Dr. William Fahey, President of the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts will be addressing Catholic businessmen and women, educators, clerics, and community leaders in and around the Boston area on Wednesday, June 26th, at the Leadership Forum in Boston.

Dr. Fahey’s talk entitled, “What Does Anyone Teach Anymore?” The Decline and Renewal of the Academy”, is coming across to many as a kind of manifesto in the higher education community.  “That many of our elite schools have become the repositories for all the “isms” of the last fifty years, should be of no surprise to anyone.  The sad truth however, is that many alumni and parents are not aware of the intellectual condition of the colleges they attended.  The glamour of fancy dining halls, big dormitories, huge sports teams and a host of other considerations that have nothing to do with the content of a student’s education, often become the deciding factors of where a young person spends four of the most formative years of his or her life.”
As someone who has worked in education for over twenty five years and witnessed much of this decline, Dr. Fahey is well acquainted with the current crisis in education. 
“When the National Association of Scholars published ‘What Does Bowdoin Teach’ in April of this year it was an earthquake for many. It portrays an educationally elite college such as Bowdoin as a place that is no longer concerned with teaching the great truths and values of Western Civilization. The problem is widespread.  For decades, Colleges that were once schools in virtue and the core principles of Christian culture have shifted into quick purveyors of privatized curricula where young students make all their own course selections and academic standards are now premised on little more than a mandated familiarity with an assortment of proclaimed anti-social grievances and identity groups.  The search for the truth has been replaced with indoctrination in secular ideology.”
Dr. Fahey’s solution to the problem is a bit unconventional.  “The entire mantra of our culture is to encourage students to be unique, creative, imaginative human beings with no limitations.  But when students go to college they are told to specialize, follow the herd, graduate, and get a job.  I don’t think it is our students that are the problem.  I think education and educators have lost the ability to engender creativity, uniqueness or free thinking among our youth.” 
When asked how Thomas More College “engenders” this in their students, President Fahey’s answer was surprising.  “The source is in the intellectual and moral tradition of Western civilization.  We need to go back to the roots of our way of life.  If we spend all our time only studying what is new, fashionable, or popular, we are limiting ourselves to our own cultural and historical moment.  To put such confidence in our own era, is sheer folly.  Every time a civilization or nation has considered itself the peak or height of progress, there is sharp decline.  Mostly because they abandoned the principles and ideas that brought them there.  Old ideas, ideas and insights that did not originate in our own lifetime, are like fresh breezes through our mind.  They give us a clarity and a contrast to our own historical experience.”