Higher Education in a Global Society
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Higher Education in a Global Society

Edited by D. Bruce Johnstone, Madeleine B. d’Ambrosio and Paul J. Yakoboski

Higher education functions in a global environment of consumers, employees, competitors, and partners. It has been a force for globalization and a model for adaptation, but nonetheless faces challenges. This volume of essays examines emerging issues and opportunities for advancing education across borders.
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Chapter 8: The Centrality of Faculty to a More Globally Oriented Campus

Patti McGill Peterson


Patti McGill Peterson Institutions of higher education in the United States are ideally positioned to respond to the call that they become more globally oriented. The primary purpose of higher education, the development and dissemination of knowledge, is not bounded by national borders. Many of the functions of universities are inherently transnational. The research function, for example, is essentially a borderless exercise. Newly developed theories of physics or fresh discoveries in anthropology move rapidly around the world, finding critics and supporters of their methodologies and conclusions everywhere. Research by its very nature must seek to establish its base and direction by understanding what related phenomena are occurring and being examined in other parts of the world. The search for a better microchip or an antifungal property for hybrid corn invites collaboration as well as competition across the globe. The ongoing debates about the effects of globalization raise the question of whether most of that collaboration is between universities and corporations in developed countries and whether developing countries are only distant by-standers and eventual consumers. No matter where one stands on these issues, the debate itself reflects how much the research function resides in the global context. By comparison, the teaching function of colleges and universities operates in a different context. The pedagogy in our classrooms, while hopefully based on broadly informed research, does not have a global audience nor does it normally profit from an ongoing critique from scholars in other cultures. And yet the goal of having more globally...

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