Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Ethics Cases

All Cases

Family Loyalty vs. Meritocracy
Kirk O. Hanson and Oscar Bulaong
Focus: The president of a newly acquired Philippine subsidiary of an American company considers what to do about the practice of hiring family members.

Big Farma: Prescriptive Planting
Peggy Connolly, Ruth Ann Althaus, Robert Boyd Skip
Focus: Aggregating agricultural data by agricultural corporations like Monsanto and Dupont may increase yield but allow manipulation

Show Me the Money: Is a Minimum Wage Ethical?
Peggy Connolly, Ruth Ann Althaus, Robert Boyd Skip
Focus: Almost 80 years after the introduction of a minimum wage in the US, it remains controversial.

Photo Bomb: Social Media and the Boston Marathon Bombing
Peggy Connolly, Ruth Ann Althaus,Robert Boyd Skipp
Focus: Crowdsourcing proves a disaster in identifying the bombing culprit.

Fire Away: US Bombing of Germany and Japan in WWII
Peggy Connolly, Ruth Ann Althaus, Robert Boyd Skip
Focus: The firebombing of Hamburg and Dresden are compared to the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Drug Pushers: The Ethics of Pharmaceutical Marketing
Peggy Connolly, Ruth Ann Althaus, Robert Boyd Skip
Focus: Can physicians be objective in prescribing when they are plied with free samples, gifts, and consulting fees?

Stealth Journalism
Peggy Connolly, Ruth Ann Althaus, Robert Boyd Skip
Focus: Undercover reporting on school security raises ethical questions.

Student Loan: Unpaid Internships
Peggy Connolly, Ruth Ann Althaus, Robert Boyd Skip
Focus: Internships that offer neither pay nor credit may be unfair to students.

Good Machine, Nice Machine, Superintelligent Machine
Peggy Connolly, Ruth Ann Althaus, Robert Boyd Skip
Focus: Will intelligent machines ultimately be good or bad for humans?

Equinophagy: Should Humans Eat Horses?
Peggy Connolly, Ruth Ann Althaus, Robert Boyd Skip
Focus: Dealing with horses that are no longer useful.

Coin of the Realm
Peggy Connolly, Ruth Ann Althaus, Robert Boyd Skip
Focus: Should modern needs trump archaeological interest in the use of underwater finds?

Fracking Under Pressure
Peggy Connolly, Ruth Ann Althaus, Robert Boyd Skip
Focus: Should the oil and gas industry be exempt from certain environmental protection laws to encourage the discovery of new sources of fuel?

Shot in the Dark: The Ethics of Stand Your Ground Laws
Peggy Connolly, Ruth Ann Althaus, Robert Boyd Skip
Focus: The Castle Doctrine and related laws protect crime victims but create new victims.

Peggy Connolly, Ruth Ann Althaus, Robert Boyd Skip
Focus: A defendant claims he was incapable of good judgment due to lack of limits set by his wealthy parents.

Peggy Connolly, Ruth Ann Althaus,Robert Boyd Skipp
Focus: How far should schools go to protect the rights of transgendered students?

Rape and Parental Rights
Peggy Connolly, Ruth Ann Althaus, Robert Boyd Skip
Focus: Should rapists have parental rights? Should they pay child support?

Removing a Search Result: An Ethics Case Study
Irina Raicu
Focus: A woman asks Google to remove a link to an article about her rape as a 13-year-old from searches on her name.

Removing a Search Result: An Ethics Case Study
Irina Raicu
Focus: A woman asks Google to remove a link to an article about her rape as a 13-year-old from searches on her name.

Insider Information
Kori Lennon
Focus: A member of the student body is in conflict about how to use his position and expertise to benefit the people close to him.

Early Graduation
Kori Lennon
Focus: An active member of the student government is unsure about disclosing her plans of graduating early.

Friendly Recruiting
Kori Lennon
Focus: A member of the student government is wondering if recruitment of qualified candidates from friend networks is ethical.

Freedom of the Press
Kori Lennon
Focus: Carrie tries to find a balance between representing the student body and representing the university in her video.

Friends and Funding
Kori Lennon
Focus: The senator of the student government finds herself in situation of conflict of interest.

Kori Lennon
Focus: The marketing vice president of the student body is concerned about fairness and access issues.

Kori Lennon
Focus: The president of the student body tries to find a balance between confidentiality and transparency in the proceedings.

Communication Breakdown
Kori Lennon
Focus: How does one change the way one frames issues when speaking to administrators and students?

Committee Conflicts
Kori Lennon
Focus: A member of the student body struggles to balance between two roles that he plays.

Organizational Development
Kori Lennon
Focus: How does one balance spending on organizational development with spending on the student body.

Perks of the Job
Kori Lennon
Focus: A new member of the student body is confused about how to confront his supervisor about using organizational resources for personal use.

Stuident or Student Leader
Kori Lennon
Focus: The head of the student government's body has to reconcile the problem of senate meeting attendance policy to make exception for class-related absences.

Social Media Struggle
Kori Lennon
Focus: A member of the student body is torn about whether social media posts affect a person?s professionalism in an organization or not.

Kori Lennon
Focus: The vice president of a student body finds himself worried about delegation and responsibility.

Doubts and Decisions
Kori Lennon
Focus: A student finds herself in doubt about taking a positions she is offered as opposed to a position she wanted.

Unfair Funding
Kori Lennon
Focus: The finance commissioner of the student body is considering putting spending caps on clubs, but is worried this might limit the creativity.

