November 21, 2009 - The Mann Center has launched a new series of short videos, "Conversations on Ethics and Leadership". Published on the center's web site, the first two programs feature recent speakers in the A. Gerow Hodges Lectures in Ethics and Leadership. Jerome Miller, vice president for diversity and social responsibility at Toyota USA, discusses diversity management and its relevance to business and higher education. Betty L. Siegel, president emeritus of Kennesaw State University, shares perspectives on women's leadership based on her 25 years as president of Georgia's third-largest university. Each video is approximately eight minutes in length.
November 21, 2009 - Samford's Health Ethics and Law (HEAL) Institute has published the full proceedings of its 2009 conference, The Intersection of Faith and Ethics in Health Care. The following presentations are available online: “The Numinous, the Medical and the Moral” (Daniel P. Sulmasy, O.F.M., Ph.D.); “The Fine Edge Between Light and Shadow: Spirituality, Illness and Dignity” (Karen Lebacqz, Ph.D.); “When to be Spiritual in Health Care” (Dennis Sansom, Ph.D.); "Conscientious Objection and the Future of Catholic Health Care” (Leonard J. Nelson, J.D., LL.M.); “Self-Deception, Medical Practice and the Eclipse of Spirituality” (John C. Knapp, Ph.D.); and “Justice: Bedside Clinical Ethics’ Next Great Challenge” (Bruce D. White, D.O., J.D.).
The Business of Higher Education, a three-volume collection of essays on critical issues facing colleges and universities, was released this month by Praeger Publishers. Co-edited by Mann Center Director John C. Knapp and East Carolina University's David J. Siegel, the three dozen chapters explore the growing tension between traditional academic values and the need to improve efficiency, fiscal performance and accountability. Forty-four contributors address marketing, academic-industry partnerships, leadership development, academic freedom, unionization, student retention, athletics, tuition cost, college rankings, commercialization and other current concerns.
October 28, 2009 - Jerome Miller, Toyota USA's vice president for diversity and social responsibility, will speak to campus and community audiences during a two-day visit in November. At Samford on Thursday, Nov. 5, he will lead students, faculty and guests in considering the question, 'How Do You Fit Into The Diversity Picture?' The 10 a.m. program in the university's Reid Chapel is part of the continuing series, the A. Gerow Hodges Lectures in Ethics and Leadership. The following day he will address the annual Diversity Summit of the Birmingham Business Alliance in an opening session sponsored by Samford.
Miller is an internationally known leader in diversity management who has held senior executive positions at Toyota, Delta Air Lines, The Coca-Cola Company and Intercontinental Hotels.
October 8, 2009 - Dr. Betty L. Siegel will speak Monday, Oct. 19, on 'Women's Leadership: An Invitational Approach,' as part of the Mann Center's A. Gerow Hodges Lectures in Ethics and Leadership. She is president emeritus of Kennesaw State University, Georgia's third-largest university, where she served as president for 25 years and was the longest-serving female president of a college or university in the United States. Dr. Siegel is an internationally known speaker and currently holds Kennesaw's Distinguished Chair of Leadership, Ethics and Character.
The 3 p.m. program is open to the public and will be held at the university's Brock Forum in Dwight Beeson Hall. Samford students will earn Convo credit.
October 8, 2009 - The Samford University Library has published a web-based resource guide on issues related to social media. This is a follow-up to the Oct. 1 program on Freedom of Expression in Cyberspace, conducted by the Mann Center, University Library, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, and University Fellows. The well-attended forum featured a panel of students and faculty exploring the risks and responsibilities inherent in social media and online publishing.
September 8, 2009 - October 1 -- Facebook, blogs, Twitter and other online media have made us all publishers. But what risks and responsibilities come with the territory? When, if ever, should others have a say in what we post in cyberspace? Student and faculty panelists will explore these timely issues at a forum entitled, 'Freedom of Expression in Cyberspace: Who Should Decide What You Publish?' The program will be held Thursday, Oct. 1, at 1 p.m. is co-sponsored by the Mann Center, University Library, the Journalism and Mass Communication Department, and the University Fellows program.
