ERIC Number: EJ783421
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec-7
Reference Count: 0
How to Get What You Want in Academe
Olson, Gary A.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n15 pC1 Dec 2007
Professors may be among the most highly educated members of society, but when it comes to negotiating their daily professional relationships, they sometimes seem to check their intelligence at the door. Ostensibly the bastion of reasoned and collegial discourse, academe is often plagued by inexcusably rude behavior that is the opposite of collegial. Students, unfortunately, are contributing to their culture of incivility. Professors and administrators report more and more incidents of students acting out in verbally abusive ways. The term "grade dispute" used to refer to a reasoned weighing of facts and evidence; now it seems to suggest a diatribe. The culture of incivility is ubiquitous. All a professor needs do is peruse discussion forums for academics and their countless blogs to see how much reasoned, intelligent discourse has eroded and is being replaced by mean-spirited name calling and finger pointing. One serious consequence of incivility is that it can permanently damage one's reputation in an institution after only a few incidents of hotheadedness. The author argues that if professors really want to accomplish their goals in academe, then honey, not vinegar, is the key. No injustice, however great; no personal affront, however offensive; no decision, however wrongheaded, can justify abusive discourse--be it in print, in person, or in public.
Descriptors: College Faculty, Interpersonal Relationship, Antisocial Behavior, Verbal Communication, Reputation, Computer Mediated Communication
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A