chapter  14
4 Pages

e Future of the Ethical Academy: Preliminary oughts and Suggestions


In his book, Collapse, Jared Diamond (2005: 438) supplies what he calls a “road map” to the collapse of societies: “failure to anticipate a problem, failure to perceive it once it has arisen, failure to attempt to solve it aer it has been perceived, and failure in attempts to solve it.” Although it is doubtful that higher education will collapse, except as the direct consequence of the collapse of global society itself, the academy-its purpose, its ideals, its manifestations-as we know it, might. We have already seen the autonomy, respect, and credibility of traditional higher education questioned and challenged through the rise of for-prot education and diploma mills and the disintegration of tenure, as well as increasing accountability pressures from external stakeholders. Although some of these changes may be considered by some to be natural evolutionary responses, they could also be interpreted as a sign that the academy is having diculty anticipating, perceiving, and resolving serious issues at its ethical center-which is, aer all, the infrastructure and base for the pursuit and transmission of knowledge. If the ethical center cannot be defended, the prospects for collapse-or at least severe loss of faith in our educational institutions-will dramatically increase.