Universities and colleges across the United States have become hotbeds of administrative, academic, financial, and sexual scandals. Each new case erodes the societal recognition of the value of higher education systems. It is clear that in order for these institutions to reclaim their respected status requires an examination and rebuilding of the ethical foundations of higher education.
This book gathers faculty and administrators from highly respected schools to examine the current situation and mark directions for change. Chapters address such topics as privacy, shared governance, grievance procedures, accountability, adjunct instructors, student athletes, campus policing, pedagogy and rubric review, libraries and access to information, aging faculty, international students, secrecy and public relations, and the corporatization of universities.
Reviewing the challenges and opportunities that face higher education, this book argues that what holds institutions together over time are the values, principles, and traditions that contribute to moral character and lay a foundation for institutional integrity.
Contributors: Michael Boylan, Cher Weixia Chen, Zenon Culverhouse, Darin Dockstader, Cora Drozd, Robert Labaree, Jonathan Liljeblad, Matthew Mahrt, Rita Manning, Glen Miller, Melissa L. Miller, Charles P. Milne Jr., Laura Nader, Alison Dundes Renteln, Paul Renteln, Steve Sanders, Wanda Teays, Rosemarie Tong
Wanda Teays is professor of philosophy emerita at Mount Saint Mary’s University. She is the author of Doctors and Torture; Business Ethics Through Movies: A Case Study Approach; Seeing the Light: Exploring Ethics Through Movies, and Second Thoughts: Critical Thinking for a Diverse Society. She is editor of Analyzing Violence Against Women; Reshaping Philosophy: Michael Boylan’s Narrative Fiction; and co-editor of Ethics in the AI, Technology, and Information Age, Global Bioethics & Human Rights; and Bioethics, Justice & Health Care. In her 30 years at MSMU she was Philosophy Department Chair and served as chair on numerous faculty committees, including the Academic Integrity Committee, the Academic Freedom Committee, and the Faculty Policy Committee.
Alison Dundes Renteln, is professor of political science, anthropology, law, and public policy at the University of Southern California. She is the author of seventy articles and author or co-editor of: The Cultural Defense (2004), Cultural Law (2010), Images and Human Rights ( 2018), and Global Bioethics and Human Rights (2020). For decades Renteln taught judges, lawyers, court interpreters, jury consultants, and police officers at professional meetings. She collaborated with the UN on implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, lectured on comparative legal ethics at ABA-sponsored conferences, and served on a California committee of Human Rights Watch. In 2020 she was elected a member of the Board of Trustees for the Law and Society Association and appointed to the California State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
PART I: ETHICAL FRAMEWORKS
1. Scandals and Historic Injustices at Universities: An Argument for Greater AccountabilityAlison Dundes Renteln
2. Ethical Foundations For Institutional IntegrityWanda Teays
3. Privacy, Play, and the Digitalization of the UniversityGlen Miller and Cora Drozd
PART II: THE COMMUNITY
4. Shared Governance in Higher EducationDarin Dockstader, Matthew Mahrt, and Charles Milne
5. Academic Libraries: Advocating for an Ethical UniversityRobert V. Labaree and Melissa L. Miller
6. The Use of Adjuncts in Colleges and UniversitiesMichael Boylan
7. Rights-Based Approaches to the Treatment of Student AthletesJonathan Liljeblad
8. Campus Policing: What Authority and Limits are Appropriate?Rita Manning
PART III: CHALLENGES
9. The Role of the Humanities in Trauma-Informed PedagogyZenon Culverhouse
10. Pedagogical Issues: The General Education ChallengeLaura Nader
11. Is Your Grading Scale Unfair?Paul Renteln
12. Do Aging Academics Have a Moral Obligation To Retire?Rosemarie Tong
13. Human Rights of International Students in Higher Education: Theory & PracticeCher Weixia Chen
14. Secrecy and The University: A Cautionary Case StudySteve Sanders
Appendix: Shared Governance PoliciesCharles Milne
About the Contributors
[T]his volume sheds a bright light on the spate of recent administrative, academic, financial and sexual scandals. This volume asks why institutions long accorded a high degree of societal respect and deference have, all too often, failed to uphold their ethical and legal responsibilities. It also offers practical advice about what needs to be done if our colleges and universities are to overcome their moral lapses and oversights and ensure a safe, principled campus.
This volume provides a timely and important overview of many of the issues that confront higher education. The value of, and the values of, universities are being called into question. This book will help guide us through these ethical challenges.
Among the many crises facing humanity, the problems of the university may not seem to amount to a hill of beans. But universities are not only the longest surviving institutions in the world, they are essential guardians of the lessons of the past and incubators of the solutions we desperately need as we face the challenges of the future. The academy benefits from societal respect and deference, but this special status comes with an obligation to uphold ethical and moral principles, and our universities are all too often failing this responsibility. As the authors of the present volume clearly demonstrate, the unexamined university is not worth defending.
This is a book that challenges the American university system to look in the mirror and see some of its ugliness. Reading this collection of essays re-centers the moral obligation that our colleges and universities owe to our society. It's a wake-up call to a higher purpose.