Vol. 8 No. 2
October/November 2005

Return to Contents

By A Nose
Jockeying in the Rankings Race

The Current Standings

Whither the NRC Study?

"I am not going to change our methods of calculation just in order to try and achieve a ranking higher than another institution."

"Part of the reason educational reputation is so important is because people—students, faculty, and administrators—derive much of their status from the status of their institution."

Graduate School and College Excellence
Does research reputation influence undergraduate rankings?

Peer Scorings and Rankings of Colleges and Graduate Programs and Research


The “Lecture Track” Reconsidered
Professional identity and aspiration among non-tenure-path faculty

Tales from the Lecture Track: Kristin Wendland, Music

Tales from the Lecture Track: Sheila Tefft, Journalism

Virtue and the Stewardship
of Academic Freedom

Reflections on ambition, conversation, and community



The power and ethics of advertisements
Like an archetype, a brand myth is an enduring image that may change in its specifics but remains recognizably positioned in the mind of the receiver, in this case the consumer. The myth powerfully communicates attributes such that it creates a personality and an emotional bond between consumer and brand. This emotional bond goes beyond just the joy of recognition; rather, it works on a deeper level to “nourish the soul.” The New York Telephone advertisement, where “we’re all connected,” gives a good example. New York Telephone gives good wire connections, and yet it also implies that all humankind, all life is connected—part of the same life force.

And now we come to the question of ethical conversation about advertising. What if something is to us intuitively wrong, even evil in an ad, and how might we respond and relate to it? Is it possible for ads to be forms of social critique? Marxist leftist critics of ads, such as Stuart Ewen or the editors of AD Busters, whose goal it is to “cleanse the cultural environment,” would say no. The act of selling—no matter how sophisticated it is—is inherently a polluting act and must be resisted. AD Busters occasionally embarks on “image rescue” campaigns, which take images used by corporations and turn them to socially resistant purposes. In addition, they track the corporate cooptation of originally resistant images. And yet how powerful are these critiques, really? Marxist critics remain in the ivory tower, and AD Busters has now recently been accused of becoming a glossy, high-profile, high-sales magazine just like the ones they criticize.

—Laurie Patton, Professor of Early Indian Religions; Winship Distinguished Research Professor in the Humanities; and Chair, Department of Religion, Emory University. From her talk, “Unashamedly Evil? Mythology and Advertising in American Culture,” April 27, 2005

Emory’s role in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

How can a community like Emory best be helpful? We need to do what we do well: ponder, critique, and help think about the larger intellectual and social issues. We need to think about environmental issues, the root causes of poverty, race and class discrepancies, access to services, issues of the meaning of suffering, the root causes of economic disparity, and the impact on community when there is a disaster.

—Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, Dean of the Chapel and Religious Life, from the panel discussion “Falling Apart and Coming Together: Ethical Responses to Hurricane Katrina, a Conversation in Two Parts,” sponsored by the Ethics Center, September 13, 2005