Joe Grundfest, former SEC commissioner and Stanford professor, argued that the key to ethical decision making mostly lies in the determination of what is "smart," when he spoke to a recent meeting of the Center's Business and Organizational Ethics Partnership.
Read about his debate with Center Executive Director Kirk O. Hanson, who countered, "We ethicists have to raise an objection. As a business executive, to say something is not smart "from a self-interested, capitalist view, I am not going to be sensitive to all the ethical questions that I may face. I'm going to miss many more of these that you claim are not smart, because I'm not asking the ethical question" as it relates to all of the stakeholders involved in the decision.
Students from Santa Clara University are engaged in a global dialog on this and other business ethics issues with students at Ateneo de Manila in the Philippines and Loyola Institute of Business Administration in India. You are invited to share your thought on this or the previous case on who was responsible for a terrible factory fire in Bangladesh.
While people may not all agree on values or what is most important, rarely will people disagree that respect, responsibility, self-control, integrity, and effort are important values that shape our character and ultimately our destinies.
The Bering Straits School District in Alaska has adopted the Ethics Center's high school, language arts curriculum (Character Based Literacy), which combines classic and contemporary American, world, government, and Alaskan literature with a research-based framework that allows students to explore these values, thoughts, and skills in context with their own unique culture. Students are meeting the state’s grade-level expectations in reading, writing, speaking and listening, language, and social studies with this enriching curriculum.
Saint Michael students at Anthony A. Andrews School have been enjoying using both art and technology to enhance their language arts learning experiences. After reading Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, high school students created brochures that showcased their research skills and understanding of the Great Depression and other social issues that they had been learning about.
Other students were simultaneously reading Bud, Not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis, also a novel that is set during the Great Depression. Students created a word wall that highlighted the vocabulary that they were learning and a timeline that tracked the novel’s main events. Students listened to famous jazz musicians from the Great Depression and Harlem Renaissance and discussed poetry from Langston Hughes, all in context with one of the novel’s themes: Change Requires Effort.
All high school students contributed to a rock-wall poster that they will proudly hang in their school hallway. Each student created 10-15 rocks of various sizes, shapes, and colors. On each rock students wrote a positive character trait that was being exhibited by a character in the novel that they were reading.
Fourteen hundred SCU students responded to a survey this fall on attitudes toward the adoption of an honor code by Santa Clara University. The majority supported a modified honor code, in which students are encouraged but not required to report violations.
Just completed is a response period, in which a draft statement of the code and possibilities for implementation were posted on the Web. More than 350 comments addressed the code and concerns about the current campus culture of academic integrity. Students were disturbed about what they saw as a lack of due process and inconsistent sactions in the current system. They weighed in on whether signing the code should be mandatory, and if so, how often students should be required to sign it.
The effort so far has been led by Ethics Center Hackworth Fellow, Aven Satre-Meloy, an SCU senior, supported by Associated Student Government and other interested students. The next step will bring students and faculty together to advance the process.
"Human Rights and Restorative Justice," "Moral Imagination and Civil Economy," these are just two of the topics on the agenda at today's annual meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics, Pacific Section, co-hosted by the Ethics Center and the Religious Studies Department at Santa Clara University.
Speakers include George Williams, S.J., the Catholic chaplain at San Quentin State Prison, reflecting on "Theology and Ethics Behind Bars," and Harlan Stelmach and Mohammed El Majdoubi of Dominican University, California, on "Breaking Down the Walls Between Neuroethics and Religious Ethics."
Last month, six former councilmembers from Bell, California, went on trial for misappropriating public funds, as part of a corruption scandal that made the Latino suburb of 38,000 people the poster child for outsize government pay checks, waste, and fraud.
Center Senior Fellow in Government Ethics Judy Nadler was one of four experts addressing the topic, "Beyond Bell: An Ethical Journey," part of the League of California City Managers annual meeting in January. The presentation allowed panelists to reflect on the importance of strengthening and reclaiming good, open and transparent government. Participants also gave advice on identifying red flags of an unhealthy environment. Also on the panel were presider Arne Croce, former interim city manager of Bell; Jan Perkins, International City Manager Association Senior Advisor; and JoAnne Speers, executive director of the Institute for Local Government.
Aven Satre-Meloy, Hackworth Fellow, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, and Chief Justice, Associated Student Government, and members of the Student Honor Code Committee will update the SCU community February 7 on progress in drafting an academic honor code. The meeting will take place at noon in the Weigand Center, Arts and Sciences Building.
Last spring a majority of SCU students expressed an interest in adopting an academic honor code. This fall a student survey on implementing an honor code received an overwhelming and positive response, and provided many insights for what kind of honor code could work at SCU. At this event, the students leading the effort to have SCU adopt an honor code will present to campus the state of the drafting process of a proposed new code, a new disciplinary procedure, and a new faculty reporting process.
Ben Adida, director of identity for Mozilla, Brian Kennish, co-founder of Disconnect, and Arvind Narayanan, assistant professor of computer science at Princeton University, visited the Santa Clara campus Jan. 23 to discuss an engineering ethics perspective on privacy by design. The approach means that concerns about customer privacy are part of the planning process for new products, rather than an afterthought, only addressed after concerns arise.
The panel, co-sponsored by the Ethics Center and the High Tech Law Institute, was moderated by Center Internet Ethics Program Manager Irina Raicu.
The decision by a New York paper to publish the names and addresses of gun owners along with a map of their locations sparked a lively discussion by the Center's Emerging Issues Group. The group meets weekly to talk about the ethical issues behind the news. You can hear a podcast of the conversation here.