Issues Happening in Higher Ed

When it comes to issues surrounding higher education on a global scale, there seems to be a constant “abuse of power” between the faculty and their students. There are examples of professors who believe that because they are higher on the educational food chain that their research, classes, and personal lives are more important than the students. And sometimes the University involved backs the faculty member rather than the student(s).

For example, a group of students at Johns Hopkins were involved in a sit-in protest. A professor, who was told by the University to stay clear of the building, decided that the server he needed for work was more important [1]. As you can read from the article, he tried to force his way into the building and caused more issues than he solved.

An example of the University not supporting their student comes from an article about Arizona State University [2]. A female student was sexually harassed and the professor left during investigation. But the issues did not stop there. There were male graduate students in the same lab group that were affected by the departure of the professor. Because of this, they started to make the female student’s life miserable. But the University did not support the female student. In all the issues, they took over a year and the female student had to transfer to a different Arizona State campus [2].

However, these are just the cases you read about in the news. Of course it is never to this extent, but faculty members seem discriminate against their students solely based on their educational status. How do we fix the system though? Obviously not every faculty member treats their students this way, but we should be able to say NONE of the faculty members treat their students this way. It comes down to mutual respect. I was raised on a saying about respect, “Respect is earned, not given”. But for some reason, faculty expect every student to immediately respect and bow down to them.

This is where more education and open discussion is needed. Diversity and Inclusion is not just a race or gender issue. As we have discussed in class, there are multiple identities to a person; educational level is one of them. Therefore, universities and colleges need to be addressing the whole person and not just the identities that are visible and apparent. These times of discriminations need to be addressed and snuffed out in higher education.

Will it ever happen…?

 

[1] https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/08/12/johns-hopkins-fires-professor-over-clash-student-protesters-he-says-he-has-no

[2] https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/10/25/student-says-even-after-professor-who-abused-her-left-campus-fellow-students

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