Core curriculum will create automatons


In regards to the Oct. 26 article referring to future core curriculum: just who the hell does Paul Sypherd think he is?

In the very first paragraph of the article, Sypherd makes it very clear that he has no concern for faculty viewpoints concerning education at the UA. This is coming from a man who is lucky if has spent an hour in a classroom in the last 20 years, whether as an instructor or an observer.

It is painfully obvious that the biggest concern that Sypherd has is to educate undergraduates as cheaply as possible, regardless of the quality of education. He is under the pubescent illusion that three to six weeks of study in a topic is enough to give the average person a level of competence equal to that of, say Aristotle.

Later in the article, Dean Holly Martin Smith mentions that "We want the class to teach students to be informed consumers of social science research. We also want students to realize the social structures that influence our lives." Does this collection of fools honestly believe this can be done in a semester, let alone three to six weeks? If this were true, people who have been in the social sciences field would have solved the social afflictions of the United States a century ago.

Paul Sypherd's classroom experience in education is limited and also severely outdated. His idea of a decent student is a Xerox copy of 4,000-7,000 incoming freshmen being taught the exact same thing, without capitalizing on their individual talents and interests. They will be spoon-fed the same information (most likely via videotape because it is more cost-effective). The result: a large group of automatons who are unable to generate an original, inspired or creative thought between themselves.

On top of all of this, there is another question. If there is such a shortage of funding for departments and undergraduate education at this university, where did the millions of dollars for a new campus and administrational pay raises come from? Mr. Sypherd, you and the rest of the administration need to quit your perpetual lying. Drop your personal egos and get about the business of doing your jobs; that is, fix the UA before you screw something else up.

Thomas E. Tolley

Classics Senior

Barely Surviving

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