October 19 -- Dr. Betty L. Siegel will speak on 'Women's Leadership: An Invitational Approach to Success' on Monday, Oct. 19, at 3 p.m. in the Mann Center's A. Gerow Hodges Lectures in Ethics and Leadership. She is president emeritus of Kennesaw State University, Georgia's third-largest university, where she served as president for 25 years and was the longest-serving female president of a college or university in the United States. Dr. Siegel is an internationally known speaker and currently holds Kennesaw's Distinguished Chair of Leadership, Ethics and Character.
Both programs are open to the public and will be held on the Samford Univerity campus in the Brock Forum of Dwight Beeson Hall.
September 8, 2009 - Mann Center Director John Knapp was among an international group of scholars who issued a joint statement last month calling attention to higher education's complicity in ethical failures precipitating the global financial crisis. The signers were Fellows of the Caux Round Table (CRT), an international organization of leaders in business, government and education that promotes principles for responsible economic activity.
Meeting in Switzerland, representatives of universities in Europe, North America and Asia agreed that educators too often emphasize "technical competencies and practical skills, with little consideration for broader social responsibilities and expectations for principled behavior. This incomplete approach to professional education reflects a disdain for the ethical dimension of practice and was partially to blame for the recent massive market failures."
The statement continues, "Graduates of professional schools should learn to serve the public interest and the common good, for true professionals integrate and balance the application of technical skills with responsiveness to the legitimate needs and interests of others. The pillars of such professionalism are (1) stewardship of the interests of others, (2) earned trust through their diligence and discipline, and (3) specialized competence to exercise autonomous discretion and informed judgment. . . . Thus, professional responsibility may be understood as the capacity to respond fully to the needs and interests of those who depend upon the professionals’ skills, and the ability to exercise these skills in an ethical manner."
May 13, 2009 - The Mann Center is participating in efforts to promote social justice and empowerment for women in Egypt. Director John Knapp was a speaker last month at the conference, 'Women, Leadership and Social Justice,' hosted in Cairo by Egyptian First Lady Suzanne Mubarak.
Dr. Knapp also was a member of a panel of leaders representing nine nations, moderated by the First Lady. The gathering concluded with a public event announcing the Cairo Declaration, a call for continued legal and social reforms on behalf of Egyptian women.
The conference was sponsored by Egypt's National Council for Women, founded nine years ago by Ms. Mubarak and responsible for a wide range of initiatives leading to economic, social, political, legal and cultural change. These include small-business development and job-training programs; a national ombudsman's office for women's concerns; new health-care services; adult literacy programs; a Women's Legal Rights Project; and increased numbers of women in the judiciary, the parliament, and the president's cabinet. The most populous country in the Middle East, Egypt is home to nearly 80 million people, 90 percent of whom are Muslims. With 20 percent of the country living below the poverty line, women and children bear a growing economic burden, especially in rural areas.
The Mann Center's involvement is part of its collaboration with Kennesaw State University's International Academy for Women's Leadership. Future activities are planned in the United States and Egypt.
May 13, 2009 - The current financial crisis may serve to "reawaken us to . . . some core ethical values: protection for the most vulnerable; balance of the economic opportunities for both lenders and borrowers; and justice and fairness that marks the borrower/lender relationship with truthfulness," said theologian D. Cameron Murchison in an April 29 lecture in Samford's Hodges Chapel. He argued that today's lending practices often conflict with biblical and theological understandings of moral responsibility. "Not only are the poor charged interest (against the earlier theological and ethical wisdom of the church), but they are also charged more interest than those who live in more favorable economic circumstances." He cited examples including subprime mortgages, payday loans, check-cashing fees, rent-to-own charges, and credit card scams.
Dr. Murchison is Professor and Dean of Faculty at Columbia Theological Seminary, a graduate school affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). He was the principal writer of the denomination's policy document, 'A Reformed Understanding of Usury for the 21st Century'. His appearance at Samford, part of the Mann Center's A. Gerow Hodges Lectures in Ethics and Leadership, was co-sponsored by Beeson Divinity School and Brock School of Business.
April 7, 2009 - Samford University's Healthcare Ethics and Law Institute (HEAL) will focus on "The Intersection of Faith and Ethics in Health Care" during its annual conference Friday, April 17, at Samford. The conference will meet in Brock Forum of Dwight Beeson Hall from 8:25 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
Visiting speakers are Dr. Daniel P. Sulmasy, holder of the Sisters of Charity Chair in Ethics at St. Vincent's Hospital, Manhattan, N.Y., and professor of medicine and director of the Bioethics Institute of New York Medical College, and Dr. Karen Lebacqz, professor emerita of theological ethics at the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, Calif.
