Welcome to Lehigh University's New Center for Ethics!!

Promoting ethical inquiry, reflection, and engagement from the personal to the global

The need for critical and constructive reflection about right and wrong, justice and injustice, good and evil is as old as human existence and as new and urgent as today’s decisions and tomorrow’s possibilities. The complexity and interdependence of twenty-first century life, including its life-changing and life-threatening potential, require renewed and intensified ethical intelligence if the global challenges we all face are to be addressed responsibly and effectively.

Lehigh’s interdisciplinary Center for Ethics aims to take a leading role in critical inquiry into and responsible engagement with the ethical dimension of life.

We’ll do this by

  • focusing attention on difficult questions and hosting thought-provoking examinations of the most important ethical challenges of our times;
  • encouraging reflection on the perennial Big Questions about how to live well individually and collectively;
  • fostering penetrating explorations and informed and unbiased discussions of ethical issues in all dimensions of human life, whether of personal, interpersonal, campus, professional, institutional, social, or global concern;
  • expanding opportunities for students at all levels and in every discipline to develop and apply intellectual tools for understanding  and addressing ethical issues;
  • supporting cutting-edge research and scholarship that addresses both current ethical challenges and enduring moral questions;
  • undertaking public education about ethics

The Center's organizing perspective is that there is no aspect of human beings, no space in human lives, that does not have ethical dimensions—our intrapersonal lives, our interpersonal relations, as well as the educational, professional, familial, social, cultural, religious, artistic, political, economic, environmental, scientific, and global dimensions of our lives together.

We hope you’ll join us as we work to advance the study and practice of ethics at Lehigh, to enrich the quality of understanding of, discussions about, and deliberation and decision-making concerning ethical questions, issues, and problems, and to catalyze ethical leadership.


The Core Activities of the Center for Ethics

The Center provides leadership and academic, administrative, and financial resources to

  • bring to campus ethics leaders from academia, business, civic organizations, and government through the Peter S. Hagerman ’61 Lecture in Ethics series and the Ethics Leaders in Residence program;
  • support and enhance curricular, co-curricular, and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to engage in the study and practice of ethics;
  • support  the improvement of existing courses, the development of new courses pertaining to ethics, and the advancement of  approaches to and skills for teaching ethics across the curriculum;
  • support faculty and graduate student research and scholarship in the ethics domain;
  • generate increased enthusiasm for research and teaching in ethics and facilitate interdisciplinary interactions that may lead to research or teaching collaborations
  • facilitate  critical analyses of ethical issues and concerns, and informed and unbiased discussions of ethical issues  through programs, workshops, brown-bags,  roundtables,  reading groups, seminars, and conferences;
  • make Lehigh University a leader in public education on ethical issues and serve as a resource for  the wider community, including the business, engineering, educational, and medical communities of the greater Lehigh Valley, as well as the general public.
The Center for Ethics is funded in part by the ENDOWMENT FUND for the TEACHING of ETHICAL DECISION-MAKING.