Moral and Practical Choice
Case #2 – The Case of the Textbook Buy-backAs you begin your fall-term teaching assignment at a local community college, you are assigned to an office cubicle that is located across the aisle from the cubicle of a full-time instructor.. You are busy with preparing for the term and occupied with getting your lectures organized and constructing exams for your course. Because you are part-time at this college and you are assigned to an evening class you are not in the office in the morning hours when the instructor across from you is in the office. Consequently, you rarely see the instructor in that cubicle.One evening, about an hour before class, you are at your desk. A person who is a representative for a book publishing company drops in and pays you a visit. The book rep wants to provide you with “examination” copies of books by several different authors on the topic you are teaching. This is very interesting to you because you have been informed by the Division Chair that you will be allowed to select the text for the course in future semesters. You are very excited and most interested in reviewing a variety of new books to pick the one that best suits your needs. With the interview complete, the book rep gives you a business card and departs. A few days later a box of books for you is delivered to your office.As the semester progresses, you notice stacks of books piling up in the office across the aisle. Stacks of books up to four feet high begin to crowd the office. Eventually the stacks spill over into the office cubicle (unoccupied) next to that office. Out of curiosity you look over some of the books. They are all new. For some reason, you detect that the books are on a variety of subjects not at all related to the subject the instructor in that office teaches. You are perplexed.One evening, you get another visit. This time it is from a person who identifies themself as a book buyer. They ask if you have any unwanted text books. Since you have now made your choice for next semester, you confirm that there are three books you do not want. The book buyer looks at these books and offers you $50 for all three. You take the cash and are glad to be rid of the unneeded books. Then, you notice the stacks of books are gone from across the aisle and you remark to the book buyer that those must have added up to a lot. The book buyer says, “Oh yes, over $1,000. That is one of my best customers.” Suddenly, it occurs to you that the instructor has been getting as many books as possible from various book reps with the ultimate intention of selling them for cash.REQUIRED:Compose a critique of this situation. In your critique be sure to cover the following points.ETHICS1-What ethical issues do you see involved in this situation?PRACTICE2-Do you think this practice is acceptable?MORAL RESPONSIBILITY3-Is there any action that you should take?PERSONAL CHOICE4-Would you be interested in following the same course?