Dr. Sulmasy, who holds a medical degree from Cornell University and Ph.D. in philosophy from Georgetown University, will speak on "The Numinous, the Medical and the Moral" at 8:30 a.m. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics.
Dr. Lebacqz, a faculty member at Pacific School of Religion since 1972, will speak on "The Fine Edge between Light and Shadow: Spirituality, Illness and Dignity" at 9:45 a.m. A graduate of Wellesley College with a Ph.D. from Harvard University, she has written extensively on professional ethics, bioethics and ethical theory.
The speakers will receive Pellegrino Medals for their contributions to healthcare ethics. The medal is named for Edmund D. Pellegrino, the first recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. Dr. Pellegrino often is called the "father of the American bioethics movement."
The HEAL conference–sponsored by Samford's McWhorter School of Pharmacy–is designed to help Alabama institutional ethics committees of all levels with some of today's most pressing healthcare ethics and law issues and problems. Registration is open to committee members, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, chaplains, administrators and others interested in ethical decision making in health care.
For registration information, contact Lori Bateman, McWhorter School of Pharmacy, Samford University at email address firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (205) 726-2820. Continuing education credit is available.
Samford University faculty involved in breakout sessions are Dr. Dennis Sansom, chair, philosophy department; Professor Jack Nelson, Cumberland School of Law; Dr. Wilton Bunch, philosophy professor; and Bateman, HEAL program manager.
Dr. John Knapp, director of the Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership in Samford's Brock School of Business, will speak on "Self-Deception, Medical Practice and the Eclipse of Spirituality" at 1:30 p.m.
Professor Bruce D. White, HEAL director, will speak on "Justice: Bedside Clinical Ethics' Next Great Challenge" at 2:30 p.m. He will lead a group discussion and provide closing comments and evaluation at the end of the program.
April 3, 2009 - The global economic crisis was precipitated largely by irresponsible lending practices in the United States. Yet the ethics of money lending is not a new concern, particularly in the church where biblical and theological understandings of the issue have been debated for centuries.
On April 29 at 10 a.m., the Mann Center will present a lecture by Dr. Cameron Murchison, professor and dean of faculty at Columbia Theological Seminary, on 'Money Lending in the 21st Century: A Christian Ethical Perspective'.
This program is part of the A. Gerow Hodges Lectures in Ethics and Leadership and is co-sponsored by Beeson Divinity School and Brock School of Business. It will be presented in Reid Chapel on the Samford University campus. Guests are welcome to attend and convo credit will be available for Samford students.
April 3, 2009 - The Seven Revolutions project, presented March 24 at Samford, is accessible online at the Global Strategy Institute of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The site features facts and video vignettes on each global trend -- population, resource management, technology, information flows, economic integration, conflict, and governance. Also available are video interviews with noteworthy thinkers with expertise on the trends.
Seven Revolutions project director Erik Peterson addressed an audience of more than 300 students, faculty and guests on the topic, "How Will Your World Change by 2025?"
Who, in 1961, watched the Bay of Pigs invasion unfold and then imagined the events of September 11, 2001? Even the leading geopolitical analysts of the early 1960s were blinkered by the Cold War and simply didn’t have the tools that might have allowed them to imagine our present world. Today, global analyst Erik Peterson and his colleagues have better tools and more sophisticated means of analysis. These don’t give analysts an unobstructed view of the future, but Peterson, who is senior vice president, William A. Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis and director of the Global Strategy Institute at The Center for Strategic and International Studies, brought convincing predictions to Samford in March.
In his address—the inaugural Gerow Hodges Lecture in Ethics and Leadership, cosponsored by Samford’s Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership and Brock School of Business—Peterson described seven revolutions that will dramatically reshape the world by 2025.
First, Peterson said, changes in demographics—from the size of the world’s human population to its distribution and age—will dramatically reshape life on Earth. He pointed out that the world’s population has more than tripled since the late 1930s, from 2 billion to 6.8 billion, and is likely to rise to 8 billion by 2025 and 9.2 billion by 2050. Increasingly, Peterson said, humans will be concentrated in urban areas, with as many as 60% of humans living in cities by 2020. Most of this growth will occur in the developing world.
