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The Core Curriculum

Chapter 5: “an understanding that was impossible”

Despite its success, there were underlying tensions in the core curriculum. The first cracks in the edifice appeared in the sophomore year of Contemporary Civilization, which had always been the black sheep of the core. As a faculty committee noted, CC-B never was "completely satisfactory to participating departments, students or faculty at large" throughout its long history.1 In 1932, it will be remembered, the staff revised CC-B to take into account dislocations from the Great Depression. From the 1930s, the course achieved a certain unity by focusing on economic security, though it never achieved the popularity of CC-A.

World War II, while it did not cause any fundamental rethinking of the value of general education at the College, did highlight a new set of insistent problems for the course. As the century became more complicated, so did the course that was designed to analyze it. In particular, the role of the United States in world affairs, which had helped prompt the establishment of the course in 1919, gained a new urgency in the 1940s, and CC-B sought to respond. As Professor Justus Buchler noted, the College attempted "to enrich the content of CC-B" by including more American history, and the study of American government and of international affairs.2 While these additions had the positive effect of making the course more interdisciplinary, they also undermined CC-B's already fragile coherence

This problem was exacerbated by a growing gulf between CC-A and CC-B. While the freshman and sophomore years were supposed to be two parts of a coherent whole, it was the differences between the two - in tone, subject matter, and interest - that were most striking. When CC-A began to rely more heavily on original sources and eventually compiled the Source Book, the discontinuity became even more pronounced. The heavy statistics and dry documents that formed the heart of the CC-B readings couldn't stack up against Plato, Machiavelli, and Locke. Nor did they compare favorably with the secondary sources used in CC-A, which were written especially to complement the source readings. Students noticed the difference, and they regularly opined that while CC-A "had been one of their outstanding experiences, CC-B had been one of the dullest."3

In an attempt to reinvigorate the course, the staff began a major round of revisions in 1949. It wasn't until 1951, however, that any real consensus emerged, and then revision focused on two initiatives. The first was to re-emphasize the continuity from CC-A to CC-B. Henceforth, the sophomore course would "analyze contemporary society and . . . take for granted and actually put to use the historical foundation acquired by the student" in CC-A.4 This would make the course much more interdisciplinary, drawing on several social sciences instead of just economics and political science. Here was the beginning of a general emphasis in CC-B on the question of culture, which had become important in the 1950s among sociologists and anthropologists.5

The second thrust of the revision was to use "sources" of twentieth-century civilization - just as CC-A used sources from earlier centuries. These sources would be found in "writers and documents representative of the age." Less enticing "descriptive and informational materials," previously so important, were pushed into the background.6 This quickly led to the decision to create readers for CC-B like those for CC-A. In 1951, selected readings were distributed to students as a mimeograph. In 1955, when the staff had a firmer sense of what should be included, Columbia University Press published the two-volume Man in Contemporary Society.

In these volumes, every effort was made to emulate the readers used in CC-A. Man in Contemporary Society contained carefully chosen and edited selections rather than entire documents. The readings - one as old as 1861, another as recent as 1954 - were selected because they "help to illuminate the contemporary world." Nor was there any particular commitment to well-known or established thinkers, although some authors read - Sigmund Freud, John Dewey, Max Weber, Leon Trotsky, and others - were pivotal thinkers. The staff recognized that "it is not always possible and not always desirable to choose the best known or most obvious expression of a given viewpoint." Instead, the staff identified "suggestiveness and challenge [as] the principal criteria." The focus of the course was still on twentieth-century problems, as had always been the case with CC-B, though these were approached in a different way.7

These changes were under way just as the Columbia bicentennial was approaching, and the spirit of celebration tended to minimize deep concerns within the faculty about the course. In 1954, Justus Buchler, chairman of the Contemporary Civilization program, expressed the view that with these modifications CC-B had overcome its most difficult obstacles. But this was clearly too rosy an assessment. Fundamental criticism of the new plan grew even as it was being implemented. The harsh evaluation by C. Lowell Harriss was representative of criticisms that became more pronounced throughout the decade. "I do not feel that CC-B1 and CC-B2 combined make up the best course reasonably possible," Harriss insisted in an open letter to the CC staff in November 1951. "In fact, I feel that the course is far from the best. It is so scattered in content that the bulk of instruction must be at a level of amateurishness unworthy of a great college."8

