ACE2019: Richard Haass and Lawrence Bacow Discuss Global Affairs Likely to Impact Higher Education

ACE2019: Richard Haass and Lawrence Bacow Discuss Global Affairs Likely to Impact Higher Education


Thank you very much Ted for that very
generous introduction it’s always a pleasure to have a conversation with
Richard Haass because I always learn something whenever I have the
opportunity to talk to Richard and I suspect we all will today as well
Richard when we look out around the world it seems like it’s a mess almost
everywhere we look we see governments that are being challenged leaders who
are being challenged in some cases democracies that are being challenged
one could argue it’s true here it’s certainly true in Europe in the UK in
Germany in France southern Europe’s always an issue it’s true in South
America as well Venezuela Bolivia we could we could go on how did we get here
what’s going on? I’ll answer that but I just want to relish the moment here it
was 50 years ago this month that I got this thin letter in the mail rejecting
me from Harvard University so… You seem to have overcome this handicap Richard. And for the record I didn’t go there either Look, you’re right to look out to see the
world as turbulent as it is my favorite word is disarray but mess will do a
little bit less elegant but it will do any number of reasons some are just
structural a lot of the machinery of the world is older than we are which is
pretty old that was born after World War two and it hasn’t kept up in many ways
lots of the challenges didn’t even really exist then cyber wasn’t a domain
climate change wasn’t on the agendas so the world that has those kinds of
problems I think it’s more capacity and more hands than at any time we’ve ever
seen in human history technology has really distributed capacity again we
haven’t figured out what to do about it within countries we’re seeing things
like not just inequality but much less open upward mobility which I actually
think is a more important issue than the inequality we’re seeing populism on the
right particularly triggered by immigration
flows from the Middle East but also elsewhere we’re seeing populism on the
left again for reasons more of economics We’re only a decade after the great
financial crisis and there hasn’t been in many cases a full recovery so
people are uneasy and at the risk of being pessimistic which I guess I’m
known for I don’t think this is a passing moment Larry what makes me
concerned is not just where we are but if you think of history not as snapshots
but as a moving picture there’s no reason to think that this is going to
pass that it’s just a moment if anything the populism we see is probably going to get stronger as millions of jobs disappear because of AI
and robotics and autonomous vehicles and so forth and even though new jobs will
appear the gap the skills gap between the the workforce and the skills
requirements of these jobs is going to be large it’s actually a relevant
challenge for everyone sitting in this room today but
unless we meet that challenge I actually think the populism that we see will
only get worse. So you paint a obviously a very rosy and optimistic
picture for all of us let’s stay with the populism for a
minute because populism also seems to be giving rise to nationalism in many
countries and at least you study history far more than I do but it’s difficult to
be able to identify a time in the world’s history in which a rise in
nationalism has been a good omen for the rest of the world.
Well now you’re competing with me on who can be more pessimistic no you’re right
look patriotism is a wonderful thing pride in country but what we see in
modern nationalism which has echoes of pre-modern or previous nationalism is
not welcome and it usually has two dimensions that are really unattractive
one is within societies a prejudice against minorities and we’re seeing that
around the world developed and underdeveloped worlds
alike and then a sense of excessive pride in one’s country vis-à-vis other
countries and so we’re seeing it so you’re right to see this kind of
nationalism it’s an interesting question as to why because it’s different than
the popul- part of me thinks it has something to do with globalization
the national identities are to some extent getting challenged or threatened
by this global culture for certain countries it’s more of a reflection of the
domestic politics Russia humiliated with the end of the Cold War humil- I think
humiliated as well by NATO enlargement not much of an economy to speak of for
someone like Mr. Putin who would never dream of making his country great again
because that would require real reform but to have Russia seen as great again
to be respected as a great power that means stoking the the the furnace of
nationalism as China’s economy slows it would not surprise me if
somebody like Xi Jinping turns to nationalism as a way of justifying the
the special role of the this layer in Chinese governance called the
the Communist Party we’re seeing a rise again of illiberalism around
Europe so where this frustration nationalism is one of the tried and true
ventings or vehicles that we’ve seen in history and for all and for some related
reasons to populism and some different reasons we’re seeing we’re seeing a
revival let me just brag for a second the current issue of our magazine at the
Council on Foreign Relations Foreign Affairs devotes itself to the rise of
nationalism in this country and around the world and again it’s relevant I think
for this group we don’t do a very good job of teaching the American narrative
Jill Lepore is a wonderful piece in the in the magazine and if we’re not if we
don’t teach what is it you might call historically accurate approach to
America’s story then rival stories rival narratives what will fill the space and
I think we’re beginning to see a little bit of this of that in this society.
