Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Ethics Cases


Social Policy

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

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.

Ethics and Technology in the Wake of September 11th
E. Floyd Kvamme
Focus: Co-chair of the President's Council of Advisors in Science and Technology discusses issues raised by the terrorist attacks.

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.

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?

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?

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

The Cyber City Network
Thomas Shanks
Focus: An online network for city services raises questions about access and whether the provision of services electronically will increase disparities between rich and poor.


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