The basic objection, that the course was irredeemably superficial, was hardly new. This charge had been around since the 1920s, but it gained a new cogency in the 1950s as the materials and vocabulary of the social sciences became more specialized. As College Dean John Gorham Palfrey noted in 1961, "The fact that the subject matter of the social sciences seemed more familiar to the general student . . . obscured the fact that the words of the social scientist were frequently words of art, the processes of analy-sis intricate, and the underlying techniques highly specialized."9 CC-B couldn't keep up with changes in the social sciences, and in the opinion of many faculty the course "required of students an understanding that was impossible inasmuch as the students lacked the necessary training in any of the disciplines concerned."10 There was a growing consensus that work within a specific discipline was more valuable than the general approach offered in CC-B. As Palfrey continued, "At this stage of specialization the best place to start may be from the inside, working through the study of a single field."11 Clearly CC-B had lost not only the interest of its students but also intellectual validity among its teachers.

OTHER CHANGES in the undergraduate curriculum intensified the pressures on CC-B. In 1954, the College abandoned an undergraduate program based on "maturity credits" in favor of a majors system. Maturity credits, established in 1928, obliged students to do at least some advanced work. The system ranked courses so that students gained maturity credits only for advanced courses; by requiring a certain number of maturity credits, the College ensured that no one who had taken primarily introductory courses would receive a Columbia degree. This method seemed outmoded by the 1950s, however, and the College shifted toward the use of majors, common throughout American colleges. From now on, students would receive a degree not simply from Columbia College, but within a particular academic discipline.

The majors system dovetailed nicely with the heightened interest in specialization in the social sciences, but it made things even harder on CC-B. The heavy load of required core courses took up most of a student's first two years at the College, but departments didn't want to wait until the junior year to get students into their introductory courses. Better to have students take introductory courses as sophomores, it was argued, so that they could do advanced work, including seminars, in their junior and senior years. Students didn't want to wait either, especially if they hoped to use introductory courses as a way of selecting majors. Once again, specialization and the core curriculum were at loggerheads, though the trend toward specialization was stronger than it had been for decades.

BY THE END OF THE 1950s, it became clear that the two-year CC sequence could not continue along the path it had taken since World War II. In 1957, the University undertook a broad review of its curriculum, which was published as The Educational Future of Columbia University. The MacMahon Report, as it was commonly known, included sharp criticisms of CC - especially its problems with staffing. In September 1958, President Grayson Kirk specifically charged another committee, with Professor of Government David B. Truman as chair, to scrutinize both years of CC. The recommendations of the Truman Committee proved crucial to the future of general education at the College. Its final report began on a somber note: "In keeping with the spirit of its instructions, your Committee at the outset considered whether [CC] might, in the interests of the College's wholesome development, be drastically altered."12

The committee recognized that the two-year CC sequence was not a unified course, and it evaluated both years separately, though it recognized that some problems (especially staffing) were present in both years. First, the report reaffirmed the value of CC-A, which it noted had "a long record of success" and "should continue in approximately its present form" because it enjoyed widespread faculty support. Indeed, the committee's only proposed change for CC-A was a reduction in the number of required readings. CC-B fared much worse. Recognizing the course's troubled history, the committee proposed the "suspension" of CC-B for a three-year trial period. Growing specialization in the social sciences was the primary reason for this recommendation, because the committee noted "the growing technicality of these subjects and the concomitant difficulty in translating technical language into ordinary discourse." In the face of these problems, the committee went so far as to proclaim, the intellectual rationale for the course "quivers and collapses."13

THE COLLEGE didn't rush to dismantle Contemporary Civilization, however. The Truman Committee began its work in September 1958, decided to recommend suspending CC-B in 1959, but didn't issue its final report until October 1960.14 Ultimately the faculty accepted the committee's recommendations, voting on 22 January 1961 to change the second-year requirement, though the College didn't publicly announce the decision until the following summer.

In its new plan, it was clear that the faculty had despaired of creating a single course that could provide "some coherent view of the problems of the twentieth century."15 The College didn't abandon CC-B altogether but, rather, demoted it: It became just one option toward satisfying the requirement of a second year's study in Contemporary Civilization.16 Depending on their interests, students could take two distinct semester courses or a single yearlong course. The College approved eleven introductory departmental courses and two interdisciplinary courses as alternatives to the original CC-B course, essentially making the sophomore year of CC into a distribution requirement. The original CC-B course didn't do well against its competition. In 1963-64, only fifty of the six hundred students completing their second year of Contemporary Civilization chose the original CC-B.17

This was one of the most dramatic shifts in the history of the core curriculum. For forty years, the core had been expanding. Now, for the first time, the College seemed to be stepping away from this commitment. The New York Times noted that the "Columbia story will be watched by the academic world" because the College had pioneered general education courses.18 CC had been established to combat a tendency toward specialization, but now specialization had undone half of CC. No longer would sophomores at the College share a common introduction to twentieth-century civilization. "The action came as a regretful admission that contemporary civilization had become too com-plicated and specialized to be taught by the ordinary contemporary teacher," observed the Times.19

Not all observers were happy with this choice. "Subject specialization and knowledge does not necessarily make for the kind of intelligence and sensitivity needed in a world that does not operate along academic divisional lines," protested one New York University professor.20 But at Columbia spirits were much higher, especially among those social science faculty who did not wish to teach outside their disciplines. "If the range was to be narrower," noted Palfrey, "the depth would in compensation be greater."21

The new system itself proved fraught with problems. The new second-year CC courses were supposed to maintain a general emphasis on the problems of twentieth-century civilization, only now through particular academic disciplines. In practical terms, however, such courses were not easy to offer. In February 1963, the history department announced that it was dropping its CC-B offering (Western Civilization in the Twentieth Century) because of "a lack of qualified personnel to teach the course."22 Increasingly, CC-B offerings had less to do with a general appreciation of twentieth-century problems and more to do with departmental imperatives. In 1963, the College's Committee on Instruction decided to continue with the new CC-B requirement, though it admonished departments to relate their second-year CC courses closely to CC-A and not just offer introductory departmental courses under the guise of Contemporary Civilization.23 Clearly a second year of CC in any form had lost appeal among both students and faculty. When the second-year requirement was officially abandoned in 1968, the decision scarcely raised an eyebrow.

REVIEW OF THE College's curriculum, begun with the MacMahon Report in 1957, did not focus exclusively on the Contemporary Civilization courses. Both Humanities A and the Humanities B courses had fared better in the 1950s than CC had, and there was little desire to recast them - even though Humanities B placed substantial burdens on the staff of the art history and music departments. This success, however, posed no obstacle to a systematic review of the place of the humanities in the College. "The fact that the continuation of the two-year required sequence in humanities is accepted," Palfrey remarked in 1961, "does not mean that the College may not want to raise some questions about it and its relationship to the evolving College program."24

Some important voices were doubting the traditional practice of the Humanities sequence. Lionel Trilling publicly questioned the intellectual foundation of the course. In 1962, he argued that secondary works should be included in Humanities A. "To have made the point of excluding all scholarship and criticism from our course was to pretend that our great books existed in circumstances which were quite contrary to the fact," he wrote. Great works shouldn't be read in a vacuum since "good scholarship and good criticism, no less than good teaching, have it as their intention to overcome the reader's passivity in relation to a work," he insisted.25 Others also found problems with the Humanities. In 1963, in a speech to the alumni, Truman (who was now dean) suggested that "methods of training the judgment and understanding of the non-professional are also less than wholly satisfactory," and he called for "responsible innovation."26

