Last day of the conference on Business Ethics. So far the presenters have been in unanimous agreement that business should be ethical. Maybe next year I should propose a paper arguing against ethics just to liven things up a bit.
It has been an interesting experience. I’ve presented at some ASME conferences before, but those were to a very technical crowd, and one that is dominated by folks from the business world. This conference was primarily academics. The similarities and differences are telling. Some observations…
Combs are still optional in academia
They get the “pony tailed consultant” types showing up at their conferences too, cornering unsuspecting presenters looking to latch onto them like leeches to extract business and/or original thinking.
This conference being sponsored by the Vincentian Colleges (Niagara- St. Johns – DePaul) begins each day with a short speech by an overweight, gregarious, ruddy faced priest. Made me feel like I was back in High School, and I mean that in a good way.
Academics aren’t very nice to each other. Odd.
I am as knowledgable about certain subjects as several of these professors. Seriously, even reading and studying on my own. What do they do all day?
My presentation was mostly well received. Not being an academic I was a little worried about that. Only one guy jumped on me when I stated that some HR Performance Management systems are unjust. Since he taught in an HR program he took some issue with that. But, several others chimed in to my defense, and I held my ground that when Human Resource performance management systems begin to manage people as resources, instead of humans, by imposing arbitray measurements, they are indeed unjust. The lefties in the crowd (which, this being academia was damn near everyone) nodded in approval.
As for the rest of my trip, it was bittersweet in the usual 20 Prospect way. WNY in autumn can be achingly beautiful. But still the ruins of what was, and the ghosts of what might have been were all around. Seeing family was wonderful, but seeing the real 20 P and all the other places from my memories really tore me up inside.
Farewell Batavia, until next time…