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Analysis of being a moral, collegial, cordial, and congenial professor and an ethical academic administrator.


"To be or not to be?" is at its heart a question of inquiry in all aspects of life span. In other words, the question is related to the nature of existence or non-existence. Following beneath every human thought is the state of rational reasoning; wisdom. In all ages and places, questions about what is a moral character and what is an ethical conduct are posed and answered. Admittedly, to seek the truth through intellectual philosophical reasoning and to follow it and wherever it leads, involve in depth intellectual deliberations. To be a professor is an obligated rational reasoning to think through every aspect of inquiries to their very roots. When professors go beyond their immediate consideration of reasoning for their cognitive altruistic deliberations, they are in the state of reason's territory within boundaries of syllogistic logical rules. We would have to use syllogistic reasoning processes even to debate for the soundness of refraining from rational discussions. Within such a philosophical deliberation, professors' self-presentations and others' examined opinions and ideas are known as cooperative ventures among instructors and learners. For such a type of reasoning, we must have some ideas of what is "to be a true professor and/or a truthful academic administrator?" If we are to appropriate professional and occupational dimensions of the notion of professorship, we reach to the synergistic point of moral obligations, ethical conduct, academic freedom, and civil liberty to be with being in unison. This is the beauty of the spirit of being a professor. However, like other professions, there are some exceptional cases that professional codes of ethics, occupational codes of conduct, and individual's codes of moral behavior are more difficult to be observed in the modern meritocratic, bureaucratic, and/or in kakistocratic (appointment of the least able administrator) complex academic institutions (Parhizgar, 2012). If some faculty members and academic administrators avoid observing the principles of academic freedom and looking forward for achieving personal gains, they may experience conscience shame, guilt, condemnation and/or to be exposed to blameworthiness and repercussions by others. These types of academicians are not committed to search for discovering the truth and completing the truth. Or some faculty members may fear to be criticized by colleagues, if frankly they express their honest thoughts, specifically during recruitment, promotion, tenure, and post-tenure review committee's deliberations, academic grievance processes, and institutional investigations, then others may resent them. Consequently, academicians may avoid freely and openly exercise academic freedom and intellectual judgments because of their exposure to the possibilities to make friends or foes and/or they have to tolerate retaliation against them. They may fear from being confronted by and caught in difficult circumstances. In addition, they may be faced with another group of selfish professors and ambitious academic administrators that are so arrogant in expressing their self-opinions and feel that no one should criticize them. If they are criticized and/or challenged by their peers, colleagues, subordinates and superior leaders they may become angry, belligerent, aggressive, and vindictive. The primary concern of this article is to first define and analyze the status of moral professorial character of professors and ethical academic administrators in terms of dignity, integrity, honesty, nicety, and prosperity. The second concern is to identify ethical professorial conduct in terms of rightness, fairness, justness, and worthiness. The third concern is to analyze the status of professorship in regard of professionalism and occupationalism. The forth objective is to review whether the status of professorship is based on speculative individuality of professional moral commitments or it is based upon the legal occupational responsibilities, or it should have holistic oneness. In addition, speculative understanding and pragmatic knowing are either for the sake of simply an individual's conscience awareness and cognitive judgments or for the sake of formative and summative knowledge application to ordinate peoples' behavior or their societal interactions in both professional rights and duties and institutional occupational commitments and responsibilities. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt used the word of freedom in two major senses: (1) freedom of and (2) freedom from in a speech he made shortly before the United States entered World War II. Also, he described four freedoms: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom from fear, and freedom from want (Janda et al., 2008, p. 12).


Professors in classrooms provide audiences polished thoughts and precise meanings and application of knowledge. They challenge, stumble, and prove that intellectual words, phrases, and technical problematic solutions are something that every learner can understand them and do them. Their job is to make students to be smarter. Also, besides teaching, they conduct research projects and publish their discoveries, and render academic services to their institutions and professional community in order to enhance production of knowledge. The roles of professors are holistic. Professors need to insure their own personal intellectual growth and their students' knowledge development. Professors must utilize their scientific expertise and pragmatic know-how knowledge skills to widening the horizon of their thoughts in order to teach values to their students. They must prepare students to take advantages of every rational opportunity for their personal development and growth. That is the main objective of academic inspiration. However, the Los Angeles Times (2009) reported: "In 1993, Congress passed the religious Freedom Restoration Act, exempting believers in some cases from having to comply with applicable laws." This indicates that those colleges and universities that are denominated by special religious sects do have the legal ground to prohibit faculty members not to teach evolution in their biological courses. Instead they should focus on creation theory rather than on evolution theory.

