29
Oct
09

Colleges Refuse to Lead Community Ethics Development

Our academies of higher education are fine purveyors of knowledge. Yet, there is something missing. It has only been within the last twenty years that ethics was no longer stuck in a corner in the Religion and Philosophy departments of most major universities. Strikingly, the debate still rages among faculty and administrators over whether or not ethics can even be taught.

What is even more incredible is the turf wars among departments who can teach it and fail to see the ethical dilemma that little scenario creates. Colleges and universities alike have reluctantly been dragged into value-difference arguments and display what might best be described as a benign reluctance to teach ethics. They have no interest, nor do they wish to take the lead to teach applied ethics in their communities. In other words, in their minds, why teach what they believe is not teachable.

This abysmal record of accepting ethical accountability to lead community ethics development efforts is not unique to educational institutions. This universal systemic problem exists nationally and internationally among all organizations that influence the public lifestyle, underlying cultural morality, and day-to-day conduct.

Organizations concerned with the pressures of maintaining their own images of ethical propriety are pulling together increasingly disparate ideas of political correctness and what is, or is not, ethical. In defining their own conduct that should accompany grounded organizational ethical behavior has, unfortunately, created a whole new set of dilemmas for institutions pressured to step up to the plate.

Author: Dr. Fred DiUlus, Founder and Director, Center for Ethics in Free Enterprise

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14
Jan
07

College Accreditation: A True/False Test

Here’s a college entrance exam no accredited college or university will ever give to their entering students. It is one business leaders should be aware of but never will if the proponents of the ‘accreditation or else’ crowd have their way. For this test is an eye-opener. It sheds light where many fear to go and opens up the real truth of a subject that has become an insidious cancer in the world of higher education.This brief exam requires answering three statements with either a True or False response. Each incorporates major ethical issues plaguing American higher education. The fallout of the answers may affect potential students and those that higher them everywhere.Number I. A legitimate college degree is only earned through a school accredited by an agency approved by the US Department of Education.
True / False
Number II. A degree of any kind — Associate of Arts to a PhD — received from a college or university other than one accredited by a US Department of Education approved agency is or should be considered a diploma mill.
True / False

Number III. A college/university degree accredited by a US Department of Education agency guarantees graduates a job.
True / False

Now for the Answers:Number I. Not one single institution of higher learning in America, not one, is, or ever has been, required to have accreditation awarded by any agency approved or not approved by the US Department of Education.In America, accredited schools covet and may even flaunt their regional accreditation so that they can attract students. The applicants may not be able to afford the education but will easily qualify for federal guaranteed student loans to pay the school’s tuition. Colleges are paid directly from the Feds. The number of students on guaranteed student aid now exceeds 80 percent of the learner populations in most public and private colleges in America.It has been suggested that should the US federal guaranteed student loan program cease to exist tomorrow, the number of students attending American accredited colleges and universities would drop more than half by nightfall. The rest would dwindle by half again by the end of the month. Tuition costs, even in state schools, are increasing so rapidly it is prohibitive for most students to attend were it not for the student loan program. And, the only way for a college to get on the Government guaranteed student loan list is to be accredited by an approved US Department of Education private agency.

Many suggest the real motive of American accredited colleges may be far deeper than the surface view of an alleged quality education. The whole process is suspect in that accreditation review seems imbedded with the notion that many are driven purely by economic factors to both stay in business and to prosper. Without accreditation, the issue is not that the students would not come, it is they could not afford to come.

Accreditation deception assures a closed higher education monopoly along with the ability to increase tuition without objection. It literally enables ongoing unobstructed private access to billions of dollars of student guaranteed education funding.

Thousands of potentially competing schools, among them the best in the world, are left out of the loop. They cannot touch this Federal money even though they are licensed in their home states or accredited by a foreign jurisdiction.

These outcasts not only include new online and distance education schools, they also count in their midst colleges that are older than the USA and have been teaching and putting out scholars for two, three, and four hundred years.

Number II.Thus, the idea that any school not accredited by an US approved agency must be a diploma or degree mill is a perception that is also totally false. This mythical conclusion has all the earmarks of an ongoing conspiracy. It seems to have originated with the FBI’s infamous Dip Scam investigation years back when a lone agent and his staff zealously took on the paper mills – those schools that would give you a degree for a few hundred bucks and mastermind a bogus transcript for you to boot. That undercover job has long since been discounted as a waste of taxpayer money.

The original diploma mills that survived, reinvented themselves and continue to do a robust business by just labeling what they offer as FAKE. They sell degrees and transcripts by the thousands just like they used to. It’s a half billion dollar a year business. It turns out that defining what a diploma mill is and what phonies actually meet the profile is actually pretty easy. It doesn’t take a physics professor to point out whether a school has a place in the cosmos. But those in love with the concept that all colleges need to be accredited chose to invent the myth that a school not accredited is a diploma mill. The conspiracy to perpetuate the myth to cast all unaccredited or foreign accredited institutions as degree mills goes on.

Some have described this attitude as “accreditation arrogance” because the first principle of American higher education is pretty simple – accreditation is voluntary and a college or university has a choice to seek or not seek American accreditation.

Number III. The final fallacy is that one must attend an accredited school because employers will not hire an applicant if the degree comes from an unaccredited college or university.

Let’s put the cards on the table. Human relation departments are not charged by their CEO to “make sure our applicants graduated from an accredited school before we hire them.” The whole idea behind this is absurd on its face. Yet, in at least one western state in America, college graduates must meet this requirement for every job in state government that requires a degree.

Over 150 nations license schools to operate and offer degrees. Colleges and universities in these nations and those in most of the world find degrees earned from institutions licensed in these countries perfectly legitimate. The question any prospective student should ask is “will my degree be recognized?” not “is the school accredited?”

Accreditation guarantees nothing, not even the transfer into another so-called accredited school. If you doubt that, stop by the registrar’s office at a claimed accredited college and ask if the degree from their institution will guarantee admission into the graduate program of another “accredited” school other than their own. And while you’re at it, ask them if the credits anyone takes there will be guaranteed transferable into another accredited school and get them the job they always wanted as well. You may be surprised at the answers. There are absolutely no guarantees.

About the Author: Fred DiUlus is the CEO & Founder of Global Academy Online, Inc. and a frequent contributor.

25
Oct
06

Terrorism: The 21st Century’s Cancer

Terrorism is an awesome word particularly in today’s world. It is something that always was associated with other people of the world, never Americans, and never on US soil. If an alien spaceship landed on the White House lawn, our lives and living in the world would be changed forever. On September 11, 2001, we might as well have had such an event for on that day our society and how we live was changed forever by terrorism. Orson Well’s “War of the Worlds” is the perfect metaphor.

And, Irony of ironiesthere are actually those among us, Americans, no less, who would suggest that terrorism is both legal and ethical and that somehow we all need to be punished for the alleged excesses of our own political grand design over the past couple hundred years. Frederic Bastiat, the 19th century French philosopher, so enamored with the freedom philosophy wrought on the world by America, has to be rolling over in his grave.

I often wonder if these folks are not communist sleeper cells plucked down all over the world for eventual Soviet world domination and put here by them in the 50’s and now emerging at just the right time to sow these anarchist thoughts. But even this fantasy does not take us far away from the fact that these terrorist sympathizers are among us. They are Americans or perhaps a dissatisfied member of another free society, all of whom are enjoying the right to think freely and concluding we need to be punished for it. This self-loathing gives them the benefit of the doubt in a free society and thus their definition of terrorism evolves into a politically correct description of what people do, in their minds, when they become “freedom fighters”. If their objective is to tear down anything influenced by America and by whatever means, even if it involves killing the infirm, the old, women and children, they conclude – so be it.

Let’s look at what terrorism really is. Terrorism in its basest form is indiscriminate intimidation, indiscriminate death. Certainly, every bully in the world understands the basic concepts and probably thinks that they make and write the ethic. In a relativistic world, this is possible. Only trouble is that today’s modern terrorist don’t believe in a relativistic ethic yet use the relativism to justify their morality in a free society.

Terrorists believe in their ethic and if that ethic is not yours, even though our society permits you to adopt whatever ethic you desire, watch out. You either convert to their morality or you die. Can’t get much simpler than that. How convinced are they that they are correct in their single-minded morality? Well, do you need much more proof that they are willing to blow themselves up and everyone around them to prove it and that there are no shortage of volunteers? Not only is it possible, it is the ultimate justification among the terrorists to morally approve their terrorism and terrorist tactics in the Middle East, Africa, Afghanistan, America, Indonesia, Spain, England and all other points on the globe.

So, let’s borrow a phrase. “What’s the bottom line?”

Ethical conduct engenders the worldwide accepted concept of “do no harm”. Note too that this universally accepted maxim is not an obligation to do good, it is just is an obligation to “do no harm.” Blowing oneself up is one thing. Blowing oneself up with a whole bunch of innocents around is quite another. Therefore, if this is the concept of modern terrorism then it is absolutely unethical on its face and a major Cancer for any society that wants self-determination and the right to choose their own direction and beliefs.

How do we rid ourselves of this malignancy? “Simply” as my neighbor suggests, “you cut it out.” That pretty well summarizes the thinking of most of the citizens of free societies everywhere.

About the Author: Fred DiUlus is the CEO & Founder of Global Academy Online and a frequent contributor.