The Future of the Academy– Societal Changes; Accreditation; Accountability. APLG/FSA 2008: Strategies for a Complex World Jon Wergin Antioch University Jwergin@phd.antioch.edu. I. Societal changes. Democratization of access Digital revolution Democratization of knowledge
The Future of the Academy– Societal Changes; Accreditation; Accountability
Strategies for a Complex World
Accounting PhD Program Information
AAA/APLG/FSA Doctoral Education Committee
5. What qualities do you look for in students applying to your school?
Specific skill sets11
Intellectual curiosity 9
(others less than 8%)
(average of 3 qualities per school)
“In the varied topography of professional practice, there is a high, hard ground overlooking a swamp. On the high ground, manageable problems lend themselves to solution through the use of research-based theory and technique. In the swampy lowlands, problems are messy and confusing and incapable of technical solution. The irony of this situation is that the problems of the high ground tend to be relatively unimportant to individuals or to society at large, however great their technical interest may be, while in the swamp lie the problems of greatest human concern…
… The practitioner is confronted with a choice. Shall he remain on the high ground where he can solve relatively unimportant problems according to his standards of rigor, or shall he descend to the swamp of important problems where he cannot be rigorous in any way he knows how to describe?”
- Donald Schon, Change Magazine, November/December 1995
“The most advocated and least analyzed word in higher education.” - Joseph Burke
“Quality… You know what it is, yet you don’t know what it is.”
- Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Characteristics of a Quality Academic Program
A diverse and supportive academic community
A culture of collective responsibility
A commitment to excellence in teaching, student learning, and scholarship
A culture of critical reflection
Visionary leadership from faculty and chair
Adequate resources for students and faculty
Accountability for results is dangerous.
“We believe that improved accountability is vital to ensuring the success of all the other reforms we propose. Colleges and universities must become more transparent about cost, price, and other student success outcomes, and must willingly share this information with students and families… This information should be made available to students, and reported publicly in aggregate form to provide consumers and policymakers an accessible, understandable way to measure the relative effectiveness of different colleges and universities.”
- Spellings Commission final report, August 2006
“Quality standards must be set and met by institutions themselves and not by external agencies… [Institutions should] gather evidence about how well students in various programs are achieving learning goals across the curriculum and about the ability of graduates to succeed…”
“New Leadership for Student Learning and Accountability: A Statement of Principles, Commitments to Action,” January 2008.
Social changes + accountability + accreditation = ?