Ethics university administrators in the system of higher education

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The article analyzes the current state of higher education universities. The author concludes that at the time of the transition stage universities go on a search for new forms of education management, having maintained the best academic tradition. University administrators as a special professional group are becoming of a particular importance in a new university management paradigm. In order to determine the status of university administrator the author used conceptions of N. Keoheyn and P. Weingartner, as well as a number of Russian researchers in the field of ethics.

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Russia’s entry into the world economic community, the development of market relations results in fundamental changes of all life spheres, including educational one. Modern Russian education system is finding itself in transition stage. The Russian education system is entering into the European educational space (Russia joined the Bologna Agreement) [4. P. 129] determined the beginning of national education restructuring, having retained its best traditions in the integration process, first of all - the priority of morality and high professionalism [11. P. 31]. Many experts of modern education problems agreed in opinion that the modern university “is in ruins”, thus having acknowledged the “dying” of Kant - Humboldt’s model of university construction [6]. Therefore universities are facing the need of developing a new management policy aimed at achieving sustainable development, innovativeness, entrepreneurship on the one hand, and on the other hand - the preservation of the best academic cultural traditions [5. P. 110] based on respect, trust and openness. Educate without education is only half-education [8. P. 497]. Thus, the Government of the Russian Federation developed a number of normative documents to complete the task: the Federal Law “On Education in the Russian Federation”, State program of the Russian Federation “Development of Education” for 2013-2020, the plan of measures (“Roadmap”) “Changes in social sectors targeted at improving the effectiveness of education and science”. The attempts to create a new education policy in response to rapidly altering economic challenges are taking place within active search for the most efficient education management models. Nowadays the level of educational service largely depends on how fast the universities can manage to re-form and adapt to new requirements of the competitive environment, having transformed its internal organizational structure. In such conditions, the modern university management more resembles and corresponds to the administration in corporations, in other words, there is the corporatization of the University [13. P. 66-83]. There are new areas of activity, there is a need to train managerial staff capable of working effectively within new environment. A key role belongs here to “education manager” or as more frequently called the “university administrator” as a professional manager. Modern researchers in the field of university ethics N. Keohane and P. Weingartner define the mission - credo of the university as follows: a) The university is a community of scientists (N. Keohane) b) The university is a professional institution (professional organization) specializing in delivery of education. Thus the particular cultural and social nature of the university forms barriers for mechanical transfer of management methods and approaches to the ethical regulation foundation of the internal life of the staff from the business sphere to the sphere of academic administration [9. P. 36]. Hence in our article we will use the notion of a university administrator. These days education management system needs to be improved, as it is unable to provide the transition of educational institutions from extensive to intensive way of development, to carry out the substitute of subject-object to subject-subject relationship, forming the basis of every individual self-development. Therefore, the present situation of many higher education universities allows us to talk about the formation of a special subject - university administrator. One of the leading places in the problem-solving process belongs to the university administrators who have to deal with the increasing complexity of new tasks and take more responsibility for their decisions and ultimate outcomes. For instance, the modern researcher V.I. Bakshtanovskiy defines a university administrator as a special type of professionals, where the main objective is to co-ordinate the basic values of corporation-organization and corporation-profession [1. P. 21]. According to another researcher - A.A. Skvortsov “ is a business-corporation where managers to manage the corporation are required” [12. P. 72]. Then in our insight a university administrator is a professional who is capable of creatively accomplishing professionally - administrative activities within the university’s mission - credo, targeted at maintaining its integrity and development, as well as self-actualizing in it as an individual. P. Weingartner in his work “Moral Dimensions of Academic Administration” writes that “the university is an organization consisting of a large group of professionals, inspiring the trust of their customers, owning high reputation within their community and highlighting ethical standards of activity” [14. P. 18, 23-24]. Hence the most important characteristic of an individual development, providing it with ability to productivity, creative-formative work is professionalism. In modern society, the foundation of professionalism, together with the relevant knowledge, skills and abilities becomes value-normative, ethical priorities of an individual, allowing it to choose optimal formats of performing its professional duties. The problem of moral evaluation of administrative activity professionalism in the field of education is complicated. It is formed under the influence of determining social values and personal preferences, partially requirements for professional activity are formed on the basis of dominant culture purposes. Moral norms related to the system of values... of any social community... determine the choice of the means to ensure the interests of the society [14. P. 180]. Consequently professional ethics becomes the theoretical basis for the development of specialist’s moral culture, where the object of its consideration is the professional behavior and ethical principles applied in the subject-professional sphere of activity [7. P. 222]. Back in 2005, the Bucharest Declaration of ethical values and principles of higher education in Europe assigned in Section 3 “Democratic and ethical governance and management” as follows: regarding the entrepreneurial and commercial activities, authorities should use their best practices of such undertakings likewise to adhere to the principle of law and the preservation of crucial academic and ethical values [2]. In particular respect for the norms of morality and professional ethics are the best guarantee for the prosperity of the university and higher education [10. P. 32]. The mission - credo of the university within the Russian education is to serve for a good cause and development of the Russian state and society, the growth of intellectual, human and cultural development of the country; creation of values system. The university is primarily a scientific-educational corporation which work is regulated by corporate ethics. Accordingly the main task of the professional activities of a university administrator is corresponding to the high mission of the university and professional-ethical guidelines of its scientific-educational activity. The assigned objectives of the university administrators define their specificity. Here we would like to refer again to the above-mentioned work of P. Weingartner, who writes that the university is a kind of collective professional in other words the subject. In this context, he determines two categories of university administrators: instrumental and academic. In his opinion these are academic administrators who are responsible for such a collective subjectivity. Their main goal - to cooperate with teachers and be responsible for the academic training of students, not master them, but on the contrary to be in relationship of collaboration, allowing organization to perform their duties [14. P. 32, 45]. Another point of view belongs to N. Keohane, who considers the essential point in the university management is establishing a common agenda of the university and obtaining from the different groups of the university community and the various departments of the university movement in common direction [9. P. 38]. Also, she writes that the head of a good university should be the leader, where obligatory condition of his consistency must be cooperation. Hence it can be concluded that the work of university administrators in many ways is similar to the professional. Therefore appealing to professional ethics gives university administrators the opportunity through the assessment prism of their own activities, the work of their colleagues to identify the specifics of the activity, taking into consideration its governing ethical principles. The study of the main features of specialist’s business behavior in the higher education system will help to uncover tasks and issues preventing the professional skills perfection of university administrators to plan actualization means of the ethical foundations of their professional work. REFERENCES [1] Bakshtanovskij V.I. Cennostnye orientiry universitetskogo administratora: konceptual'noe tehzadanie k jetiko-prikladnomu proektu. Universitetskaja jetika: aktual'naja povestka dnja. Vedomosti prikladnoi jetiki. Vyp. 47. Tjumen': NII PJe, 2015. [2] Buharestkaja deklaracija URL: (03.03.16). [3] Tsvyk A.V. Nravstvennye osnovy mezhdunarodnyh otnoshenij. Vestnik RUDN. Serija: Filosofija. 2014. No. 2. [4] Tsvyk V.A. Opyt primenenija principov bolonskogo processa v sociologicheskom obrazovanii. Sociologicheskie issledovanija. 2008. No. 9. [5] Gromova L.A. Jetika universitetskih preobrazovanij. Universitetskaja jetika: aktual'naja povestka dnja. Vedomosti prikladnoi jetiki. Vol. 47. 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Vedomosti prikladnoĭ jetiki. Vol. 47. Tjumen': NII PJe, 2015. [13] Steck H. Corporatization of the University: Seeking Conceptual Clarity. Annals of the Ametican Academy of Political and Social Science. 2003. Vol. 585. [14] Weingartner P.H. Moral Dimensions of Academic Administration Lanham, 1999.

About the authors

V S Mukhametzhanova

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia

Miklukho-Maklaya str., 10/2, Moscow, Russia, 117198




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Copyright (c) 2016 Мухаметжанова В.С.

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