ERIC Number: ED183040
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr-18
Reference Count: 0
The Structure of the Academic Profession: Toward a Definition of Ethical Issues.
Dill, David D.
An attempt is made to identify potential sources of value conflicts or dilemmas faced by faculty members. Limitations inherent in our understanding of the academic profession are suggested, and the role of the individual faculty member is analyzed. A typology of the academic profession developed by Donald Light is considered. Light concludes that by definition there is no academic profession as such, but rather characteristics of a profession that center on each discipline. It is suggested that in the United States academics have never been a free profession because they cannot practice it unless first hired by a university. There is a limited community of interest among the academic profession and the faculty subset. Conflicts may exist between the activities of teaching, research, and service. The rapidly developing federal influence in the activity of research, and the potentials for legal accountability for those engaged in the research process, have led to a major conflict between the interests of science and those of the broader society. Service is a professional activity that not all faculty members provide. The primary issue in regard to service is the relationship between the faculty member and the client. The teaching activity of academics is influenced by more members of the role set than either research or service. These influences include: the norms of the discipline and field; the policies established; and the expectations of students. Value conflicts are intrinsic to the professoriate by virtue of the multiple clients served. The source of these conflicts may also stem from competing and changing influences from the professional role set, which alter the relationships between the faculty member and his various clients. (SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Conflict of Interest
Note: Paper prepared for a session on "Ethics in the Academic Profession," American Association for Higher Education (Washington, DC, April 18, 1979)