Ethics Across Campus

The Ethics Across Campus (EAC) program at Colorado School of Mines serves as an umbrella for multiple ethics-related teaching, research, and outreach activities.

Ethics bowl

In an ethics bowl match, teams are assigned an ethical issue without taking a side. Each team has to identify ethically relevant considerations relative to the assigned cases, analyze the importance of the considerations, and deliberate to an agreement on positions that the team feels it can explain and defend.

Honors Ethics Scholars

Participate in Ethics Bowl and take at least one ethics course to become a University Ethics Scholar. This honor is noted on your transcript and at your graduation ceremony.

Daniels Fund Events

The Daniels Fund Program in Professional Ethics Education is dedicated to providing support for Mines faculty to integrate principle-based ethics into their curricula. Mines is the first STEM-focused university to receive Daniels Fund grants for ethics.

Ethics Across Campus

Mines Ethics Across Campus program is somewhat non-traditional: most universities have “Ethics Across the Curriculum,” which focuses on classroom pedagogy and activities. Mines envisions the role of ethics somewhat differently; we strive to foster an atmosphere of integrity in all facets of campus life.

Welcome

Mines Ethics Across Campus program is somewhat non-traditional: most universities have “Ethics Across the Curriculum,” which (obviously) focuses on classroom pedagogy and activities. Mines envisions the role of ethics somewhat differently; we strive to foster an atmosphere of integrity in all facets of campus life.

To that end, EAC sponsors and/or members are involved in:

  • – Evaluating and promoting Responsible Conduct of Research training
  • – Revising the Mines Academic Misconduct procedure
  • – Coaching the Mines Ethics Bowl Team (supporting team travel, also)
  • – The Institutional Membership in the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics
  • – The award for “Best Graduate Student Paper” at the APPE annual conference
  • – Adding resources to the Daniels Fund Professional Ethics Library
  • – Research on ethics pedagogies
  • – Initiating the “Ask a Philosopher” tent

EAC is dedicated to cultivating a culture of both rigorous academic training and innovative activities and pedagogies. If you have suggestions for ways to improve the campus culture, feel free to contact us at  swoodson@mines.edu or qzhu@mines.edu.

Recent Publications from Our Faculty

Snieder, R., Zhu, Q. Connecting to the Heart: Teaching Value-Based Professional Ethics. Sci Eng Ethics (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-020-00216-2

EAC Faculty Committee

Junko Munakata Marr, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Carrie (CJ) McClelland, Teaching Associate Professor, Engineering, Design, & Society
Derek Morgan, Dean of Students
Sandy Woodson, Chair, Teaching Professor in Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences
Qin Zhu, Assistant Professor, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences.

Establishing a Campus Ethics Advisory Board

Over the last several years, Mines has laid a strong foundation in professional ethics education. To move forward we need insight and input from Mines alumni (industry professionals).

The Daniels Fund (DF) awarded Mines two grants, one for $68,000 (2016-2018) and another for $178,000 (2018-2020). The Daniels Fund earmarks monies for universities in the Rocky Mountain West that seek to improve their training in ethics, and more specifically, work to develop graduates who are good professionals and citizens. Bill Daniels was particularly intent on promoting ethics in business (e.g., the Daniels Business School at the University of Denver), so the vast majority of these awards have gone to business schools or departments. We are thrilled to have been included in their programming, and will be applying for a new grant in May, 2020.

The Daniels Fund evaluators have been very pleased with our efforts to incorporate ethics into the Mines curriculum—both in technical courses and non-technical courses. We have brought in experts in pedagogy, and started a lecture series on the ethics of emerging technologies. We have started a new Professional Ethics Library (in Stratton Hall) and are developing a collection of teaching strategies that any professor on campus can access.

We have established a sustained and visible professional ethics presence on campus, and are positioned to begin improving on this foundation. To that end, we propose an “Advisory Board” of professional engineers and scientists to help us better prepare our students for the ethical challenges they may face. It’s one thing to learn about a theory, but another to deal with the realities of professional life. As academics, we need help with this side of the equation.

Mines has in place an Ethics Across Campus Committee (EAC), consisting of faculty and administrators, and is recruiting one undergraduate and one graduate student to become members. A new Campus Ethics Advisory Board would

1. consist of 3 – 5 alumni and/or other professionals, willing to meet with the Committee (or individual committee members) one-two times/semester for the next two years. (Teleconferencing is an option.) Appointments would be for 2-years, although any board member could stay on for three.
2. share insights about these sorts of questions:

– Reflecting on your academic and professional experience, what were gaps in your education? What do you wish you had known that you know now?
– What might be good strategies to close those gaps?
– Are there “typical” ethical issues common to industry? Are there issues particular to certain professions or locations (e.g., USA vs. international)?
– Are there “new” ethical considerations that are emerging?
– How can we help bridge the gap between college and career?
Impediments to behaving ethically, personally and/or professionally?

3. would help Mines raise its profile in terms of social responsibility and professionalism.
4. would help us identify and bring in speakers from industry, potentially collaborating with EAC to organize panel discussions or other
5. would help determine the viability of an Ethics Certificate for undergraduates.

EAC Advisory Board Members

Robert Brandin, ’08, senior software engineer
Patty Corbetta environmental consultant & project manager, Burns & McDonnell 
Mark Hamouz, ’79 civil engineering: Senior Project Manager at Harris Kocher Smith
Don Mayer, Professor of the Practice of Business Ethics & Legal Studies at Daniels College of Business, University of Denver