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The Prostitution Of Academia, By David Suzuki

1083 words - 5 pages

In "The Prostitution of Academia", David Suzuki argues that the trend towards the industrialization of universities will seriously compromise "the unique role of academic scholars." He stresses his concerns about the increasing link between academics and private industry. He expresses his concern about the loss of exploration and creativity of the students due to the exploitation of education by industries. Those who lived through the Civil War and Reconstruction recognized that the world had passed through perhaps the single most significant transformative period in its history. The great questions of slavery, sectionalism, and national supremacy that had plagued the Canadians for nearly ...view middle of the document...

They began, therefore, to consider how to organize themselves to meet the challenge posed by the employers' increasing economic power. Higher Or Professional Education In Universities In terms of Max Weber's theory of rationalization; there are four basic motivators for human behavior. People are motivated by custom or tradition, by emotions, by religious or ethical values, and by rational goal oriented behavior. The final factor that should be understood in Weber's theory of rationalization is the phenomenon of the "irrationality factor." Just because an action is rational in terms of fulfillment of a short-term goal. In the past, university education was seldom as bureaucratically organized as corporate and government institutions. This was mainly due to European traditions and the fact that universities are very dependent upon a large number of highly educated professionals who used their numbers and expertise to demand a voice in university governance. This, however, is beginning to change. Internal Efficiency There are several rationalizing trends at Canadian universities that can be considered to be home grown--internal to the university, mirroring the more goal oriented norms of measurement, coordination, and efficiency that increasingly dominate society as a whole. They arise internally to meet the needs of university education institutions themselves--the need to increase productivity and efficiency because of tightening budgets. Universities can no longer expect significant increases in state funding and therefore further rationalize their organization by controlling instructional costs, tightening coordination, cutting programs with few majors, and raising tuition and fees. These reviews are conducted for purposes of merit, promotion and tenure. This change in monitoring is part of the increase in educational bureaucracy, and part no doubt is due to the general tightening of coordination and control exhibited throughout society in order to assure continuing productivity of the workforce. Market Efficiency Universities have recently proliferated in size and scope. It is readily apparent to anyone who has worked in higher education over the last 30 years that things are rapidly changing. There are a number of trends in Canadian university education that are caused by broader social and cultural rationalization--by attempts on the part of universities to more efficiently meet the needs of advanced industrial-bureaucratic society. An increasing focus on numbers of students--the health of a university (as the health of a corporation) is increasingly measured by...

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