Vote "NO"
Kori Lennon
Focus: A member of the student body is worried about her vote regarding the ban of smoking on campus.

Caught in the Middle
Kori Lennon
Focus: A student representing two opposing branches is caught in the middle of supporting the right decision.

Collaboration or Conflict?
Kori Lennon
Focus: The President of the student government faces a challenge in collaborating with another organization for a major upcoming event.

Campaign Spending
Kori Lennon
Focus: A financially well off candidate running for President of the Associated Student's Government, questions his campaigning techniques.

Campaign Ethics
Kori Lennon
Focus: A current member of the university's Associated Student's group balances her work and running for President for the new term.

Kori Lennon
Focus: A member of the student executive council has not been carrying out his responsibilities duly.

Building A Cabinet
Kori Lennon
Focus: Newly appointed President of the Associated Student Government is tasked with selecting the executive cabinet.

Should You Watch? On the Responsibility of Content Consumers
Irina Raicu
Focus: Is it a violation of privacy to watch YouTube videos or online photos of beheadings or nude celebrities?

The Case of the County Cemetary: Open Meetings
Hana Callaghan
Focus: An ethics case involving California's Brown Act

The Psychological Experiment You Consented To in Facebook's Terms of Service
Kirk O. Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Focus: For one week in 2012, half a million Facebook users took part in a massive psychological experiment aimed at discovering if emotions could be spread through social media. The problem? Users had no idea it was happening.

The Case of the Questionable Campaign Photo
Hana Callaghan
Focus: A candidate uses a controversial photo in a campaign brochure.

Hashtag Activism and the Power of Attention: An Ethics Case Study
Irina Raicu
Focus: Hashtag activism focuses attention on emerging problems. Is that always a good thing?

Waitlists and VIPs
Kori Lennon
Focus: Can you extend the benefits of your student government position to your friends? When does it go too far?

Lean on Me
Akshay Vyas
Focus: How do you deal with a close friend who has turned into a mooch?

You Don't Say That
Akshay Vyas
Focus: Does the unconscious use of derogatory terms contribute to harmful stereotypes or does everyone understand that they don?t really mean anything?

A Cog in a Machine
Akshay Vyas
Focus: Should customer satisfaction be held with utmost regard, even if that means that employees are treated as robots and pushed to unrealistic limits? Is it ethical to treat employees as a cog in a machine, or a means instead of an end?

Charitable Acts
Akshay Vyas
Focus: Are Greek life philanthropy weeks charitable and ethical, or just an excuse for rich college students to drink?

Can a CEO Hold Conflicting Values with his or her Company?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Focus: Mozilla CEO under fire for Prop 8 contributions.

To Read--or Not To Read--the Comments
Irina Raicu
Focus: Despite the vitriol prevalent in Internet comments, should readers view and help to moderate them?

The Two-Tier Labor System
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Focus: Companies are increasingly turning to a two-tiered labor system, where two groups of employees are treated quite differently despite performing the same roles.

Are App Developers on the Hook?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Focus: The app market allows just about anyone to publish their software for download by the masses. Do these developers have the same obligations to their users as traditional businesses?

Using Fines to Enforce Gender Equality in the Workplace
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Focus: A recent trend in Australia has Boards fining their executives for not promoting enough women to senior positions.

Twitter IPO: Where are the Women?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Focus: After filing for its IPO, Twitter came under heavy scrutiny for the lack of diversity in its senior leadership team.

Internship Swapping
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Focus: Executives and managers alike often "trade internships" to secure positions for their children. Is this practice ethically problematic?

The Rise of the Activist Shareholder
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Focus: Should the investing public welcome the rise of the activist shareholder?

Should Retailers Cut and Run from Bangladesh?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Focus: In the fallout of the Bangladesh Factory Collapse, retailers face a hard decision: buckle down or migrate production to other countries. Is there an ethical component to this decision?

Does the Buck Stop With Management?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Focus: Do senior executives get a free pass for actions of subordinates hidden from them? Or does the buck stop at the top? Should the boss always bear the ultimate blame?

Should Labor Policy Adhere to Local or Home Country Standards?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Focus: Amazon is quickly becoming despised for personifying the qualities of American-style management that Germans despise. Should Amazon operate by more generous worker policies than it does in the US to appease local protestors?

Should Companies Admit They've Been Hacked?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Focus: What public relations policy should companies adopt when dealing with a cyber security breach?

Akshay Vyas
Focus: Lawson is faced with a tough decision when nominated to partake in a social media drinking game.

Employee Theft, Coercion, and False Confessions
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Focus: Retailers are increasingly using police interrogation tactics in investigations of employee theft, but reports of false confessions and coercion are on the rise. Should retailers abandon this practice?

Lying to be Nice
Akshay Vyas
Focus: Mark goes on a date with Laura, to find not much in common. He lies when she asks if he'll call her back. Is lying acceptable when its purpose is to be nice?

Spreading Wings
Akshay Vyas
Focus: Lucy struggles to spread her wings as she gets a job on the other side of the country from her family, in a case about career opportunity versus family responsibility.

Shot on the Job Hunt
Akshay Vyas
Focus: Is it ethical to apply to the same job as your roommate or good friend?

Off the Hook-Up Culture
Akshay Vyas
Focus: Why do students hook-up? In the college hook-up culture, is the choice to not hook-up just as acceptable as the choice to hook-up?

Go Greek or Go Home
Akshay Vyas
Focus: Do you believe the desire to be in a Greek organization?even one that hazes?should outweigh a college student?s moral conscience? If you were forced to do something you didn?t want to do to join an exclusive organization, would you do it? Or would you walk away, knowing that dropping out will affect your social life at college?

