The Academy: Greed and Corruption

May 16, 2014

Should there be greed and corruption in academic institutions? one dollar

In a conversation with several educated people who are in responsible positions in medicine, law and technology, I said that the corruption in the academy is shocking.

One person said, “Corruption is in every profession under the sun, why should education be different?”

Another said, “It is shocking, but why should teachers, professors, administrators – why should they be less greedy than other people?”

Well, I tried to explain why people in the academy “should” be different, but I failed miserably.

Here is my weak argument:the journey

People in the academy are responsible for preparing the citizens of tomorrow. From kindergarten to graduate school, teachers, professors, administrators, all teach a subject. They also teach by example. That is, they must be honest, upright citizens, role models who students admire, emulate and want to place on a pedestal.

Children from kindergarten to adults in graduate school see more of teachers and professors than they see of their parents. Some times adolescents might trust their teachers more than their parents. Therefore, people in the academy must be, should be, above greed or dishonesty of any kind.

The citizens of tomorrow should want to emulate the citizens of today. But they can’t or won’t if today’s citizens in the academy are the corrupt people they listen to by day and spit at by night.

The argument went on. I felt as if I was wrong. Then on the point of frustration I added:law-books-4

Look, we in the academy owe our students our honesty and integrity. We more or less tell them how to live their adult lives. How can we tell our children what to do, how to do it, when we are corrupt? And that is why people in the academy must be above the dirt!

Their reaction:

Oh! Get real!

You don’t really believe what you just said?

Ha! Ha! Ha! Academy! The perfect world!


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