Dispensation of the case of Ward Churchill prompted us to think once again about the melancholy subject of higher education. We’re not alone in finding that the very phrase has a dampening effect, as if it came bundled with a sigh of resignation. “Higher education”: How the spirits droop when it is pronounced. Confining ourselves to the humanities, there’s really not too much that’s “higher” about it these days. And various studies showing that many students emerge after four expensive years knowing rather less about certain subjects than they did upon matriculation make us question whether even the term “education” is appropriate. There is very little “leading out” of the confines of the self at most colleges these days. On the contrary, much more typical is a sort of inducation, a process of burrowing down, coddling flattery of every clichéd item on th ...