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THE CENTER FOR
PROFESSIONAL ETHICS

 
 

History of the Center: 1984-1997

In February 1984, the Center became formally affiliated with the University Office of Student Affairs. This move reaffirmed the Center's central commitment to the ethical education and development of students within the University. It also underscored the Center's commitment to share in the development of the teaching of ethics within the University. The Center's experience in both of these areas has been fruitful. Without exception, each of the colleges and the professional schools have requested some involvement from the Center in one educational venture or another.

From its inception the Center has had support from practitioners in the field. The Center's identification with the University has not lessened this support because of the value placed on the contribution of practitioners to the learning process of both students and faculty members. It is also true that almost all of our programs have been designed to be of interest to practicing professionals as well as to members of the University Community.

From 1979 to 1985 the Center was governed either by a Steering Committee or Executive Committee, comprised of as many as 25 administrators and faculty members, students and practitioners. The founders of the Center, Robert Lawry and Robert Clarke, served the organization as Co-Directors until Bob Clarke's retirement in 1989, when Bob Lawry became the sole Director. Jeannie Gielty is the Center's only full-time employee, serving as its Administrative Assistant.

In the Fall of 1990, the Center was moved from the Office of Student Affairs to the Office of the Provost. This move solidified the commitment of the central administration to increase teaching and research in the area of professional ethics within the undergraduate as well as the graduate and professional schools.

In the Fall of 1991, then-President, Agnar Pytte, gave the Center a $5000 planning grant to make recommendations concerning undergraduate education. Associate Provost Sandra Russ and Bob Lawry were co-chairs of a blue-ribbon committee selected from scholars across the University to help put together a report on the subject. With funding through the President's Office, the Report began to be implemented in the Spring of 1993.

The Center was financed initially by the University Christian Movement in Cleveland, and successively by the Deans of the schools and colleges of the University, the Flora Stone Mather Alumnae Association, the George Gund Foundation and grants from the President of the University and the University Office of Student Affairs. In 1985, through the University Development Office, two significant grants were made to the Center, one from the GAR Foundation and the other from Dr. & Mrs. Leland Schubert. In June of 1987, the Katherine & David V. Ragone Endowment Fund was established through a generous gift to Case by David V. Ragone. In 1988, the University began to underwrite part of the Center's annual budget. Individual support, through an annual membership drive, has also been a consistent source of funding. In 1992, the GAR Foundation made a substantial grant of endowment funds to the Center for Professional Ethics.

In October of 1995, the CPE received a $200,000 grant from the 1525 Foundation to fund a two-year Ethics Institute. The project was designed to assist faculty at Case to prepare, expand and deepen the ethics and ethics-related courses offered at Case. An intensive month-long program was offered to sixteen professors in June, 1996, and to additional twelve professors in June, 1997. These twenty-eight Ethics Fellows were affiliated with some 23 separate departments. In July, 1996, as an outgrowth of the Ethics Institute Project, the 1525 Foundation established the Elmer G. Beamer-Hubert H. Schneider Chair in Ethics at Case with a gift of $2,000,000.

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