You know I want to just for the audience I want to try and frame some of these
issues the larger issues in the first part of our conversation and then come
back to what does it mean for all of us in higher education in the latter part
so not to worry I want to come back and ask Richard how he thinks many of us
should do our jobs differently as a result of some of these larger trends
but as we as we think about the rise of nationalism as we think about the rise
of populism throughout the world talk a little bit about or how is that
influencing the capacity of our traditional organizations and
institutions which in many cases have served us very very well over
generations in keeping peace in helping to create a world in which it’s been
generally easier for goods and services to move across boundaries and borders
for countries to work together for scholars to engage in scholarly exchange
for students to cross borders you know where do we stand in terms of the
traditional institutions that have helped to sort of create the world that
that lives in today and why does it seem that so many of those traditional
institutions’ organizations’ relationships are fraying? Well the answer is it seems that way because it is so you’re not misperceiving
what’s going on let’s take a step back this has been a remarkable 70 years if
you look at modern history whenever you want to date it from say the beginning
of the mid 17th century after the Treaty of Westphalia the
modern international period the last 70 years have been remarkable and
they’ve been a remarkable exception for the most part we call this the liberal
world order for good reasons it has been remarkably liberal the growth of
democracies has been quite remarkable it’s been global and it’s been orderly
the great power conflict we survived a cold war that stayed cold for the most
part and even though there were meaningful conflicts obviously from
Korea to Vietnam it didn’t compare to World War I or World War II was
something of a different scale and then in the last 30 years since the end
of the Cold War again things have been messy and things have been fraying but
all things being equal as a period of history this is without equal and when one looks at human advancement the kind of stuff that Steven Pinker or
Bill Gates and others put out there are measures that show whether it’s life
expectancy, literacy, the rest it’s been a remarkable stretch the goal has got to
be that this is not some exception that we look back on some golden era that’s
bracketed by the first half of the 20th century which was arguably the worst
century the worst half-century in modern history and what could come next it’s
the last thing we want this to be to be known as a golden era that had a
beginning and an end obviously the goal of public policy has to be to extend it
the problem is that I think a couple of problems one is that the institutions
that got us through this point for seven years have essentially run out of steam
the mecha- the participation no one in this room would design a UN Security
Council that looks like the one we have as I mentioned before we don’t have
mechanisms that seriously deal with climate change even if the Paris
agreement were fully lived up to it wouldn’t deal with
the problem and guess what it’s not going to be lived up to
we don’t have mechanisms for dealing with cyber even though cyber is as basic
as it is and then other institutions alliances and the rest I think one of
the big challenges is the United States now we now and I– while this
administration is accelerated it many of many of the aspects or features began
previously you have a generation of Americans who don’t see the value in
America’s world role a lot of intervention fatigue after Iraq and and
Afghanistan and we don’t teach these issues very well happy to talk about
that more so as a result there’s been a falling off of what makes the system
work it’s almost a scientific idea I’m not a scientist but the argument is
obviously that systems the natural tendency in systems is entropy and what
we’re seeing in the world is if you will the assertion of entropy moving away
from order the centrifugal forces are gaining momentum because the world just
doesn’t organize itself and you have those who are against the world as it is
the North Koreans the Iranians the Russians to some extent the Chinese and
then the United States which was the principal architect and if you will
general contractor we’ve decided we’re not so willing to play that role anymore
and again the system doesn’t maintain itself so what we’re beginning to see
now is a deterioration in the world because it has serious opponents and it
doesn’t have that many players including ourselves buttressing it anything like
the way we’ve done. So you mentioned China let’s look east for a little bit our mutual friend and
colleague Graham Allison’s written a very interesting and provocative book in
which he notes that China is certainly the power rising in ascendancy
threatening the United States if you will in terms of economic dominance and
the scale and the size and I think you know for most of us in this room we’re
certainly aware of the growing strength of Chinese universities and Chinese
scholarship the book which frames the question is Thucydides’s Trap, Thucydides being sort of the first historian who wrote famously about the
Peloponnesian War and about how it was triggered by the rise of Athens
