Taylor says the U.S. population has shifted from mostly agrarian to mostly urban over 150 years, and he questions whether the needs of people today are the same as then, but ultimately concludes that what matters most for next week's celebration is that none of the "new people" will be represented. It's troubling for him, he writes, because the convocation will feature discussions to help set the agenda for land-grant schools for the next 150 years.
"Truth is," Taylor writes, "that elites in government and business have been increasingly influencing and often subtly setting the agenda -- especially the research agenda -- in land-grant universities for some time." He says cuts in extension funding over the years have caused a decrease in public support for land-grant schools, which was exacerbated by faculty turning inward and only conducting research and writing papers for peers instead of connecting with the public. (Read more)