#united states secretary of education
Address by William J. Bennett, United States Secretary of Education. (Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts).
Bennett, William J.
The extent to which U.S. colleges and universities contribute to the fulfillment of students’ lives is discussed by Secretary of Education William Bennett in an address to Harvard University. Secretary Bennett’s observations are based on his experiences as a law student, freshman proctor, and tutor at Harvard University, as well as his subsequent experiences at other colleges and universities, including teaching at six institutions. He believes that there is a gap between the rhetoric and reality of American higher education. While noting the vast facilities and resources at Harvard and other institutions, Secretary Bennett emphasizes the importance of a good general education, including the benefits of a real core curriculum (i.e. a set of fundamental courses, ordered, purposive, and coherent). He argues that too often colleges and universities, especially the most prestitious institutions, fail in the discharge of their educational responsibilities. Of interest is a survey of undergraduates that found two-fifths of respondents did not feel any professor took “special personal interest” in their academic progress, and many desired better guidance. Secretary Bennett also discusses the financial condition of higher education and the idea of the university as a place for free exchange of ideas. (SW)