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At the Center

Capturing the lively discussions, presentations, and other events that make up the daily activities of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

  •  Music and Ethics: Reflections by SCU Music Faculty

    Monday, Apr. 14, 2014 12:10 PM

    What is the effect of music on our ethical sensibilities and judgments? Concerns about such matters go back to the Greek philosophers and continue into the present day. SCU music faculty will share pieces of music and offer reflections on how those pieces have influenced them ethically. Presenters and performers include SCU Music faculty: John Kennedy, Bruno Ruviaro, and Christina Zanfagna.

  •  Internal Investigations: Strategies for Success

    Wednesday, Apr. 9, 2014 4:47 PM

    Event Date: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    Location: Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
    525 University Avenue | 14th Floor | Palo Alto, CA 94301

    Please respond by Monday, April 14, to Monica Schreiber at or 650.470.4627.
    Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. | Seminar: 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

    California CLE credit will be offered. This program has been approved for one hour of general substantive credit and .5 hours of ethics credit.

    As companies face increased regulatory scrutiny in the U.S. and around the world, our panelists will address the most effective strategies for handling — and successfully resolving — government inquiries and internal investigations of all types and magnitude. Please join us for this interactive discussion. Our panelists from Skadden, KPMG, Visa Inc. and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics will employ hypotheticals and real-world examples to provide in-house counsel with the tools — legal, business and ethical — to handle the thorniest investigations.

    Program Overview

    •First principles of investigatory work
    •Working with internal and external auditors
    •Liaising with law enforcement and engaging outside counsel
    •Handling whistleblower and other "hotline" complaints
    •Responding to governmental subpoenas and informal requests for information
    •Special considerations raised by cross-border investigations
    •Benefits and burdens of voluntary disclosures and "cooperation"
    •Common ethical issues with internal investigations

    Jack P. DiCanio, Litigation, Government Enforcement Skadden
    George Dooley, Chief Audit Executive, Visa Inc.
    John Ebner, Audit Partner, KPMG
    William Haegele, Forensic Partner, KPMG
    Kirk O. Hanson, Executive Director, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University
    Ryan D. Junck, Litigation, Government Enforcement Skadden

    James F. Brelsford, Skadden of counsel and former Chief Legal Officer at SanDisk Corp.

    Please respond by Monday, April 14, to Monica Schreiber at monica.schreiber@skadden.c
    om or 650.470.4627.

  •  Sprinksgiving

    Monday, Mar. 31, 2014 3:44 PM

    On Wednesday, April 9, the Santa Clara University is hosting its second annual “Sprinksgiving,” a student-centered event designed to raise awareness about how philanthropy benefits the entire University.  Sprinksgiving is about giving thanks for donations from alumni and friends that provide critical support for the SCU student experience, from scholarships and immersion trips to new buildings and operating budgets.

    Student interns, fellows, and workers from the Ethics Center will be there too, taking a moment to say “thanks” for the opportunities they have had because of our generous donors.  Contributors to the Ethics Center have supported Health Care Ethics Interns, Environmental Fellows, Hackworth Fellows, Honzel Fellows, and provided students with meaningful work. With donor support, we have launched new initiatives in each of our program areas, such as the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in Business Ethics, Newsworthy in our Character Education program, and the Conscience Project in Campus Ethics.   Grateful, too, are the thousands of students, in our region and across the globe, who have benefited from this work.  

    Anna Kozas '09 was a health care ethics intern, went on to hold the Honzel Fellowship in Health Care Ethics, and is now the bioethics program assistant at the Center.  "Being a part of the Health Care Ethics Internship made a huge impact on my life," she said.  "It played a role in my own career discernment and was a major part of who I am today."

    Patrick Coutermarsh '13, a former Hackworth Fellow, initated the Center's participation in the national Ethics Bowl program.  Currently, he serves as a fellow in applied ethics.  "My time with the Markkula Center, as both a student and Fellow, has been a truly transformative experience," he said. "I am deeply grateful to those that support the Markkula Center and allow it to be the special place that it is."

  •  Talk Is Cheap: The Board's Role in an Ethical Culture

    Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2014 1:35 PM


    *Event Date: Thursday, April 17, 2014

    Paul Brest Hall-EAST (next to Stanford Law School)
    Rock Center for Corporate Governance
    Stanford, CA
    7:30-8:00 Continental Breakfast
    8:00-9:30 Program

    Board resolve can be critical to the development of an effective ethical culture -- defined as the values that inform the behavior toward the organization's stakeholders. Features of an ethical culture will be examined, along with its value to the bottom line, company brand and reputation. Examples of effective board involvement will also be explored, that still hold management responsible for operational execution and performance.


