Explaining Penn State's Leadership Disaster
At Pennsylvania State University, morality has taken a back seat to football glory. How could academic leadership have failed so spectacularly in the face of overtly reprehensible behavior?
What's the Latest Development?
Despite numerous reports that former Penn State football coordinator Jerry Sandusky took advantage of vulnerable boys in the team's showers, nobody acted. Now Joe Paterno, the longtime football coach, has been fired, and the university's president, Graham Spanier, has been removed by the board of trustees. Riots spread across the Penn State campus not in response to the apparent injustice but because Paterno was fired. We are witnessing the results of a badly skewed set of priorities among students, abetted by the college.
What's the Big Idea?
How could academic leadership have failed so spectacularly in the face of well-reported criminal behavior? It has been a long time coming, says Jena McGregor. She argues that leadership requires making the right decision when faced with ethical dilemmas but that it also requires "the ability to constantly gut check an organization's culture and proactively redirect an institution when it gets on the wrong path." The deification of the college's football program blinded leaders to more urgent concerns.
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The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.
- Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
- The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
- European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?
- Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
- While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
- The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
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