John Locke Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary

The John Locke Foundation presents

The Decline of the English Department

with our special guest

Jay Schalin

- Director of Policy Analysis
Pope Center for Higher Education Policy

Throughout much of the 20th century, English departments were the crown jewels of the humanities. Exposure to great literature was often considered essential for students expected to assume lead roles in business, law, government, and society. Today, English departments have lost their position at the center of the American university. Enrollments have diminished or remained stagnant during a period of tremendous growth for universities in general. Much of the evidence suggests that the discipline itself may be the source of the decline. Especially problematic is the high degree of politicization, as the emphasis on classical works of great importance has been lessened for political aims and making the discipline more entertaining with the introduction of popular culture. In this presentation, Jay Schalin, author of the new report, "The Decline of the English Department,” will discuss trends in English degree requirements, course offerings, faculty research, enrollment and more.

About Jay Schalin
Jay Schalin joined the Pope Center in August 2007. A Philadelphia native, he began his writing career as a freelance journalist for the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey and wrote for several other papers in New Jersey and Delaware. He also worked as a software engineer for Computer Sciences Corporation. Schalin has a B.S. in computer science from Richard Stockton College in New Jersey and an M.A. in economics from the University of Delaware. His articles have appeared in Forbes, The Washington Times, Fox News Online, U.S. News and World Report, Investor's Business Daily, Human Events, and American Thinker. His op-eds have been published by the McClatchy News Service and the Raleigh News & Observer. He has been interviewed on ESPN, National Public Radio, and UNC-TV, and his work has been featured on ABC News and Fox News' “The O'Reilly Factor.” Schalin is a regular columnist for

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