President Pastides' letter on dual roles for colleges

To the Editor:

Frank Bruni (“A Pox on Campus Life,” column, Dec. 3) zeros in on the real challenge of higher education today: cultivating students to become citizens of a “diverse and distressingly fractious society.”

University presidents are simultaneously pressed to stay on the core mission of student learning and work-force preparation while rising expectations are met with diminished support.

But as Mr. Bruni notes, there is so much more that universities ought to be doing to foster 40 million enrolled students into graduates who are open to the diverse economic, racial, religious and ethnic realities that make up the United States today.

I believe that most universities are doing both — and doing them well. If leaders of the diverse sectors of society — business, faith groups, government and others — would embrace and encourage these extremely important dual roles, higher education could be even more effective in harnessing the opportunity while students are under our influence.

HARRIS PASTIDES

President

University of South Carolina

Columbia, S.C.