ERIC Number: ED027850
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Mar-3
Reference Count: 0
The Politicization of Higher Education Organizations: Assets and Liabilities.
Conflict has recently arisen among educators over the "politicization" (the involvement of academic organizations in political controversies) of associations and universities. The issue, however, is no longer whether organizations should attempt to influence public policy but in what KINDS of policy questions they should become involved. There are both "narrow" issues, affecting only higher education, and "broad" issues affecting many groups in society. The academic voluntary associations have in the last decade engaged in the process of narrow politicization in their participation in shaping educational policy. Encouraging the federal government to provide greater support to higher education has provoked little controversy. But conflict among association members has arisen over broad political questions. Advocates of involvement argue that overspecialization and dependence on federal aid have reduced scholars' incentive to be responsibly critical of social ills. Those resisting broad politicization contend that members of a disciplinary society do not share ideological views and politicization would compromise the association's professional status and autonomy. Associations should show their concern by enhancing their activities related to solving social problems but they needn't engage in overt political activity. "Academic organizations can function most effectively as contexts for the scholarly examination of social issues, thus helping to prepare their members for more informed participation in the political process." (JS)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association for Higher Education, Washington, DC.
Note: Paper presented at the American Association for Higher Education's 24th National Conference on Higher Education, Chicago, Ill., Mar 2-5, 1969.