This conference addressed such questions as: Does and should the university, deliberately or otherwise, shape the values of its students? By what means and to what effect does it do so? Are there ethical values that the university is obliged to impart? What are the special challenges of a large state school in these regards?
The conference featured papers by five plenary speakers: David Miller, Watson-Ledden Professor of Religions, Syracuse University; Louis Ruprecht, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Emory University; Bruce Jennings, Executive Director, Hastings C enter for Society, Ethics, and the Law; John Guillory, Professor of English, John Hopkins University; and Vincent Harding, Professor of Religion, Iliff School of Theology. In addition 30 briefer papers were presented.
Below is a list of the presenters, their presentation titles and brief abstracts:
The modern environmental movement emphasizes community, cooperation, and conservation over individualism, competition, and consumption. Undergraduate education clearly encompasses how society will answer such questions regarding the means and ends of human existence.
Effective quality assurance in universities is more than systems and technique--more than accreditation and program reviews, rankings and ratings, and total quality management. It is as much personal and ethical as systemic and technical. This presentation will reveal how the ethical posture--the caring, the character, the courage--of faculty and administrators can enhance and impede the call of quality in higher education.
Academic freedom is a precious right grounded in a duty to grow intellectually, to mature as scholars, to pass on to students material that has been recently re-thought, re-researched, and revised.
The ancient recognition of a link between erotic and educational relationships is contrasted to more contemporary views and reconstrued in the light of a psychoanalytic view of human nature.
Freedom of inquiry is best supported when political science professors check their biases at the classroom door and refrain from values laden presentations and politicizations of the issues they cover.
Developing the moral dimension is central to what it means to being an educated person. This paper argues that integrity is the organizing principle needed to guide both accounting education and accounting practice.
All teachers and educational institutions promulgate certain intellectual and moral values. These are best made explicit so that they can be more effectively built into the curriculum and transmitted and so that they are exposed to the safeguard of public discussion.
Teaching about relationships in general and the management of conflict in particular is part of the hidden curriculum of the university and ways we do reflect values. Are they morally responsible ones?
A course to convey professionalism to graduate students through factual information and discussions on topics often not found in graduate curricula, including ethics, is described. Use of scenarios is modeled.
Rationalist values that we already heavily inject into the college curriculum affect students' perceptions of knowledge, truth, wisdom, and ultimately meaning and morality.
To what extent, if at all, can the "moral center" of learning (i.e., the personal encounter between a teacher and a student) be preserved when interactions take place via email, audio-cassette, "smart classrooms," interactive computerized learning programs, etc.?
Against the once optimistic forecasts of a job-boom in the 90s for Ph.D.s in the humanities, the reality of the academic marketplace has been little short of disastrous. What are the responsibilities, political and ethical, for graduate programs to address the current crisis in hiring? What, in short, is to be done?
See Glenn C. Graber, co-presenter, for summary.
Focusing on Dr. King's last years, Harding will attempt to suggest where King was going, where we seem to be going as a nation, and how all of us in this multiracial nation might join King's vector.
Universities influence student values by what is taught about values in the classroom, and by the values exhibited in the personal behavior of those on campus. Five principal contexts for this "teaching" are considered.
This paper argues that a theistic presupposition is a necessary, if not sufficient, condition to supply the existential motivation to act ethically; consequently, higher education should encourage rather than discourage students to integrate their theological positions with the appropriate ethical codes.
This paper explores the problems of taking a value neutral posture in one's teaching and research when that activity is funded by institutions that have particular aims. If the value stances that faculty take are controlled, is the University capable of its supposed traditional role of critic of the social order?
A university should be dedicated to the improvement of the society of which it is a part. Ethics--what is "right," what is "just," and what is "fair"--are the only means we have to gauge social improvement. Therefore ethics have to become central to the university, not peripheral to the curriculum.
This presentation explores the tension between an ahistorical concept of human nature stressing freedom ("jus gentium") and more contextualized alternatives.
Values education is marked by a tension between "thin" liberal virtues (analytic, process-oriented modes of reasoning) and "thick" civic virtues (conceptions of responsibility, character, and community). The lecture discusses how this tension affects pedagogy and explores its roots in political theories of liberalism, civic republicanism, and democratic communitarianism.
Faced with a large number of competing values in a complex world, tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty unfortunately tends to be forgotten, or even blamed for a general decline in "values." This paper critically explores these issues.