The word "teaching" is transitive and the word "researching" is inquiring to discover solutions for complex and mysterious life issues. The task of academic service is known as effective rendering meta-knowable and kinesthetic intelligence in thinking, intuiting, conceiving, perceiving, inducting, conducting, judging, and practicing science in the real world. This raises a question. How well professors teach? Professors themselves are the closest observers of teaching effectiveness in their classrooms and thus have the opportunity to become the most effective assessors of students' learning opportunities. When professors teach, they endeavor to the blank places in knowing and eliminating as much as possible contradictory directive reasoning. When professors drifting towards knowing what principles they rely upon and how these are related to their focal points of reasoning, those issues address to their students' desire to learn and enhance their knowing abilities. Professors give intellectual assent with concrete rational and logical reasoning. Through following the truthful paths of honesty, exactitude, and accuracy, professors can make a good beginning in the direction of critical thinking in order to provide students the reason why they should think an ideal solution is correct, workable, and valuable. In addition, cognivistic mapping of students' curiosity is the most teaching objective by professors in classrooms in order to help learners to develop their intellectual critical thinking, thinking critically, inductive thinking, deductive thinking, and holistic cognitive thinking skills, which all of these are necessary to grow. In addition, professors examine the state of intellectual deliberations that entails the processes of definition, classification, clarification, and generalization of scientific discoveries. They can be understood and appreciated in terms of intellectual deliberations. All can be presented within the domains of certain cultural values. Professors inspire their students by communicating the debatable reasoning through an aspiration of intellectual excellence and to help them acquire the qualities needed to foster the validity of their rational thinking. Some of these qualities are related to critical thinking, and developmental of analytical, verbal, and written skills. Some are self-disciplined and others are commitments to the truth and objectivity. All could be taught by words, examples, and expectations. For example, to be a professor of science is to be a scientist; to be a professor of philosophy is to be a sophist; to be a professor of bioethics is to be a biosophist, to be a professor of medicine is to be a physician; to be a professor of engineering is to be a technosophist; and so on. Nevertheless, to be a professor is not only to be expert in specific scientific, technological, and artistic disciplines but also they need to be interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary mindedness oriented scholars, researcher, and teacher in creative ideas, innovative techniques, and imaginative artful and literary masterpieces in creativity. Nevertheless, to be a professor is not only to be expert in specific scientific, technological, and artistic disciplines but also they need to be interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary mindedness oriented scholars, researcher, and teacher in creative ideas, innovative techniques, and imaginative artful and literary masterpieces in creativity. In supporting such a statement, Markie (1994, p.) stated:
   In short, we take on a complex role when we walk into classrooms
   and declare that we are the professor: the students' guide to the
   subject and subject's representative to the students,
   representative of intellectual excellence and related virtues,
   certifier of student progress, academic advisor, and practitioner
   of an intellectual discipline. To be a professor is to function
   effectively and successfully in all these ways, though in any
   particular course with any particular group of students, all of us
   play some parts better than others. Being a professor is an ideal
   we pursue rather than an actively we simply perform.


There are three major personal moral and ethical characteristics for being a true professor and ethical academic administrators: (1) collegial, (2) cordial, and (3) congenial. The term collegiality means to be highly integrated in ethical and moral endeavors regarding of their academic mission to collectively discover the truth. The term cordiality means to be courteous, respectful, and gracious in their professional and occupational endeavors to their colleagues and students. The term congeniality means to be suitable to take academic responsibilities in order to examine students' level of knowledge with the spirit of being excellent. However, if an academic administrator has been appointed based on kakistocratic or kleptocratic (the most cunning and corrupted administrative appeals) deceptive criteria, the end result are corruption, falsification, and fraud in expression of truth (Parhizgar & Parhizgar, 2012).