    *Jim Balassone, executive-in-residence, directs the business ethics programs for the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University. Jim works with corporate boards, executive teams and nonprofit advisory boards on business ethics challenges, organizational obstacles to ethical behavior, and campaigns to improve ethical culture. His business career spans IBM, Hitachi Data Systems and several hi-tech start-ups.


    Steve Gomo has served as a director of SanDisk since 2005. He was CFO from 2002 until his retirement in 2011 at NetApp, Inc., a storage and data management company. He was also CFO of Gemplus International S.A. from 2000 to 2002, Asera, Inc. in 2000 and Silicon Graphics, Inc. from 1998 to 2000. Previously, Steve spent 24 years at Hewlett-Packard Company serving in various finance, financial management, manufacturing and general management positions.

    Penny Herscher leads FirstRain with a passion for growing companies in new markets. As CEO since 2005, she has transformed FirstRain into the leading provider of solutions that find and transform high-value, business web content into actionable intelligence for marketing, sales and finance professionals around the globe. Prior to FirstRain, Penny was CEO of Simplex Solutions, an electronic design automation company serving the global semiconductor industry. Penny serves on the boards of JDSU and Rambus.

    Chris Kenber is a native of the UK and a graduate of Oxford University. Chris has had a 40-year career in sales, marketing and management, the last 20 as a CEO of public and private companies. Starting his career at IBM in the UK, Chris moved to the USA to launch IBM's entry into retail and supermarket point of sale, helping to grow this business to more than half a billion in sales. Chris has been an inside director of a number of private health care and related institutions in both the US and UK.

    Catherine Lego is the founder of Lego Ventures LLC, a consulting services firm for early stage technology companies formed in 1992. From 1999 to 2009, she was the general partner of The Photonics Fund, LLP, an early stage venture capital investment firm focused on investing in components, modules and systems companies for the fiber optics telecommunications market, which she founded. She currently serves on the boards of directors at SanDisk and Lam Research.

    Mark Lonergan
    (800) 487-1073


  •  What Science Can and Cannot Say About Ethics

    Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2014 12:38 PM


    Join us on Thursday, April 3 at the Center for Theology and Natural Sciences (CTNS) Public Forum with Brian Green, a recent Graduate of Theological Union Ph.D. and Assistant Director of Campus Ethics at Santa Clara University, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.) His presentation is entitle: "What Science Can and Cannot Say about Ethics"
    Free and open to the public

    Dinner Board Room, Graduate Theological Union, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley

  •  Big Data, Small Politics: Algorithmic Regulation and Its Pitfalls

    Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2014 11:31 AM

    7 PM

    The advent of Big Data, enabled in part by the proliferation of cheap sensors and data-storing devices, presents us with new forms of tackling social problems, from obesity to climate change. While some celebrate the virtues of self-tracking, others laud the benefits of automating certain parts of the political process through "algorithmic regulation." Evgeny Morozov will discuss some of the ethical implications of these new problem-solving mechanisms, situating them within a much longer history of using cybernetic technologies for the purposes of self-regulation.

    Morozov is a contributing editor at The New Republic and the author of two books: "The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom," and "To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism." A recent New York Times article describes him as the “most prominent, most multiplatformed critic of the utopian promises coming from Silicon Valley.”

    From 2010 through 2012, Morozov was a visiting scholar at Stanford University and a Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation. He had previously been a fellow at Georgetown University and at the Open Society Foundations. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, the London Review of Books, and numerous other publications; in addition, his monthly column for the online magazine Slate is syndicated in El Pais, Corriere della Sera, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Folha de S.Paulo and several other newspapers. Morozov is currently pursuing a PhD in the history of science.

    Co-Sponsored by Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and Commonwealth Club of California, Silicon Valley Chapter.

    Reception to follow.

    Live Tweet this event with us! Follow @mcaenews #ethicsmorozov

  •  Ethics: There’s an App for That

    Friday, Mar. 21, 2014 10:35 AM


    Facing a difficult decision—one where you don’t know the right thing to do?  Well, get out your phone because the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University has just released the iPhone app, “Ethical Decision Making: A Practical Tool for Thinking Through Tough Choices.”

    The free app guides users through a step-by-step process, which begins by getting the facts and identifying the stakeholders in the situation.  Then it takes users through five classic ethical approaches—Utility, Rights, Justice, Common Good, and Virtue—posing questions such as “Does this action produce the most good and do the least harm for all who are affected?” and “Does this action treat people equally or proportionally?”  Finally, users weight the different approaches and get a score that indicates whether their thinking is on the right track or whether they should evaluate another option.

