College presidents write of liberal arts' value

Tim Goral's picture

As higher education comes under increased pressure to prove its worth, two college presidents argue in a new book that the liberal arts play a vital role in educating the world’s leaders and problem-solvers.

While many colleges are aimed at preparing students for a profession or career, liberal arts colleges develop critical thinkers who are able to cross disciplines, said Daniel H. Weiss, president of Haverford College, one of the nation’s most highly selective and expensive small liberal arts colleges.

“We help people get all the jobs and follow the path of a rewarding and interesting life that contributes to society,” said Weiss, who wrote and co-edited the collection of essays with Rebecca Chopp, president of Swarthmore College, and Susan Frost, an educational consultant.

The book comes as colleges are preparing to face a new accountability and ratings system still in development by the Obama administration and due out in 2015.

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