Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ethical Limits to College Advertising?

No, I'm not attempting any plugs here. ;p

My wife spends approximately 2 hours a week conducting Law classes for students reading business administration at a local private college. It's not one of the more established ones, but neither is it an unknown institute. [What to do, the hubby might not be gainfully employed at some point in time in the future, hence got to find supplemental income for the family ;p]

She has been teaching for only approximately 2 months or so. But it appears that the private college has absolutely no ethical qualms about milking the fact that an Oxford graduate is teaching there. Apparently, they intend to run advertisements promoting the college to such effect.

Goodness! She's not even a permanent lecturer there, she's not teaching at a premium rate and not to mention the fact that she has yet to be paid for her classes to date. And the subject she is teaching is only an elective subject for the relevant degree programme.

I've always complained about the local private colleges stretching the ethical limits (for example, here and here) of marketing themselves and their educational programmes. Can it be stretched any further?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well actually I do not think what the college does is of any wrong.

I do have concerns over the idiotic people who get bought by these advertisements. Having an Oxford graduate does not translate to the college being a good one. There are other much more significant factors to consider, but if these students are so lazy to do more proper research then why blame the college?

Tony P said...

So you are saying that if I mislead you into buying some magic stones, I am not at fault at all?

I completely agree that having an Oxford graduate does not translate to the college being a good one. However, it's not a crime for someone to be guillible, nor can we expect all innocent parties to be of super-intelligence.

Hence, there should be ethical limits as to the manner in which an educational institution promotes itself.

Anonymous said...

At least the college is not using Malaysian Idols in its promotion.

Anonymous said...

Tony,
If you tell me your stones are magical when they are not, then yes it is a crime.

In the case of your story, I do not know what the claims in the marketing would be, but assuming they intend to mention that there is an Oxford graduate amongst its staff, then the question would be: is there really an Oxford graduate there? SInce the answer is a yes I see no wrong there.

It is good to have ethical moral principles, but the world is grey and depends on how we stretch the boundaries (e.g. MCA and UTAR). With due respect to your wife's talents, I have no doubt that the recruiter had considered the marketing aspects of hiring an Oxford graduate. After all, Real Madrid bought Beckham and is still keeping him due to the fact that off the pitch he is the biggest money generator. My guess is that it won't do you harm to have the profile of the college and the staff raised.

What A Lulu said...

"But it appears that the private college has absolutely no ethical qualms about milking the fact that an Oxford graduate is teaching there. Apparently, they intend to run advertisements promoting the college to such effect."

like that ah?
i know that this is a cheap shot, but...
considering that KJ the investment banker lost so much $$ in his own "investment" and he may prove himself unwanted in the next GE, he can now consider being the poster boy of some local college.

YT Kuah said...

Unfortunately, this post is has been like the third post so far, where extrapolating from one anecdotal example happens. While this post was not as bad as the Graduate student/job seeker post, it may be that this blog is running out of issues to talk about?

Tony P said...

Hi YT,

Just 2 comments on what you wrote:

1. I don't think there's anything wrong with writing 'anecdotal' experience or evidence. Anecdotal doesn't mean "wrong". It just means not necessarily proven as non-exception.

If it's right, then others may join in to share their experience. If "wrong", then there'll be those who will counter the arguments. That's what the whole blog is about, so that we can move closer to knowing the "truth".

2. Did I extrapolate in this post?

Tony

YT Kuah said...

1. Anecdotal is definitely not wrong. What's making it hard to for me to read the recent blog posts is the conclusions that you draw from the limited number of examples. Maybe it's just a change of style where you feel the need to focus the discussion a bit more, but the conclusion that you offered might have seemed a bit far-fetched?

2. As I said, this post is not as bad, as it is backed up by two other instances. Yes, you did extrapolate, imho, but at least it was backed up.

Anonymous said...

YT Kuah...the charlatan philosopher showing his pseudo intellect in this blog

iamyuanwu said...

Anon (Sun Nov 05, 01:34:48 AM),

"... the question would be: is there really an Oxford graduate there? SInce the answer is a yes I see no wrong there."

This is a matter of legally right/wrong and morally/ethically right/wrong.
Legally/technically, it's not wrong.
Ethically, the college is misleading (if not down right lying/cheating) it's students.

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster:
Come on, if Harvard recruited a Nobel Prize winner to its ranks you think it will just remain quiet? If tomorrow UTAR hires a real good professor and reports this in the papers that is ethically wrong?

What is wrong is if the claim says e.g. 'because of so-and-so, you will get good education'. The grey area to me would be when they claim 'most of our lecturers qualified from top universities around the world, including Oxford'.

borat of malaysia said...

there is nothing wrong in advertising it but the question is what is the real intention of the college?