K-12 Ethics Education: Teacher guides that help America’s students articulate and understand the importance of ethics to individuals and communities will be developed. Locally, working with county school systems in the region, educational tools such as case studies and role-play will help nearby students understand the importance of a strong ethical foundation to all segments of American society. Finally, we will collaborate with local and national programs and institutions to incorporate ethics education into a wide variety of curricula, which presently do not include ethics topics relevant to American society today.
Post-Secondary Education: An additional set of teacher guides that explore and develop the sources underpinning the teacher guides for K-12 will be developed for this older audience. Tools will also be developed to assist local, regional and national organizations in promoting and applying core ethical principles in all manner of public and private endeavors and education.
Adult Education: The core effort of the institute will be to develop and conduct on-site retreats, workshops, and classes in public, corporate, professional, environmental, and community ethics. The importance of ethics to the economic and social well being of America will be illustrated to the audiences of executives, leaders, and citizens. The unique ethical challenges facing particular segments of American society will be also be identified and tools for addressing these challenges will be discussed and evaluated. A “Best Practices” database of ethics laws, ordinances, disclosure forms, and monitoring practices will be developed to assist communities, corporations, and public sector organizations in deciding how to most effectively apply ethical practices to their individual situations. Guides for promoting and enforcing ethics and standards of official conduct would be developed. Many would be web and CD-based and tailored to the unique issues facing various levels of government, local, state, and federal as well as addressing legislative, municipal, executive, and county processes. A speakers program will also be established to transfer ethics tools to public, business, professional, and community audiences, including individual companies, annual meetings, association meetings, and chambers of commerce. Finally, an “ethics audit” questionnaire for use in specific kinds of community organizations will be developed and distributed to communities as a public service.
Systems Development and Collaborative Efforts: A core cadre of special profession-ethicists focused on the unique missions of particular key professions will be developed. They will collaborate with other national ethics institutes currently focusing on society’s role in shaping public policy and public/professional partnerships. Other collaborations with national business and political ethics institutes will focus on market economies. Finally, the need to expand the ends of public policy and business to preserve the unique contributions of the professions will be identified and tools for addressing that need would be developed. Throughout these efforts, the Institute will work closely with Shepherd University, particularly when the George Washington Chair in Living Ethics is established. Leadership provided by the Chair will be instrumental in helping us design our ethics programs for a diverse group of individuals and organizations.
Recognition: An Ethics Awards program will be established to recognize excellence in communities, community organizations, and individuals. Similar to the Malcolm Baldridge Award in Business, this Award would be named in honor of an individual whose career contributions as a public servant were noted for upholding and promoting America’s core ethical values.
Media: Ethics programs and commentaries will be prepared for a variety of media, including Bloomberg, CNN, FOX, CNBC, C-SPAN, MSNBC, NPR, and PBS. An online column and a BLOG on ethics challenges will be developed. Build on existing relationships with The History Channel and PBS to create a new series on environmental and other ethics topics. Conduct quarterly satellite television broadcasts to schools on ethics topics.