|About the Book|
Colleges sometimes find themselves at the center of controversy over bad behavior. Widespread cheating, research misconduct, questionable admissions practices, fraud and theft, opulent compensation packages for presidents, exploitation ofMoreColleges sometimes find themselves at the center of controversy over bad behavior. Widespread cheating, research misconduct, questionable admissions practices, fraud and theft, opulent compensation packages for presidents, exploitation of ill-prepared students as semi-professional athletes, violations of intercollegiate athletic association rules, tolerance of deplorable social life on campus, and substandard teaching are some of the problems identified by scholars and journalists alike. None of this is new. We might ask, however, whether it needs to continue. Is it possible for colleges and universities themselves (and not just the people employed at any given moment) to be morally responsible and accountable?In The Morally Responsible College, Michael Palmer responds with a resounding Yes to this question, arguing that colleges—like all organizations—are moral agents and that college leaders should take care to implement an effective ethics program. Not only should they do so. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Federal Acquisition Regulation, and court rulings, colleges have a legal obligation to adopt an effective ethics program that helps them be morally responsible agents. Like every other business or nonprofit in the country, they must comply with discrimination, harassment, and other personnel-related ethics training benchmarks such as California’s AB 1825 sexual harassment training mandates. If college and university leaders want to practice what they teach, they will need to devote time and other resources to assure that the organization itself is morally responsible.