- Ethics Home Page
- Focus Areas
- Contact Us
- Site Index
The Case for Support
With significant programs in business and government ethics, bioethics, character education, and campus ethics, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics serves as an "ethics incubator." We analyze the ethical problems people face, develop practical tools to address them, and then disseminate what we have learned to larger and larger groups.
Very early in the Center's history, staff and scholars came together to draft A Framework for Ethical Decision Making, which lays out the classic approaches to ethics and takes people through a step-by-step process for working through a difficult decision. Additionally, through our character education programs, we have created a model for how people learn the habits of ethical behavior.
These foundational ideas help us to analyze real-world problems in many areas of life, from how we raise our children to how we conduct our businesses to how we develop public policies in health care or government. Through this process, we create practical tools that people can use. Putting these tools in the hands of students, professionals, and scholars is the critical work of the Center.
One example has been our character education programs. Beginning in 1999 with a pilot program in Santa Clara County, we learned about the problems alternative school teachers face. The curriculum we devised to address these issues--Character-Based Literacy--is now in use in the majority of California counties, not only in alternative schools, but in regular classrooms, as well, with distribution over the Web.
In business ethics, we have convened 12 companies quarterly to explore how best to create an ethical organizational culture. Now, we are investigating the possible expansion of our partnership with faculty and executives to another university in the United States, and to India and China.
Other programs we have incubated have included "End-of-Life Decision Making for Persons in the Care of Public Guardians." Working with doctors, elder care advocates, and public guardians, we researched the special problems confronting this vulnerable population, created policy recommendations and training materials, held workshops for local public guardians, and pushed this content out to guardians all over the western United States though our Web site.
The incubator model in government ethics has produced a set of "Unavoidable Ethical Dilemmas" confronting locally elected officials. These challenges, identified through working with elected officials in our community, have become part of our training programs for newly elected public servants and our Ethics and Leadership Camp for Public Officials.
As we have incubated these programs, the Center has been fortunate to receive support from several generous donors and foundations. You can join our donors or learn more about our strategic vision by following the links below.
Learn more about our strategic plan and fundraising objectives