threatening an existing power Sparta and it claims it’s sort of that war was in
effect inevitable and Graham goes on to look at sixteen case studies you know
since then of rising powers threatening existing powers and observes that in
twelve of those cases it resulted in war how do you see the evolution of this
relationship between China and the United States and how do we ensure that
it not be added to that category of unfortunate relationships ending in
war? I don’t see eye to eye with my former colleague on this one I’ve worked
for four presidents and let me just make one point there is nothing inevitable
about history history is essentially the collision of people and ideas and what
people choose to do and choose not to do and how they do it
that is this that’s what ultimately writes history so the United States and
China are not preordained to have any particular relationship the the menu of
possibilities is great from Cold War even worse hot war we could have
conflict over Taiwan or something else to something relatively– we’re not
going to be best friends but I can imagine a relationship where we agree on
some things and manage our disagreements on others what we have to do is
essentially in ways not different than when we’ve dealt with other rising
countries or challengers is set up push back to discourage certain behaviors and
to reward others it doesn’t help when we want to take a robust relationship
towards China and then what do we do in the first week of this administration
the United States pulls out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership which was the
best vehicle geo-economically and more broadly for dealing with China
in Asia it doesn’t help when we raise questions about our alliances China’s
slowing down economically and as I said before it’s possible that it will turn
to foreign policy as a way of satisfying nationalism at home we ought to send the
message to some extent verbally more by what it is we do that that won’t pay off
that’s not a good direction that won’t that won’t help this or some future
Chinese leadership but I don’t think the Chinese have a strategic philosophy that
inevitably makes them want to challenge us for global primacy yes they would
like to have a better or stronger position in the region and we can and
should push back we’ve got the greatest multiplier effect of the United States
in the world is our alliances we have the structural advantage China does not
have allies we have allies whether it’s Japan South Korea Australia Thailand and
others we ought to be strengthening our allied relationships we ought to be
entering into multilateral selective multilateral mechanisms that constrain
China force them to play the game by our rules raise their game particularly in
the trade front so I don’t think anything’s inevitable it could happen
but that to me would be a major if the United States and China in 10 or 20 years
or in a cold war I would say this would even a Harvard professor would
should flunk both countries then on their statecraft this is a there’s
nothing there’s no reason it should end up there but of course there’s the
possibility it might. So you mentioned that we have allies important that we
treat our allies like allies not always happening it seems like these days as we
try and make friends around the world No we’re much too preoccupied with the
narrow cost of alliance relationships we don’t calculate the benefits nearly as
well but even on the cost side think about it the United States spends what
now 700 billion dollars plus or minus a year on on defense
give or take that’s what three and a half percent plus or minus of our GDP
it’s a lot of money it sounds like but it’s still we’re spending on security
roughly at a rate half of what we spent during the Cold War
we can afford these commitments we can have both guns and butter plus
it’s important to constantly remind people that what we spend on order in
the world coming back to your earlier question Larry is not a form of
philanthropy this is a form of self-interest because what goes on in
the world dramatically affects the quality of life here at home so I would
actually say that working at investing in alliance relationships this is
important now as it as it has ever been plus our allies are essentially our best
pool of potential partners for dealing with these global challenges like
climate like cyber if we can get them on board if we can work with them we’re
dealing with the North Korea or an Iran we’re far more likely to to get an
outcome that’s closer that’s closer to our preference so let’s talk about
what all this means for higher education many of our institutions are one of the
great things about higher education in the United States indeed and in the
world is the diversity of institutions which are represented here today but one
of the things that so many of us have in common is that we are all dependent to
to some degree about being open and accessible to not just students but
faculty and academic talent literally from throughout the world I was just
looking at the numbers for Harvard 38 percent of our faculty were born outside
the United States 26 percent of our students university-wide come from
outside the United States for many of our institutions we’ve been for better
or worse the the sink at the end of the rest of the world brain drain many
of these students these days are coming from China what advice would you give to
college and university presidents these days about their relationships with