Such dissatisfaction demanded a more organized response. A dean's committee to review the Humanities courses, headed by Professor of History Fritz Stern, began meeting in 1962 and continued for a year. Despite its lengthy effort, the Stern Committee had difficulty coming to grips with Humanities A. It wanted students to continue to "read these masterpieces of the past" but found it "difficult to define the philosophical or pedagogic ends of the course." Surprisingly, the traditional justifications for the course - making men or developing sensibility - were "scorned by the committee." Educational currents had changed so dramatically since the 1920s that the humane impulses of Van Amringe seemed quaint, or even misguided.27

The major objection to Humanities A was leveled by the philosopher Ernest Nagel, who accused the course of "intellectual tourism." Too many texts were read too quickly with too little background knowledge and critical understanding. Like Trilling's earlier complaints, this was essentially a charge of superficiality, though few expressed it this way. This charge wouldn't have flustered Erskine or Van Doren, but as academic specialization reasserted itself, only narrow academic considerations could be used to justify the Humanities courses. A survey of students by the Stern Committee revealed only mild interest in reading background essays and criticism in Humanities A.28

The cool reception that the report of the Stern Committee received at the College indicated that neither faculty nor students were so pessimistic about the Humanities. Professor Andrew Chiappe spoke for many in rejecting both the "curious antipathy toward 'sensibility' shown by the committee" and all calls for use of an "intervening authority" (secondary readings) between students and texts. Criticism began with affective responses to a work, Chiappe insisted, and proposing the use of critical essays ignored the obvious problem that the critics themselves needed interpretation.29 In any event, the impact of the Stern Committee was limited at best. In no hurry to undermine the fundamental assumptions of Humanities A, in 1966 the College's Committee on Instruction authorized three "experimental" sections that would include a small number of critical essays to supplement classic texts.30 But this experiment proved short-lived and had little effect in the long run.

The work of these committees demonstrates again the College's unwavering commitment to reconsider and revise its core courses; they commanded loyalty but not blind allegiance. In 1965, Truman asked the sociologist Daniel Bell to form a "committee of one" to reappraise general education at the College. More analytical than historical, Bell's final report, published as The Reforming of General Education: The Columbia College Experience in its National Setting (1966), remains the best single introduction to the problems of general education, not just at Columbia but throughout the United States. Bell echoed many of the conclusions of earlier Columbia committees; he, too, desired greater historical and critical context for both CC and the Humanities. Nevertheless, his support for the ideal of general education remained firm. Indeed, Bell proposed a "third tier" of interdisciplinary general education to allow greater consideration of twentieth-century issues and texts without sacrificing earlier periods.

IN FOCUSING ON ISSUES of general education and specialization, of primary texts and secondary sources, of students and teachers, Columbia's committees (including Bell's committee of one) thought they were taking aim at the greatest challenges facing core courses. Given the long history of CC and Humanities, this belief was understandable - but wrong. Instead, it's clear that the greatest challenge was the decade itself, which brought disruptions both unprecedented and unexpected to Columbia. In retrospect, it's somewhat surprising that the College's core courses survived at all; certainly they didn't survive unscathed.

The 1960s. Images of civil rights marches, women's liberation, hippies, and the Vietnam War immediately spring to mind. Without doubt, the decade proved to be one of the most troubled, and perhaps fertile, in the twentieth century. What is interesting about the 1960s, however, is that the decade arouses such strong passions. Decades, like people, are often judged on how they end, not how they begin, and by almost any account the 1960s ended badly - especially at Columbia. The passions of the 1960s, especially the divisive conflict over the war in Vietnam, shaped and even scarred a generation of students. Nowhere was this conflict more pronounced than on college campuses, and few colleges, if any, reacted more strongly than Columbia. In such an atmosphere, curricular questions surrounding CC and the Humanities seemed to fade into irrelevance.

