The size and strength of our programing relies on public support.  Please, consider giving your support either to an existing program at the Kutak Ethics Center or to fund a new project of your design at the center.   This portion of our website is primarily meant to help you better understand our mission, values, and vision.  It also provides insight into how supporting the Kutak Ethics Center can help the University of Nebraska-Lincoln lead the Big Ten in the study and teaching of applied ethics.  Finally, we offer examples of programs that with your help we'd like to establish and maintain

Please feel free to contact Assistant Director, Adam R. Thompson for more information and guidance about using these resources at (402) 472-8229 or ethics@unl.edu.

Use the tabs below to learn more about our mission, values, and vision, and how your support can help make the University of Nebraska-Lincoln a champion for ethics.

To give a gift in support of the Kutak Ethics Center:

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    To highlight the importance of critical thinking and moral reasoning in ethical dilemmas and decision making and to encourage its exploration across different disciplines and methods of inquiry.

    Values

    Our core values are community-member-centered service, responsible growth, and reciprocal learning.

    Vision

    Our vision is to expand 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.

    Connection to the Values of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln:

    The core values of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln align with ours.  They are[1]

    Learning that prepares students for lifetime success and leadership;

    Excellence pursued without compromise;

    Achievement supported by a climate that celebrates each person’s success; 

    Diversity of ideas and people; 

    Engagement with academic, business, and civic communities throughout

    Nebraska and the world;

    Research and creative activity that inform teaching, foster discovery, and contribute to economic prosperity and our quality of life; and 

    Stewardship of the human, financial, and physical resources committed to our care.

    Being LEADERS as defined by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln directly support responsibly strengthening the university and those it serves.  Hence, the university’s core values firmly encourage those with similar values to pursue our mission and follow our vision.

    To give a gift in support of the Kutak Ethics Center:

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    Summary

    We currently pursue our mission in three primary ways. First, we maintain web-based support for research, teaching, and learning. Second, we engage the University of Nebraska-Lincoln community through workshops and student organizations. Finally, we build lasting alliances with other UNL offices and centers to support their efforts to meet goals that align with ours.

    Resources and Programming
    Website

    Our website offers the faculty, staff, and students at the university as well as those with internet access a wide range of support.  Researchers can find ethics related funding opportunities, guides for connecting their research to funding, and links to university offices that oversee research projects to check for compliance and validity. The website also provides information about each of our university based programs to make it easy for those interested to participate. Finally, we maintain a database of print and multimedia general and discipline specific ethics related material.

    Workshops

    We host a monthly Brown Bag Luncheon that features discussions of ethics lead by members from the university community. Topics range from ethics within the academy (e.g. research on human subjects, plagiarism, and teaching) to ethical issues go beyond the academy’s halls (e.g. business ethics, the crisis in Syria, and criminal justice). We archive fliers from past discussions on our website and successfully reach out to every department and office on campus.

    Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl

    We coach the university’s Ethics Bowl team, which enlists undergraduates to meet colleges nationwide in head-to-head competitive discussions of ethically relevant, current issues.  In its five-year tenure, our Huskers have twice won bids to compete in the national tournament.  These competitions are fierce as they pit some of the brightest minds across the nation against each other in a civil discourse over matters of professional and personal ethics as well as morally charged policies.  You can read more about the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Ethics Bowl Team on our website.

    Consulting and Partnerships

    We consult on ethics programming and ethical issues with faculty, staff, and students.  We partner with university community members and offices to help them meet goals that align with the pursuit of our mission, values, and vision.  For instance, our staff has guest lectured on research ethics at the Nebraska Summer Research Institute and for UCARE students at the university.  We partner with the Office of Graduate Studies to organize Academic Integrity Week and add ethics related content to their online writing workshops.  Our staff has also guest lectured and served on panels for ethics related events in the Lincoln, NE area.



    To give a gift in support of the Kutak Ethics Center:

    Give

    Summary

    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
    Website

    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 Nebraska-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

    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.

    Outreach

    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.

    To give a gift in support of the Kutak Ethics Center:

    Give

    Supporting the Ethics center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln represents a unique opportunity in three ways.

    First, though the University of Iowa is the only Big Ten Conference school without an ethics center of some sort, there are only five schools in the Big Ten that house ethics centers whose mission is to serve the general population of the university.   The other centers have a narrow field focus (e.g. bioethics or engineering ethics) or a narrow compliance focus.   Thus, by supporting the Ethics Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln you would place our university in the top tier of the Big Ten with respect to universities with institution-wide programming aimed to promote excellence in the educational of everyone who attends our university and those who it serves in the wider community.

    Second, and related to the first point, it would not take much to put the University of Nebraska-Lincoln ahead of every other school in the Big Ten Conference in terms of housing the biggest ethics center with the most potential to influence and impact a wide array of individuals and institutions. Your gift will go a long way toward making the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shine brilliantly above other Big Ten Conference schools and even most state and private institutions around the country. This would help signal to others that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is still the best value university with the best value law school in the U.S. Thus, your contribution supports what we already know is true—the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is nothing to simply ‘fly over’.

    Finally, your support shows a commitment to educational experiences infused with the importance of taking responsibility, thinking critically, and acting with integrity for those attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as well as those served by it. That commitment will continue to speak volumes about you and those closely associated with University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

    Please feel free to contact Assistant Director, Adam R. Thompson for more information and guidance about using these resources at (402) 472-8229 or ethics@unl.edu.


    Follow this link to check out other Big Ten Ethics Centers and to see what you can help us bring to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln:


    Other Big Ten Centers



    To give a gift in support of the Kutak Ethics Center:

    Give