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Research / Discovery

Matt Hickey speaks about ethics in a keynote Oct. 20

October 17, 2011

Matt HickeyThe glue of our communities

Ethics informs every discipline at CSU and is the glue that holds our university community – and, in fact, any community – together.

Ethics are a top priority of CSU leadership, and evidence of that emphasis is the university’s Ethics Infusion Program, driven by the offices of Provost and Vice President for Research. The goal of the program is to teach faculty to talk about and teach professional ethics to CSU students – which is is increasingly becoming de-emphasized on many campuses.

As part of the program’s efforts, Matt Hickey, the chair of the Institutional Review Board, will talk about how CSU can respond to questions about ethics.

Keynote Address, Dedication on Thursday

Hickey will give the keynote address at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, in Room 100 Eddy Building.The keynote is part of the dedication of the Jann Benson Ethics Center in the Department of Philosophy, which will include a reception at 3:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and the Research Integrity and Compliance Review Office. Jane Kneller, head of the philosophy department, is co-director of the Ethics Infusion Program.

Hickey believes that ethics are integral to a university and foundational component of what CSU stands for. Hickey has been recognized as a leader in teaching, research, mentoring and training in bioethics at CSU.

 “CSU has always been a leader in thoughtful discussion and ethics development around research, but we’ve noticed a renewed interest in expanding the discussion of ethics in a broader context across the university, to touch literally all corners of the university’s foundation – teaching, research, outreach,” said Kathy Partin, director of the Research Integrity and Compliance Review Office.

 Hickey’s talk will mix the history of ethics, how a university fits into ethics discussion and education, and about how CSU can infuse ethics into the 21st century university.

Poster for eventHickey believes that universities are social institutions that have traditionally played a substantive role in determining what is ethical. He argues that universities have increased in cultural stature and influence in several ways and potentially play an even larger role in ethics education and character formation than in the past, for good or ill.

However, the trend over the past 100 years or so is to move ethics education and discussion out from the core place it has occupied in university classrooms for more than 1,000 years.  Hickey’s talk with hit upon some important questions: Is teaching ethics a central or peripheral part of university curriculum? Where does ethics education fit in the modern university? If CSU is training students in various areas related to biotechnology, biomedical engineering, international affairs, anthropology or any other discipline, how does the university create the foundation and an advanced understanding of applied ethics, so when students graduate they are attentive to ethics?

In addition to the lecture by Hickey, Partin said that the Ethics Infusion Program, which is funded by the Provost, is divided into three parts that train faculty to help other faculty and students with ethical theories and applied ethical principle; applied principles for responsible conduct of research; and participant presentations based on issues in individual disciplines.

 “Colorado State leadership is thrilled to be able to enhance its overall programs in academic integrity with our ethics infusion initiative,” said Provost Rick Miranda. “Not only will we be providing mandatory training to researchers all across campus, but we will also be developing unique instructional opportunities for our students which will be a model for the country.”

Hickey is a professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Sciences, part of the College of Applied Human Sciences. His training is in human bioenergetics. He’s been at CSU since 1997.


Contact: Dell Rae Moellenberg
E-mail: dellrae.moellenberg@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-6009