No one really saw it coming. Ironically, academic concerns here may have obscured deep social problems, even in CC and Humanities, which were designed to analyze contemporary society and the human condition. In the same 1963 speech in which he called for "responsible innovation" in core courses, Truman also called on alumni to give generously for a campaign to pay for a new gymnasium in Morningside Park.31 If he had only known how divisive this new gymnasium would prove.

Columbia undergraduates had plenty of new things to worry about. Long before 1968, there were plenty of signs that most students' attention had shifted away from narrow edu-cational questions. At the end of February 1966, Truman arranged for faculty "smokers" to discuss the recommendations of the Bell report; the Spectator devoted most of its front page to the report, as well as publishing a special supplement containing excerpts.32 But students weren't interested. Most letters to the editor of the Spectator during that week concerned a suggestion by Professor Seymour Melman that the College award all its students straight As, thus assuring their exemption from the military draft.33

The Columbia uprising began in the spring of 1968 with protests against the new gymnasium in Morningside Park. In quick succession a variety of complaints led to demonstrations on campus and student occupation of buildings and offices (including the president's office). Finally, the University called in the police to break up the uprising. This is not the place to review these events and their aftermath.34 One consequence of that time, however, was the shattering of the fragile consensus on campus about the methods and goals of a college education.

The relationship between student unrest in the 1960s and changes in the College program is crucial but unclear. Looking back on the events of 1968, a University commission noted that students' dissatisfaction with the curriculum "undoubtedly helped to make them sufficiently restless for other motives to stir them into joining the uprising."35 Why should a student defend a university that forced upon him a curriculum that was irrelevant to his actual life? The commission noted that students increasingly "looked to the university to help them discover what life was about" but were not satisfied with the answers they received.36 Moreover, in this charged atmosphere, there was widespread student discontent with the whole idea of academic requirements, let alone a curriculum built around them.

Both CC and Humanities came under attack during this time, though not to the same degree. Because Humanities A emphasized classic works and the development of sensibility, the course could escape some political criticism. But faculty, too, felt dissatisfaction with academic requirements, and internal dissension threatened the common reading list, the very heart of the course. Until the late 1960s, the syllabus prescribed the reading for every class during the year; there were no optional readings in Humanities A. By 1969-70, optional readings, selected by the instructor, could occupy nearly one-half of the spring semester. In this rapid retreat, many wondered if Humanities A was still offering its students a common intellectual experience.

But the most severe attacks were leveled at CC, for its political emphasis made it especially vulnerable. During World War I, Columbia's patriotic commitment to the education of soldiers spurred the creation of CC. During World War II, uni-formed soldiers studied, slept, and ate on campus, without generating any hostility or even intellectual discomfort. The Korean War hardly generated any intellectual interest at all at the College. But the Vietnam War undermined patriotic feelings instead of creating them, and many saw the civic emphasis of CC as supporting a system that had become an enemy of progress and justice. There could be no educational consensus behind CC because there was no political consensus on campus. Nor did students have the same need for political education. CC had begun as a way to counter academic specialization, to produce citizen-gentlemen instead of just doctors, lawyers and professors. But in the 1960s, students were becoming politicized at levels not seen before, and the world at large was providing a political education that seemed to outstrip anything the College's core courses had to offer.

CONTEMPORARY CIVILIZATION (called CC once again, now that CC-B was gone) recast itself again in the midst of the Columbia crisis. During a long weekend in April 1968, the staff drew up a new syllabus in meetings at Arden House in Harriman, New York. It adopted a new format, abandoning the source books, which had been in use for more than twenty-five years, in favor of entire texts, to be supplemented by handouts. This decision greatly reduced the number of authors read in CC while increasing the depth of coverage. The staff believed that reading an entire text would allow a student to approach the whole statement of a thinker, without editorial intrusions. With the Redbooks, students had begun the fall semester with twenty-five pages of Plato and thirty pages of Aristotle; now students started with Aristotle's Politics and moved on through the Renaissance. In keeping with the spirit of the times, the spring semester shifted to the study of revolution, especially the French and Russian revolutions.37

