The Arts in Academia

| May 7, 2011

Last week, the University of Michigan was host to a conference on “The Role of Art-Making and the Arts in the Research University.” Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman spoke to the audience about the crucial role that the university environment can play in cultivating imagination and the arts.

In an excerpt from Alexander C. Kafka’s article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Tilghman acknowledges the skepticism with which art in the postsecondary arena is often viewed, but argues for its importance.

Tilghman said that the public at large, and some segments of academe, are skeptical of the role of art and, even more so, art-making, in academe. The arts are conflated with pop culture and seen as a luxury, she said.

She argued that, on the contrary, a postsecondary education without art would be an “incomplete education,” and that universities have both a responsibility and a unique ability to use the arts for the enhancement of society.

Read the full article here. Do you agree that a postsecondary education without art would be “incomplete?”