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Chancellor Responds to Maria Saporta

Atlanta — May 17, 1998

The following letter appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on May 17, 1998

This English major (Chancellor Portch), in talking with a Journalism major (Maria Saporta), about a History major (Governor Miller) seems to have offended some sensitive souls by calling their degrees “useless”! Unfortunately, while Maria Saporta did put “useless” in quotation marks, she was unable to capture in print the twinkle in my eye as I called my degree, her degree and the governor’s degree “useless.”

For the record, I wouldn’t trade my liberal arts degree for any other. My favorite quotation about a liberal arts education is “it’s what’s left after you’ve forgotten everything you’ve been taught.” It’s the habits of the mind. And these habits of critical and flexible thinking have never been more valuable.

We seek to produce graduates who can not only earn a living, but also have rich lives in the fullest sense. My point was that students with both a liberal arts degree and an information technology degree would be highly marketable.

I will watch my twinkles in the future.


Stephen R. Portch
Chancellor, University System of Georgia

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