Academic Performance Enhancement
Akshay Vyas
Focus: Is cheating black and white? Or does it vary in degree of severity? Frank and Bobby find themselves at odds when one decides to bring a cheat sheet to a test and the other uses adderall as a study drug.

Raiding Customer Assets at MF Global: Who Was Responsible?
James O'Toole
Focus: Should Jon Corzine be held accountable for MF Global wrongdoing?

Browsing or Cyberstalking?
Akshay Vyas
Focus: Many college students use social media to stay connected with old friends. But when do they cross the line into cyberstalking?

Facebook, Freedom of Speech, and Teens around the World
Irina Raicu
Focus: Facebook's privacy policy for teens may pose risks for young people living under governments that punish certain forms of expression.

This Town is Big Enough for the Both of Us
Akshay Vyas
Focus: College students and their non-affiliated neighbors have always had trouble getting along. Can students and their neighbors coexist peacefully? How?

Emails Exposed
Akshay Vyas
Focus: Universities reserve the right to monitor your email for campus safety. When does this monitoring cross the line into invasion of privacy?

Akshay Vyas
Focus: Scandalous photos are posted on Instagram everyday. Who should be responsible for how these images are perceived, the owner or the viewer?

Outside the Fold
Ethics Center
Focus: Alexa's parents are against interracial dating. What should she do when her white boyfriend wants to meet her Asian parents.

To Snitch or Not To Snitch
Akshay Vyas
Focus: What do you do when you have a conflict with your dorm roommate?

Clicking Through to the Ethics of Social Media Terms of Service: Three Case Studies
Irina Raicu
Focus: Social media users may not understand the terms they agree to when they hit the "Agree" button.

Consulting on the Side: A Case Study
Joan Cassman
Focus: A public agency CEO has a side consulting business that may create a conflict of interest.

Crusading at the Dinner Table
Ethics Center
Focus: Grace has trouble deciding whether or not to express her views at the dinner table in her school cafeteria.

An Offhand Remark
Akshay Vyas
Focus: A student must decide what to do when a friend makes a racist comment.

Whose Life Is it Anyway?
Akshay Vyas
Focus: Robert has become an accounting major to please his parents, but his grades are suffering, and he really wants to be a filmmaker.

Homework or Teamwork?
Big Q Ethics
Focus: When Kim's dream of playing collegiate soccer becomes reality, she soon must weigh her athletic pursuit against her academic one.

Home Sweet Home
Akshay Vyas
Focus: A student comes home for summer break and chafes against rules she did not have to follow while she was on campus in this case study from The Big Q.

Surreptitious Surveillance on the Internet
Irina Raicu
Focus: A cyber-security expert is asked to help the Saudi government with intercepting communications.

One Fish, Two Fish
Niki Petroff
Focus: Two college students debate the ethics of water usage in dorm buildings.

Widespread Government Corruption: When is it Time to Leave Your Job?
Amanda Nelson
Focus: A recent college graduate encounters a culture of corruption in her first job in local government.

Where Does Your Loyalty Lie? Sexual Ethics in the Workplace
Noah Rickling
Focus: A member of a sales team is asked by the wife of one of her co-workers about extramarital relationships on business trips.

Unequal Work Distribution: Gender Discrimination in Work Assignments
Saayeli Mukherji
Focus: Interns must decide how to handle a sexist supervisor.

Uncomfortable Attention From a Supervisor
Amanda Nelson
Focus: The vice president of a woman's firm reaches out to her on social media and invites her to a social gathering, which he does not do with her co-workers.

To Tell or Not to Tell the Board: Reporting of Bookings
Alexis Babb
Focus: A CFO is asked to book an order to which the customer has not yet committed.

Responsible Product Use: Regulating the Spread of Genetic Information
Amanda Nelson
Focus: Is a company with a genetic technology responsible for the uses to which other companies put their products?

Quality Management: Signing Off on a Substandard Product
Noah Rickling
Focus: A quality engineer has concerns about a product failing under extreme conditions, but her bosses tell her to push the product through to production.

Protected Class
Noah Rickling
Focus: When downsizing, a manager must decide which employee to let go, the one with better potential, or the one who, at 42 years old, is a member of a protected class.

Language Barrier: Sales Challenges in a Multicultural Environment
Saayeli Mukherji
Focus: Sales staff have trouble communicating the nature of a product to potential consumers.

Hitting the Number in Sales Generation
Noah Rickling
Focus: The sales team is only supposed to pass along "quality leads" to account executives, but there are monetary incentives to hit their numbers, which conflict with passing along only good quality prospects.

Finance Ethics: Do Small Errors Need to be Reported?
Amanda Nelson
Focus: Should a finance department employees correct all errors on reports, even if they are unlikely to have a significant impact?

Chloe Wilson
Focus: Beth and Katie, two friends, go out to lunch. During their get-together, they are constantly interrupted by each other's social media use.

A Tale of Two Cheaters
Chloe Wilson
Focus: Two college students at the same school face very different consequences for plagiarizing. Is this fair?

Time is of the Essence
Chloe Wilson
Focus: Stephanie, a college student, must make a difficult decision about whether or not to be honest with a future employer in order to be hired.

Can You Keep a Secret?
Chloe Wilson
Focus: Scott, an SCU student, discovers an entry about him on a Facebook "confessions" page. He tries to decide if sites like this are funny or simply hurtful.