Like other revisions of CC, these alterations solved some problems and created others. For many, the reading of greater portions of fewer texts gave CC an intellectual rigor that had been sorely lacking with the Redbooks. This change had been recommended repeatedly over the years and forcefully since the Truman Committee in 1960.38 And the new availability of paperbacks in the late 1960s made it much more feasible than just a decade earlier. Still, the Arden House revisions seemed to set CC along the path that had guided Humanities A - an emphasis on texts. For the first time, CC seemed to be becoming a great books course. But using great books, or even good books, in a course designed to discuss problems and issues raised new difficulties. For some, the texts used in CC were irremediably dull; political and ideological treatises couldn't match the humane works read in Humanities A. One professor sighed that CC had degenerated into a great books course without the great books.39 More troubling, perhaps, was the persistent question of relevance. Students, obsessed with the military draft and the bombing of Cambodia, hadn't stopped doubting the value of Aristotle, St. Thomas, and Kant. The course still seemed behind the times.

For a time, it seemed unlikely that the core curriculum would have a chance to deal with these concerns. In 1970, a Committee on Educational Policy - appointed by Dean Carl Hovde and headed by Professor of Russian Robert Belknap - proposed giving up CC and Humanities as requirements. Instead, students would choose from a series of options, including CC and the Humanities but also special freshman seminars and directed readings. The committee did not aim to end CC and the Humanities, but it clearly reflected an environment where many felt that any academic requirement was unfair. In particular, the pressures on CC were enormous, and some faculty (aware of the demise of CC-B) believed that the course would succumb under the proposed format. Others felt the entire core might unravel.

After fifty years, it is perhaps surprising that the College's core curriculum was so close to complete collapse. Only ten years earlier, the Truman Committee had reaffirmed the value of the freshman year of CC. What is really surprising, however, is that so few seemed to care. Ten alumni served on the Belknap Committee and evinced no special loyalty to the traditional format.40 Many faculty were preoccupied with their own disciplines, while students, especially the most politicized, could be actively hostile to the course. In 1970, contemplating the possible end of CC, the editors of Columbia College Today, the alumni publication, displayed an odd mixture of resignation and indifference. "Even if the course is still basically sound," they wrote, "its eventual disappearance would not necessarily be a tragedy. Many of its most ardent defenders concede that bright undergraduates will benefit from any well-taught program."41 The willingness to pursue a common educational experience had disappeared in an environment where common ground - between faculty and students, and among students - seemed to have disappeared.

  1. President's Committee on the Contemporary Civilization Courses in Columbia College [Truman Committee], "Report to the President," ms., October 1960, p. 4. Copy in Columbiana Collection.

  2. Justus Buchler, "Reconstruction in the Liberal Arts," in A History of Columbia College on Morningside Heights, edited by Dwight Miner (New York: Columbia University Press, 1954), p. 108.

  3. Ibid.

  4. Ibid., p. 109.

  5. Daniel Bell, The Reforming of General Education: The Columbia College Experience in Its National Setting (New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1966), p. 198.

  6. Buchler, "Reconstruction," p. 109.

  7. The quotes in this paragraph come from the Preface to Man in Contemporary Society, 2 vols. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1955).

  8. "Modified Dissent," 1 November 1951, attached to outline and list of readings for CC-B. Contemporary Civilization folder, Series VII, Box 20, Carman Papers, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University.

  9. "The Dean Reports on Important Changes Taking Place at the College," Columbia College Today 9, no. 2 (Winter 1961-62), p. 15.

  10. Bell, Reforming of General Education, p. 199.

  11. "Dean Reports," p. 14.

  12. Truman Committee, "Report to the President," p. 1.

  13. Ibid., pp. 4-5.

  14. Daniel Bell traced the change in the curriculum to 1959, but it is clear that the implementation did not come for some time. Bell, Reforming of General Education, p. 198.

