Tag Archives: Alex T. Williams

Welding or history: What will MnSCU teach?

Welding vs. writing, machine shop vs. history — the battle for the souls of community colleges and state universities is on. The Star Tribune recently published a column by Fred Zimmerman, professor emeritus of engineering and management at the University of St. Thomas, who advocates an end to liberal education. Zimmerman urges legislators to:

“Work with the thoughtful MnSCU educators to improve relevance by shifting educational resources away from delusional and non-substantive, less-important general programs with questionable placement records toward the more sought-after technical programs such as welding, machinery and manufacturing, which are highly regarded by industry.”

Yep, that’s what I always thought college was about: welding and machinery and manufacturing. (Note that Zimmerman is not advocating that the University of St. Thomas or the University of Minnesota — both of which enroll students with substantially higher average incomes — abandon liberal education.) Continue reading

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