Picking Up the Slack
Chloe Wilson
Focus: Greg, a college senior, struggles to decide whether or not he should give an apathetic groupmate an honest evaluation.

Forgive and Forget
Chloe Wilson
Focus: Two college students could be deeply affected by the passing of a new student loan forgiveness act, the FSSA.

The Dhaka Factory Fire: Who Is Responsible?
Saayeli Mukherji and Noah Rickling
Focus: Is the Bangladeshi government or the factory owner more at fault for a fire that killed 112 people?

Instagram and the Ethics of Privacy
Alexis Babb and Amanda Nelson
Focus: Is it wrong for an Internet company to share users' information with third-parties and advertisers?

Caught in the Middle
Chloe Wilson
Focus: Ben sees his friend, Tyler, cheating on his girlfriend. He feels caught in the middle.. What should he do?

Sister, Can You Spare a Dime?
Miriam Schulman
Focus: College students struggle with a decision about how to help a man who is homeless.

It Would Be an Honor
Chloe Wilson
Focus: Does your school have an Honor Code? Do you think it works? Why or why not?

Boys Will Be Boys
Chloe Wilson
Focus: A college student in a relationship is challenged by her significant other's use of pornography.

Members Only
Chloe Wilson
Focus: Two students at UC Hastings disagree about the school's basis for club funding. Based on the Supreme Court case "Christian Legal Society v. Martinez."

Apps and Privacy: A Case Study
Irina Raicu
Focus: Should apps be able to collect a user's contacts without permission?

Rock the Vote
Chloe Wilson
Focus: A college student tries to decide if one moral issue is enough to prevent her from voting for a political candidate.

Judy Nadler
Focus: The fire chief takes wood from city trees for his personal use.

The Pre-Game
Miriam Schulman
Focus: Two college students, Ari and Daniel, face difficult decisions about what to do on a night out. An interactive video illustrates the possible outcomes!

Chloe Wilson
Focus: A college freshman, Derek, tries to figure out how to deal with a clingy roommate.

Rushing Into Things
Chloe Wilson
Focus: Katie, a college freshman, decides whether or not to rush for a sorority.

Passion or Practicality?
Chloe Wilson
Focus: Mark must decide whether to please his parents and be relieved of his tuition costs or follow his passions and accrue substantial debt.

Petty Theft
Chloe Wilson
Focus: A college student sees her best friend stealing from her roommate, and is forced to make a difficult decision.

Once a Cheater...
Jake Teeny
Focus: An undergrad has to decide if he can still trust his friend when he sees the friend cheating in class.

Girls Around Me
Irina Raicu
Focus: Case study on Internet Privacy

Information Privacy: A Case Study and Commentary
Michael McFarland, S.J.
Focus: A proposal for a National AIDS registry raises concerns about privacy

Cheat Sheet
Jake Teeny
Focus: Shelby must decide whether to report to her professor that one of her friends was cheating on a curved exam.

Occidental Engineering: An Ethics Case Study and Commentary
Michael McFarland, S.J
Focus: A case study and analysis of an ethical dilemma facing a software engineer

Ethical Issues in Dealing With Seasonal Influenza
Sarah Ludwig
Focus: Ethical Issues in Dealing With Seasonal Influenza

Influenza Vaccine Shortage: The Ethics of Rationing
Sarah Ludwig
Focus: Influenza Vaccine Shortage: The Ethics of Rationing

Seasonal Influenza: The Ethics of Staying Home
Sarah Ludwig
Focus: Seasonal Influenza: The Ethics of Staying Home

Tyler Clementi Case - What Punishment Is Justifiable?
Jake Teeny
Focus: Dharun Ravi has been convicted of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, witness tampering, and hindering arrest. What should be his punishment?

Protesting Commencement
Jacob Teeny
Focus: A student contemplates the most ethical way to register objections to the University's choice of commencement speaker.

The Dream Act
Ethics Center Media
Focus: Should those who reside in the U.S. illegally still be allowed to attain a U.S. education and what constitutes this eligibility?

Ethical Challenges in the City Manager/City Councilmember Relationship
Frank Benest
Focus: Three scenarios depicting typical ethical issues that arise between councilmembers and managers

Paying For College ? Who Should Take Responsibility?
Jake Teeny
Focus: Should a college student's parents be burdened with paying expensive college tuition?

Unavoidable Ethical Dilemmas for Non-Profits
Kirk O. Hanson and Peter Gielniak
Focus: Brief case studies of ethical conflicts in fundraising ethics, fundraising, non-profit

A Good Sport? Do College Athletics Build Character
Jake Teeny
Focus: Nathan seems to have different values on and off the basketball court in this case study.

Making the Grade
Miriam Schulman
Focus: Should Alejandro take an easy A or a challenging course in his major?

Resume Inflation
Jake Teeny
Focus: Should a graduating senior stretch the truth on her resume?

A Case of Conscientious Refusal: Rights and Responsibilities
Margaret R. McLean
Focus: A Pharmacist Refuses to Fill a Prescription for Contraception.

Down So Long: Helping a Friend With Depression
Jake Teeny
Focus: Megan struggles to deal with her friend and college roommate's depression.

Pay Attention: Using Study Drugs
Jake Teeny
Focus: Offered some Adderall by a friend with a prescription, a freshman weighs whether using study drugs is the right thing to do.

Sleeping Around
Jake Teeny
Focus: A case examining the ethics of casual sex

The First Report
Kirk O. Hanson
Focus: A college president must decide how to respond to a report of a faculty member's sexual misconduct

Too Close for Comfort
Kirk O. Hanson
Focus: Conflicts of interest for a nonprofit organization

Social Media Create Ethical Dilemma
Judy Nadler
Focus: Former fraternity brother "Derek" asks "Mike" for a recommendation. Should Mike mention the exploits chronicled on Derek's Facebook page?

