Simply put we want to fulfill our vision of expanding our work within and beyond the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus to the broader local, national, and global communities in a manner that responsibly strengthens the university and those it serves.
Future Resources and Programming
There are two types of support our website offers the faculty, staff, and students at the university as well as those with internet access. One type is Center Generated insofar as our staff (perhaps in collaboration with those within the university but not the center) creates the content. For example, Kutak Ethics Center staff created all of the content on the many pages that make up the Connect Your Research to Ethics & Funding (link: http://ethics.unl.edu/connect-your-research-ethics-funding). The other type of support is Non-Center Generated. This content comprises the many collections that our staff has assembled. These collections link to content found on websites maintained by other University of Nebrasaka-Lincoln affiliates or institutions outside the university. For instance, our collection titled, Discipline Specific Resources, is composed of a plethora of links to material located on sites external to our own (link: http://ethics.unl.edu/discipline-specific-resources).
One keystone to fulfilling our vision is to support more center-generated material. Center-generated material would allow us to add more original content to the university and the local and global communities we serve. It would also allow that community to be more involved with the center and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. For instance, student interns at the center could maintain a monthly podcast or bulletin. Faculty and staff could join us to support a video lecture series, debates, or how to guides related to the moral dimensions of their research, ethics in research, and critical thinking. Also, those residing in Lincoln or Nebraska could discuss the moral considerations that confront them in their daily lives in weekly news broadcasts. The possibilities are as we will continue to fairly wide open in terms of what we could generate to help strengthen the university and impact lives beyond our academy.
Faculty, Graduate Student, and Post-Doctoral Student Research/Teaching Lines
Supporting quality faculty, graduate student, and post-doctoral students is the primary means to creating a vibrant and intellectually excellent institution of higher learning. We aim to establish programs that can sustain faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral students working on issues directly related to critical thinking, moral reasoning, and ethics broadly construed. We will primarily do this in partnership with departments and colleges across the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. For instance, we could support research in the College of Law that focuses on agency, responsibility, negligence, and the ethics of practicing law. Nebraska offers unique opportunities to study (a) water use ethics and water policy, (b) land use and agricultural ethics, (c) ethical and social/political issues centered on Indigenous Peoples—their concerns and the ethics of doing research with them and on their lands, (d) ethical and social/political issues that focus on migrant populations—their concerns and the ethics of doing research with them, and (e) ethical and social/political issues that arise for and with respect to rural populations more generally—their concerns and the ethics of doing research with them. And, more generally still, we could support the study of the good life and how Nebraska communities live up to their state slogan. Embarking on opportunities like these to support research in ethical issues unique to Nebraska and central to the lives of Nebraskans would be a journey into a new frontier.
Undergraduate and Pre-College Interns
We aim to involve undergraduates and pre-college students in carrying out some of our programming. For instance, these students might edit an undergraduate/pre-college journal of ethics, generate content for our website (e.g. write stories for a bulletin highlighting ethical issues meaningful to them, host a podcast, etc.). These students could also work with other campus groups focused on fostering a responsible university community with integrity (e.g. the could work with Character Council). The best way to get students interested in and developing a better grasp of critical thinking, moral reasoning, and ethics is to have other students leading the way. We would like to make those leadership opportunities available at the university and for individuals in Nebraska interested in attending institutions of higher learning.
Workshops and seminars are foundational to the prestige of university due to the fact that they serve as perfect opportunities to enrich understanding and develop the networks needed to improve research, foster new relationships, and enhance methodology. Brown Bag Luncheons led by members of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln go some way to serve this foundational role for faculty, staff, and students at our university. Our vision is to fulfill our duty to forge new pathways our faculty, staff, and students in manner that brings further intra-disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and inter-institutional prestige to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to expand its excellence as a serious academic force.
Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl
Our ability to fund faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral students will allow us to significantly expand our Ethics Bowl program. We aim to institute a Ethics Bowl course through that is part of the regular course offerings at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As indicated previously we aim to establish practicum courses that teach individuals how to teach critical thinking, moral reasoning, and ethics at the primary, secondary, and collegiate levels. One such course could focus on fostering a National High School Ethics Bowl team/system or Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl team in their community.
National High School Ethics Bowl
We coach the university’s Ethics Bowl team primarily because the experience develops the character and moral reasoning skills it takes to be an active and responsible citizen in a democracy. And, we could help individuals develop these abilities far before they embark on their journey beyond secondary education. We aim to establish a Nebraska-wide High School Ethics Bowl Competition that would send winners to the national competition in two phases. First, we would work with leaders in the Lincoln Public School system and private schools in Lincoln to found ethics bowl teams in their high schools. We would follow up on the success of that venture to encourage participation around the state. By helping individuals become more capable of reasoning with each other on complex moral issues and policies we will exponentially enhance our state in manner that significantly raises the agential capacities of students that enter our universities, colleges, and work force as well as those that move beyond Nebraska’s borders.
Consulting and Partnerships
We will continue to offer consultation about incorporating critical thinking, moral reasoning, and ethics into courses, departments, and programs. We will expand our partnerships. This expansion will include teaming up with those in the Lincoln area community and Nebraska to achieve goals that align with our mission, values, and vision.
Beyond partnerships to achieve common goals within and beyond the university we aim to offer specific types of programming that will engage the community we serve. For instance, we will go to local area primary and secondary schools with programs that help individuals develop critical reasoning skills and grasp the moral complexities and considerations that arise in everyday life. Likewise, we aim to foster similar programming in Lincoln area medical centers, juvenile detention institutions and area prisons, elderly communities, and maintain public discussion groups.
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