Anyway, the Forward to the Bloom's book is written by the late, and clearly great, Saul Bellow. Here is an excerpt from the next to last paragraph:
"The heart of Professor Bloom's argument is that the university, in a society ruled by public opinion, was to have been an island of intellectual freedom where all views were investigated without restriction. Liberal democracy in its generosity made this possible, but by consenting to play an active pr 'positive, a participatory role in society, the university has become inundated and saturated with the backflow of society's 'problems.' Preoccupied with questions of Health, Sex, Race, War, academics make their reputations and their fortunes and the university has become society's conceptual warehouse of often harmful influences. Any proposed reforms of liberal education which might bring the university into conflict with the whole of the U.S.A. are unthinkable. Increasingly, the people 'inside' are identical in their appetites and motives with the people 'outside' the university. This is what I take Bloom to be saying . . . ."
In short, academia has breached its bargain with society. Academia is suffering the consequences of that breach. I would argue that Bloom, and Bellow as well, would argue that universities once were places where ideas and intellectual pursuits really mattered, but now universities are run by finance, marketing, and efficiency people with little or no interest in education, ideas, and the development of the intellectual. University students are increasingly taught not by teacher-researchers in search of some lower-case truth, but by teacher-researchers who are asking whether this or that project will make them more or less marketable, promotable, or tenurable. That is the say, those inside the university have sunk to the lowest common denominator of the masse. University professors are increasingly George Babbitts now. Professor George Babbitt sowing intellectual mediocrity into generations students. The core of a great university is its faculty. Unfortunately, in university after university across America, the faculties have abdicated their governance responsibility for comfort and financial security. Now that that American economy is is permanent decline and turmoil, now that those outside the gate are bombarding the university with criticism, now that people no longer see a meaningful difference in the business of education and the business of car manufacturing or banking, university faculties find themselves helpless, without intellectual leadership, without a soul. If the American automobile industry is to recover and thrive, then it must come up with a better business model and, among other things, results in the development and manufacturing of better cars. If university education is going to survive and thrive, it needs to replaced its current failed education model with one that once again values, among other things, education (as opposed to degrees), ideas (as opposed to mere opinions), and intellectual freedom (as opposed to anti-intellectual group think).