When Is a Contribution a Bribe?
Judy Nadler
Focus: A popular local businesswoman and philanthropist is found guilty of "pay to play" contributions to the mayor's reelection campaign. Should charities still accept her contributions?

The Value of Giving
Jake Teeny
Focus: After all her Christmas gifts are purchased, Jessica wonders whether to get something for herself or give the rest of her money to charity.

A Recycling Dilemma
Callie Tepper, Jared Pizzo, Andrw Kells, Kyle Dand
Focus: Steve and his housemates have thrown a big party. When he gets up the next morning, he finds that his friends have bagged up all the trash without recycling. What should he do?

What's in a Name?
Judy Nadler
Focus: The (fictional) town of Berkshire has named a plaza after its long-time mayor. Now the mayor has been convicted of taking kickbacks. Should the city change the plaza name?

Jacob Teeny
Focus: Mary's boyfriend asks her to text him a nude photo of herself. Is there anything wrong with that?

Friendly Advice or Quid pro Quo
Judy Nadler
Focus: An employee of the Planning Department "recommends" particular contractors who offer him kickbacks.

Should College Athletes Be Paid? (Case Study)
Jacob Teeny
Focus: Jordan, who plays football for a big university, is having trouble making ends meet. Should he be compensated for the revenue he helps generate for his university?

Old Guard vs. New Guard
Judy Nadler
Focus: A dynamic new city manager comes into conflict with the previous city manager, now elected to the city council. One policy they disagree about: the need for a city code of ethics and values.

The Drinking Age
Jake Teeny
Focus: David, a freshman, is re-evaluating his previous decision not to drink until he turns 21.

Let Me See Your Grades
Rebecca Bivona-Gutadauro
Focus: Juliana's parents expect her to show them her grades in college. Isn't it time for them to treat her as an adult?

Land Use Decisions and Community Values
Judy Nadler
Focus: In this case study, city council must decide whether to allow a restaurant that features "scantily clad" waitresses to occupy a vacant storefront.

Why Am I at College?

Focus: An incoming freshman questions whether she is ready for college in this video case.

Oh, the Cleaners Will Get That
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Focus: Whose responsibility is it to keep college common areas clean--the students who use them or the custodial staff?

The Dealer in the Next Room
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Focus: A student must decide what to do when he realizes his roommate is dealing drugs from their apartment.

I Want to Remain a Virgin
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Focus: Katherine's boyfriend Max wants to express their growing love for each other sexually. Katherine has valued her virginity. What should she do?

Facebook Gossip or Cyberbullying
Miriam Schulman
Focus: When Paige expresses her annoyance at her roommate in her Facebook status, is she cyberbullying?

Living Situation
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Focus: Should Mo decide to live in an ethnically grouped dorm building?

Handling Council Critics
Jason Wu
Focus: Does incivility violate a city's code of ethics?

Dangerous Curves: A Case on Cheating
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Focus: Francesca sees friends cheating on a test, where the grades will be curved. Should she tell?

Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Focus: A look at the ethical questions in rushing a fraternity

Should I Call the EMTs?
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Focus: A student must decide whether to call for help when a friend passes out from drinking.

Major Decision
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Focus: Do parents have the right to decide on their child's college major?

Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Focus: Freshmen Brad and Wilson have to work out a fair way to share their room.

Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Focus: A pre-law student tries to balance his academic and social life.

The Slowdown Hits Home
Rebecca Bivona Guttadauro
Focus: When her family's financial situation changes, Kayla must decide whether to go to her first-choice, expensive college and allow her parents to dip into their retirement.

What's OK in a Campaign Blog
Judy Nadler
Focus: Vitriolic posts from a hostile blogger lead a candidate's supporters to counter-attack.

Student Debt and the Importance of College: An Ethics Case
Meghan Skarzynski
Focus: A student reflects on whether taking out a tuition loan is responsible

World of Warren
Miriam Schulman
Focus: Warren is so involved in WoW that he rarely leaves his computer except to go to class. Is there anything ethically wrong with what he's doing?

Job Search Dilemma
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Focus: A job applicant is offered a job that is not his first choice. Should he take it and continue looking?

I Can't Get a C
Miriam Schulman
Focus: A pre-med student considers copying the homework in Art History.

Group Project
Miriam Schulman
Focus: One member of a group project team is failing to carry her weight. What is the fair way to deal with members who don't do their fair share?

Delinquency or Mental Health Problem? The Case of Pablo Sancez
Karen Peterson-Iyer
Focus: Providing culturally competent mental health care

Not Hungry
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Focus: A college student must decide what to do when her roommate shows signs of having anorexia.

Theme Party

Focus: A "Fresh off the Boat" party pokes fun at Asians.

Friends With Benefits
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Focus: When alcohol and sex mix, two students wake up angry. Who is responsible?

Poster Wars: When Is Speech Offensive?
Rebecca Bivona-Guttadauro
Focus: Dorm floormates come into conflict over a political poster.

The Case of the Reference Request
Jim Balassone
Focus: A manager is asked to fudge on a reference for a former employee

Easy on the Wallet or Easy on the Earth: A Case About Ethics in Sourcing
Meghan Skarzynski
Focus: A company must decide whether to order cheap shirts from China or expensive shirts from a local eco-friendly manufacturer.

