In an ideal academy, each member of the community would be able to develop to the extent that their talents allow, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or any demographic categorization. The politically correct nature of academia constrains some individuals due to their demographic categorization.
Free and open exchange of ideas. Confusion of opinion with reality and intolerance.
Tolerance for who we are, less sensitivity, joy!
A place where a consistent effort is made to prevent learning and research from being dictated by economics. Pushing the use of information technology in the classroom without thinking critically about its pedagogical benefits (0r lack of benefits) might be one threat we're facing right now -- especially it this trend seems to be "pushed" because UMM needs to justify grants or requests for grants. Dismantling the tenure system might be another threat.
The ideal academy is one in which active professional seekers of knowledge (the faculty, who are ideally scholars/researchers) nurture and engage well-motivated and appropriately trained younger seekers of knowledge (students) as junior partners in the search for knowledge. The search is directed only by the curiosity and values of pedagogy is a minor concern, motivating students is irrelevant because they are already motivated (and if unmotivated, do not belong there), and external influence arising from desires for political, pecuniary, or personal advantage are simply taboo. The only requirement of the seekers is that they perform their functions with diligence, integrity, and competence.
I teach here because UMM is an ideal academy. But consistent lacks of resources threaten us
The ideal honors diversity and the democratic process. The threat is an emerging political conservatism that puts little faith in the academic life.
One which supports its faculty so that they can do their best work. Support includes time and resources, including financial resources (SE & E much more important than salary, they both are important.
(a)stimulating, open-minded, experimenting (b) lack of resources
One where all voices are given equal measure.
A civil community of seekers of truth.
An ideal academy should enable faculty to teach freely without fear for their promotion and tenure.
In brief, it is a community of open inquiry; one where we pursue important ideas and respectfully disagree on many points; one where faculty and faculty and students collaborate in constructive and challenging conversations. It is a community engaged in exploring answers to the most important questions for our selves, our society and the world.
Intolerance would be my perception of the greatest threat to an ideal academy, which I would define as a growing, evolving process stabilized by ties to traditional thought, which ties would also be a perpetual process of evolution and growth.
Obviously freedom of inquiry and exchange of ideas are in an ideal academy; the threats to this are fears and lack of information (so a vicious circle).
The ideal academy for me is a place where students learn critical thinking skills and use them in order to examine their own ideals and engage with others discussing, analyzing and evaluating the views in order to develop a set of beliefs that they can not only accept, but defend. The most important threats to this vision come from the students, who1) may be fearful that evaluation is a danger to maintaining previously unexamined beliefs or 2) have an instrumentalist view of education and are concerned with getting a good grade in order to get a good job rather than valuing education and the exchange of ideas as a way to promote his human flourishing in a broader sense.
A place where there is lively debate about all sorts of issues.
I think the most important threat is student apathy. I sometimes get the feeling that the majority of students don't think they need to be informed about much of anything -- that their little myopic world is just fine. In other cases, students are just plain unwilling to listen to alternative points of view. A good example would be some students' attitudes toward the subject of evolution. Some might as well just say out loud, "You can't make me learn about this. My pastor said it is wrong." For them, that's pretty much the end of the story. These sorts of attitudes don't lead to much learning, and they certainly do not make the environment of the "academy" very ideal.
Vision of an ideal academy - Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found." (taken from a report of the Board of Regents in 1894). A threat would be supplanting the art of dialogue (i.e., the art of holding more than one perspective at a time as valid) with the art of debate.
A community in which freedom of expression, and thought, are ACTIVELY encouraged and supported; a community in which all the voices are encouraged and heard; a community in which there is an active interest in seeking out and listening to other voices; a community in which all members feel they are valued and in which everyone sense that they are partners in leading the community' into the future
My ideal of the academy is a place where diverse ideas can be shared, debated, and challenged in a respectful environment, and where people with differing viewpoints can carefully listen to each other and consider the possibility that other viewpoints may also have some validity. This ideal is threatened when a homogenous environment exists such that the accepted views of the 99% majority are never challenged openly.
What we have at UMM. Threats are from Governments: local, state, county & federal.