China with other countries and institutions around the world as we seek
to figure out what our role is in this in this changing world? So let me make
one or two general points and then I’ll get very specific on that look I like
the idea of foreign students coming here besides the obvious financial benefits
it’s great because it’s a potential source of real
talent for this society and every time I see the lists of the fortune 100 or 500
and you see how many of the founders were immigrants or children of
immigrants it shows to me what a great boon immigration can be for this society
and I love the fact that non-Americans come here get exposed to the liberal
arts get exposed to free debates see a society in action where or see a civil
society in action and then hopefully go home and some of those ideas and some of
those values go home with them I think that is a sensational thing for the
world so I think the bias has to be in favor of that now obviously we have now
an administration that has different views about immigration that may or may not
stay the case in the future what I think will stay the case and this gets to the
China part of your question Larry is that the United States will have a far
more skeptical approach towards China I’ve been involved in this business for
a while I have never seen a major consensus move as quickly and as
dramatically as has the U.S. consensus on China and whether we’re talking about
Democrats or Republicans there has over the last two or three years you have
seen the real emergence of a much tougher line towards China it’s because
of China’s trade behavior the sense that they’ve gained their relay their entry
into the WTO in ways that were never intended because of the repression at
home whether it’s the use of the anti-corruption drive new technologies
what they’re doing vis-à-vis the Uighurs and other and their foreign policy
the militarization of the South China Sea the more aggressive line towards
Taiwan what have you and because of these three spheres of Chinese activity
people have really changed Democrats and Republicans which is another way saying
regardless of what happens in 2020 a tougher U.S. policy towards China will
will remain that will affect everything from Chinese inward investment to
American investment in China so that’s that’s the context I think there’s also
been a much tougher reaction to what China has done
on campuses whether this is the Confucius Institutes or whether this is
individual Chinese students there’s also both espionage related
issues selective hijacking of technologies to
bring them home there’s also been a lack of reciprocity so what I think I think
the future is one of two things but either way it’s going to be more
restrictive but I would say either universities are going to have to come
up with their own code of conduct or behavior to structure relations with
Chinese students and the Chinese government or it’s going to be done for
them by Congress or the executive branch and I would think that we need a more
restrictive approach but hopefully it’s one that still allows a lot of
interaction but it’s got to be interaction based on certain rules and I
think there’s real questions about the desirability of Confucius Institutes
given what happens in terms of content I think there’s got to be a total ban on
Chinese using students for purposes of espionage and there have to be sanctions
when those but when those rules are broken there have to be requirements for
reciprocity but I think we need to come up with a code of conduct for dealing
with China and my again I’m not an expert on this as you sense but my
recommendation would be that people in this room and beyond
think of what a code would be before the Congress or someone else gives you a
code you don’t want. What advice would you give to anybody who has a Confucius
Institute on their campus? Well it seems to me this I would say there’s one of
two things either to shut it down and to think about alternative ways of doing
Chinese language or if it is going to be conducted think very hard about what the
terms would be what is it in terms of content in terms of the activities of
individuals what are the red lines that if they’re crossed also if you want to
set up a reciprocal institute in China but I would be thinking about a plan B I
would I basically you know there’s been several that have been shut down already
I don’t have the statistics at the tip of my fingers but I would I would think
that particularly if U.S.-Chinese relations sour the pressure out of
Washington to shut down Confucius Institutes will only grow. So there have
been other times excuse me in our history in which relationships between
nations have been fraught and one of the interesting things about universities
and academics is that they can often do things that their governments cannot you
know I think back about the role to that the Pugwash played in the 50s which
gathered scholars from around the world but prominently from the United States
and then-Soviet Union and elsewhere to focus on issues of nuclear
disarmament and and the like what should our institutions be doing now to create
these kinds of durable relationships among scholars that might actually
help to build and create social capital that would be helpful in the future
especially if things get more tense between nations? Well first off I totally
agree whether it’s Pugwash or other track two track one-and-a-half type
