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A Public Service Message from the American Income Life Insurance Co. Waco. Texas Bernard Rapoport, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Remarks By Larry Temple “The Texas Mandate for Higher Education” Part II The Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Lecture The Lyndon B. Johnson Library November 18, 1986 The head of one of the largest teachers’ organizations in this country told the Select Committee that only 30 percent of those entering teacher education programs in this country ever intend to teach. The rest have picked the education major as the easy route to a college degree. That is a terrible indictment of our colleges of education. These colleges must be reformed. I believe the best approach is the one suggested by the recent Carnegie Commission: limit colleges of education to master’s level work and require all undergraduates to get their degrees in specific subject areas: English, science, and so forth. That will assure the broader education necessary for those who transmit knowledge to the next generation. While we are at the business of looking at over-specialized fields, there are others that merit close examination. One is the field of journalism. Although it has not been studied as closely as education, I have been told both by educators and journalism graduates that too many technical journalism courses are required for graduation. Reporters become editorial writers and editors. Newscasters become commentators. How can we expect them to analyze and explain the news without a broad general education? And I fear that our colleges of business have a tendency to become trade schools. In many cases licensing and accrediting agencies such as in the case of accounting dictate the curriculum. That is wrong. I just don’t believe our business graduates are as liberally educated as they need to be. Perhaps we need to consider requiring double undergraduate degrees for anyone majoring in an undergraduate professional field. This would not be in any way a move to diminish professional or teacher education. It would just require a degree in a discipline as an academic building block upon which professional skills would be added. What I have been saying illustrates two major points related to this fact. First, our universities will be absolutely essential to our society as the repository for those who extend and maintain the knowledge base necessary for a progressing and a humane society and world community. That means research, scholarly work, and advanced education in the sciences, the arts, the letters, the social sciences, and the professions. Second, the colleges and universities must serve as our social repository for the knowledge and the teaching needed for self-fulfillment. Regardless of the type of work individu als will do regardless how repetitive, routine, or technical it may be they still will have an irrepressible need for meaning and significance in their lives. Otherwise the alienating characteristics of our system of production and consumption will become inescapable. We simply cannot permit a large segment of our people to become drones, working only for their small share of the honey in the beehive. Nor can we permit those who become the scientists and the technologists to master only narrow fields of specialization. Texas is just a microcosm of the nation as a whole. And what I have said about all components of higher education science, the social sciences, the arts and humanities, research and scholarship and broad, general education are guidelines for what I believe we must all pursue. Despite our inestimable state pride, we are really just a “for instance” for our country as a whole. The history we all spring from is a common world history, and Texas, singular as it may seem to us, is not all that unique. For all Americans share not only a common history but also a common future that we must pursue together. When I said at the outset that I would identify some basic flaws in higher education, our academic shortcomings were not all I had in mind. Let’s examine our much-discussed “edifice complex.” One of the problems we face at the Coordinating Board and the Select Committee in defending the needs of higher education to the Legislature is the continuing pressure of our universities to construct more buildings at enormous costs to the state. That’s occurring at the very time they have suffered severe cuts in operating funds. Much of this is due to competition among the universities. We also still have a strong sense of regionalism among our institutions. And they do have dedicated funds set aside for buildings, equipment and library acquisitions. This continuing pressure for more bricks and mortar has got to stop. We need more collaboration and less competition. The business of higher education is not walls and malls and efforts to create campus monuments. As I said earlier, it is a people business. It is about teaching and learning. We need to find ways to make our university buildings serve more users. We need to build fewer specialized facilities for each college or school or department within our universities. The days of every separate faculty Continued on page 16 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15