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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.

  •  Support the Ethics Center During Silicon Valley Gives May 6

    Tuesday, Apr. 29, 2014 11:00 AM

    Save the Date for Silicon Valley Gives, Tuesday, May 6. This unique fundraising day supports nonprofits in the area, and we are excited about our first-time participation in the event. With your support, we can continue to establish and expand our growing programs and services, enhancing our status as one of the leading ethics centers in the country, providing over 2.8 million people with a moral compass to steer their professional and personal lives.

    You can schedule your gift today, or mark your calendars to donate on Tuesday, May 6.

    Ethics matter. In the fast paced world we live in, decisions made in the blink of an eye will have a tremendous impact on the future. We promote ethics in areas such as business, education, government, health care, the Internet, and many more. We have a responsibility to equip today's young people as well as everyone interested in ethical behavior, with the tools they need to face life’s unavoidable ethical dilemmas. During the last year alone, donations and support from our enthusiastic stakeholders have enabled us to launch a successful online education program, a unique ethics app downloaded by over 1,000 in its first month, and a myriad of other programs.

Now, friends of the Ethics Center Dick and Sue Levy have generously pledged $100,000 in a dollar-for-dollar match of all gifts to the Ethics Center made between May 6th and June 30th. Help us leverage these matching dollars! Your gift can help schoolchildren learn how to make ethical decisions, provide Santa Clara University students with internship support, and help entrepreneurs, business professionals, and health care and government staff make sound ethical decisions that will pave the way to sound ethics for the near future and beyond.

    Thank you for your support, and here's to a great day of giving!

  •  Catholic Health Care and Conscience

    Monday, Apr. 28, 2014 4:36 PM

    Tuesday, May 13, Regan Lecture:
    "Conscience and the Complex World of Catholic Health Care," by Ron Hamel, Senior Ethicist, Catholic Health Association. 7 p.m., St. Clare Room, Learning Commons

    Reception to follow.

    Over the last few years, Catholic health care institutions in the United States have confronted a host of complex issues involving conscience. Some issues of conscience involve agonizing clinical questions over reproductive health. Other issues pertain to the doctor-patient relationship. Still other issues arise in the context of large institutional settings. Should Catholic hospitals have to comply with the contraceptive policy of the federal government? Should Catholic hospital networks that take over a secular hospital be able to require that treatment in the taken-over hospital be offered only in a manner consistent with Catholic moral principles -- even if the taken-over hospital is the only health care facility in a remote area? As senior ethicist of the huge network of Catholic health care institutions in the United States, Ron Hamel has been working on the full range of these issues for years. His talk will shed light on these complex matters.

    Dr. Hamel earned his doctorate in theological ethics from Fordham University, New York. His area of specialization is health care ethics. He has lectured widely to health care professionals, has served on numerous hospital ethics committees, was a member of the Health Care Ethics Commission of the Archdiocese of Chicago, serves as resource ethicist to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and is a fellow in the Institute of Medicine of Chicago. He has authored many articles in health care ethics and has edited several books. Among them are "Introduction to Christian Ethics: A Reader" (Paulist, 1989), "A Matter of Principles?" (Trinity, 1994), "Must We Suffer Our Way to Death?" (SMU, 1995), "Three Levels of Managed Care" (Sheed & Ward, 1997), "Making Health Care Decisions: A Catholic Guide" (Ligouri, 2006), and "Artificial Nutrition and Hydration and the Permanently Unconscious Patient: The Catholic Debate"(Georgetown, 2007).

    In October 2001, Dr. Hamel received the Kevin O'Rourke award from the Gateway Catholic Ethics Network in St. Louis for his contributions to Catholic health care ethics.

    We are fortunate to present this program in part through the generosity of the Project on Conscience in Roman Catholic Thought, funded by Phyllis and Mike Shea.

    Funding for this lecture is also provided by the New York Life Insurance Company in honor of William Regan III and a gift from Ann and William Regan. Ron Hamel is this year's Regan Lecturer.

    Sponsored by The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

    Location: Learning Commons and Library, St. Clare Room

    Live tweet with us @mcaenews #ethicshealth #conscienceproject

  •  Ethics and the Aftermath of Genetic Diagnosis

    Monday, Apr. 28, 2014 11:19 AM

    Last year, actress Angelina Jolie decided on a double mastectomy after learning she had a gene disposing her to breast cancer. Her story is one instance of what is happening to many who, with the benefit of new gene-identifying tools, are having to confront hard personal and ethical questions about medical treatment in the aftermath of genetic diagnoses.

    This panel of SCU scholars will explore the ethical, medical, communication, gender, and biological aspects of such scenarios. Laura Ellingson, SCU Communications, Angel Islas, SCU Biology, and Karen Peterson-Iyer, SCU Religious Studies, are the panelists.

