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Responses to the Survey Question "How Do You Interpret the Culture of Your Institution?"

Responses to the Survey Question "How Do You Interpret the Culture of Your Institution?"

Values of Eurocentrism

It is Eurocentric and colonial, hostile to those not of European origin. The colonialism is reflected in the architecture: it is constructed in such a way as to make it look like a long-established university, giving it an Ivy League symbolism.

The dominance of the English culture

You only stick to English, nothing else, it does not take into account the existence of other population groups. You have to be white and English-speaking, which then makes you more welcome.

The heterogeneity of culture

There are disciplinary, student, staff, and academic subcultures. There is not one culture, with different cultures operating across the university.

Historical memory

Things have been happening in the same way for a long time, and these are controlled by those who have been there for a long time; the practices are naturalized.

The shape of the culture

Middle class and elitist culture.

Social relations among faculty

Much emphasis on collegiality.

The black-white binary system of thought

Black people are perceived in a deficit framework, having to be brought up to speed. There is a need for special attention to be given to black faculty in order to get them on track. White academics are automatically perceived as being developed and hence on the track of excellence.

The “public” discourse on transformation

There is silence around transformation debates, much fear and victimization. Secrecy—you cannot talk openly about transformation for fear of being victimized.

Perceived allocation of unequal standards

Lack of uniform criteria for evaluating standards among black and white academics.

The relationship of academics to society

Emphasis on individualism, liberalism, and the need to be somewhat detached from society.


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