Skip to main content
Events Calendar

"Jobs and Universities: A Tale of Two Futures"

Thursday, May 23 at 4:00pm

Knight Library, Browsing Room
1501 Kincaid Street, Eugene, OR

Public disappointment with universities has reached epidemic proportions, and a common complaint is that they do a poor job of preparing students to find a job, especially given how much they cost.  In this talk, Newfield agrees with the critics that universities are ineffective job training programs. He also explains that this is not what universities do.  While a B.A. clearly helps graduates get good jobs, the focus on jobs has perversely hurt the educational core that allows this—intensive learning of complex knowledge in a range of situations and fields. Business and government should be held responsible for employment, and universities held responsible for learning. The partnership between society and higher education needs a radical overhaul, and Newfield suggests why universities need to focus on solving the world’s enormously difficult problems, and how they can best educated people to do this.

Christopher Newfield was Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara and is now Director of Research at the Independent Social Research Foundation in London. He is immediate past president of the Modern Language Association. A multidisciplinary scholar, his areas of research are Critical University Studies, literary criticism, quantification studies, innovation studies, and the intellectual and social effects of the humanities. He has recently published two books on the metrics of higher education: Metrics That Matter: Counting What’s Really Important to College Students (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2023) and The Limits of the Numerical: The Abuses and Uses of Quantification (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022).

Please register.

Event Type

Arts & Culture, Lectures & Presentations, Guest Speaker


College of Arts & Sciences, Oregon Humanities Center

Target Audience

All Students, Faculty/Staff, General Public, Graduate Students, Alumni



Please register


Recent Activity

You're not going yet!

This event requires registration.