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Author, educator and literary critic Bill Deresiewicz to be Forum speaker Oct. 16

| Denise Olson

The Forum series at UW-Eau Claire continues Oct. 16 with a presentation by award-winning author, essayist and critic Bill Deresiewicz. The best-selling author of “Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life” will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Deresiewicz is a highly sought college speaker whose 2008 essay "The Disadvantages of an Elite Education" has been read online by more than a million people. The subject (or target) of Deresiewicz's work is the American system of higher education, the admissions process (including the K-12 prep) and the very pinnacles of our nation's higher education themselves, the Ivy League.

A 2014 New York Times review of the book said that Deresiewicz's "Excellent Sheep" will have lasting impact for three reasons: 1) He spent 24 years in the Ivy League himself; 2) His writing skill and the precision of his "strikes" are impeccable; and 3) It is a widespread indictment of the entirety of the upper-middle class in the U.S. — a decision likely to bring both fame and infamy. 

The central tragedy of Deresiewicz's argument, according to the Times, is that "we've created kids who throughout their high school years, are unable to do anything with their time that they cannot put on a resume. They're blinkered overachievers."

The concept of "return on investment" is the central theme of college recruitment and marketing, and Deresiewicz holds that the return of which they speak is only monetary. The purpose of college is no longer to learn, he says, or to become — "It's simply to acquire a lucrative job." 

Tickets: All seats are general admission. Tickets are available online, at the Service Center and at the door.

Visit the Service Center in Davies Center’s east lobby
Call 715-836-INFO [4636] or 800-949-UWEC [8932]
$8 General Public
$6 UW System Faculty/Staff • Age 62 & Over
$4 UW System Student • Age 17 & Under
Student tickets are $2 until the day of the show