I spent the 1982-83 school year as a member of the adjunct music faculty at Pepperdine "University." I believe there are three reasons the school has not achieved an academic standing comparable to UCLA: the faculty, the students and the philosophy.
The philosophy, as accurately described in The Times article, is inconsistent with the goals of a liberal arts education.
All of my students, saxophone majors, showed an astonishing lack of interest in the subject I was hired to teach: saxophone. In one instance, in an effort to find some way to inspire interest, I asked a student if he could tell me the name of a saxophone player who had particularly impressed him. He said no. I asked if he could tell me the name of any musician on any instrument who had impressed him. No. Finally, and not necessarily facetiously, I asked if he could tell me the name of any musician at all. After a pause he said, "Liberace."
Another student told me he only practiced a half-hour a day because saxophone was only a half-unit class.
DAVID M. SHERR