Professors as researchers, scholars, and scientists through their personal creed of honesty, modesty, and curiosity conduct research projects within the domain of their intellectual expertise. They, morally and ethically, are gatekeepers of wisdom to discover truth. Professors through their scientific expertise and professional ethical commitments assert their moral obligations to reveal accurate, viable, and honorable exactitude of their syllogistic observable and understandable discoveries. Such a pledge applies to all types of scientific empirical researchers and research projects. The historical idealistic world of humanity is often traced back to the Greek utopia--Platonists. The matter is related to pursue fact-findings in order to discover natural mystery of life conditions. Can we find such an idealistic life condition? The answer is "no." Can we search for discovering it? The answer is "yes." Utopia exists nowhere, except in human desirable intellectual thinking. Parhizgar and Parhizgar (2012, p. 53) indicated: "There are two major philosophical schools of thoughts concerning human behavior: (1) Rousseauian (1712-1778) and (2) Hobbesian (1588-1679). Rousseauians are convinced that humanity is naturally good, or at least its journey is aimed to perfectibility, which is promising; utopia. In opposition of Rousseauians are Hobbesians who believe that humanity and nature possess duel characteristics; good and bad, perfect and imperfect, faithful and faithless, graceful and revengeful, and consistent and inconsistent temperament; mixtures of both utopian and dystopian desires and expected behavior. Accordingly, all organizations possess two opposite extreme zones of behavior." Nevertheless, the utopian genre is old. It is old as human race. It is a phenomenon that promises to discover excellent ideal in human life and nature. The only serious weakness in humanity is seeded in its inherent characteristics because of ignorance. How can we convert human ignorance into awareness? Perhaps we can search for possibilities through human's flourishing intellectual mind to convert natural defected genes into smart genes through eugenic academic engineering and through social, moral, and ethical reforms. It may take million years by thousand generations to reach such an amazing state of excellent existence.

In material, mechanical, chemical, architectural, medical, and biological engineering, human mind and research activities may be compatible. For example, eugenic academic engineering is the result of trial and error in remodeling and restructuring professors' and academic administrators' psychometric characteristics of academic genes (disciplines). We need to be careful within the contextual biological and ecological processes of such innovativeness. The end results of such a research endeavor should not justify means; to exterminate rival genes that can jeopardize the new trends of genes. However, biosophists, biotechnosophists, bioethicists, bioscientists, biochemists, and biophysicists, all as academicians pursue these promising possibilities through enhancing germ lines and stem cells in order to cure chronic illnesses and deformities of patients. This is the real tasks of professors in colleges and universities.


The issue of professorial professional power is about validity of legitimized academic power in colleges and universities. In searching for the source of legitimacy for professors, we conclude that it is to be found in the effective role of intellectual citizenship. Professors are professional citizens or citizen experts who are highly qualified to express their scientific-based, opinion-based, and evidence-based knowledge to effectively enlighten citizens' minds. Since the status of the citizenship includes both having "academic freedom" and "civilian free speech," the status of professors is being ethical and legal. With definition of this role in mind, we argue that the ethical and moral obligations of professors are to be derived from their obligations to both intellectual citizenship and expertise in science and technology in the community of scholars and enlightened citizens within the contextual boundaries of the civil law. These obligations include responsibilities for establishing and maintaining horizontal relationships among colleagues (collegiality) and vertical relationships with fellow citizens including students (congeniality) who are dealing with them with trust and confidence. When we are speaking about legitimacy in both domains of civil law and institutional policies (cordiality), we only are not talking about legality, but we are committed to ethicality. Legitimacy means more than grudging acceptance of the inevitable confidence and respect concerning qualities of academic contributions by a group of experts that we call them professors. Academic legitimacy is not associated with political ideology but also it is associated with knowledge-based freedom to morally and ethically exert expert power in society. Social goodness could only be achievable on the basis of a strong internal professional organizations and self-imposed standards of associates' behavior (DuBose, Hamel, & O'Connell, 1994, p. 102).

