A vital assumption underlying my argument is that some kind of restoration is required if universities are to fulfi l their role of civic leadership within a good society. Another key assumption is that we, as academic workers, can contribute signifi cantly to that restoration by reclaiming the moral bases of our academic professionalism. Th e idiom in which we now routinely speak of learning within the university has become devoid of moral content. Much of the literature on teaching and learning in higher education, for example, treats pedagogy as if it were a set of techniques, rather than a highly complex practice that relies upon the subtle interplay between the activities of teaching, research, scholarship and collegiality. (Rowland, 2000, is a notable exception; see his discussion of ‘love of learning’, pp. 74-84.) We need to restore an idiom — a way of speaking, writing and thinking about academic practice — that reinstates the moral dimension. A clearer articulation of the virtuous dispositions implicit in academic practice is one way of setting about that task — fundamental to which is the need to restore relationship, moral purposefulness and social connectedness as central to the notion of academic professionalism.