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The Academic Citizen: The Virtue of Service in University Life (Key Issues in Higher Education)by Bruce Macfarlane
Synopses & Reviews
With increasing focus on excellence in research and teaching, the service role of the individual academic is often neglected. This book calls for greater recognition of this important aspect of academic life, highlighting the importance of mentoring, committee work and pastoral care in the daily running of universities. Drawing from extensive examples from models around the world, "The Academic Citizen" points to the benefits of effective communication with colleagues in the faculty, across the university and in corresponding faculty across the world, as well as maintaining positive associations with the wider world.
Contemporary universities are very much an integral part of communities. However, while much has been written about teaching and research in universities, the service role of universities has been neglected. In an attempt to address this imbalance, The Academic Citizen looks at how these three roles interrelate and explores the idea of a compact between universities and society.
This book argues that in order to achieve a compact, we need to re-evaluate the poorly rewarded aspects of service and leading academics need to set a new standard. Based on in-depth interviews with an international group of academics, it sets out to:
- outline the interconnecting communities served by university lecturers
- explore what the notion of service means for academic staff
- develop a moral basis for the service role in academic life as both a collegial and civic duty
- show how service supports teaching and research in a more competitive environment
- examine the ideal character required to fulfill the functions academic citizenship
Drawing on a range of university and service traditions, The Academic Citizen has a strong historical and comparative perspective that should prove stimulating for those interested in the role of the academic in modern society. It has international relevance and will appeal to staff and educational developers in universities and colleges, as well as students of higher education.
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