An Ethics Case About Managing MRSA: Stage 1
Jack Penner
Focus: The ethical issues at various stages of an outbreak of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Outbreak: Discussion Module
Kari Kjos
Focus: Materials on developing pharmaceuticals for the Developing World, based on the case, The Outbreak, on this Web site.

The Case of the Million Dollar Decision
Michael Hackworth, Thomas Shanks
Focus: A company is planning to expand in a country where bribery is a normal part of doing business.

Dennis Moberg and Edward Romar
Focus: What went wrong at WorldComm? Sweetheart loans to executives and a growth-through-acquisitions strategy are suggested as contributors to this business scandal.

Embellishing The Details
Jake Teeny
Focus: A student journalist considers whether to fabricate to make a point.

Deep Pockets in the Public Sector
Miriam Schulman
Focus: When should a city defend against litigation, and when should it settle? A look at the ethical issues.

Savior Siblings: A Case Study Based on My Sister's Keeper
Kari Kjos
Focus: Using the movie "My Sister's Keeper," this case study reviews the science and ethics behind designer babies

Health Care Reform: A Case for the Young and Healthy
Kari Kjos
Focus: A case study raising questions of fairness and personal responsibility in insurance coverage for young people.

When Official Roles Conflict

Focus: A set of case studies on conflicts of interest for local officials

Whom Do I Represent? Local and Regional Public Service
Judy Nadler
Focus: A case study of a councilmember serving on the county transit board

Serving the Greater Good: A Conflict Between Local and State Responsibilities
Judy Nadler
Focus: A case study of a councilmember invited to serve on a statewide task force

Successfully Serving as a City Council Member and a Non-profit Board Member
Robin Lowe, Judy Nadler, Eric Vail
Focus: Three brief cases illustrating conflicts between non-profit and public service

Two Views of a Budget
Judy Nadler
Focus: A case study for state officials on resolving a budget crisis

When Doing Good May Be Doing Wrong
Judy Nadler
Focus: Four scenarios on potential conflicts between public service and work with non-profits

Serving Two Masters: Discussion of the Cases

Focus: Responses to cases illustrating conflicts of interest

Student Choices: My Poster, My Identity
Rebecca Fox-Bivona
Focus: A political poster creates conflicts on a dorm floor.

Student Choices: My Homework or Our Homework
Rebecca Fox-Bivona
Focus: When does collaboration become cheating?

Student Choices: What Will Sex Mean?
Rebecca Fox-Bivona
Focus: Katherine wants to remain a virgin.

The Case of Greene Gardens
Gregory A. Baker and Kirk O. Hanson
Focus: The case describes the 2006 E. coli outbreak in the California spinach industry.

From Chronic to Critical: A Latino Family Confronts End-of-Life Decisions
Karen Peterson-Iyer
Focus: A case study of an elderly Puerto Rican immigrant to the United States suffering from the effects of diabetes.

The Duties of Friendship
Rebecca Fox-Bivona
Focus: A student must decide whether to call the EMTs when her friend passes out after drinking

Competing Identities
Rebecca Fox-Bivona
Focus: A poster on a student's dorm room door causes controversy.

Finals Week: What to do about stimulants?
Rebecca Fox-Bivona
Focus: A case exploring whether taking drugs like Adderall to improve cognitive performance is simply a form of enhancement or a form of cheating.

When Do I Friend?
Noelle Lopez
Focus: Do the same rules apply to Facebook friends and "real-world" friends?

A Difficult Birth: Navigating Language and Cultural Differences
Karen Peterson-Iyer
Focus: A case about Undocumented Parents and a Difficult Birth

Cancer: A Failure to Communicate
Karen Peterson-Iyer
Focus: A case study of how cultural misunderstandings interfere with medical care for a cancer patient.

Confronting a Fetal Abnormality: Sensitivity to a Muslim Patient
Karen Peterson-Iyer
Focus: A case study raising issues of culturally competent health care for a Muslim woman.

Business Ethics Scenarios
Jim Balassone
Focus: Brief cases that raise questions on gifts, conflicts of interest, disparagement, and more.

Catchy Title or Needless Deception?
Jessica Silliman
Focus: A journalist must decide when a promotion for a story is misleading.

Filtering and Pressure from Media Conglomerates
Jessica Silliman
Focus: Pressure from above creates a pseudo-controversy.

Wrestling, Weight Loss and Exposing A Flawed System
Jessica Silliman
Focus: Should a reporter include details in a story about how athletes exploit loopholes in a testing program?

Misplaced Funds Cloud Reputation: Is it worth it?
Jessica Silliman
Focus: Reporting ruins the reputation of a respected local coach.

News and a Profit-Driven Turn to Advertising
Jessica Silliman
Focus: Should news content be aligned with ad revenue?

Exploitive Tactics or Good Journalism?
Jessica Silliman
Focus: How close up and personal should a reporter get to the scene of a tragedy?

Radio News: When to use a name?
Jessica Silliman
Focus: A student makes a false allegation to police. Should the campus radio station reveal the students name?

Getting Personal: Private Lives and Public Figures
Jessica Silliman
Focus: Is the mayor's impending divorce a fit subject for a news story during a campaign?

Exposing The Pay of Public Safety Officials
Jessica Silliman
Focus: Does the public have the right to know the salaries of police and firefighters?

Questionable Content: Editors and The Pressure of Falling Ad Revenue
Jessica Silliman
Focus: A magazine editors job comes to include creating free advertisements for luxury products.

