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SGSI 2019: Ethics & the Academy

Who gets admitted to selective universities and why? Who should benefit from university resources? When controversies erupt, what values should guide their resolution? This course addresses enduring ethical questions on campus. By exploring the values (e.g. justice, equality) that underlie campus debates (about free speech, admissions, intellectual property, etc.) participants will gain insight into their role at the university, reflect on the norms that shape their training, and learn to recognize how campus policies reflect inherent institutional values.

Monday, Sept. 9 – Friday, Sept. 13, 9:30 AM – 1 PM

(Light breakfast and lunch will be served daily)

Instructors

  • Anne Newman, research director, McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society

Audience & Capacity

Open to all graduate students in any discipline, as well as postdoctoral fellows, if space allows. Space is limited to 30.

Objectives

By participating fully in this course, you will:

  • Candidly reflect on ethical issues that arise in all facets of campus life
  • Analyze how values that underlie ethical issues on campus (e.g., equality, justice, fairness) sit in tension with competing ideas about the purpose of the university
  • Engage in ethical reflection about students’ roles and commitments as members of the academic community
  • Learn about Stanford policies and norms that bear on students' experience as researchers, students, and instructors
  • Develop a supportive network of peers

Summary

Ethical questions arise in all aspects of campus life.

  • Who gets admitted to selective universities and why?
  • Who should benefit from university resources?
  • What should we expect of members of the campus community given people’s varied roles as learners, researchers, and mentors?
  • When controversies erupt, what values should guide their resolution?

Potential answers to these questions involve different views of foundational values like justice, merit, and equality. We will explore these values by considering current debates on campuses about issues like free speech, student integrity policies, intellectual property and academic-industry ties, and research ethics. We will discuss short readings and hear from guest speakers who will explain relevant campus policies and their rationales. Participants will gain insight about their roles within the university, learn to recognize and weigh the values at stake in campus policies and norms, and most practically, learn how various issues have been handled at Stanford with implications for teaching, research, and coursework.

Additional Course Expectations

  • Students will complete about 30 minutes of reading per day outside of class.
  • Full attendance is expected.

SUNet ID required to log in; all SGSI correspondence sent to your Stanford email account.

Resource Type: 
Course or Workshop
Target Audience: 
All Graduate Students
Intensity: 
Time Commitment: 
Learning Experience: