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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Ethics Spotlight: Violence at the Capitol

From leadership failure, the Supreme Court, free speech, and social media Ethics Center staff and scholars analyze the ethical challenges of insurrection at the Capitol on January 6.

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What’s Next for White House Coverage? Trump, Biden, and the Future of US Political Reporting

What can past coverage and recent experiences teach us about envisioning a better future for how journalists cover the president?

In this webinar recorded on Dec. 18, 2020, Politico White House Correspondent Anita Kumar, longtime CBS White House Correspondent Bill Plante, and former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers '83 shared lessons from their firsthand experiences. Moderated by Ethics Center Director of Journalism and Media Ethics Subbu Vincent.


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Featured Ethics Spotlights

Group of protesters opposing the outcome of the 2020 election.
Post-Election Reconciliation

After a highly contentious (and ongoing) election, our country remains as polarized as ever. Ethics Center staff and scholars provide an analysis of the ethical challenges associated with healing these deep wounds.

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The Ethics of Going Back to School in a Pandemic

As students across the country start a new school year, many are participating online only, while others are attending in person, in the classroom – with some already closing down again after new outbreak clusters form. Ethics Center staff and other SCU scholars address some of the key ethical dilemmas surrounding this critical decision.

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Ethics and Systemic Racism

The killings of several Black Americans by law enforcement over the last several months has shinned a light on the systemic nature of racism in our country. Ethics Center staff and scholars analyze the associated ethical dilemmas.

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COVID-19: Ethics, Health and Moving Forward

As businesses, schools, families and individuals transition from shelter-in-place to the new normal, critical questions must be considered and addressed before our economy can be revived. Ethics Center staff have compiled the following resources; including video interviews with business and non-profit leaders, panel discussions, and actionable tools; all designed to help us move forward.

    A Guide for Nonprofit Organizations

    Nonprofit organizations rely on charitable gifts, but often lack guidance on how to navigate gifts from controversial donors. This guide offers practical and ethical considerations for nonprofit organizations that face increasing scrutiny for gift acceptance decisions.

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    Ethical Giving Guide

    Materials to Support Donors with Gifting Decisions

    Designed to help individual donors and family foundations think through their nonprofit giving decisions and to do it ethically, this guide outlines the steps to take with related ethical considerations and helps donors define their personal mission.

    Find Your Personal Mission

    Ethical Perspectives

    The Consequences of Unethical Leadership … and Followership

    The consequences of Trump’s rhetoric and his followers’ actions manifested themselves in the nation’s capital on January 6, 2021.

    Can Leadership be Successful With Questionable Values? - The Storming of the U.S. Capitol

    When a charismatic leader such as President Trump celebrates controversial values and praises them as virtues, problematic values engender problematic behaviors.

    Ethics and Certifying The Election

    Members of the House and Senate who voted against certifying the Electoral College results were prioritizing their self-interests over the common good.

      Teaching Note: Interview of Theranos Whistleblower, Tyler Shultz

      This teaching module for business ethics, leadership and management courses includes two videos, homework assignments, and class discussion, all designed to spark conversation about ethical issues associated with whistleblowers and corporate governance.

      View the Teaching Module

      Center News

      Environmental Ethics Fellows 2020-21
      Introducing the 2020-21 Environmental Ethics Fellows

      Taylor Ellis ‘20, Mary Kleinsmith ‘22, and Rebecca Poirier ‘21 aim to produce resources that aid thinking about the pandemic and environmental ethics.

      SCU and Ethics Center Host 2020 Regional Ethics Bowl

      Regional teams from California, Arizona, and Nevada competed in the first virtual 2020 APPE California Regional Ethics Bowl.

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      Ethics Center to Build Toolkit to Support Newsroom Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

      In January 2021, the Journalism and Media Ethics Program at the Ethics Center is set launch a new and timely prototype project with funding from the Google News Initiative (GNI).

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        Evaluating Culture for Ethics

        Our Culture Self-Assessment Practice recommends approaches to evaluating culture for ethics within companies and other types of organizations. The materials are primarily for members of an organization’s leadership team, including human resources and legal, but designed to engage a cross-section of leaders from various disciplines.

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        Media Commentary

        Gov. Kristi Noem Gifted President Trump $1,100 Mount Rushmore Replica With his Face Added

        John Pelissero, senior scholar and professor emeritus of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago, quoted in INFORUM.

        Facebook Committee Reviewing Trump's Account Suspension

        Subbu Vincent, director of journalism and media ethics interviewed by ABC7 News.

        YouTube Stands Alone as Other Social Media Providers Race to Deplatform Trump

        Irina Raicu, director of internet ethics, quoted on CNBC.

          Like Birds, Ethical Issues Are Everywhere...

          ...often difficult to spot, but noticed by those in search of them.

          The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University exists to help people see, understand, and work through ethical problems.

          As an introduction to thinking ethically, we have created a framework for ethical decision making.

          Learn About Our Framework

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