At the Center
Capturing the lively discussions, presentations, and other events that make up the daily activities of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.
Friday, Sep. 12, 2014 9:13 AM
James Keenan, S.J. and Osamu Takeuchi, S.J.
Scholars from eight different countries gathered this week at the Ethics Center for a conference on “Conscience in Catholicism: Rights, Responsibilities, and Institutional Policies.”
Those global perspectives informed the opening session, which focused on foundational questions of conscience. James Keenan, S.J., Canisius Professor and director of the Jesuit Institute at Boston College, and Osamu Takeuchi, S.J., dean of the Graduate School of Theology and professor of theology at Sophia University in Tokyo, led off the discussion.
Keenan argued that conscience is “hardwired” into humans, but “how that plays out” varies from culture to culture. He compared the examination of conscience that followed World War II in Europe to the failure of American society to take responsibility for slavery, which he said has contributed to the continuing problem of race in the United States. “We have never consciously taken responsibility as opposed to Germany, which has never forgotten its role in the Holocaust,” he said.
Takeuchi engaged Christian and Confucian ideas about conscience. He looked at three essential human responsibilities—to ourselves, to the community, and to G-d—as modes of embodying conscience. In that third responsibility, Takeuchi saw an encounter between ethics and spirituality.
The group, most of whom were affiliated with Catholic institutions, explored the role of universities in the formation of conscience. Keenan pointed out that there has been very little research on conscience as it relates to higher education and argued that moral theologians at universities must address such issues as race, gender, inequity, and the hegemony of American power.
“There is no self-reflection at universities,” he said. “If you go into a university library, you will find hundreds of books on business ethics, on medical ethics, on legal ethics—all written by faculty members. You will not find one book on university ethics. None will talk about the mission of a school and whether it's promoting equity, about athletics, about the way we hire adjuncts, the way we invest or admit students. Conscience at universities is not even dormant; that would mean it was once awakened.”
Linda Hogan, vice provost/chief academic officer and professor of ecumenics at Trinity College in Dublin, argued that universities don’t give much thought to their own institutional power. “Generally, universities are broadly conformist and supportive of institutional biases about affluence or race,” she said. “We need to be attentive to the fact that we inhabit and shape institutions which have enormous social power. Instead we tend to focus on individual conscience formation.”
Participants generally agreed that conscience is not only a matter of an individual’s principles; instead, it is informed by culture and community. Bryan Massingale, S.T.D., professor of Theology at Marquette University, put it this way: “The isolated conscience doesn’t really exist. We have to pay attention to the cultural and social dimensions.”
Papers from the conference will be published in 2015 by Orbis Books, edited by David DeCosse, director of campus ethics at the Markkula Ethics Center, and Kristin Heyer, professor of religious studies at SCU, the two conference organizers. Other conference participants were:
- Carol Bayley, vice president for ethics and justice education, Dignity Health Care West
- Julie Clague, lecturer of theology and religious studies, University of Glasgow, Scotland
- Emilce Cuda, lecturer on the Faculty of Theology, Pontifical Catholic University, Argentina
- Daniel Finn, Clemens Chair in Economics and the Liberal Arts, St. John’s University, Minnesota
- Lisa Fullam, D.V.M., Th.D., associate professor of moral theology, Jesuit School of Theology, SCU
- Eric Marcelo O. Genilo, S.J., S.T.D, associate professor of moral theology, Loyola School of Theology, Philippines
- William O’Neill, S.J., associate professor of social ethics, Jesuit School of Theology, SCU
- Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, S.J.,provincial of the Eastern African Province of the Society of Jesus and lecturer in theology and religious studies, Hekima College, Kenya
- Stephen J. Pope, professor of theology, Boston College, Massachusetts
- John Raphael Quinn, sixth archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco
- Eugine Sahana, religious sister belonging to the Congregation of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany, India
Tuesday, Sep. 9, 2014 11:51 AM
William Prior, professor emeritus, Santa Clara University Philosophy Department, explores Compassion. While many of us use the term "compassion," we often don't share an understanding of what it fully means. Prior will discuss the more precise meaning of "compassion" as it's understood in the Western philosophical tradition. His research and teaching interests include ancient philosophy, ethical theory, the history of skepticism, and the philosophy of Wittgenstein. His publications include Unity and Development in Plato's Metaphysics (Open Court, 1985), Virtue and Knowledge (Routledge, 1991) and numerous articles. He has edited Socrates: Critical Assessments (Routledge, 1996, 4 v.) He is working on a book on the problem of the historical Socrates.
Event and Live tweeting on Twitter: #compassion
Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 8:37 AM
Creating a school climate that is conducive to learning, safety, and community was the focus of a presentation by Dotty McCrea, principal of Mercy High School, at the Center’s Ethics Camp for Catholic School Educators, held August 12-15, at Santa Clara University. The four-day workshop provided an orientation for new teachers in the diocese.
McCrea explained that the school’s culture is formed by its core values and beliefs, which drive actions and influence behaviors. It’s the “subtle spirit” visitors sense when they walk through the door, reflected in the way they are greeted by the office staff, the vitality of the staff, and the engagement of students.
McCrea took teachers through a series of exercises to flesh out ways to create a supportive culture in their schools and classrooms. She talked about rituals and traditions that set up a positive environment, including moments of prayer and reflection. High expectations were also cited as key to a strong school culture.
She and the participants brainstormed ways to acknowledge students, parents, and school personnel as heroes for being positive role models of kindness and respect. They also discussed ways to celebrate and to inject humor into the classroom.
McCrea urged the teachers to tap into the gifts of all their students for curiosity, imagination, sensitivity, wonder, and joy.
Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 2:12 PM
On August 18th, the Ethics Center is relaunching two free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to the public. Already, over 3,000 executives, professors and students have enrolled, and we invite you to join them. The MOOCs are hosted on the Canvas.net platform and are taught by Kirk O. Hanson, longtime professor of business ethics at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Santa Clara University.
Registration is now open
COURSE 1: BUSINESS ETHICS FOR THE REAL WORLD
Explores the nature of ethics, its role in a business career, and how to make practical ethical decisions.
COURSE 2: CREATING AN ETHICAL CORPORATE CULTURE
Examines how managers and executives can create and sustain an ethical culture.
3 Hours of Business Ethics Training Each Week for 4 Weeks:
Each course is organized to take no more than 2-3 hours per week, and the course is designed to be completed in 4 weeks. You can take the courses anytime during the period they are open.
Online Activities on Business Ethics: Each week you will have 2 or 3 short lectures to watch. Afterwards, you will have 3 related activities: a case discussion on a real business scenario, a short exercise, and a quiz. The final project for each course is an ethical analysis, and peer reviews of other students' analyses.
New! Incentives for Course Finishers
- Letter of Completion: Letter of completion from the Ethics Center
- Badge: Official "badge" to highlight your success, for display on websites, socia media, LinkedIn Profiles, etc.
- VIP LinkedIn Group: A special invitate to join our closed MOOC Alumni Group on LinkedIn, featuring networking opportunities, discussions, and more.
- Opportunity to participate in our SMAP (social media ambassadors program). If you're on Twitter, first Follow the Ethics Center (@mcaenews), and tweet about the course as you go through it, using the hashtag #MarkkulaMOOC. The most frequent tweeter by November 7 will win a $50 Amazon gift card.
Stay tuned for more details!
Contact Patrick Coutermarsh at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or further information.
Monday, Aug. 4, 2014 2:58 PM
The incoming Hackworth Engineering Ethics Fellows will develop case studies on engineering ethics based on the experience of Santa Clara University alumni in the engineering field. Their work will be a similar model to the business ethics case studies here. The fellowships are made possible by a gift from Joan and late Michael Hackworth.
Clare Bartlett is a bioengineering major from Centennial, CO. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, concerts, and Irish Dancing.
Nabilah Deen is a Civil Engineering Senior from Santa Clara. She lived in the city for most of her life. Nabilah participates in several engineering clubs, and she enjoys writing, reading, and modular origami.
Jocelyn Tan, from San Jose, California, studies Electrical Engineering. In her spare time, she loves to sing, dance and play the piano. She also loves to laugh and meet new friends.
Tuesday, Jul. 29, 2014 11:52 AM
Father Thomas Reese, S.J., visiting scholar for the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, will present on the first 500 days of Pope Francis during the Ethics Center's "Ethics At Noon" lecture on August 14, 12-noon, New location as of 8/13
DUE TO HIGH VOLUME FOR THIS EVENT, ROOM HAS BEEN CHANGED TO DE SAISSET MUSEUM
Reese is senior analyst for National Catholic Reporter. He entered the Jesuits in 1962, and was ordained in 1974. He was educated at St. Louis University, the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, and at the University of California Berkeley, where he received a Ph.D. in political science. He worked in Washington as a writer and lobbyist for tax reform from 1975 to 1978. He was an associate editor of America magazine, where he wrote on politics, economics and the Catholic church, from 1978 to 1985 and editor-in-chief from 1998 to 2005. He was a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center from 1985 to 1998 and 2006 to 2013.
While at Woodstock, he wrote the trilogy on the organization and politics of the church: Archbishop: Inside the Power Structure of the American Catholic Church (1989), A Flock of Shepherds: The National Conference of Catholic Bishops (1992), and Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church (1996). He also edited The Universal Catechism Reader (1990), an analysis of the first draft of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and Episcopal Conferences: Historical, Canonical and Theological Studies (1989).
On May 14, 2014, Father Reese was appointed by President Obama to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission that reviews the facts and circumstances of religious freedom violations and makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress. His writings for the NCR do not necessarily reflect the views of the commission.
Father Reese is based in Washington, DC.
Follow Reese on Twitter: @ThomasReeseSJ .
Event hashtag: @mcaenews #reesepope Tweet with us!
Monday, Jul. 28, 2014 4:47 PM
Violent crimes committed by young people “occur most frequently in the hours immediately following the close of school on school days,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Calling the afterschool hours “prime time for juvenile crime,” the advocacy group Fight Crime: Invest in Kids reports that afterschool programs have been shown to:
- Reduce juvenile crime and violence
- Reduce drug use and addiction
- Cut other risky behavior like smoking and alcohol abuse
- Reduce teen sex and teen pregnancies
- Boost school success and high school graduation.
A new program from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and the East Side Union School District in San Jose is betting that afterschool programs can also help to form student character.
With a grant from Goodwill Industries, teachers representing four East Side Union high schools spent four days at the Ethics Center. Teachers offering activities from jujitsu to yearbook worked with Ethics Center character education staff to shape their afterschool activities into programs that can build character, engagement, community, and success.
Tom Kostic, associate director of character education at the Center, gave the group a grounding in the basic principles of ethics, explaining that to be ethical is to be “the kind of person other people would choose as a study partner, friend, business partner, teammate, confidant, or even life partner.” Kostic stressed that although people might differ on some thorny ethical issues, most would agree that society should foster the values of responsibility, respect, self-control, integrity, and effort among young people.
How to instill those values became the focus on four days of workshops taught by Center Character Education Director Steve Johnson and a group of teachers and administrators who are alumni of the Center’s programs. Johnson focused on the question, “What works?” urging participants to look at the research about what interventions are effective, whether those interventions are efficient, and whether they will meet the real-life needs of their particular students.
Kristi Hofstetter Batiste, retired teacher, talked about using service learning to build character. In service learning, teachers send students out into the community to participate in meaningful community service and also provide opportunities for students to reflect on and learn from these experiences. Exposure to community needs fosters compassion, and students develop responsibility as they address those needs.
Another focus of the program was building a community to support character. Wendell Brooks, founder of the BDK Foundation, outlined eight “Habits of the Heart,” which he uses in his work with at-risk youth in Orange County, Calif. Drawn from a book by Clifton Taulbert, the eight habits are:
- Nurturing Attitude
- High Expectations
The Center’s work with East Side Union grew out of a concern on the part of Goodwill to find interventions that might work to impact bullying, according to Bruce Shimizu, director of Goodwill’s youth programs. “We hope to start impacting kids and parents in a positive way so that we can make a dent—make kids more aware of their actions and more apt to change to positive behaviors. If some of these kids go tell other kids, maybe that spreads.”
Wednesday, Jul. 23, 2014 2:37 PM
The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics is proud to sponsor Student Government Ethics, a new website developed by an SCU senior, Kori Lennon. Lennon, a member of Santa Clara University’s Class of 2014, developed this site during her time as a Hackworth Fellow with the Ethics Center. After spending three years on Santa Clara’s Associated Student Government, her goal was to encourage greater reflection and conversation about ethics among student government leaders.
The site provides discussion guides and ethics cases for use in student government meetings, encouraging student leaders to consider ethical concerns and share their perspectives. Sections on Mission and Vision Statements, Codes of Ethics,and Values, encourage student leaders to develop documents that more clearly define the ethics of their organization.
Wednesday, Jul. 16, 2014 2:12 PM
The Hackworth Fellows are Santa Clara University undergraduates who provide ethics programming for students. They can be reached at 408-554-5319, or by sending an email to email@example.com. The Fellowships are made possible by a gift from Joan and late Michael Hackworth. For further information about the program, click here.
Krishan Allen is an economics major from Emerald Hills, Calif. He will research methods of integrating ethical goals into investment practice, and aims to explain how students can attain both social and financial returns within their investment portfolios. He enjoys playing basketball, reading biographies on social scientists, sailing in the San Francisco bay, and making the most of the California sun.
Justin Fitzsimmons, a philosophy major and English minor from San Francisco, will be working on issues related to diversity and inclusion; his fellowship will be coordinated with the SCU Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Justin has studied at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and the University of Cambridge in the U.K. He is interested in Bay Area sports, philosophy, playing basketball, watching films, and reading.
Logan Peterson, a finance major from Scottsdale, Ariz., will focus on the Big Q, the Center's social media campaign to involve undergraduates in discussion about the ethical issues in the everyday lives of undergraduates. Logan loves city life, traveling, yoga, art, and photography. This summer, she'll be interning in the finance department at Apple as a part of the Online Store Sales team.
Tuesday, Jul. 8, 2014 12:30 PM
The Ethics Center welcomes Ann Skeet as new director of leadership ethics. Skeet will oversee the Center's work in business and nonprofit ethics. Having already served as a strategy consultant to the Ethics Center, she will continue to play a role as a strategic advisor to the executive director.
Skeet previously served as president of Notre Dame High School of San Jose, CEO of American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley, and vice president of marketing for the San Jose Mercury News. She is a board member of the Children's Musical Theater of San Jose, and formerly served on the boards of the Nonprofit Development Center, the Children's Discovery Museum, and Partnership for School Readiness. She was also co-chair of the board at United Way of Silicon Valley. Skeet is a graduate of Bucknell University and the Harvard Business School.
"Silicon Valley is like a crowded, super-charged, ever-changing town square for a global community of innovators," Skeet states. "It is also a place where many struggle to achieve their personal goals in spite of all the assets and opportunities our town square has to offer. How people and organizations here grapple with issues raised by rapid rates of change, diverse populations and unparalleled creativity has intrigued me for the half of my life I have lived and worked here."