Do Contemporary Universities Suffer From A Type Of Cancer

Do Contemporary Universities Suffer From A Type Of Cancer

Biologists and​ medical practitioners have proven through extensive scientific research and​ testing that every living organism renews its cells as​ it​ gradually matures. if​ we accept Proust's metaphor that "a nation is​ a​ huge organized accumulation of​ individuals," then when cultural norms change so does the​ nation as​ a​ whole entity. Based on this assumption, a​ nation, a​ country, or​ generally any type of​ society, can be characterized by its critics as​ "sick" if​ its constituent cells change their previous status with unknown consequences. Under this realm, the​ crisis contemporary universities have been experiencing must be the​ outcome of​ the​ detected changes in​ people's values, norms, priorities and​ ideology. Thus, as​ the​ individual cells change their role, critics have denoted a​ new type of​ "sickness" in​ the​ academic environment, a​ new type of​ "cancer," which according to​ scholars like Miller and​ Miyoshi, has to​ be treated adequately before it​ completely destroys the​ institutions' primary educational purpose.

Like a​ human organism is​ constructed by smaller portions of​ matter, the​ contemporary university is​ an​ accumulation of​ students, professors, administrators and​ many more stakeholders, like corporations. These groups share the​ grounds of​ an​ institution and​ strive to​ accomplish various goals. in​ the​ past, although different views existed and​ dissensus was present, the​ unity of​ the​ overall institution was not jeopardized. Unfortunately today, due to​ the​ socioeconomic changes fostered by the​ capitalistic hegemony, contradictory interests have divided the​ various university groups threatening unity under the​ broad academic umbrella. But is​ there something wrong with corporate intervention and​ why has it​ managed to​ create a​ crisis of​ this magnitude? Do universities suffer from "cancer"?

Especially in​ counties, like the​ United States, where the​ majority of​ the​ academic institutions are private, a​ university is​ considered as​ another type of​ legal entity with similar economic interests as​ that of​ a​ corporation in​ any industry. Universities, although non-profit institutions, have not only to​ survive, but also to​ prosper, as​ they compete in​ a​ fierce environment using as​ their unique-selling-point the​ mere knowledge they teach. as​ a​ matter of​ fact, Universities today have seized to​ be agents of​ free knowledge and​ truth, altering their nature to​ that of​ a​ corporation. This is​ an​ undisputable fact, which is​ the​ route under this whole crisis. Additionally, as​ the​ individual cells of​ this living organism have realized the​ impact and​ the​ degree of​ the​ 21st century's economic changes, they have began to​ invest to​ this new role of​ the​ contemporary university, seeing it​ as​ the​ adequate preparation field for​ highly trained consumers and​ managers.

Returning to​ the​ original question, whether contemporary universities suffer from "cancer" or​ not, in​ my opinion the​ answer is​ yes. This realization is​ not as​ provocative as​ it​ sounds. Universities have realized their power to​ foster change, not necessarily with a​ rebellion nature, the​ academic institutions of​ the​ West are about to​ step forward and​ propose a​ new type of​ educational mode.

This new role of​ the​ contemporary university may not be revolutionary, as​ neither were the​ interdisciplinary studies at​ the​ time that they were originally introduced, but it​ will be radical and​ forceful in​ nature and​ scale as​ its primary focus will be the​ critical judgment of​ its own role and​ its principles will be based on the​ fundamental value of​ respect and​ the​ notion of​ accepting and​ requiring diversity. Not because it​ better sells the​ new character promoted by the​ institution, but because through different academic backgrounds and​ views, true innovation can be generated.

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