    The app draws on the Ethics Center’s popular “Framework for Ethical Decision Making,” which has been online for almost 20 years  and viewed more than a million times.  Apple co-founder A.C. “Mike” Markkula Jr., who chaired the Center’s Advisory Board when the Framework was developed, commented, "It's like magic! The new "Ethical Decision Making" app turns the center's classic ‘Framework’ into an interactive assistant right in your hand—amazing!"

    As Center Executive Director Kirk O. Hanson explains, “The Center has always believed that we need a deliberate method to make good ethical decisions.  We’ve used the Framework for many years, and we’re delighted to offer it in a new medium that may be particularly attractive to a new generation.”

    A party celebrating the app launch will take place April 15, 5:30-6:30 p.m., in the Arts & Sciences Building on the Santa Clara University campus.  Markkula and Hanson will offer comments.  Join us for refreshments and a demo of “Ethical Decision Making.”

     Follow us on Twitter: #ethicsapp

  •  Can A Business Have A Conscience?

    Wednesday, Mar. 19, 2014 1:29 PM

    An exploration of the moral responsibilities of corporations and corporate conscience, by Manuel Velasquez, Charles J. Dirksen Professor of Management, Santa Clara University.

    We are fortunate to present this program in part through the generosity of the Project on Conscience in Roman Catholic Thought, funded by Phyllis and Mike Shea.

    Join us on Twitter for live tweeting of the event as well! @mcaenews
    Event hashtags: #ethicscorp, #conscienceproject

  •  Creating an Ethical Corporate Culture

    Thursday, Mar. 13, 2014 12:59 PM

    You are responsible for the ethical culture of your business organization.

    That’s the message of a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in business ethics taught by Kirk O. Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. “Yes,” Hanson says, “the C-suite executives and the Board of Directors may set the ethical tone of a company, but every person in an organization, particularly managers and supervisors, has a role in strengthening the ethical culture. How managers and supervisors fulfill this responsibility is the subject of this course.”

    The free MOOC, Creating an Ethical Corporate Culture, offers:

    • four key approaches to building an ethical organization
    • 10 tools for shaping the culture and keeping it strong
    • how to anticipate and manage unavoidable challenges to an ethical culture
    • the proven link between ethics, corporate culture, and business performance

    Hanson, a pioneer in the business ethics field, taught for 23 years at the Stanford Graduate School of Business before taking on the directorship of the Markkula Ethics Center. He designed this MOOC for working businesspeople so that they can take the course at their own pace. It deals with the responsibilities of line managers, executives, and directors.

    Students can enter the course any time before June 30. It is organized to take no more than 2-3 hours per week, and to be completed in four weeks. Those who do all of the assignments receive a letter of completion from the Ethics Center.

    The course is the second MOOC on business ethics offered by the Center. The first, Business Ethics for the Real World, provides an introduction to ethical decision making. More than 1,700 people registered for that course, which remains open until June 30.

    “One of the most exciting things about MOOCs,” Hanson says, “is the incredible diversity of voices among those who participate. In our first MOOC, we had registrants from 133 different countries including Congo, Vietnam, the Maldives, and Yemen. People come from a wide variety of different industries and they bring these perspectives to course discussions.”

    The courses are meeting the needs of people who might not otherwise have been able to take such a class. As one graduate of Business Ethics for the Real World said, “I took the first course and really enjoyed it, and so I enrolled in the next course. I hope to learn as I did in the first class, especially developing new perspectives on how to approach situations in the world of business and ethics.”


  •  Kirk Hanson Co-Chairs Ethics Summit

    Thursday, Mar. 6, 2014 4:43 PM

    Kirk O. Hanson, executive director, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, co-chaired "Key Challenges for Ethics Centers: Seasoned Ethics Center Directors Share Lessons Learned," at the February 28th Ethics Colloquium in Jacksonville, Florida, organized by the Institute for Global Ethics (IGE). Hanson also led a panel on "Online Strategies of Ethics Centers."

    Pictured left to right: Kirk O. Hanson, Executive Director,  Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University; Judith Young, Executive Director,  Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership; Panel Chair, Gretchen A. Winter, Executive Director,  Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society at the University of Illinois; Patricia Werhane, Managing Director, DePaul Institute for Business and Professional Ethics; and Anthony J. Gray, President and CEO,  Institute for Global Ethics