About this site

You will find on this site weekly articles that appear in newspapers in the Texas Panhandle and beyond. I began writing in 2007 and over 600 reflections are posted on this webpage.  A few of them are fairly good, I will leave it to you to judge the rest. The early posts were written while on the architecture faculty at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The columns express ideas and views of the power of higher education and its impact on society. These are intended to comment on how universities work and the value they bring to individuals and the larger community – musings intended to cause reflective thought about our nation’s universities.

Thank you for taking the time to visit.

I share this simple thought:

Governments cannot make universities by enactments of laws: Nor corporations by erections of edifices: The church cannot create them under the authority of heaven: The flattering eulogies of orators cannot adorn them with learning: Newspapers cannot puff them into being. Learned men-scholars- these are the only workmen who can build up universities. Provide charters and endowments- the necessary protection and capital – provide books and apparatus- the necessary tools: Then seek out sufficient scholars, and leave them to their work, as the intellectual engineers who alone are competent to do it.

–Henry P. Tappan (1805-1881) President, University of Michigan 1858, lecture, Christian Library Association 22 June, quoted in Richard Hofstadter and William Smith (eds.) American Higher Education: A Documentary History Volume II 1961, p. 519

Last updated January 2022


2 thoughts on “About this site

  1. Hello Dr. Wendler,

    I am not sure you remember me, we are connected via LinkedIn so you can recall.

    I wanted to say I enjoy reading what you write and feel this is a side of you, being a student, I never saw. The last few years I have been working on personal development and my education and find your work helpful and interesting.

    Keep up them coming.

    Sincerely and respectfully,


  2. “I have reflected on these two observations from that day until this. Helping students learn to think clearly and reflectively and gain skills that will sustain life intellectually and materially is first purpose.”
    Right on the nose. Now solve the problem faced by faculty of several disciplines.
    Which course of study gains the end you seek. Do we invent a course or allow the department to fight over the outcome. My entire approach to thinking has been the result of my training in debate, reasoning, etc. Is that what you are talking about?
    SIU is about to enter a new world, as y ou probably know. What courses would you pick (or what direction ). You are writing well and having fun. I can tell.

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