  15. Associate Professor of History Robert K. Webb, quoted in Fred M. Hechinger, "Columbia Suspending a Course on Civilization as Too Complex," New York Times 10 July 1961.

  16. For a description of the new plan, see "Dean Reports," p. 15.

  17. Bell, Reforming of General Education, p. 200.

  18. Fred M. Hechinger, "Columbia Moves Away from the Unifying Courses It Pioneered," New York Times 16 July 1961.

  19. Hechinger, "Columbia Suspending a Course."

  20. Frederick L. Redefer to editor, New York Times 10 July 1961.

  21. "Dean Reports," p. 15.

  22. Jonathan Stein, "Drop History C.C. in Course Changes," Columbia Spectator 14 February 1963.

  23. Alan J. Willen, "Second Year C.C. Will Be Evaluated," Columbia Spectator 20 November 1963. See also Bell, Reforming of General Education, p. 200.

  24. "Dean Reports," p. 17.

  25. Lionel Trilling, "A New Direction in Teaching the Humanities," Columbia College Today 9 (Spring 1962), p. 30. Other faculty immediately took exception to Trilling's proposals. See Jonathan Katz, "Proposed Secondary Sources for Humanities A Criticized," Columbia Spectator 19 February 1963.

  26. David Bicknell Truman, "The Future of the Private Liberal Arts Colleges," Columbia College Today 10, no. 2 (Winter 1962-63), p. 36.

  27. The conclusions of the Stern Committee are summarized in Bell, Reforming of General Education, p. 225.

  28. In this survey, 82.7% of the respondents rated the teaching method of the course "Fairly Good" to "Excellent"; 37.9% said that sufficient attention had been paid to modern interpretations of the texts (34.5% said there had not been enough attention); 54.7% responded that historical and biographical background would prove "Not Very Valuable" or "Not Valuable at All" in the course; and, in the closest vote, 48.1% said that critical essays would be "Not Very Valuable" to "Not Valuable at All" (compared with 47.2% who said that critical essays would be "Somewhat Valuable" to "Very Valuable." See "Results of Humanities A Questionnaire," 12-13 March 1963. Humanities folder. Columbiana. (mimeo).

  29. Chiappe's criticisms of the Stern Committee's conclusions are reproduced in Bell, Reforming of General Education, p. 230.

  30. Alan S. Lake, "Freshmen to Read Essays in English on Humanities A," Columbia Spectator 4 February 1966.

  31. Truman, "Future of Private Liberal Arts Colleges," p. 37.

  32. Columbia Spectator 28 February 1966. The faculty wasn't much more interested in the report. See also Lionel Trilling, "The Uncertain Future of the Humanist Educational Ideal," in The Last Decade: Essays and Reviews, 1965-1975, edited by Diana Trilling (New York and London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979), p. 166.

  33. See, for example, Columbia Spectator 7 March 1966.

  34. For a description of the events of the Columbia uprising, readers are referred to Crisis at Columbia: Report of the fact- finding commission appointed to investigate the disturbances at Columbia University in April and May 1968 (New York: Vintage Books, 1968); Jerry L. Avorn et al., Up Against the Ivy Wall: A History of the Columbia Crisis (New York: Columbia University Press, 1968); Richard Rosenkranz, Across the Barricades (Philadelphia/New York: J.B. Lippincott, 1971).

  35. Crisis at Columbia, pp. 21-22.

  36. Ibid., p. 23.

  37. "CC Under Seige," Columbia Collee Today (Summer 1970), p. 56.

  38. Though partisans of the College might be loath to admit this, in its evaluation of CC in 1945 the Harvard Redbook also suggested that it would be an improvement "to read longer portions of fewer books." See Bell, Reforming of General Education, p. 44.

  39. "CC Under Seige," p. 56.

  40. Robert Belknap, "Curriculum in Transition: Some Personal Reflections," Columbia College Today (Summer 1970), p. 61.

  41. "CC Under Seige," p. 57.