Gene E. Willeke, Ph.D., P.E.,

Political columnists have noted that Paul Ryan, U.S. Congressman (R, Wisc.), graduated from Miami University with degrees in political science and economics in 1992. Even though the Miami Plan was adopted in 1992 and would not have been applicable in his case, liberal education preceded the Miami Plan for decades. Its key ideas have been around for a very long time, including what we now call critical thinking and reasoning from the facts of a case.

In Ryan’s case, if he picked this up at all, he quickly discarded it, replacing it with ideology that says there are things that are untouchable, such as the free market system, low tax rates and very limited government. He apparently didn’t learn much about either political science (well, perhaps some ideas from Machiavelli) or economics. One hopes that the Miami Plan and other course work will fare better for most of our students than it did for Paul Ryan.