ERIC Number: EJ779198
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: 0
Marketing Science, Marketing Ourselves
Montgomery, David C.
Academe, v89 n5 p36-38 Sep-Oct 2003
In this article, the author describes how the quest for external funding has dominated academic science and argues that today's scientists should think about pledging allegiance to traditional academic values. Enthusiasm for the pre-Cold War model of the university can probably not be justified in utilitarian terms or explained as a consequence of economic forces; it may rest on nonfalsifiable hypotheses or even simple aesthetic preferences. But two ideas behind the enthusiasm can be stated in an uncomplicated way: (1) the primary obligation of a university is to acquire, develop, transmit, and protect knowledge in a sensitive and inclusive way; and (2) no one, not even those actually doing the intellectual work, can know in advance to what future humane or inhumane use that knowledge may be put, if any. The responsibility for applying the knowledge lies elsewhere, and it is the academic's job to follow his or her own instincts about what to look at next. Two corollaries are: (1) those directly engaged with acquiring and transmitting knowledge are the sole best judges of where and how to invest their own efforts; but (2) they are obligated to separate rigorously their role as researcher or scholar from their equally legitimate roles as citizen, advocate, or consumer. Using the privilege of determining where best to invest one's effort to accumulate wealth, either for oneself or for a corporate sponsor or partner, has no legitimacy under this model. The academic's role in the historically privileged community of higher education is inherently unprivatizable, whether a person gets a paycheck from the public or the private sector: to privatize the role is to destroy it, by robbing the academic of the authority needed to be taken seriously.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Values Clarification, Social Exchange Theory, Institutional Role, Role Perception, Scholarship, Intellectual Freedom, Institutional Autonomy
American Association of University Professors. 1012 Fourteenth Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 800-424-2973; Tel: 202-737-5900; Fax: 202-737-5526; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aaup.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A