University from segments of the broader Tallahassee, Florida community, a lesson from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, is worth considering.
In my elder, more invulnerable years, when the Untied States had finally established a formal E. Unibus Pluram, I was appointed by lot to assume the position of SAT (Self-Actualizing Therapist) at Saint Thinkery University for Unlimited Personalized Execution.
Perhaps we ought to hope that things won’t quite go back to what’s normal: rootless young folk siphoned away by elite universities and groomed to lead the managerial bureaucracies and mass popular culture that dominate our national life. The students who remain in their hometowns have the potential to restore declining local institutions and community associations.
The university’s best, most utopian aims must not beget dystopian early-alert policies that infringe on students’ personal liberties while turning campus into a place where everyone is an informant, and deviations from the norm beget Orwellian intervention.