One of my consistent grips with the state of some colleges is that they coddle their students. One class of university does this for a living since their shareholders require it. However, I've noticed that a great many administrators are worried about their bottom lines, as well. Also, there seem to be some administrators who simply can't stand to see students "suffer" in any way; and I use "suffer" in the most liberal way possible, here.
It's no surprise to anyone who reads my web pages that I believe in the Pygmalion Effect. I believe that most people will level themselves to the expectations to which they're held. If you lower the bar, most will be happy to step over it. Raise it, and expect them to reach it, most will try and many will succeed. Some will fret while attempting it, but studies have shown that self-concern gives rise to creativity. Some won't quite reach the ultimate pinnacle but they'll still be better off than everyone who reached the lower bar. In other words discomfort is ok--it's actually good for you. Many people can't grasp this simple, proven concept.
No one wants to see anyone suffer, but our first world realities have taken "suffering" to its moderate extreme. Feeling bad about a test score isn't suffering. Taking that B instead of the seemingly-important A and regretting that you chose a "difficult" course isn't suffering. Having to change an old writing habit or to learn a slightly different paragraph structure isn't suffering. Having to memorize the who, what, where, when, why, how, and significance of a historical topic isn't suffering.
At the university level, this is problematic since there are going to be large amounts of people that should be tested and should be given obstacles to overcome. Of course this will cause some discomfort, of course this will cause ruffled feathers, of course this will send many into administrators' offices crying, whining, and gnashing their teeth. The right thing: encourage them to believe in themselves.The wrong thing: asking the world to lower its bar for them. No one is suffering here--they're learning.
These are people who are growing--let them experience growing pains.
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From time-to-time I find interesting articles about the state of universities, the field of history, etc. I'll post them here just in case anyone else is interested.