Beyond Discipline: Managing the Modern Higher Education Environment
By Peter F. Lake
© 2009 Hierophant Enterprises, Inc.
Imagine, if you can, a college of the future with no discipline system at all, in which students are truly at the center of the core mission of higher education….
In a new and thought-provoking book, Beyond Discipline: Managing the Modern Higher Education Environment, Professor Peter F. Lake offers a path-breaking vision of how to manage the modern higher education environment. Building upon themes from his award-winning earlier work with R. Bickel, The Rights and Responsibilities of the Modern University (Carolina Academic Press 1999), Lake develops the concept of a facilitator university in the context of process used to manage student populations - codes of conduct, honor codes etc.
Currently, institutions of higher education everywhere use discipline systems as major components in managing their academic environments. Many of these discipline systems are very legalistic - featuring law-like rules, procedures and sanctions. Their scope and functioning seems to increase with each passing day. Higher education today has some of the most complex and fair systems in all of higher education history. And, for all intents and purposes, a parallel justice system.
Paradoxically, however, colleges and students often face high attrition rates, elongated times to graduation, intransigent high-risk alcohol and drug usage rates, persistent issues of sexual misconduct and hazing, disrespect and diffidence in the classroom, massively complex wellness issues, pre-meditated mass violence, academic concerns about learning outcomes and assessments etc. Moreover, colleges now face greater issues of liability with respect to core mission, and challenging meta-litigation regarding discipline processes.
How did higher education reach a place where procedural fairness is all but guaranteed, but a reasonable chance at academic success in a safe, well ordered community is not? Why has higher education pursued a path of legalisms? Does the law require or encourage this? How is it possible to move beyond discipline and legalistic process? What could take the place of discipline, and at what cost?
Beyond Discipline develops a companion model for students in a facilitator university –the student as visitor. Modernizing an ancient higher education concept, Beyond Discipline argues for an intentional, education-based, student-centered visitorial process, which is neither disciplinary nor overly legalistic.
Here's what some leading figures in higher education today had to say about Beyond Discipline...
"Finally – a book about judicial affairs that fully appreciates the riskscape facing today’s college students and offers a balanced, sensible view of judicial affairs in higher education.
In Beyond Discipline, Peter Lake provides a fascinating and insightful look at the rise of law and legalism in higher education, taking us on a historical journey through the days of misused power through the revolution in collegiate judicial affairs brought on by the Civil Rights era. Along the way, he cuts through the many conundrums from both extremes that have plagued the academy’s attempts at creating civility among its students. In the end, he offers a redemptive plan for collegiate judicial affairs that keeps the best and removes the worst, leaving us all with a well-balanced, mission-focused approach that is desperately needed in today’s institutions."
Thomas A. Workman, PhD, Assistant Professor
School of Allied Health Science, Baylor College of Medicine
National Chair, Alcohol & Other Drug Knowledge Community
"Robert Kegan, famed developmental psychologist and advocate of a whole child curriculum, suggests that individual growth is best facilitated in an environment maintaining an equal balance of challenge and support. Lake’s vision for a “facilitator university” as described in “Beyond Discipline - Managing the Higher Education Environment” provides forward thinking institutions with a practical strategy for realizing Kegan’s developmental theory. Lake’s proactive student-centered response allows educational environmental management and legal processes to coexist increasing the probability of enhancing vital student engagement while decreasing misconduct including academic concerns."
Linda Major, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
"Despite what campus leader’s claim, our current approach to campus discipline has become very comfortable and not very educational. Lake’s book questions current practices and provides new methodologies for creating or refining campus approaches to discipline. The book challenges practitioners to move us beyond discipline and back to educating our students."
Jim Hundrieser, PhD, Executive Consultant
"Beyond Discipline belongs on the desk of any Student Affairs professional who works in the student discipline field today, and Peter Lake is the right author to explore this topic. Lake’s experience and knowledge in this area are incomparable. His meticulously researched and provocative book disproves most of what is regarded as conventional wisdom about disciplinary systems at today’s modern university. Lake’s insights are multilayered and illuminating and are expounded with clarity and elegance."
M. Dave O'Guinn, Associate General Counsel
“This book helps those in higher education to understand the “modern mismatch” of discipline and higher learning, and grapple with reconciling the legalistic process with the developmental goals of higher education. Lake challenges those of us in higher education to “recognize an appropriate role for law and legalisms,” developing a unique system that ensures the student’s education, development, and personal growth remain central.”
Gwendolyn Jordan Dungy, PhD, Executive Director
"Lake has written a landmark book that provides a new lens to managing the higher education environment. Lake provides a challenging new perspective to a discipline system that has strayed from our fundemental mission. Discipline systems are overwhelmed and challenged to create efficient systems that manage risk and behavior. Through humor, case commentary, and generational understanding, Lake offers critical insight to our historical disciplinary journey. A powerful foundation for multi-departmental diaglogue, this books offers a new model for managing the higher educational environment."
Lisa A. Miller, PhD, Director of Research & Health Promotion
Colorado State University