Marian University Leadership Prioritizes Ethics - National Ethics Project

Marian University Indianapolis prides itself on transformational leadership. So, it was no surprise that duties for the new Semler Endowed Chair in Ethics include providing expert consultation on ethics issues faced by the university itself.

The upfront acknowledgement that the university wants expertise for navigating its own potential ethical questions was not a stretch, said Elizabeth A. Coit, executive director for MU’s Walker Center for Applied Ethics. Teaching leadership happens “in and outside of the classroom,” she said. The university is set in an economically deprived part of Indianapolis, Coit said, so the university demonstrates its values close to home. That includes providing tuition waivers for contracted food service employees and supporting its local community’s needs, including those of its homeless people.

Marian University’s vision is to prepare “transformative leaders for service to the world.” The school’s commitment to create an ethics center to do that closed the deal for Frank Walker, for whom the Center is named. Walker had invited RFPs from eight universities for ethics education funding, but was won over by MU’s ethics in action.

Does your school have an innovative way of demonstrating the values it proclaims? Share your idea with Deni Elliott,, for a future Spotlight on Ethics.

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