Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Ethics Cases



All Cases

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.

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?


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