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ERIC Number: EJ1053628
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Feb-23
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1938-5978
Truth, Transparency and Trust: Treasured Values in Higher Education
Gross, Karen
New England Journal of Higher Education, Feb 2015
The words "truth," "transparency," and "trust" recently have taken on renewed importance in higher education. The reporting and handling of sexual assaults, athletic cheating scandals, Muslim student deaths, the intrusion into the admissions process by college/university presidents forcing acceptance of new students who are politically connected, and fraternity hazing, among other inappropriate activities, have run headlong into efforts to determine the truth, demonstrate institutional transparency, and establish and maintain trust among the wide range of stakeholders. Education leaders and campuses must build trust. College presidents know that if they lose the trust of their boards, their faculty, government officials and sometimes their students, their jobs are at risk. Of late, too many presidents have lost their positions because the trust others held in them was eroded beyond repair. In this article, Karen Gross suggests that while university and college presidents need not be flawless, they must ferret out--and often quickly--what is fact and what is fiction. They must spend the time to think through the words they use to describe volatile situations, and above all else, own the truth, whether it is good or bad. Gross goes on to say that judging from current events, trust on campuses is eroding, including in leaders and within the student population. She emphasizes that without trust the connectivity so central to the creation of community and the capacity to learn and take risks diminishes. She concludes by asserting that educators need to spend more time rebuilding and valuing trust, not just divining and sharing truth.
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A