Mission Statement

The Center for Practical and Professional Ethics takes as its overriding mission to foster and enhance the place of ethics in professional and public discourse, and to foster and support ethical practice, both in the University Community and in the broader Sacramento Region. Its mission is, therefore, educative, scholarly and practical. 

Relationship to the University's Mission

The quotations in the text are taken directly from the University's mission statement [CSUS Mission Statement (March 29, 2004) ]. These express the principal values the University seeks to promote through the activities of the institution as a whole.

The principal work of the Center for Practical and Professional Ethics, as an ethics center, demonstrates a commitment to “fostering in all its members a sense of inclusiveness, respect for human differences, and concern for others.” In its normative (practical and applied) sense, ethics is focused on providing the cognitive and intellectual means for living well with others. At the heart of an ethics center's activities and service is this commitment to proving the means – through education, awareness raising, practical training, research support and analysis – for all members of the university and broader professional and public community to live better lives, both personally, professionally and socially.

The Center for Practical and Professional Ethics will affirm the University's mission and demonstrate a dedication to “advancing the many social, economic, political, and scientific issues affecting the region and the state.” The principal function of the Center is to provide an educative and scholarly service to the University community, the local public, and to the broader Capitol region. The Center provides resources to enhance the role of ethics education in the curriculum through sponsoring Ethics Across the Curriculum workshops for faculty in all disciplines for which ethics a concern. The Center also sponsors an annual symposium which brings scholars, professionals and community members together to better understand the ethical implications of public policy initiatives, legislation, ballot measures, as well as to facilitate a greater awareness of ethics in our daily personal and professional lives.

The Center for Practical and Professional Ethics will affirm the University's mission and contribute directly to the “vital connections between pedagogy and learning, research activities and classroom instruction, and co-curricular involvement and civic responsibility.” Among the principal projects of the Center is to support research into ethical issues, as these arise in various sectors of public and professional life. This support extends to faculty, but also includes collaborative activities between faculty and students. As well, all of the public forums which the Center sponsors will be open to all members of the University and Sacramento communities. Students in courses where ethics is taught will especially be invited to participate and attend. Further, it is the project of the center director to secure sufficient funding to hire student research assistants, whose work will contribute to their own ethical and professional development. Finally, the potential for establishing regular partnership programs with area businesses, professionals, and public service organizations will support the Philosophy Department's existing internship program in applied ethics and law.

The Center for Practical and Professional Ethics will affirm the University's mission and contribute directly to the honored CSUS tradition of having our “research centers and much of our individual scholarly efforts remain directed at the enhancement of the quality of life within the region and the state.” The mission and activities of the Center will contribute directly and immediately to this element of the university's mission. One of the principal functions of the Center will be to organize and sponsor forums on public policy matters of importance to the local community. Our location in the state capitol and the number of CSUS alumni (from Philosophy and other departments) who are active in the state legislative process means that the Center is particularly well placed to raise awareness in the University and broader community about pending legislative and other public policy initiatives. This allows the Center to organize timely public discussion of important public policy issues through the hosting of regular forums.

For example, if there is an agricultural, health care, or environmental bill pending before the legislature, the Center will bring together local experts, scholars and community members to discuss the policy and its ethical implications. This function is especially important during election years, since much of California's important public policy comes in the form of public referenda. In this way, the Center offers a unique service by providing the means for public deliberation of the ethical implications of important public policy initiatives.