Meanwhile, the population of the developed world is expected to contract by more than 100 million, creating a problem already familiar to Americans wondering how to fix the Social Security program. As the birth rate slows in the developed world and science increases longevity the average age will rise, resulting in fewer young people to care for more older people. What traditionally has been a pyramid-shaped demographic model—with a broad base of young people supporting a small population of dependent older people—will become more rectangular and, in the U.S. and Europe, might begin to take the form an inverted pyramid. Peterson said that will have a dramatic effect on developed nations’ economies. “Beyond that,” he added, “I think this has tremendous implications for social stability and security."
A revolution in state resource management will be closely linked to the revolution in population, Peterson said, especially in developing parts of the world. According to his model of population growth, food production and water supply must be doubled by 2050. But, Peterson asked, “How much more useable, arable land do we have left? ” He noted that degradation due to human practices is making some land unavailable.
Increasing the supply of water is even more challenging. “If you and I could somehow compress the entire volume of water on our planet into a single gallon,” Peterson said, “of this amount we believe about 2.8% only would be fresh water, of which a mere two drops are readily accessible to humanity, of which we are now using one drop.”
Peterson went on to explain that of that one drop of fresh water currently in use, about 70% goes to agriculture, 22% to industry and manufacturing and 8% to municipalities. “We believe now that something on the order of 950 millionpeople across the world don’t have the water that we take for granted every time we take a sip,” Peterson said. He also noted that a sip of water can be fatal in some parts of the world—especially for children—due to water-borne illness.
Although water is increasingly likely to be a source of conflict, Peterson said that the world’s thirst for energy will continue to grow and act as a destabilizing influence. Demand for oil will increase by one-half, he said, driven largely by the developing world. By 2030 China is expected to be importing 10 million barrels per day. Peterson acknowledged that there are many unanswered questions about future energy production and use, but it seems clear that dramatically increased energy demands will be a powerful geopolitical force in coming decades.
In 2007 an Intel computer chip the size of a thumbnail completed one trillion mathematical operations per second, making it the first teraflop chip. One year ago the most advanced and powerful computer broke the petaflop barrier,completing more than one quadrillion operations per second. That’s astonishing computing power but on a relatively large scale. Nanotechnology researchers are creating machines at the molecular level, promising a future of virtually invisible technology.
Peterson also described recent advances in robotics and noted that genomics may soon allow us to manipulate human longevity (which, he noted, would have implications for the demographic revolution).
And how long will it be before these technologies converge? “Not long at all,” Peterson said.
As much as human lives have already been shaped by technology, he said, such technological revolutions promise even greater change, involving computing in “virtually every facet of our being,” with all the ethical issues that entails.
Peterson said the ongoing revolution in the exchange of information has clear implications for both current and future generations. Those entering the workforce now, he said, can expect frequent career changes and constant challengesto adapt to new information.
The “death of distance,” at least as far as information is concerned, will serve as an equalizer so that the proverbial “A” student in Bethesda will no longer have the perceived advantage over the genius in Bangalore. The young person in Bangalore will have access to the same information and opportunity. “You can innovate without having to immigrate,” Peterson said.
Peterson noted that the breakdown of authoritative news sources is also part of the information revolution. As humans create increasingly specialized niche media, we will begin to “choose our own truth,” inviting conflict into every part of our lives.
It is by now widely recognized that nations are economically dependent on each other to an unprecedented degree. The ongoing financial crisis, which Peterson said has destroyed an estimated 40% of the world’s wealth over recent quarters, is compelling evidence of this. Peterson said global economic integration and an associated shift of production to developing countries will continue to reshape the world, with the so-called BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) leading the way. As of2007, he said, those four nations alone accounted for 30% of global output and 47% of global economic growth.
Terrorism and conflict between nations will remain key concerns in coming decades, Peterson said, and will be shaped by the other revolutions he described. The availability of nuclear arms information is threatening a new age of proliferation. Advances in science raise the specter of bioterrorism. As information becomes the world’s economic lifeblood, cyber attacks are becoming increasingly common and sophisticated.
In the months since Peterson’s lecture, as if on cue, Taliban forces made startling gains in a destabilized, nuclear-armed Pakistan (itself already a contributor to the new proliferation). Al-Qaeda appears to have made the country its new makeover project, raising the specter of nuclear-armed terrorists. Cyber attacks, and U.S. training to counter them, also have been in the news.
