Pano Kanelos is an educator, a Shakespeare scholar, and is the founding President of the University of Austin. During our conversation, Pano talks about the problems within modern universities, the principles that have and will guide the creation of the University of Austin, why Austin, Texas was chosen as the location of this new university, the timeline for the rollout of the school, and what success would look like for UATX.
UATX received 3,500 inquiries in its first week of existence from professors at other universities about career opportunities. From prior conversations on this podcast, I'm persuaded that censorship, self-censorship, monoculture, a lack of tolerance for minority opinions, a lack of academic diversity, and a lack of courage are real problems at modern universities.
Pano has called universities the "beating heart of a free society," and I think he's right about that. If we are a society that aims to remain democratic, tolerant, and pluralistic, that's committed to civil discourse and resists dogma, that's fearless in its aim to seek the truth, we should applaud the lofty ambitions of the University of Austin, and hope that it influences and improves our broader culture and our exceptional institutions of higher learning.