Friday, June 09, 2006

The Leadership Compass. Values and Ethics in Higher Education

The Leadership Compass. Values and Ethics in Higher Education. This is an ERIC Digest from 1992. It is by John R. Wilcox and Susan L. Ebbs. While it is a bit dated, I still think it hits many good points.

All the attention relating to the patriot Act and patron privacy I think highlights this. Libraries often do take leadership roles in higher education when dealing with values and ethics. I do not think we always take the right stands on these issues (sometimes it is ethical to give out some patron information to the government) but the library profession has certainly taken a leadership role in the 21st century.

From the site:

Work in academic life, like any other kind of work, is laden with values and has a moral dimension that emerges from the ethical reflection characteristic of institutional self-scrutiny. Students are vulnerable before and unequal to the scholar; trust must characterize faculty-student relationships. Ultimately, however, professorial knowledge is not proprietary but communal, dedicated to the welfare of society through the transmission and extension of knowledge. The role of the scholar can be conceived in four phases: teaching, discovery, application, and integration, each of which has its own ethical assumptions and problems (Boyer 1990). Often the competing needs of these roles cause conflicts for the scholar teacher/researcher. In responding to these problems, the scholar must balance individual with group realities and requirements. An important pedagogical conception to help achieve the balance is the learning community.

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