Jun 8, 2011

An argument for less specialization in academia

From CHE:
I've heard that academe's era of intense specialization is ending, in part because administrators are increasingly keen on boosting their universities' profiles among taxpayers and lawmakers. "There's new interest in those who can make their arguments speak to a wider audience," says Kevin Mattson, a historian at Ohio University who writes for The Nation and Dissent. When he appeared on The Colbert Report in 2009 to talk about Jimmy Carter, he told me, his university publicized the appearance without prodding.
This reminded me of  colleague at UFM in Guatemala who used to say that if you teach in Guatemala you have to know every subject. As an economist one has to teach from economic history, to econometrics, and political economy. He did not think this was a bad thing, and neither do I. 

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