Professionalism means to enhance the experts' minds with updated technical and pragmatic effective knowledge and skills. It is a relentless lifetime effort to enhance the proper treatment of clients, (e.g., students, patients, mentees etc.). Respect for looking at and paying attention to clients' interests on the part of professionals involves maintaining a distance from egoistic self-gratification. It is based on altruistic (serving others beyond self-interest) desire to convey professors' knowledge and experiences for enhancing intellectuality of their clients. Edgar Schein (1966, p. 3-11) sketched out the basic elements in conceiving the concept of professionalism as follows: "A professional is someone who knows better what is good for his (her) client than the client he does ... If we accept this definition of professionalism ... we may speculate that it is the vulnerability of the client that has necessitated the development of moral and ethical codes surrounding the relationship. The client must be protected from exploitation in a situation in which he is unable to protect himself/(herself) because he (she) lacks the relevant knowledge to do so ..."


At the beginning of this article, we indicated two different views concerning professorial obligations in colleges and universities: (1) academic ethical professionalism and (2) training legal occupationalism. In terms of legal occupationalism, colleges and universities are conceived as formal citizenry institutions within the context of societal institutional settings. They are known as administrative institutions as operating societal cells that are subject to bureaucratic rules and regulations. The primary objectives of higher educational institutions is to have devises and enforce orderly manners for designing curriculum plans, holding classes, and following academic rules in order to educate and graduate students in their academic programs. Within the contextual philosophical boundaries of occupationalism, the relationships between colleges and universities and faculty members are like between employers and employees or masters and servants. Or in other words, the relationships resemble "manual" rather than "mental" work. If we review the history of mankind, we observe that many changes in the transformation of power and politics within and beyond the community of scholars and institutions of higher learning have been emerged.

According to the philosophy of occupationalism, professors are fiduciaries who are employed by citizenry institutions such as colleges and universities to work for receiving salaries (fees for services) regardless their financial investment in obtaining terminal degrees. They need to develop a sense of worth in training programs and a deep feeling of obligation to serve colleges and universities honestly and well. Occupational philosophy implies conformity to accepted or approved institutional standards of legal conduct. The philosophy of occupationalism is based institutional vision and mission. In other words, since each institution has its own expected standards of performances, professors are supposed to behave accordingly: "When you are in Rome you should do as Romans do." Nevertheless, professors are those who, in the language of our specialization, are responsible for contributing their knowledge to their students on the basis of covenanting legal processes. This use of the social contractual metaphor and this type of idea of legal covenanting are introduced to refer to a legal readjustment or reconstruction of the mutual expectations of citizens and expertise in a civilized bureaucratic society. The legal covenanting or social contracting is an ongoing lawful process which is carried out at all levels of expertise through exercising intellectual citizenship in both society and higher educational institutions. The occupational role of professors as citizens takes priority over less fundamental demands, such as organizational imperatives, pursue from legal mandates such as efficiency, stability, fair, and just commitments to worthwhile expertise values, orderliness, and timelines. Finally, occupational duties reflect respect for the institutional status for which professors bear an obligation to teach and conducting research.

In sum, occupationalism is viewed as a societal bureaucratic ordering (legal) system concerning the values, contributions, and efficiency of all types of jobs and jobholders in society. In legal terms, we call them institutional citizens. It mainly focuses on the distribution of knowledge and academic resources to be appropriated among students according to the econo-political doctrine of a nation. Since the term citizen and citizenship are employed in variety of legal ways with a range of meanings, it is essential to establish some definitional boundaries with their limitations through morality, ethicality, and legality.


It is a fact that ordinary people calculate how to safeguard their own interests against those who attempt to bypass or deny them. In colleges and universities, there are special academic citizenry professional rights for professors such as the following:

* The right to freely teach through expression of their scientific-base knowledge, evidence-based knowledge, and opinion-based knowledge

* The right to criticize authorities on the basis of thinking critically and critical thinking

* The right to academic freedom, including scientific experimental, experiential, and expediential inquiries

* The right to participate in institutional academic shared governance, debates, and resolutions without any threatening consequences by campus administrators and/or external authorities

* The right to active participation in academic affairs, including curriculum, admission, graduation, academic counseling, mentoring, and coaching peers and students in academic performances

* The right to publish personal opinions without expected retaliation by campus administrators in mass media

* The right to freedom of political beliefs, religious practices, personal cultural values beyond the scope of campus environment

* The right to publish faculty members' intellectual contributions without bias and prejudice in peer reviewed journals, textbooks, and referenced books

* The right to present research papers in peer-refereed academic conferences without campus administration preferences

* The right to the expression of institutional internal issues concerning the level of institutional academic services in mass media without possibility of retaliation by campus administrators

