Ethics and values

Can Ethics Be Taught and, if so, HOW?

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” (Aristotle) There are many good expressions to use in teaching ethics to college students. I find students remember important points by using expressions; writing them on the board; and discussing them every day so it is etched in... Read more →


Have We Been Teaching Ethics From the Wrong Point of View?

The Case for Ethical Pluralism Most ethics education at the university level encompasses discussions about moral right and wrong; good and bad decisions; motivations for actions; consequences; and our duties to others. There’s nothing wrong with these approaches and philosophical reasoning methods play an important role in ethics education. However,... Read more →


Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?: Wisdom From the Classroom

How and Why to Discuss Ethics in the Classroom How should we think and talk about moral issues with our youngsters: pre-teens, teenagers, and young adults? The first way to discuss these issues is from the perspective of The Golden Rule, a long-standing moral compass for societies. This ancient Greek... Read more →


Is Cheating on Exams Ever Ethically Justified?

Situational Ethics is Problematic on College Campuses Situational Ethics was pioneered by Joseph Fletcher. In situational ethics, right and wrong depend upon the facts of each situation rather than societal or cultural norms. There are no universal moral rules or rights – each case is unique and deserves a unique... Read more →


When Should a College Return an Endowment?

Should St. John’s University (Minnesota) Return the $300,000 Lindmark Endowment? This is an updated blog posted on my website earlier this week. It’s an intriguing question. When should a university be forced to return an endowment because it hasn’t been used for the designated purpose? A case in point is... Read more →


What You Should Teach Millennials About Values

Self-Actualizing Students’ Needs in Life and the Workplace Most students go to work for employers following graduation and should know what values create the foundation of a good employee. Broadly, these values indicate a commitment to do what is right regardless of the personal costs. Strong values create a strong... Read more →


The "Teaching Effectiveness Gap"

Are Student Evaluations a Useful Tool? Last week I read an article about why student evaluations of college instructors are not reliable and should no longer be used in performance evaluation decisions. The author claims, based on research, that student evaluations may be associated with the gender of the instructor.... Read more →


Are Students Wasting Their Time Getting a College Degree?

The Case Against Caplan's Thesis: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money What is the value of a college education? Is it largely a waste of time as George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan contends? Or, is there more to getting a college education than increasing... Read more →


Should the Michigan State Athletic Program Be Given the Death Penalty?

Larry Nassar and Michigan State: A Tale of a Corrupt Culture, Ethical Blindness, and Institutional Indifference I always believed the NCAA was relatively even-handed with its punishment of Penn State University in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. The football program scandal led to a $60 million fine, four-year postseason... Read more →


Tax on College Endowment is Counterproductive

Ethics Means First, Do No Harm Most people are unaware that the tax reform act includes a college endowment tax that threatens the long-standing tax-free earnings from these donations. Some colleges are in panic mode, especially Harvard, Yale and Stanford. The investment-per-student-threshold was set at $500,000. The tax will raise... Read more →