I feel the need to comment on the irony in recent events involving Matt Arnold, a Republican running for the University of Colorado Board of Regents, as reported in today’s Inside Higher Education. Arnold claimed to have a Masters degree which was never awarded since he never submitted his final thesis, although apparently he did the coursework. Arnold said in a statement,
I was more interested in getting on with my life than trying to, quite frankly, waste more time in pursuit of academic BS that no one cares about…I think that’s one of the big problems, quite frankly, with education these days. We’re graduating a bunch of people who hang letters after their names, but they have no useful skills.
Arnold’s view seems to me to be typical of many who pursue higher education without understand its nature or value. He clearly wants those letters after his name enough to lie about having them, but didn’t understand the value of the program of study enough either to finish it or
You get the letters after your name for doing the work, and usually to complete that work effectively and at a high level of competence, you may need to grasp what education is about. It certainly has been known to help
All too many today want a degree but not an education, because they understand the practical value of the former but not the latter. But the degree is the indication you got the education, and that is why employers value it.
Why this individual thinks that he, with his view of education, belongs on the Board of Regents of a university is beyond me. But his actions and words together illustrate a widespread problem, one that is very similar to that which pertains to the young-earth creationists who want to make use of the reputation of science without actually being on board with the methods of learning, discovering and knowing that make science so powerful and have given it that reputation.
The result is illustrated well by this billboard, which shows that there are people who will call their view “creation science” and house exhibits about it in a place they call a “museum” and yet who actually believe in dragons.
Please note, as you can see by clicking through on this link to Ken Ham’s blog, that the above billboard is not a spoof, but is one that Answers in Genesis itself created to promote its “creation museum.”