Multiculturalism and the Demise of the Liberal Arts at Maryland’s Public Universities and Colleges, Except Morgan State

About the Authors
Robert Lerner, Ph.D.
Robert Lerner received his B.A. in sociology and economics from Oberlin College and his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. He is the co-author of three books, Giving for Social Change (Praeger, 1994), Molding the Good Citizen (Praeger, 1995) and American Elites (Yale, 1996). He has also written numerous articles, both academic and popular, for such publications as Public Opinion Quarterly, Society, the Wall Street Journal and Commentary. He has taught at a number of colleges and universities, including Towson University, Syracuse University, Smith College and the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Lerner is currently a partner in Lerner and Nagai Quantitative Consulting, a social science research consulting firm located in Rockville, Maryland.

Althea K. Nagai, Ph.D.
Althea K. Nagai received her B.A. in political science and psychology from the University of Hawaii and her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago. A Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Nagai has with Bob Lerner co-authored three books, Giving for Social Change, Molding the Good Citizen and American Elites (see above). She is a partner in Lerner and Nagai Quantitative Consulting, the social science research firm described above.

Executive Summary
A number of years ago, I was teaching a political science course at Towson University. About half way through the semester, one of my less stellar students – a junior whom we’ll call John – came to my office for a chat. What could he do, he wanted to know, to get his grades up (short of doing any work, you understand). I suggested going to the library once in a while. John was clearly taken aback by this. Further prodding revealed that he had never been before. I don’t mean that he hadn’t been to the library to read for my course. No, I mean he’d never been to the library at all. Not ever. He couldn’t even tell me what color the interior walls were painted. What left me truly aghast wasn’t that John was no bibliolator – but, rather, that here he was, a junior, who had been allowed to get away with it.

As Bob Lerner and Althea Nagai point out in this outstanding new study of six Maryland public institutions, John is not alone. Maryland public universities’ almost complete abandonment of liberal arts requirements – or at least serious liberal arts requirements – has left students free to pick from among a expansive m

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