Accountability

Professors: Beware of Relationships With Students

Avoiding Conflicts of Interest in the Grading Process One of the most difficult decisions for college professors is whether to engage in a personal relationship with a student. The relationship might start innocently. Perhaps the student goes to office hours frequently. The professor might devote more time than is customary... Read more →


Should a Professor Use Their Own Book For a College Course?

Evaluating Conflicts of Interest Am I guilty of having a conflict of interest in using my own Accounting Ethics textbook for that course? I’ve thought about this a lot in the past and agonized over the answer. Before I share my beliefs, let’s get certain things clear. The choice of... Read more →


What's the Best Way to Grade College Students?

Is it Time to Institute 'Ungrading'? I just read about professors who seem to believe going gradeless in college classes is a good idea. There seems to be serious consideration in some corners to change the traditional way of evaluating the work of college students. Quite frankly, this scares me.... Read more →


Operation Varsity Blues

The Moral Compass and College Admissions Scandal The college admissions scandal dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues” raises questions about the integrity of the college admissions process across a broad spectrum of institutions. Who’s to blame for the admissions scandal? There’s enough blame to go around but the parents are front and... Read more →


Qualities of an Effective Teacher

Closing the “Teaching Gap” Recently, I’ve read a lot about what makes for a great professor. Having taught for 30+ years, I was very interested to see how I stacked up. I’ve always thought of myself as a good professor – at least in my field, Accounting. It is one... Read more →


Why Care About Teaching Ethics?

Do College Students Really Care? The problem with teaching ethics to college students is they may not care. Some of my students ask me: Why should I care about being ethical now…when it seems people can get ahead in life by taking the easy way, which is not always the... Read more →


College Rankings A Waste of Time

U.S. News Data is Skewed Towards the Richest Institutions Do you look at college rankings to decide which college to attend or where to send your kid? Stop it! It’s a waste of time and the information is not reliable. That’s the opinion of Valerie Strauss, education reporter for the... Read more →


Hoax Scholarship By Academics

What Ever Happened to the Fundamental Value of Academic Integrity? Having taught at the college level for over 30 years, I thought I had seen it all but along comes hoax scholarship – papers written by academics solely to get publications without regard to the accuracy of statements/facts in these... Read more →


Is Cheating on Exams Ever Ethically Justified?

Situational Ethics is Problematic on College Campuses Situational Ethics was pioneered by Joseph Fletcher. In situational ethics, right and wrong depend upon the facts of each situation rather than societal or cultural norms. There are no universal moral rules or rights – each case is unique and deserves a unique... Read more →


When Should a College Return an Endowment?

Should St. John’s University (Minnesota) Return the $300,000 Lindmark Endowment? This is an updated blog posted on my website earlier this week. It’s an intriguing question. When should a university be forced to return an endowment because it hasn’t been used for the designated purpose? A case in point is... Read more →