The Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence, Difficult Dialogues Initiative and Seawolf Debate Program hosted a public debate, faculty forum and discussion: “UAA should prioritize workforce development over a liberal arts education.”
The media contains numerous reports of U.S. jobs going unfilled, or being outsourced to distant lands, because too few American workers have the requisite skills to perform them well. In Alaska, with the fiscal crisis expected to last into the foreseeable future, and with student debt rising, the pressure on students to have highly marketable skills is on the increase. More than two dozen universities in Japan are reducing or eliminating academic programs in the humanities and social sciences, following a dictum from Tokyo to focus on disciplines that “better meet society’s needs.” But don’t we need citizens capable of navigating their way through the complex social and political challenges we face, using skills and perspectives provided by a well-rounded liberal arts education? Listen to the debate recorded on November 14, 2015.
Source: University of Alaska Anchorage Podcasts