    This Health & Science Horizons Program is sponsored by Markkula Center for Applied Ethics in partnership with the Gerald and Sally DeNardo Lectureship.

  •  Power of One Day April 23 and Levy Ethics Challenge

    Monday, Apr. 21, 2014 9:10 AM

    Donate here

    Santa Clara University will hold its first ever one-day online giving challenge on Wednesday, April 23, with a goal of
    1,001 people making a donation in 24 hours. The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics is thrilled to announce the first ever "Levy Ethics Challenge." A very generous couple, Dick and Sue Levy, have made a $100,000 Challenge to match - dollar for dollar - all gifts to the Ethics Center from April 23 through June 30th.

    Your gift will empower the Ethics Center staff to:

    • Bring great speakers from around the globe who illuminate current issues in ethics. So far this year, gifts from donors enabled us to present over 30 speakers and panelists. Contributions also helped us to host His Holiness the Dalai Lama in February, while an additional gift enabled us to livestream the event.
    • Increase our online presence. This year, over 2.8 million people visited our website for guidance in solving ethical issues and for materials to teach ethics to students of all ages. Another 2,000 signed up for our Massive Open Online Course in business ethics, and we look forward to expanding even further.
    • Provide internships and fellowships in health care ethics, environmental ethics, business ethics, and more. We have over 240 alumni of these programs, and they report that their experience here provided them with the knowledge and the courage to make ethical decisions in all aspects of their lives.  

      Your investment is crucial!  Thank you in advance for making your All In for SCU gift to the Ethics Center
      on April 23 here.

      Please join the conversation on social media with #allinforscu, and use this hashtag
      whenever you make a donation!
  •  The Tug of War Over Values in the Aftermath of the Financial Crisis

    Monday, Apr. 14, 2014 3:56 PM

    Meir Statman, Glenn Klimek Professor of Finance, Santa Clara University, and author of the bestseller "What Investors Really Want," presents. The financial crisis of 2008 intensified a debate over "who deserves what and why" in terms of income and wealth. On such matters, financial professionals on Wall Street tend to hold views different from economic actors on Main Street. But how does a society go about arriving at common assumptions that span the divide between Wall Street and Main Street -- about fairness, income, and wealth? Professor Statman will be sharing his latest research in this crucial area of behavioral finance.

  •  Music and Ethics: Reflections by SCU Music Faculty

    Monday, Apr. 14, 2014 12:10 PM

    What is the effect of music on our ethical sensibilities and judgments? Concerns about such matters go back to the Greek philosophers and continue into the present day. SCU music faculty will share pieces of music and offer reflections on how those pieces have influenced them ethically. Presenters and performers include SCU Music faculty: John Kennedy, Bruno Ruviaro, and Christina Zanfagna.

  •  Internal Investigations: Strategies for Success

    Wednesday, Apr. 9, 2014 4:47 PM

    Event Date: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    Location: Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
    525 University Avenue | 14th Floor | Palo Alto, CA 94301

    Please respond by Monday, April 14, to Monica Schreiber at or 650.470.4627.
    Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. | Seminar: 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

    California CLE credit will be offered. This program has been approved for one hour of general substantive credit and .5 hours of ethics credit.

    As companies face increased regulatory scrutiny in the U.S. and around the world, our panelists will address the most effective strategies for handling — and successfully resolving — government inquiries and internal investigations of all types and magnitude. Please join us for this interactive discussion. Our panelists from Skadden, KPMG, Visa Inc. and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics will employ hypotheticals and real-world examples to provide in-house counsel with the tools — legal, business and ethical — to handle the thorniest investigations.

    Program Overview

    •First principles of investigatory work
    •Working with internal and external auditors
    •Liaising with law enforcement and engaging outside counsel
    •Handling whistleblower and other "hotline" complaints
    •Responding to governmental subpoenas and informal requests for information
    •Special considerations raised by cross-border investigations
    •Benefits and burdens of voluntary disclosures and "cooperation"
    •Common ethical issues with internal investigations

    Jack P. DiCanio, Litigation, Government Enforcement Skadden
    George Dooley, Chief Audit Executive, Visa Inc.
    John Ebner, Audit Partner, KPMG
    William Haegele, Forensic Partner, KPMG
    Kirk O. Hanson, Executive Director, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University
    Ryan D. Junck, Litigation, Government Enforcement Skadden

    James F. Brelsford, Skadden of counsel and former Chief Legal Officer at SanDisk Corp.

    Please respond by Monday, April 14, to Monica Schreiber at monica.schreiber@skadden.c
    om or 650.470.4627.

