Speech Office Runaround

The College still hasn’t done anything about making the Office of Speech into a genuine academic department or program. It seems the alma mater of Daniel Webster doesn’t really prize the noble study of oratory that much.

The emphasis today is on developing departments like Middle Eastern studies, which were ignored three years ago but are now receiving much more attention and student interest, [Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities Lenore]Grenoble explained.

Hmmm. At a liberal arts institution, should what’s hot be on the curriculum, and what’s not… well, not? A liberal arts education is not must-see TV: it’s education in those ageless ideas that have given definition to man’s intellectual activity and brought him furthest down the road toward fulfilling his potential. If speech was good enough for Demosthenes, it’ll do quite nicely for a Dartmouth undergrad, thank you very much.

Oddly enough, students would be delighted to take more speech classes — even minor in the subject, if a minor were created.

PS — The director of the Office of Speech is Professor Jim A. Kuypers, whose book — Press Bias and Politics: How the Media Frame Controversial Issues — is available from Amazon. Buy it!