The Center for Ethical Concerns was founded in 1993 to support the University’s commitment to providing a values-based education. It sponsors a wide range of activities designed to increase awareness of ethical problems and to enable students and faculty to develop effective techniques to address these issues. By taking an interdisciplinary approach to ethics, the Center seeks to encourage discussion of ethical issues across the curriculum.

Reaching beyond the University, the Center also strives to address the concerns of the larger community. Through sponsorship of a series of conferences, the Center enables students, faculty, industry and government leaders, and the public to examine ethical issues and, where possible, to develop workable solutions.

The Center assembles representatives of various sides of an issue for in-depth analyses and lively discussions. Through conferences and specially focused seminars, the Center also works with interested organizations to address relevant issues in applied ethics. The Center has cooperated with area high schools to develop and present ethics workshops. By making the resources of the University available for these events, the Center underscores for young people, their teachers, and their parents the importance of ethics education.

In addition to hosting public events, the Center sponsors research into ethical problems. In 2001, it conducted an ethics survey of CEOs in the technology industry. Between 1995 and 1999 it sponsored a series of surveys of consumer attitudes about products made under sweatshop labor conditions. With the encouragement of the Center, faculty have undertaken research into ethical issues in their disciplines.