This paper discusses Simone Weil's ideas regarding social responsibility as such obligations might be conceived of within the teacher-student relationship at a public university.
Colleges and universities are notorious for allowing many of the unethical managerial behaviors which motivated the development of Business Ethics. This presentation will argue that there is need for an Academic (Business) Ethic.
This presentation will explore the concepts of professionalism and professional ethics as they apply to science. The argument will be made that science is filled with moral choices and that it is necessary to integrate the teaching of professional ethics into science curricula. Examples will be given.
The presentation will inquire into a possible non-imperialist ethics for teaching in a contempo- rary context of global pluralism and in a post-literate civilization of the image.
The presentation will address the problem of the "fragility of goodness" in the wake of a postmodern suspicion about the interminable repressiveness of consciousness (Kant and Freud) and in the face of the human experience of autonomous accident and surprise (Nussbaum and Caputo).
Musings on the relation of ethical theory to ethical practice and on the advantages and pitfalls of incorporating real work to benefit the local enrivonment into environmental ethics courses.
Professors Paige and Roberts will discuss the Difference, Power, and Discrimination (DPD) baccalaureate core requirement at Oregon State University, and the greater extent to which ethical questions are raised in the development of comparative diversity courses. They will focus on the faculty development seminar which is a core component of the DPD Program, and one of the courses, Ethics and Diversity, which was developed in that context.
Ninety-eight percent of the cases in the ten most used bioethics textbooks can be described as moral dilemmas. Dilemma cases have many pedagogical advantages, but also some insidious side effects when they are that predominant.
Because the university does impart values, the question becomes whose values. Do we continue to embrace solely patriarchal values or do we also embrace feminist values which include a multicultural perspective?
A student states the focus of the presentation: "You all speak and write so that you can't be understood. Is that fair? Is it ethical communication?" The presentation will try to respond to this student's questions. Participants are invited to discuss their own responses.
This paper will examine how the culture of an institution tends to shape the implicit and explicit values in the curriculum. It will then suggest ways that several different leadership styles relate to different value orientations. Finally, this paper will argue that the leader of a campus, a college, or a department has a primary responsibility for the concrete value orientation of her or his unit.
See Barbara Paige, co-presenter, for summary.
This paper offers an alternative to the long-standing, and now largely exhausted, debate over universalism and relativism in contemporary moral theory. I offer an alternative account of moral inquiry, grounded in the Classical tradition of Plato, etc.
This paper explores the convpluted story of religiosity in the past 150 years highlighting the fascinating double-mindedness about religion in public life that seems to characterize our country, a double-mindedness that is exempli fied in the modern Olympic ritual.
University of Tennessee-Chattanooga
Universities teach "engineering ethics" using idiosyncratic codes with their roots in the profession's accrediting agency. Who's in charge here? Does it matter?
The presentation is written based on the belief that it is the duty and right of the university to lead all of its students toward the good life. The good life, according to Aristotle, is what ethics deals with. It is a cultural ideal that can be taught to all students through reading good stories in English and other humanities courses.
See Becky Cox White, co-presenter, for summary.
Applying a phenomenological theory of intersubjectivity as a foundation for communitarian ethics, this presentation will focus on the relationship between schools and community, and the way in which a communitarian social ethic might shape the curriculum and values of the institutions of education.
An examination of recent theories of the ethics of reading (Booth, Miller, Harpham) and the tradition of character formation (Aristotle, Plutarch). How do such theories affect classroom teaching? Classroom experience is then contrasted with the reading experience to determine the nature of character-formation in the two spheres.
Preparing students to function in a world of pluralistic metaphysical and moral assumptions obligates us to teach appreciation of diversity. One pedagogical approach will be demonstrated.
Chancellor's Teacher Scholars
University Studies Program
Center for Applied and Professional Ethics
Conference Planning Committee:
|Fran Ansley||Paul Ashdown|
|Grady Bogue||Glenn Graber|
|Carolyn Hodges||Ronald Hopson|
|Marcia Katz||Donald Klinefelter|
|Robert Levy||Ralph Norman|
|Charles Reynolds||Robert Stillman|
|Talk to the Conference Participants|
Questions and comments may be directed to the conference convenor, Alvin G. Burstein or individual authors by clicking on his/her name.
This page has been accessed times.
Last updated: May 29, 1997
JANET KRANTZ, M.S.