relations I think are good I think also we’ve benefited enormously from the
fact that generations of I guess I call what non-American elites have sent their
kids over to the United States then they’ve returned and ultimately entered
into positions of responsibility I love it when when I was in government I’d sit
across the table and my foreign counterparts would all have been
educated that the institutions represented in this room Harvard think
your own university at the Kennedy School where both of us have spent time
and the the various program safe I meant used to have one for you know leaders of
officials and various governments even I remember a time there was lots of things
with Chinese military leaders and so forth I think the more of that we have
the better I know in the when I worked in the Pentagon back when one of the
programs I thought that was pound for pound as good as good as any is when
foreign young officers and non-American militaries would come over here and
spend the year at West Point or the Naval Academy or one of our staff
schools or National Defense University so I love that kind of
interaction I think universities ought to be a place where it can take
place I just think with certain countries like China it might be more
difficult in the sciences it should not be as difficult in the in the social
sciences and again we’re gonna have to think about what the rules are going to
be. So we’re gonna go to questions soon we’ve got a couple microphones set up we
they’re also supposed to be coming in on my iPad which unfortunately has gone
blank so I’m gonna have to ask somebody for help here because I’m not– If you were the president of MIT this would be easy– I was as you know I was the chancellor of MIT in a prior life so if I could ask somebody who is responsible for the technology to come
up and to take a peek so that we can get your questions but we also have a couple
microphones here so people should go to the microphones how should we be
educating our students differently for this world that you just described I
mean if I said to you Richard you can have a hand in the design of our
curriculum in the design of our student experiences in the way in which we think
about preparing students to enter this world a world of increasing inequality
nationalism populism all the things which we’ve been discussing what should
we be doing differently to prepare students for this world? Well I think
it’s the right question I would I would if I were running a university which I’m
not but if I were I would try to make my goal that every young person who left
with a degree had under his or her belt certain skills and I think in particular
though I would say we would want them to have a foundational degree of global
literacy an understanding about how why this world matters and how it works
that’s going to be such a part of their life given the importance of
globalization as an American I would also want to have young people have a
fundamental appreciation of American civics I don’t think we do a very good
job of transmitting our DNA and at the risk of losing everyone in
this room now I don’t think it’s enough that it’s offered on campuses I would
require certain things of all of our students essentially whether its
domestic civics or international civics I believe that that is essential so I
know you know that we’ve done better on things like computer skills and STEM
related things and is it there’s a big argument about how many things you can
require because there’s only so many course hours and the like well my sense
is is we’re falling down on what I would call both domestic and international
civics and that is to me for again certain students will have gap years and
semesters and time abroad and those things are potentially useful but I
would actually say more useful than that more useful than foreign language training
at the university level is a basic appreciation of what makes this
country’s politics and society and economy tick and what makes the world
operate the way it does and how it matters it’s the only way I know that
people can become informed citizens hold their elected representatives to account
can be competitive in a global world I just don’t think we’re doing enough to
prepare them for that. So let’s go to your questions now that the iPad is
working and the first one actually picks up on a comment that you just made
because you were in talking about the role of civics and civic education you
were I think referring to a form of skills gap such as it exists so our first question asks whether or not elected officials at both the
state and the federal level understand the true nature of the skills gap in
education for now and for the future? I spent two Saturdays ago speaking with
Penny Pritzker the former Secretary of Commerce at the National Governors
Association and I think the governors and the mayors are beginning to get it
and I think a lot of people in the corporate world are beginning to get it
what we haven’t had is the Washington based national conversation but I do
think more and more firms are beginning to as they see that certain jobs are
going to disappear they’re instituting training programs many of which are in
conjunction with local universities community colleges a lot of
which are online again mayors and governors get it so I think there are
gonna have to be public-private partnerships
Washington is I think a bit behind excuse me the conversation but this
