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SGSI 2022: Ethics & the Academy

Monday, Sept. 12 – Friday, Sept. 16, 9:30 AM - 2 PM

Ethical questions arise in all aspects of campus life, including: How should speech be regulated to create an inclusive community and to promote knowledge generation? What should we expect of members of the campus community given people’s varied roles (e.g., as learners, researchers, mentors, and employees)? What can be done in the academy to promote racial justice? Who should benefit from university resources? When controversies erupt about these and myriad other issues, how should they be resolved?

Potential answers to these questions involve foundational values like justice, merit, and equality. We will explore these values by considering current debates on campuses about admissions, free speech, anti-racist policies and practices, university finances, and most broadly, what a justice-promoting university might entail. We will discuss short readings and hear from guest speakers to learn about relevant campus norms and their rationales.

This course is designed as a small, discussion-based seminar to enable students to reflect on their own ethical commitments and experiences. We will discuss and debate issues as a whole and in smaller groups, engage with varied short readings (some philosophical, some from popular media outlets; some from campus policies and statements), and hear from guest speakers who can elucidate local policies, norms, and their implications for the campus community and higher education more broadly.

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 scholars, if space allows. Space is limited to 25.

Objectives

By participating fully in this course, you will:

  • ●  Identify the values underlying ethical dilemmas on campus

    ●  Reflect upon different conceptions of the purpose of a university, and where they may be in tension

    ●  Engage in ethical reflection about your roles and commitments in the academy

    ●  Learn about Stanford policies that bear on your experience as researchers, students, and instructors

    ●  Cultivate an interdisciplinary and supportive network of peers

Summary

Ethical questions arise in all aspects of campus life, including:

  • How should speech be regulated to create an inclusive community and to promote knowledge generation?
  • What should we expect of members of the campus community given people’s varied roles (e.g., as learners, researchers, mentors, and employees)?
  • What can be done in the academy to promote racial justice?
  • Who should benefit from university resources?
  • When controversies erupt about these and myriad other issues, how should they be resolved?

Potential answers to these questions involve foundational values like justice, merit, and equality. We will explore these values by considering current debates on campuses about admissions, free speech, anti-racist policies and practices, university finances, and most broadly, what a justice-promoting university might entail. We will discuss short readings and hear from guest speakers to learn about relevant campus norms and their rationales.

 

Past participants who took this course said the following about their experience:

“It was a safe place with open-minded people and dedicated staff. There were both concrete and theoretical aspects, so it was complete. The readings were diversified and interesting in reasonable amount to my perspective.” -SGSI 2021 Participant

"This program was useful in so many ways. I learnt a ton about university policies, finances, free speech, inclusion and diversity efforts in the university, cancel culture, and so many others. As an individual, it also opened my worldview to start thinking of how I could make impact in my immediate society and in the world at large. I feel I am a better person because of this program" - SGSI 2021 Participant

Additional Course Expectations

  • Students will complete about 30-60 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.

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Resource Type: 
Course or Workshop
Target Audience: 
All Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Scholars
Time Commitment: 
Grad Grow Competency: