REDLANDS — The moral equivalent of nuclear winter may be settling over America's campuses.
That's one of the fears of Jon C. Dalton, a student of college mores today. Dalton worries that the mushrooming of an educational-industrial complex is obliterating a traditional role of colleges and universities--namely, the formal and informal teaching of values, the codes of right and wrong that should be lifelong guides to private and public conduct.
He also worries that schools today are rife with a "survivalist" mentality that encourages "a highly materialistic" student culture.
Dalton's concerns are shared at the University of Redlands, a small private school, where he was invited recently to discuss research on current student attitudes and the environment that helped create them, said the university chaplain, the Rev. Brent Waters. "I think many faculty here know there's a problem in this area, but they haven't had the empirical information that would define its scope."
The assistant vice president for student affairs at Northern Illinois University, Dalton has conducted his own studies and compiled surveys by others to measure the collegiate moral climate.