Colleges: The Perils of Being Offbeat

In many ways, New Hampshire's Franconia College (enrollment: 325) is a student rebel's paradise. The free-wheeling curriculum has no academic departments and little required study. Students enjoy unrestricted visiting hours in coed dorms, occasionally teach their own courses, and have the right to interview prospective faculty members. As some of its neighbors see it, the five-year-old experimental college is an example of liberty turned to license. Unquestionably, it is a troubled school. In April, the trustees demanded and got the resignation of President Richard Ruopp. Last month 19 of Franconia's 41...

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