  •  Sprinksgiving

    Monday, Mar. 31, 2014 3:44 PM

    On Wednesday, April 9, the Santa Clara University is hosting its second annual “Sprinksgiving,” a student-centered event designed to raise awareness about how philanthropy benefits the entire University.  Sprinksgiving is about giving thanks for donations from alumni and friends that provide critical support for the SCU student experience, from scholarships and immersion trips to new buildings and operating budgets.

    Student interns, fellows, and workers from the Ethics Center will be there too, taking a moment to say “thanks” for the opportunities they have had because of our generous donors.  Contributors to the Ethics Center have supported Health Care Ethics Interns, Environmental Fellows, Hackworth Fellows, Honzel Fellows, and provided students with meaningful work. With donor support, we have launched new initiatives in each of our program areas, such as the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in Business Ethics, Newsworthy in our Character Education program, and the Conscience Project in Campus Ethics.   Grateful, too, are the thousands of students, in our region and across the globe, who have benefited from this work.  

    Anna Kozas '09 was a health care ethics intern, went on to hold the Honzel Fellowship in Health Care Ethics, and is now the bioethics program assistant at the Center.  "Being a part of the Health Care Ethics Internship made a huge impact on my life," she said.  "It played a role in my own career discernment and was a major part of who I am today."

    Patrick Coutermarsh '13, a former Hackworth Fellow, initated the Center's participation in the national Ethics Bowl program.  Currently, he serves as a fellow in applied ethics.  "My time with the Markkula Center, as both a student and Fellow, has been a truly transformative experience," he said. "I am deeply grateful to those that support the Markkula Center and allow it to be the special place that it is."

  •  Talk Is Cheap: The Board's Role in an Ethical Culture

    Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2014 1:35 PM


    *Event Date: Thursday, April 17, 2014

    Paul Brest Hall-EAST (next to Stanford Law School)
    Rock Center for Corporate Governance
    Stanford, CA
    7:30-8:00 Continental Breakfast
    8:00-9:30 Program

    Board resolve can be critical to the development of an effective ethical culture -- defined as the values that inform the behavior toward the organization's stakeholders. Features of an ethical culture will be examined, along with its value to the bottom line, company brand and reputation. Examples of effective board involvement will also be explored, that still hold management responsible for operational execution and performance.


    *Jim Balassone, executive-in-residence, directs the business ethics programs for the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University. Jim works with corporate boards, executive teams and nonprofit advisory boards on business ethics challenges, organizational obstacles to ethical behavior, and campaigns to improve ethical culture. His business career spans IBM, Hitachi Data Systems and several hi-tech start-ups.


    Steve Gomo has served as a director of SanDisk since 2005. He was CFO from 2002 until his retirement in 2011 at NetApp, Inc., a storage and data management company. He was also CFO of Gemplus International S.A. from 2000 to 2002, Asera, Inc. in 2000 and Silicon Graphics, Inc. from 1998 to 2000. Previously, Steve spent 24 years at Hewlett-Packard Company serving in various finance, financial management, manufacturing and general management positions.

    Penny Herscher leads FirstRain with a passion for growing companies in new markets. As CEO since 2005, she has transformed FirstRain into the leading provider of solutions that find and transform high-value, business web content into actionable intelligence for marketing, sales and finance professionals around the globe. Prior to FirstRain, Penny was CEO of Simplex Solutions, an electronic design automation company serving the global semiconductor industry. Penny serves on the boards of JDSU and Rambus.

    Chris Kenber is a native of the UK and a graduate of Oxford University. Chris has had a 40-year career in sales, marketing and management, the last 20 as a CEO of public and private companies. Starting his career at IBM in the UK, Chris moved to the USA to launch IBM's entry into retail and supermarket point of sale, helping to grow this business to more than half a billion in sales. Chris has been an inside director of a number of private health care and related institutions in both the US and UK.

    Catherine Lego is the founder of Lego Ventures LLC, a consulting services firm for early stage technology companies formed in 1992. From 1999 to 2009, she was the general partner of The Photonics Fund, LLP, an early stage venture capital investment firm focused on investing in components, modules and systems companies for the fiber optics telecommunications market, which she founded. She currently serves on the boards of directors at SanDisk and Lam Research.

    Mark Lonergan
    (800) 487-1073


  •  What Science Can and Cannot Say About Ethics

    Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2014 12:38 PM


    Join us on Thursday, April 3 at the Center for Theology and Natural Sciences (CTNS) Public Forum with Brian Green, a recent Graduate of Theological Union Ph.D. and Assistant Director of Campus Ethics at Santa Clara University, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.) His presentation is entitle: "What Science Can and Cannot Say about Ethics"
    Free and open to the public

    Dinner Board Room, Graduate Theological Union, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley