The Rock Ethics Institute


The Concept and Seminar

The Concept

While encouraging the development of courses wholly devoted to ethical theory and practices, the mission of the Schreyer Honors College will best be achieved when a significant ethical dimension is added to a broader range of courses, including ones in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and arts that are taught by faculty who have developed a solid understanding of ethics and a commitment to teaching ethics-related principles, issues, and concepts.

The Ethics Seminar will provide Honors Faculty with the resources they need to develop and integrate a significant ethics dimension into their courses. The workshop will offer resources and strategies for integrating ethics into a course or courses taught by the faculty member and encourage faculty to include concepts, case studies, and other course materials in three areas: academic integrity, professional ethics, and social responsibility. The seminar will emphasize analyses of pressing social and global problems and will offer resources for developing ethical leadership skills.

The Ethics Seminar will be co-directed by Nancy Tuana, DuPont/Class of 1949 Professor of Ethics and Director, Rock Ethics Institute; and Jonathan Marks, Associate Professor of Bioethics, Humanities, and Law.

The Seminar

The Seminar will consist of two elements:

  1. A workshop will be administered during early summer with an additional day scheduled in August designed to provide a review of curricular materials that faculty develop over the summer. The workshop will emphasize these elements: 
    • An overview of the concept of an ethically engaged university and a discussion of the role of the instructor in cultivating ethical literacy skills;
    • An overview of key ethical frameworks and concepts, drawn from scholarship on ethics;
    • Pedagogical techniques for integrating ethical frameworks and moral reasoning into curricula;
    • Resources for teaching ethical leadership skills;
    • Ethics case studies;
    • Resources for assessment and for matching learning objectives with classroom and out-of-class activities; and
    • The opportunity to preview, with peers, the curricular materials developed over the course of the summer of 2009. 
  2. Faculty are required to meet over the course of the next academic year, three times per semester (six times in all). These meetings will encourage faculty to: 
    • refine their curricular materials;
    • reflect on additional pedagogical resources;
    • compare best practices and learn from one another;
    • address specific issues as they develop in their classes and brainstorm problems encountered in the courses; and assess the curricular strategies

Faculty Responsibilities and Compensation

In exchange for each faculty fellow's participation, the fellow's department will receive $4000 to enable the fellow to purchase a course release. That course release is intended to give faculty fellows time to redesign and develop their ethics-enhanced Honors course.

Faculty who are selected to be fellows will, in turn, agree to do the following:

  1. attend the workshop May and August (five days total);
  2. commit time in the summer of the workshop year to develop the new elements of their course related to ethics and to implement this redesigned curriculum during the next academic year; 
  3. attend the best practices follow-up seminars over the next academic year (six meetings); 
  4. commit to including the ethics enhancements in their current and future honors courses. 

How to Apply

Applicants must complete application form, which includes the following components:

  1. a syllabus and/or course description for the course on which each faculty member will work;
  2. a brief description of how ethics might be incorporated into the course; 
  3. a short summary of ethics-related topics or activities that each faculty member would like to explore during the workshop;
  4. a short curriculum vitae; and
  5. department head signature.