Breaking a StoryAnd a Relationship
Jessica Silliman
Focus: Full reporting on a case of steroid abuse would have disastrous consequences for the reporters source.

Fair Play or Damaging The Reputation of Youth?
Jessica Silliman
Focus: The father of a Little League player misstates his age so that he can play in the World Series. What is the reporter's responsibility considering the boys youth?

To Use Photos or Not: Damaging Photos in An Online Age
Jessica Silliman
Focus: Undergraduates put racist photos of themselves on Facebook. Should the student newspaper reprint them?

Creativity and The Race for Syndication
Jessica Silliman
Focus: Economics of the TV industry mitigate against creative programming.

Leaked Movie Trailer and A Confidentiality Agreement
Jessica Silliman
Focus: Confidentiality agreements prevent film industry employees from releasing information about upcoming releases.

Deceitful Movie Trailers or Good Advertising?
Jessica Silliman
Focus: A producer must create an appealing trailer for a terrible movie.

To Exploit or Commemorate: Film and The Challenge of 9/11
Jessica Silliman
Focus: How soon is too soon in making movies about disasters?

Using Borrowed Material
Jessica Silliman
Focus: Using photographs published online creates ethical questions about copyright.

Reporting Inflated Numbers
Jessica Silliman
Focus: A companys internal communications representative is asked to report inflated profit numbers.

Controversial Radio Advertising
Jessica Silliman
Focus: A sales intern for a radio station is pressured to mislead advertisers.

Bad Business Ethics or Acceptable Promotional Perks?
Jessica Silliman
Focus: A radio station inflates the number of on-air giveaways they ask companies to provide and then offers the excess as perks to station employees.

A Right or Wrong Way to Sell?
Jessica Silliman
Focus: A contract sales rep is asked to circumvent the industrys chain-of-custody arrangements.

Effects of Ethics Policies: A Positive Story
Jessica Silliman
Focus: Doing the right thing brings praise.

Homeless at the Door: A Nonprofit Challenge
Jessica Silliman
Focus: Should a homeless help center have strict hours?

Aggressive Sales Quotas or Unfair Business Practice?
Jessica Silliman
Focus: An online directory chooses customer service over inflated advertising packages.

Public Relations: Is The Customer Always Right?
Jessica Silliman
Focus: A client rigs a talent competition/publicity event.

Balancing Nonprofit Interests
Jessica Silliman
Focus: Should an HIV/AIDS program focus on prevention or treatment?

Deceitful Spammer or Marketing Genius?
Jessica Silliman
Focus: Is impersonation a viable marketing approach?

Client Obligations and Handling Your Boss
Jessica Silliman
Focus: A boss forwards a draft e-mail to a client.

Trust During The Dot-Com Boom
Jessica Silliman
Focus: A company woos a new employee under false pretenses.

Setting the Stage for Problems
Roey Rahmil
Focus: Should a public official solicit charitable contributions from businesses that are under his supervision?

Election Irregularities
Roey Rahmil
Focus: A newly elected mayor decides whether to contest a citation for election code violations.

On the Record
Roey Rahmil
Focus: What is a former supervisor's duty to reveal about past poor judgments by a candidate for public office.

Civil Disagreement
Judy Nadler
Focus: A case exploring the limits of public debate

Name Calling on the Council
Judy Nadler
Focus: When the mayor and a councilmember disagree vociferously, is it unacceptable conduct or just the normal rough and tumble of politics?

No Such Thing as a Free Ticket
Judy Nadler
Focus: A case involving a gift to a government official

Political Perk or Part of the Job?
Judy Nadler
Focus: A mayor must decide whether to accept VIP treatment at the ballpark.

WorldCom Case Study Update 2006
Edward J. Romar and Martin Calkins
Focus: A description of the events between the declaration of bankruptcy by WoldCom and its acquisition by Verizon.

Councilmember and the Manager
Judy Nadler
Focus: A city councilmember must decide if he can impartially review the performance of the city manager.

The Case of the Friendly Consultant
Judy Nadler
Focus: A mayor wonders whether a friendly lunch is actually an occasion for lobbying.

Open Meetings: A Case Study
Judy Nadler
Focus: An executive session makes citizens question a city council's decision on rezoning.

The Candidate's Crisis of Conscience
Judy Nadler
Focus: A candidate for city council must decide how frank to be in endorsement interviews.

End-of-Life Decision Making: Medical Care for a Conserved Patient
Elizabeth Menkin
Focus: A physician has questions for a public guardian in charge of the medical care for a conserved patient.

End-of-Life Decision Making for Patients With Dementia
Elizabeth Menkin
Focus: A public guardian must make decisions for a 78 year-old woman with severe dementia, and multiple illnesses.

The Case of the Depressed Patient
Melinda Lee
Focus: A doctor must decide if a patient's decision to stop dialysis is motivated by depression.

Ethics Cases for Product Safety Engineers
John McBain and James Balassone
Focus: Ethical dilemmas for engineers charged with clarifying and overseeing product safety.

Campaign Ethics Challenge
Judy Nadler
Focus: A candidate faces a last-minute attack from an opponent.

The Case of the Extra Mile
Kirk O. Hanson
Focus: Ethics case addressing the work-life balance for public employees.

The Case of the Mangled Data
Kirk O. Hanson
Focus: Ethics case addressing the responsibility of public employees to provide accurate information.

The Outbreak
Kirk O. Hanson
Focus: This fictionalized case addresses the ethical issues confronting governments, NGOs, and pharmaceutical companies when faced with an epidemic.

Government Ethics Cases for City Finance Directors
Judy Nadler
Focus: Scenarios ask city finance directors to give a red or green light.

