ETA: More on this topic.
Shannon Hale makes a very good point in this post.
To it, I would add that another limitation of only teaching classics is that the classics mentioned in the article (and almost all of the classics I was ever assigned to read) are entirely of Greek/Latin and European origin. It's a wide, wide world and more people might be interested in classics if the accepted list was more reflective of that wide world.
Also, could that guy be more snobbish? Jeez!