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The Proposal for George Wythe University
A Renaissance in Education
In 2006 an internal George Wythe Foundation white paper outlined the case for George Wythe University. This document is being published in its entirety in The Statesman over the course of several months. What follows is Part V. Click here for Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV.
Students & Faculty
Imagine that you are on the George Wythe University campus, walking and talking with the students. There are students from every state in the Union, chosen on the basis of merit alone, and representing both genders, many races, and a diversity of socioeconomic backgrounds. A significant portion of the student body are international students representing nations from Switzerland and Argentina to Israel, South Africa, China, etc. The things they all have in common are a deep sense of personal responsibility, a belief in a higher truth which we all must seek and follow, an abundance mentality and the demonstrated willingness to work hard.
When you ask them about world events, you find from their answers that their studies connect them with the greatest minds of the past and present. These students speak with common sense, and focus on what works. They are not academicians, but critical-thinking future entrepreneurs, leaders, and decision-makers with the background of scholars. They are student-statesmen talking, debating, and reading, mingling in small groups, or one on one, and often engrossed in individual study and reflection.
All undergraduate students at George Wythe University will major in Statesmanship. George Wythe University builds statesmen and will become identified with the words statesman, statesmen, stateswoman, stateswomen, statesmanship, and statecraft. George Wythe University selectively accepts 450 students per year, at a rate of five to fifteen students from each state and twenty to fifty international students. Exact quotas are not given to allow the University to select the very best applicants. Ideally all students are on full scholarship, including texts, technical support, room and board.
The freshman cohort will consist of 450 students, and the focus of the freshman year will be studying the classics and learning principles of good 27 government, personal virtue and wisdom. The primary classics of the freshman year will introduce students to the core thinkers and principles of liberty, including the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution in rigorous detail, The Federalist Papers, Democracy in America by Tocqueville, the writings of the American Founders, and many other fundamental basics of good government. The freshman year will also include an intensive study of American history in detail. Students will significantly improve their skills of reading and understanding the classics; diagramming and fully analyzing historical constitutions and other government documents; and excelling in public speaking and oral exams. They will also begin studying negotiation, diplomacy, literature, the arts, and foreign language—all of which will continue throughout their studies.
The sophomore cohort will also consist of 300-400 students. The lower number allows for natural fallout during the freshman year. The focus of the sophomore year will be economics and political philosophy. The sophomore class will study many more classics, including numerous biographies of great men and women who were statesmen. Students will study in-depth the mathematics and science classics including the current cutting edge of these fields and their resulting technology. Sophomores will work on writing, public speaking, negotiation, foreign language and diplomatic skills. At the end of the sophomore year, all students must pass the Sophomore Challenge. This rigorous oral exam will be administered by a board of five mentors and will evaluate each student’s learning and skills acquired to this point. Only those who pass the Sophomore Challenge will be accepted as upperclassmen at George Wythe University. Upon successful completion of the Challenge, each advancing sophomore student will do an approved summer internship in government, military, education, business or other approved position.
It is anticipated that the junior cohort will have approximately 200-300 students, due to both natural fallout and sifting by way of the Sophomore Challenge. No specific quotas are given to allow for quality to be the determining factor. The goal is to help all students pass the Challenge; but obviously not all will be successful, and only qualifying students move on to their junior year. Students may transfer from other colleges or universities only if they pass the Sophomore Challenge—it is anticipated that such a student would be very rare indeed, but that a few could perhaps meet this standard each year. A few such students will also be recruited from global universities. The junior cohort will study world history in depth. This intensive study of history will be unequalled by any other university, not excluding specialized graduate programs. This study of history will have many emphases, including the history of: philosophy, ethics, biographies of statesmen, science, mathematics, technology, government, warfare with strategy and tactics, psychology, literature, religion, the arts, foreign language, education, and 28 leadership. The junior year will be the most academically challenging of the four years. During the summer following the junior year, each advancing junior student will do an approved internship in government, military, business, education or other approved position.
The senior cohort will consist of 200-300 students. Students will study current events, entrepreneurial business, and modern leadership. Each student will solidify a vision of his or her personal mission and will spend the year preparing for that focus. Much of the senior year will be self-directed studies guided by a mentor with specific emphasis on the student’s chosen direction of life mission. Although the studies are less structured during this year (to allow for individualized focus), this will be the most personally challenging of the four years and will involve both rigorous academics and real-world application beyond the classroom. Mentors will help students fill in any gaps in the world classics reading list, and master writing, speaking, business planning, negotiation, foreign language, artistic and mathematical knowledge, and leadership skills.
George Wythe University will accept 150 graduate students at a time: 100 in the Masters Programs, with degrees in Education and Political Economy, and 50 in the Ph.D. in Constitutional Law. As a Masters student or Doctoral candidate completes a degree program, his or her slot will become available for a new student to enter. All graduate students will have a faculty advisor, and select graduate students will serve as Associate Mentors to undergraduates.
The potential student selection team will be charged with traveling the United States and searching out the highest quality students they can find, taking advantage of the resources of local business, educational and governmental leaders. Once these students are identified they will be encouraged to apply and invited to attend a week long evaluation event on campus. Each cohort of 450 undergraduate students will be selected on the basis of three criteria:
1) Demonstrated Leadership
2) Academic Excellence
3) Public Virtue, meaning their willingness and likelihood to focus their life on selfless service to their nation and society rather than selfaggrandizement.
The third criteria will be the most important, and will be determined through demonstrated focus on service and altruism in past performance and rigorous questioning in an interview prior to a student’s acceptance. The interviewing team will be made up of at least three College Presidents. 29 Curriculum George Wythe University stands on the belief that Statesmanship is the product of a particular educational system, known to the great leaders of the past, but lost to modern academia. It is a principle-centered process grounded in the belief in God and immutable moral law, framed on the classics of literature, history, science, the arts, and philosophy, and crowned in the discipline of realworld application under the guidance of a committed and caring mentor.
History Political Science Political Economy Fine Arts Biblical Studies International Relations Negotiation and Diplomacy Current Events Statesmanship Constitutional Law Philosophy Public Policy Mathematics Protocol and Etiquette Literature Entrepreneurship Science Foreign Language
Faculty & University Leadership
The University will consist of six Colleges of underclassmen and four Colleges of upperclassmen; there will also be one dedicated graduate College. Each College will host a population of 148, inclusive of faculty and students. This number of people (140-148) has been shown to be the optimal number for groups working well together; there is a spirit of community and familiarity at this population that is ideal for the educational model, and the leader can know and work with each individual.
George Wythe University will maintain a one:ten student-teacher ratio. There will be four types of teachers:
1) Senior Mentors
4) Associate Mentors
Senior Mentors will include a University Chancellor, Provost and President and 11 College Presidents. Each College President will head a College of 132 students and fifteen faculty (five Mentors, two Professors and eight Associate Mentors). Each College President will also serve as a sixth Mentor in his College. Presidents will ensure world-class educational delivery to all. College Presidents will teach, mentor, lecture, guide and lead each of these 148 individuals toward scholarly and leadership excellence—both directly and by considered delegation to the other faculty members.
Professors will serve in a college for an academic year and rotate between colleges. Professors are expert lectures and teachers, who bring specialized depth and experience to the campus. There will be twenty-two university professors.
Each Mentor will ensure excellent education and leadership training for two Associate Mentors and twenty-six undergraduates. Mentors will divide this group between 30 himself/herself and the Associate Mentors, to form small groups of between seven and nine students. These Associate Mentor groups will meet at least three times a week, will be housed together and will study in the same area as much as possible. Presidents, Mentors, Professors and Associate Mentors will take care to see that no student “falls through the cracks,” and that each student gets daily personalized attention.
The Chancellor will be the highest official of George Wythe University, with final executive authority on all policies and decisions, both academic and administrative. The Chancellor will frequent the classes, mentor groups, campus, housing areas, eating areas, and even visit off-campus programs; constantly working to improve academics, both at the level of the individual student and the university in general.
The Provost will oversee the educational delivery of all eleven Colleges and mentor each of the eleven College Presidents in their continued educational progress. The faculty will be hired by the Provost and report directly to him. The Provost will be a world-class scholar, educator and leader who is equally at home in the research library, the classroom, the small-group colloquium, and the one-on-one mentor meeting, as well as being an effective and inspiring administrator and manager of a focused faculty carrying out the University’s primary function.
The University President will be hired by the Chancellor, and will have all administrative power for the University. The President will be the face of George Wythe University to the world, and will strive to expand the influence of the University by capitalizing on Public Relations and Outreach opportunities that will arise naturally as a result of student research and writing, simulations, situation room, internships, Think Tank, faculty research and publishing, and other elements of the educational process and experience at GWU. He will hire staff and administrate as necessary to maintain and consistently improve the quality of administrative procedures and performance. The University President will be a model of statesmanship in his own right, as a scholar, humanitarian and a leader of proven excellence.
Next month's installment will continue by outlining our proposed pedagogy, mentor qualifications and the role of parents.
The Proposal for George Wythe University was written in 2006 by Shanon D. Brooks, then CEO of George Wythe College, based on ideals and plans formulated by Oliver DeMille during the 1990's. The Proposal was presented to the George Wythe Foundation board of trustees and the American Academy for Liberal Education at the time of GWC's application for accreditation.PrintShare this article with a Friend