Missouri State Releases Report on Social Work Department
April 9, 2007
by Luke Sheahan
Does the academic environment of the School of Social Work promote learning and stimulate an honest and open dialogue in which intellectual differences are shared and respected among students, faculty and staff?Many students and faculty stated a fear of voicing differing opinions from the instructor or colleague. This was particularly true regarding spiritual and religious matters however, students voiced fears about questioning faculty regarding assignments or expectations. In fact “bullying” was used by both students and faculty to characterize specific faculty. It appears that faculty have no history of intellectual discussion/debate. Rather, differing opinions are taken personally and often result in inappropriate discourse.Do the faculty and staff of the School of Social Work model and communicate the CSWE Code of Ethics for students in the program?There is an atmosphere where the Code of Ethics is used in order to coerce students into certain belief systems regarding social work practice and the social work profession. This represents a distorted use of the Social Work Code of Ethics in that the Code of Ethics articulates that social workers should respect the values and beliefs of others.
There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that admission standards in both the MSW and BSW Programs are applied differentially with possible bias against students who are faith based. It also appears that MSW applicants who clearly do not meet admission standards are admitted to satisfy enrollment expectations.