* The right to advocacy, negotiation, collective bargaining, and lobbying for promoting academic freedom and acquiring the status of tenure

* The right to file grievances against employers through independent and/or neutral arbitration and mandating implementation of the result of such processes by the campus presidents

* The right to professionally evaluate faculty members through active participation in the Retention, Promotion, Tenure, and Post-Tenure Committee processes

* The right of senior faculty members to be evaluated by external academic experts through post-tenure review processes for eliminating academic deficiencies of faculty members

* The right to due process in terms of any allegations

* The right to pursue peer evaluation and professional treatment

* The right to equitable academic ranking and opportunities

* The right to be informed about inserting any administrative decisions and information kept and to have access to personnel files including institutional personnel office, departmental, divisional, dean, provost, and president's office

* The right to a multiculturalacy of holistic similar values against partisan groups and/or authoritative academic administrators

* The right to faculty development programs through career advancement and sabbatical leaves with pays every few years

It is clear that all rights establish some sorts of responsibility and accountability. Rights would be of little value as an ordering principle of human acts without duties. Let us investigate what is meant by duties in the moral, ethical, and legal senses. Responsibilities are viewed as notions of accomplishment and completeness. Oral and/or written entitlements to any type of rights for an individual establish specific bases for obligatory binding duties for that individual and others in order to put it in practice. When we speak of a duty, we mean an action that we are obligated to undertake or to refrain from regardless of whether we find it in our interest to do so or not. Responsibility is a constraint on the scope of permissible actions, but not all constraints are duties. Moral duties are distinct from legal duties, and the necessary conditions of each are distinct too. A necessary condition of the validity of duties is the validity of the procedure by which the moral duty imposing them is enacted to those duties. Duties, to begin with, applying directly only to actions.


As the major stakeholder groups, professors, academic administrators, and students are the major stakeholders in colleges and universities. They are communal beings. They are working in organized communities who are bounded together by cultural value creeds within two major categorical characteristics. They are professionalism and occupationalism. Professors are bounded together by common academic interests, by common loyalties, by a common cultural academic heritage, and by a central idealistic belief for promoting and enhancing students' knowledge. Since colleges and universities have different vision, mission, and goals, they render their academic services on the basis of their socio-cultural and econo-political circumstances. Some are loyal to "academic freedom" and others are loyal to their "political bureaucratic ideologies." This makes professors to be classed into two major groups: (1) professionals and (2) occupational. Also, professors differ from an ordinary association of a group of intellectuals who are loyal to the "academic professional principles" and others are loyal to their "institutional occupational policies." Accordingly each group of professors has its own rules of membership and pursues different paths of educational services. Professional professors as a whole encompass a wide range of cultural concerns and occupational professors are highly dominated by academic administrators. Therefore, within the physical environment of a campus, two types of people directly interact with each other: (1) professors and (2) students. In reality, there are other invisible people who have interests and influence within the teaching and learning processes and outcomes of such a stake. These groups are parents, educational policy makers, curricula designers, boards of regents, administrators, governmental regulatory agencies, faculty senates, faculty councils, faculty unions, businesses, and the community at large.


DuBose, E. R., Hamel, R. P., & O'Connel, L. J. (994). A matter of principles? Ferment in U. S. bioethics. Valley Forge, PN: Trinity Press International, 102.

Janda, K., Berry, M. B., & Goldman, J. (2008). The challenge of democracy: Government in America. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 15.

Marke, P. J. (1994). A professor's duties: Ethical issues in college teaching. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 5.

Parhizgar, K. D., Parhizgar, F., & Parhizgar, S. S. (2011). Analysis of ethical intellectual reasoning: Paradigm of lotus blossom thinking. Competition Forum, 9(1), 183-188.

Parhizgar, K.D., & Parhizgar, F. (2012). Organizational behavior: Global multicultural perspectives. San Diego: Cognella Publishing.

Schein, E. H. (1966). The problem of moral education for business managers. Industrial Management Review, 8, 311. The Los Angeles Times. (2009). Christian leaders' stance on civil disobedience is dangerous. http://www/

Kamal Dean Parhizgar, Texas A&M International University
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Author:Parhizgar, Kamal Dean
Publication:Competition Forum
Article Type:Report
Date:Jan 1, 2012
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