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America’s Best University President

by Bret Stephens

Several years ago Robert Zimmer was asked by an audience in China why the University of Chicago was associated with so many winners of the Nobel Prize — 90 in all, counting this month’s win by the behavioral economist Richard Thaler. Zimmer, the university’s president since 2006, answered that the key was a campus culture committed to “discourse, argument and lack of deference.”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1950 Bertrand Russell

Reflecting on that exchange in March, Zimmer noted a depressing trend: While Chinese academics have made strides to “inject more argumentation and challenge into their education,” their American peers are moving “in the opposite direction.” As universities go, so ultimately go the fate of nations.

Please, read on here on the New York Times website, October 20, 2017; translation in Dutch in de Volkskrant, October 28, 2017.

on 28.10.2017 at 7:47
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