Peterson pointed out that the budget of the private Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—which focuses on global health—is comparable to that of the public World Health Organization. In fact, he said, 9 of the world’s top 50 economic entities are corporations rather than nations. Increasingly, globalization is outpacing traditional political techniques, requiring governments to address fragmentation of authority and legitimacy in a time of “deep cooling of their capacity to reinvent themselves,”Peterson added. “Unless they can do this, they run the risk of falling behind.”
If there is a common thread in all of these revolutions, Peterson suggested that it is the need for something other than traditional, reactive, shortsighted politics. Given both the “hyper-peril” and “hyper-promise” of the next few decades, he said, the world also needs “hyper-leadership.” For more information, go to www.samford.edu/ethics.
January 30, 2009 - Make plans to join us on March 24 for a dramatic view of global society in the year 2025. Our speaker will be Erik Peterson, director of the "Seven Revolutions" project at the Global Strategy Institute of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C.. The project identifies and analyzes some of the key challenges that policy makers, business executives, and other leaders will face in the future. It is used by governmental agencies and leading corporations to promote strategic thinking on long-term trends that few leaders take the time to consider.
"Seven Revolutions: How Will Your World Change by 2025?" will be presented March 24 at 10 a.m. in Brock Recital Hall at Samford University. (Convo credit is available to Samford students.) It is a program in the Mann Center's A. Gerow Hodges Lecture Series, conducted in partnership with the Brock School of Business.
This lively, multimedia presentation will look at global trends in population, resource management, technology, information, conflict, governance and economic integration. "When taken together, the change that we can envisage in these seven areas suggests the need for far-sighted leadership animated by vision and innovative approaches," Peterson says. "This, I believe, is where higher education is especially important. Our overarching challenge is to provide the knowledge for leaders to develop vision, to inculcate them with the understanding to execute on their vision, and to help them develop a conceptual and ethical foundation on which difficult -- sometimes excruciating -- tradeoffs will have to be made."
January 25, 2009 - John Knapp is not a cynic, though it would be easy for his work to make him jaded.
The editor of two books on ethics and the director of the Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership at Samford University has witnessed and studied his share of ethical lapses.
Of course, you don't have to be an ethics professor to see people exhibiting unethical behavior - whether its Bernard Madoff's alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme or Marcus Schrenker bailing from an airplane over Harpersville in an apparent attempt to fake his own death to avoid prosecution for alleged financial fraud.
"Ethical lapses make news because they are the exception," he said.
But tough times might make them more common. Knapp completed a survey of 300 chief executives a few months ago and found that "business executives are more likely to make ethical compromises during economic downturns."
He said that means company leaders need to signal that doing the right thing matters now more than ever.
"There needs to be no misunderstanding about the organization's commitment to ethical means," Knapp said.
January 3, 2009 - Samford University has started offering a new degree in social entrepreneurship, a program designed to equip students aiming for careers in public administration or leading nonprofit agencies and businesses supporting social causes.
The goal is to prepare future nonprofit, corporate, and government leaders with the skills essential to helping Alabama leaders deal with social needs such as fighting poverty, improving the environment and community development, said Jeremy Thornton, an assistant economics professor in the Brock School of Business and social entrepreneurship program coordinator.
The curriculum will focus on three areas - theory, practice and ethics - and work closely with the Brock School of Business' Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership, started last year through a gift from Lexmark Inc. Chairman Marvin L. Mann and named for his late wife.
"We are responding to a need from a lot of our students desiring to go into the nonprofit sector or interested in working at for-profit companies that have a social component," Thornton said. "Those type of careers require different skills from regular business courses."
The social entrepreneurship minor requires 22 credit hours, with classes on accounting concepts, economics, marketing and personal finance. The final course is entitled Social Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit Management.
John Knapp, hired from Georgia State University in Atlanta to run the ethics center, has experience creating ethics programs and has started similar efforts at Clemson and Kennesaw State. He is glad to see ethics play a vital role in Samford's social entrepreneurship program, he said.
"It is a privilege to be here at Samford and play a role in the formation of students prepared to lead professional lives with meaning," Knapp said. "Strong ethics are at the core of good leadership."