“At the very beginning of the era of the modern university… Andrew Carnegie decided that it would be a good idea to give college teachers pensions. A college president was pretty hard-pressed to refuse such a gift, if he wanted to retain the best faculty available. Accordingly, the Carnegie Foundation attached some conditions to its grants, and it is these conditions that served to define the entire educational era that followed [right up to, and including the present day].
The Carnegie Foundation began by announcing that only colleges, as defined by itself, would be eligible for the grants. The Foundation then defined a college as requiring so many hours of secondary school education (which are still known as Carnegie Units), as possessing an endowment of at least $500,000, as having at least eight departments, and with each department headed by a Ph.D. That was how the Ph.D. became the key to the academic kingdom. Never, of course, has there been a more conformity-creating credential. The Ph.D. means that university intellectuals are required to beg the approval of their betters for the decade that shapes their professional life. This credentialing system has been more effective than a Central Committee in creating ideological conformity in the ivory tower. The Carnegie Foundation also announced that it would not fund pension programs for denominational institutions. That was how Brown, Drake, Wesleyan and many other colleges gave up their denominational affiliations, and how the secularization of American higher learning began. As a congressional commission asked at the time: “If a college will give up its religious affiliation for money, what will it not give up?”” Good question!
More: Up From Multiculturalism
From the Book, Sex, Lies, & Vast Conspiracies, By David Horowitz