Center for Ethics in Public Life (University of Michigan) Records

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Center for Ethics in Public Life (University of Michigan) records

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger Center for Ethics in Public Life (University of Michigan) record held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

Researchers may also be interested in the Center for Ethics in Public Life (University of Michigan) Web Archives.

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An extension of President Coleman's Initiative on Ethics in Public Life; the Center for Ethics in Public Life's goals were to promote discourse, research, and teaching on ethics at the University of Michigan. Includes records of the precursor initiative, ethics-related activities on campus, and the Center's administration under Dr. John R. Chamberlin from its creation in 2008 through its closing in 2011.

In 2004, President Mary Sue Coleman established a task force to investigate various aspects of ethics in the context of education and scholarship. Acting on their recommendations, President Coleman launched the Initiative for Ethics in Public Life in 2005. The initiative sponsored a variety of public forums on ethical issues and provided funding in support of nearly fifty programs, workshops, and faculty research projects. Leadership of the initiative rotated on an annual basis; those serving included John Chamberlin (Ford School and Political Science, LSA) and Marvin Krislov (UM General Counsel) from 2005-2006; Derek Collins (Classical Studies, LSA), Joel Howell (Medical School and History, LSA), and Marvin Krislov (UM General Counsel) from 2006-2007; and Derek Collins (Classical Studies, LSA) and Susan Goold (Medical School, Bioethics Program) from 2007-2008.

In 2008, continuing to build on the findings and recommendations of the task force, the University of Michigan's Center for Ethics in Public Life (CEPL) opened its doors, with John Chamberlin as director. The objectives of the Center for Ethics in Public Life were to provide opportunities for discourse and education on ethics related issues, to provide funding and opportunities for research in ethics, and to be a resource for the community, with particular emphasis on the undergraduate student body and use of an interdisciplinary approach. The CEPL met these objectives by establishing a grant program, offering fellowships, hosting forums and other programs, and working with course development to include or highlight classes with ethics in the curricula.

The CEPL also formed several student organizations, including Students for Ethics, the Michigan Ethics Bowl Team, and the Michigan Ethics Union, as part of its effort to encourage discourse. A further effort to provide such opportunities was participation in planning a themed semester for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts in 2010.

In 2011, as the university faced a shrinking budget, the decision was made to close the Center for Ethics in Public Life. After three years in operation, it was felt that the CEPL had achieved its goals, and that discussion and awareness of ethics had become embedded in the campus community and would continue as the University moves forward.

Please note:

Copyright has been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.

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