19 September 2009

Lust: one of the seven deadly sins of the academy

Revised, and links updated May, 2012

The seven deadly sins, which are the subject of this article (The seven deadly sins, 2009) about campuses in the UK, are sartorial inelegance, procrastination, snobbery, lust, arrogance, complacency, and pedantry. THE is the Higher Education supplement for the British newspaper, The Times. The article, especially the section on lust which was written by Terence Kealey, Vice-chancellor of Buckingham University, has attracted a great deal of attention in the UK, and even beyond its borders. See some articles listed below. Kealey also wrote a response to the criticism in the Times Higher (see Terence Kealey: a response, 2009).

Although the original article (The seven deadly sins, 2009) was meant to be humourous -satirical, actually – not everyone saw it as a laughing matter, myself included. The comments following the THE articles, are an indication of how sensitive and demanding the topic of lust is in universities.

It's debatable just how light-hearted the article really is - humourous satire, or serious matters for the academy to think about? From the attention it has received in the British Press, one has to wonder where this will lead.

Two other articles on closely related subject matter that have been published in the Times Higher are ‘Sex and the University’ (2008), and ‘Sex for grades in Africa's academy’ (2010) to which I responded in ‘Sex for grades in universities,’ 2010.

For Canadian input into this subject – of lust, not humour – see the Globe and Mail’s ‘On-campus sex ban: Hands off,’ 2010).

Some of the articles have numerous comments, and I don’t see that there’s anything I can add here without turning to personal experience, so I will just leave it at that.

Buckingham University vice-chancellor defends remarks over female students
By Adam Gabbatt
Sept 23, 2009

Curvey females safe for viewing, writes professor
By Husayn Marani
Western Gazette, formerly UWO Gazette
Sept 29, 2009

Curvy students 'perk of the job'
By Katherine Sellgren
BBC News education reporter
Sept 23, 2009

On-campus sex ban: Hands off the student body, Prof
By Dakshana Bascaramurty
Globe and Mail
Apr 08, 2010

Senior academic calls female students 'a perk of the job'
By Alison Kershaw, Press Association
Sept 23, 2009

The seven deadly sins of the academy
By Matthew Reisz
THE (Times Higher Education)
Sept 17, 2009

Sex and the university
By Hannah Fearn
THE (Times Higher Education)
May 22, 2008

Sex for grades in Africa's academy
By John Morgan
THE (Times Higher Education)
Jan 21, 2010

Sex for grades in universities
By Sue McPherson
Sue’s Views on the News
Jan 22, 2010

Terence Kealey: a response to criticism
By Terence Kealey
THE (Times Higher Education)
Sept 23, 2009

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