Santa Clara University

SCU Today

Back to Blog

Gifts totaling $2.5 million from Cirrus Logic chairman boost SCU ethics center, engineering school

SANTA CLARA, Calif.- May 30, 2002-Santa Clara University today announced a $2 million gift from Michael Hackworth, chairman of Cirrus Logic, and his wife, Joan, to fund student and faculty research at SCU's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. It also announced a $500,000 endowment from the couple to endow a Hackworth Family Scholarship for the SCU School of Engineering.

Michael Hackworth, who holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from SCU, said this year's news headlines raise compelling new reasons why business leaders need to understand the importance of ethical decision-making.

"Good ethics is good business," he said. Hackworth, who is a member of the advisory boards for the engineering school and the ethics center, said corporate executives and professionals can use the ethical decision-making models developed at the SCU ethics center to help them avoid "sliding down a slippery slope of bad decisions."

"Unfortunately, very few executives have a structured and formalized ethical decision-making process that is defined as company policy or that is anywhere near the simple but sophisticated model provided by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics," he said. "I want to help create an increased awareness of what the center can do."

Kirk O. Hanson, executive director of the SCU ethics center, said the Hackworth endowment will make possible the biggest expansion of ethics programs at SCU since the founding endowments of Silicon Valley financier A.C. (Mike) Markkula and his wife Linda, after whom the ethics center is named.

"With this gift and in his continuing involvement in program development, the Hackworths make it possible to expand the ability of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics to grow as a national resource for people in business, schools, government, and health care who want to do the right thing," said Hanson. "The Hackworths' gift fills in a major need of the University and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics to have a fund to encourage research and teaching on ethics."

The University will create a Michael and Joan Hackworth Fund for Ethics, to endow research and teaching grants for faculty and students at SCU, which will be known as Hackworth Grants. The first grants will be awarded in Fall 2002 to faculty who are doing research on particular topics in applied ethics and to students who are focusing their senior theses or other major projects on applied ethics. Faculty seeking to develop new courses or new teaching materials on applied ethics will also be eligible for the grants.

In addition, starting in 2002-2003, two or more SCU seniors will be named Hackworth Fellows for the academic year. They will work with the ethics center to deliver programs on ethics to undergraduates, including after-dinner discussions on topics such as the ethics of dating, the ethics of neighborhood relations, and the ethics of the job search.

The center, founded in 1986, last week unveiled its first annual "Ethics Outlook," a National Ethics Agenda for 2002-3, which may be viewed on the center's Web site, www.scu.edu/ethics.

Hackworth, a San Mateo native, and his wife Joan received honorary degrees. He delivered the 1999 commencement address for SCU graduate schools. In that speech, three years before Enron, Anderson and Oracle ethics-related scandals dominated California headlines, Hackworth told graduates, "Good ethics is good business, or good politics, or good education policy. It's not a question of either optimizing the bottom line or being ethical at the expense of the bottom line. It's a question of how to do both."

Hackworth has taken his own advice to heart in his business career. "I put the ethics center's 'ethical decision-making model' on a sheet of paper, and whenever one of those tough issues popped, I would refer to it," he recalled. "I would say, that if you think that it's an ethical problem, it is an ethical problem, and here's how to resolve it."

In the last three years, Santa Clara University has announced a $15 million gift from Donald L. Lucas to help build new building for the Leavey School of Business, a $20 million gift from Lorry I. Lokey for scholarships and a new University library, a $15 million gift from the Leavey Foundation to rebuild the Leavey Center athletic facility, and a $12 million gift from the Jesuit Community of Santa Clara for scholarships and community education.

-30-

About the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Founded in 1986, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics has grown into one of the four most active university-based ethics centers in the United States. The center at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif., is a nationally recognized resource for people and organizations that want to study and apply an ethical approach to decision-making. The center supports research, assists faculty in integrating ethics into their courses and helps businesses, schools, hospitals and other organizations put ethics to work. Ethics center programs include: biotechnology and health care ethics; business ethics; K-12 character education; philosophical questions in applied ethics, public policy and government ethics, and emerging issues in ethics. For more information, see www.scu.edu/ethics.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 7,400 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the third-highest graduation rate among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is on line at www.scu.edu.

For more information, and to arrange an interview with Michael Hackworth, call Kelly Shenefiel, at 408-554-5125, or email news@scu.edu.

Tags: gifts

Printer-friendly format