is going to hit us and this is um it’s almost like demographic certain things
you know are coming because they’re like super tankers
they’ve got a certain pace and they don’t turn easily so you know where you
know what the society is going to look like demographically in ten or twenty or
thirty years we’ve got a pretty good sense of debt well we have a pretty good
sense of new technologies and their implications so I would again so I– this
conversation is beginning to heat up we’re beginning to see some interesting ideas
about training about education about portability of safety net is a big part
we’ve got to reduce the credentialing requirements when you cross state lines
it is nuts that everyone from teachers to hairdressers often if they cross the
state line they have to totally get relicensed as a society in many ways we
pride ourselves on our mobility in many ways now we’re anti-mobility so we as a
society also have to gear up where a lot of things from health care to other
things are not tied to permanent jobs the average graduate of your
institutions is going to have what twenty twenty five jobs during his or
her lifetime some of them will be full-time many of them won’t we need now a degree of portability and flexibility of safety nets from
healthcare to retraining accounts almost like IRAs and the rest we’ve got
to gear this society and my sense is two and four-year colleges institutions of
higher learning are going to be an integral part of that. So next question
is the kind of populism you hold up as potentially dangerous is a close cousin
to American exceptionalism which if real is one of the reasons people seek out
American higher education how can we balance these closely related concepts?
I’m a great believer in American exceptionalism but I it’s most powerful
when others say it about us not when we boast about ourselves I never liked it when we’d run around the world calling
ourselves indispensable let others reach that judgment let’s be exceptional by
the example we set yeah I’m a former diplomat
which I know is hard to believe given how undiplomatic I am but
foreign policy goes way beyond what the State Department does which is just as
well these days given how it’s been gutted but uh often the most important
thing we do in the world is the example we set it’s the strength of our economy
it’s how much standards of living go up it’s the quality of our democracy it’s
how we’ve dealt with race discrimination gender discrimination and that’s the way
you demonstrate American exceptionalism So what role did universities play in
promoting globalism versus nationalism what of it what have we done well where
have we failed where could we do better institutionally? We’re gonna come back to
something I talked about before I don’t think most people who graduate from
universities have a real understanding of how the world works and why it
matters and on a lot of campuses yes there’s a lot of interest in climate
change I don’t know how much depth though the knowledge is but if people
really thought about some of the things we’ve talked about here about
nationalism the importance of alliances about global institutions about how you
regulate cyberspace about how you deal with infectious and non-infectious
disease what are the lessons of the Cold War I mean I remember when I taught at
the Kennedy School you mentioned the Peloponnesian War I had to stop my class
one day when I was talking about the Cold War actually using one of Graham’s
earlier books The Essence of Decision and I realized that no one in the
classroom had been alive during the Cuban Missile Crisis and so what I think
universities have to think about is again what is it we want our graduates
to have to leave the campus with them because I don’t assume anymore they get
it from their families they certainly don’t get it from cable television they
certainly we can’t count on them to get it from the internet which is a
truly unedited no quality control sort of space so I actually think it means
more not less responsibility for people who run institutions such as
yours so I think the conversation it part of the general curricula
reform conversation is again what do we need to impart because we have this
special opportunity to reach people over two or four years that for the rest of
their lives there’s not going to be those kinds of connections. You’ve really
made an eloquent argument for a liberal education and especially at this time in
history where as you note information has become ubiquitous where it’s
technology has disintermediated the editorial function where we really need
our students to be able to differentiate the signal from the noise to parse an
argument to understand the historical record and how it bears upon the
future I also if I can editorialize here think that so much of the tensions that
exist in the world have at the root cause the tension between fundamentalism
and modernity we see it in this country right now I think we see it certainly in
the Middle East we see it in other parts of the world as well and I think that if
we’re gonna educate students for a world in which they’re gonna have to grapple
with some of these issues a deep grounding actually in the
humanities is not a bad place to start. I Agree, okay I went to Oberlin and I’m a great
believer in liberal arts education and I think it’s part of again it’s part of our
DNA I think though there is a conversation Larry which is and it’s I
