Is university a noble industry? LO29384

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 10/24/02

Replying to LO29373 --

Dear Organlearners

Enda D. Layuk Allo <> writes

>In my country there is some paradigm being preached since
>some years ago. "University will seen as a noble industry".
>I wondering from where does it come from? Can other
>industries not be a noble one? Can university still produce
>agents of changes, if they are profit oriented? Offcourse
>institution needs to make profit, but as Drucker said profit
>likes oxigen, you need it, and it is not the goal.

Greetings dear Enda,

I have never read before of someone refering to a university as a noble
industry. So i thought it wise to make sure that at least on internet it
is not the case. A search with Google gave no positive results.

But your question still haunted me. So i began to delve deeper.

Noble means
1. exalted in character or quality; excellent, worthy
2. indicative of virtue or magnanimity; high-minded
3. pertaining to an aristocracy; of lofty lineage
4. imposing in apperance; magnificent; grand
5. precious or pure as in minerals
6. long-winded as in falconry
Its etymology is the Latin "nobilis"=well-known.

Industry means
1. useful labour in general
2. earnest application to work or business
3. a particular branch of productive work, capital or workers
4. any manufacturing business other than agriculture.
Its etymology is the Latin "industrius"=diligent.

Thinking of these two meanings, universities often ought to refer to
themselves as "noble industries". So what is the reason why they do not
use the description "noble industry"? The following i ask with my tongue
in the cheek. Are they too humble to do so? Are they too honest to do so?
Are they too wise to do so?

Or is just a plain fact that they are not "noble industries"? If this is
the case, then a paradigm shift is long overdue!

Come to thinking of it, a Learning Organisation is nothing else than a
"noble industry"! Universities, organisations for learning. cannot be
"noble industries" unless they become Learning Organisations.

Thank you Endo for directing my mind to such a haunting concept!

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.