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Week 2 Discussion/Taking a Stand

 

Declining revenue, demands for accountability, and ever-broadening missions have combined to corporatize the university, making it look and act more like a business than ever before. While some offices and departments within the academy have always operated like businesses, the approach is spreading to areas with traditional academic values. In this scenario, you will analyze possible responses to a conflict in values and argue for the position that is most unfamiliar to you.

 

Scenario

Dr. Albert is Chair of the Physics Department at Random Community College. The vice president for workforce development asks him to meet with an employer to discuss customized contract training for photonic technicians. At the meeting, the employer requests major changes to the scope and sequence of several physics courses. Dr. Albert knows that the vice president views the employer’s request as a valuable entrepreneurial opportunity for the college, but he is uncomfortable with it. After all, these courses were specifically designed to meet basic requirements for physics majors. They lay a foundation for the upper-level courses in the department. Dr. Albert feels that it is wrong to allow a nonacademic to meddle with the content of university courses. The vice president claims that a refusal to customize the courses will jeopardize the college’s relationship with the employer and the larger community, choking off future opportunities.

 

Identify several (three or more) ways to resolve the standoff. Analyze the pros and cons of each one. When you have finished, select the one that is most unfamiliar or uncomfortable for you, post an argument for it on the Discussion Board, and debate it with your colleagues.

  
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