What we have witnessed in our own time is the death of universities as centres of critique. Since Margaret Thatcher, the role of academia has been to service the status quo, not challenge it in the name of justice, tradition, imagination, human welfare, the free play of the mind or alternative visions of the future.
The question is not absurd, or rather could be rephrased: are our universities no longer going to be what we thought we meant when we say the word “university”? I think the answer to that will be yes. This is an excellent companion piece to Charlie Brooker’s three days later (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/20/charlie-brooker-how-cut-t….
Taking me back to the question I asked earlier: is it time for the academy to leave the institution? (http://rworld2.posterous.com/is-it-time-for-the-academy-to-leave-the-insti)