Pharmaceutical Decisions in Response to Epidemics: A Case Study
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
Focus: A video presentation, from the Ethics Center Conference, "The Future of Pharmaceuticals," which was held Oct. 3, 2003.

Home Run or Foul Ball
Judy Nadler
Focus: What are the ethical issues to consider when a city manager is dealing with city contracts?

Cases in Medical Ethics: Student-Led Discussions
Chris Cirone
Focus: A selection of medical ethics cases designed to help determine whether medicine is the correct calling for pre-medical students.

Red Light, Green Light
Judy Nadler
Focus: Ten ethical dilemmas facing elected officials.

A Tale of Two Downtowns
Judy Nadler
Focus: How should a Vietnamese-American councilmember balance the needs of his own ethnic group and the needs of other segments of the community?

Alice Hayes and Affordable Housing
Judy Nadler
Focus: A new city councilmember must weigh the community's need for affordable housing with the desire to preserve open space.

Business as Usual
Judy Nadler
Focus: A retired city engineer goes back to work for the city as an independent contractor. When he bids for a job, a councilmember raises questions.

Case of the Big Box Retailer
Judy Nadler
Focus: A revenue shortfall causes a city council to consider the tax benefits from a big-box retailer versus the potential harm to established small businesses.

The Mayor and the Manager
Judy Nadler
Focus: A case exploring the proper relationship between city councilmembers and city staff.

Old Friends and Conflicts of Interest
Judy Nadler
Focus: How do relationships with "old friends" change when someone is elected to public office?

Sex in the City
Judy Nadler
Focus: Is an elected official's personal life legitimately "private"?

The decision to pursue and publish the Megan's Law story
David Yarnold and Susan Goldberg
Focus: What accountability was the newspaper willing to accept if the named sex offenders lost their jobs-or worse-as a result of publishing their names?

The decision to give Armand Tiano's victims a voice
David Yarnold and Susan Goldberg
Focus: Should a newspaper print the names of victims of a sex offender at their request?

The decision to stop printing the name and photo of the 9-year-old kidnapping victim
David Yarnold and Susan Goldberg
Focus: In a child abduction case, should a newspaper assume that the child is being sexually assaulted and not use a name or photograph?

A Case for Truth
Kirk O. Hanson
Focus: A public relations professional is asked to counsel the local Roman Catholic Archdiocese on how to respond to the sex abuse crisis.

Shhhhhhh, Don't Tell
Wolfe, Smith, McLean, Shanks
Focus: What should a physical therapist do when she suspects that her patient isn't being entirely honest with his physician?

We've Got You Covered
Wolfe, Williams, Smith, Silvestri, McLean
Focus: Covering for an incompetent RN creates problems for patients.

The Case of the X979 Jumpstart
Peter A. Facione
Focus: This fictional case study asks us to consider the ethical boundaries involved in intellectual property.

The Case of the Underwater Options
Miriam Schulman
Focus: An acquisition raises questions about fairness and an employee's right to know in this fictionalized case about a biotech start-up.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Leon Panetta & Paul Locatelli, S.J.
Focus: In desperate need of a tax break for his company, a CEO contemplates a questionable campaign contribution.

The Case of Bad News
Gil Amelio
Focus: The new CEO of a corporation learns that he has inherited problems with growth and profitability. A four-day workweek and, eventually, layoffs prove necessary. Who is the CEO obligated to inform and when?

The Case of Due Diligence
Thomas Shanks
Focus: How ethics can guide the conduct of a brokerage firm rewarding sales representatives with trips for the sale of a particular fund.

The Case of the Sikh Temple
Mark Ralkowski
Focus: Plans for a 94,000 square foot structure raise questions about the zoning of a house of worship.

Nutritional Foods
Kirk O. Hanson
Focus: A company confronts the possibility that its product is causing illness.

The Sole Remaining Supplier
Thomas Shanks
Focus: What are the ethical questions involved when a company is the only supplier of a high-risk, life-saving product?

The Performance Appraisal
Thomas Shanks
Focus: How much should age and longevity with the company count in making lay-off decisions?

The Case of Maria Elena
Thomas Shanks
Focus: What are the ethical questions involved when a person finds out that an undocumented immigrant is working in their home?

A Student Scenario
Focus: Molly has just been accepted at Stanford University and calls her friend Terri to tell her the good news. Terri assumes that Molly was accepted because of her race.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Thomas Shanks
Focus: What are the ethical questions involved when an innocent prank turns into academic cheating?

The Long Distance Cancer Treatment
Thomas Shanks
Focus: Does an HMO have a responsibility to provide care at the closest possible medical center?

The Case of Wu
Thomas Shanks
Focus: What are the ethical questions involved when asked to help out an illegal immigrant in desperate need of help?

Student Scenario
Focus: A student buys a paper from an Internet site.

Student Scenario
Focus: A student discussion of prejudice and homosexuality.

Henry's Publick House
Thomas Shanks
Focus: What are the ethical questions involved when the media broadcasts hostile situations live?

Date Rape
A Student Scenario
Focus: Some students are at a party, drinking and watching movies. One of the students finds herself being taken advantage of.

A Student Scenario
Focus: Students debate a revenge act of vandalism.

The Case of the Plant Relocation
Karen Musalo
Focus: Your company can make more money for shareholders by relocating plants to a country with low costs and fewer regulations.

The Acupuncture Alternative
Anh Tran, S.J.
Focus: Do physicians have a duty to refer patients to alternative forms of therapy?