think it’s a healthy one for every academic community to have which is what
does that need to consist of now and there’s no right answer or
single answer and I actually think it’s healthy in this country where different
institutions would come to a different answer that’s right for them and that
way students and others would have a degree of choice I’d like there
to be some common featuers but I do think it’s a healthy
conversation to have which is again what is what is it just anyone leaving an
institution now is truly going to live a 21st century life what is a relevant
adequate liberal education for a 21st century life realizing that later on
almost like in your car you’re gonna have to top off your gas tank there’s no
way anyone can leave a campus with a full tank that’s going to get them
through the next 50 years but ideally it will be at least a start and a
foundation and it’s that foundation that I think is critical. If you had children
of college age today and they told you that they wanted to study abroad or have
a global experience where would you send them for that? Look here’s what I would not– and this
is where I alienate everyone I haven’t already alienated so it will be complete
by the– look I’m all in favor needless to say given my own experiences of
living abroad I think you really have to ask yourself though about the
comparative advantage of taking time out from your 2 or 4 years in college to do
it there’s one of the reasons I’m a great believer in gap semesters and
years and in summers if you can I know I realize for some financially that’s a
strain so then if to the extent resources can be made available so it’s not only
wealthier kids who have those opportunities but I don’t have any
single place in a sense I could say you know China or India or yes or some other
countr– or Japan and other countries are going to be the most critical but
there’s no right it really depends upon the quality of the program how well
integrated you can get in that society but the real question I’d ask is since
there’s so much we want to teach for those 4 years on campus my bias would be
to keep students on campus for those 4 years and they’ve got their rest of
their lives before during and after school those 4 years to to spend their
time abroad. One of the challenges that we all face right now is how to think
about extending the college experience technology has given us the opportunity
to connect with our students and maintain connections I always say that
the four years worth of tuition looks a lot more modest if you amortize it over
a lifetime of learning and and part of what we need to reconceive of is the college experience given that we have the opportunity to do that. No
absolutely and again you can’t cram it in there’s no way that what as good as these institutions are there’s no way you can do it all I mean think about it you know
you and I we’re the same age we graduated college nearly 45 46 years ago things that are relevant and necessary today weren’t even on the
agenda now again critical thinking never goes out of fashion. Right. The ability to
write well to work with groups I mean the basic skills don’t go out
of fashion those are timeless certain philosophers certain types of literature
and the rest what I would call again basic civics global literacy the kind of
things that we’re so committed to where I work at the Council on Foreign
Relations to developing those resources but I would think that and that’s what
universities can do and the assumption that the specifics it’s always easier to
to learn specifics down the road than it is to pick up foundation stones so that
seems to me the division of labor Well I think it’s a good note on which
perhaps to draw this to a close I would just note that as one of the common
themes throughout your remarks is as we think about educating our students for
the world that they will inhabit looking forward it’s a world that
notwithstanding the rise of nationalism which it will be increasingly a global
world an increasingly diverse world a world in which it will be important for
students to continue to understand culture and history and language and all
of the things that I think are so basic to what all of us do please. Can I just make a 30 second unpaid political announcement what have
you and we I agree in this so strongly I’m lucky enough I lead this elite
institution not quite as elite as his but pretty elite and I’ve been lucky
enough to do it and I basically decided ten years ago that that’s not enough
anymore we have got to elite institutions also have to become popular
in the old-fashioned sense of the word institutions to really become a
resource for this society we are what we’ve done is we’ve created an entire
new part of our institution to create a curriculum for Americans and others
around the world to teach them about the basics of this world they’re going to
enter and it’s for free and it’s online and there’s simulations and curriculum
materials and the rest and the whole idea is so we’re trying to
walk the walk and not just talk to talk about getting young Americans and others
ready for the 21st century it’s not a solution I get it but without that
understanding of the world and some appreciation for different cultures and
history it seems to me the odds of things getting less messy than
they are now are not what they should be Please join me in thanking Richard Haas

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