ethics in higher education

What is the role of the academic in such an era, or, at the very least, what are the academic’s obligations to his or her profession, campus and government?

rachel-barney-cropped-2011Rachel Barney, a professor of classics and philosophy at the University of Toronto (and a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen), this week proposed what she’s calling the Anti-Authoritarian Academic Code of Conduct.

Here’s the 10-point code in full:

  • I will not aid in the registering, rounding up or internment of students and colleagues on the basis of their religious beliefs.
  • I will not aid in the marginalization, exclusion or deportation of my undocumented students and colleagues.
  • I will, as my capacities allow, discourage and defend against the bullying and harassment of vulnerable students and colleagues targeted for important aspects of their identity (such as race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, etc.).
  • I will not aid government or law enforcement in activities which violate the U.S. Constitution or other U.S. law.
  • I will not aid in government surveillance. I will not inform.
  • As a teacher and researcher, I will not be bought or intimidated. I will present the state of research in my field accurately, whether or not it is what the government wants to hear. I will challenge others when they lie.
  • I will not be shy about my commitment to academic values: truth, objectivity, free inquiry and rational debate. I will challenge others when they engage in behavior contrary to these values.
  • As an administrator, I will defend my students, faculty and nonacademic staff. I will not allow the expulsion, firing, disciplining, harassment or marginalization of individuals targeted for being members of disfavored groups or for expressing dangerous opinions. I will speak up for academic freedom. I will insist on the autonomy of my institution.
  • I will stand with my colleagues at other institutions, and defend their rights and freedoms.
  • I will be fair and unbiased in the classroom, in grading and in all my dealings with all my students, including those who disagree with me politically.

The proposed code is similar to some of the points made by other academic groups since the election, including a petition advancing the notion of “sanctuary campuses” for undocumented students, and the American Association of University Professors’ condemnation of hate crimes. …

Professor Loraleigh Keashly linked to this on Facebook. I’m pleased she now finally realizes that helping me with my homework back in High School was unethical. 🙂


Carly Rae Jepsen – Nine Inch Nails mashup

Vimeo user yepimthetoaster mashed up Carly Rae Jepsen’s recent single “I Really Like You” with Nine Inch Nail’s “Head Like A Hole” and the result is a catchy masterpiece entitled “I Really Like A Hole”. Yes, even the title is perfect.


Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo.

Brazzaville–Kinshasa bridge?

The Brazzaville–Kinshasa Bridge is a proposed road-rail bridge planned to connect Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which are major capital cities on the Congo River.

The bridge would need to be about 4 km long. …


Though these are the two closest National capitals in the world, almost nobody feels this is going to happen any time soon.

… significant political and infrastructure challenges prevent the two cities from functioning with any meaningful connection …

What IS happening is a riverfront park in Brazzaville, that includes a bridge. On the Brazzaville side.

bridge BRAZZA

We checked out the construction.



It’s well underway. Looks super modern. Looks a waste of money in a city where the majority of the population have no toilet, running water or power.

Still, I’m interested to see how it turns out.