Center for Ethics and Values
July 12, 2006
The rule of democracy requires that establishing public policy or deciding among social alternatives must have the consent of society. The rule of common sense dictates that policies and alternatives can best accomplish their goals if they are based on thorough and unbiased research, and are presented with integrity and impartiality. This is a time when it is crucial to reflect with clarity and penetration of vision on issues of democratic principles, social responsibility, individual rights and a range of other ethical issues that address us as we move into the new century. It is a proper role of Academia to utilize its intellectual resources to deepen understanding of these moral issues and to work toward their resolution.
The Center for Ethics and Values is a home to a group of individuals concerned with rigorous investigation of ethical issues, enlightened dialogue and the dissemination of knowledge that will lead to informed moral choice. Housed in the College of Humanities of the California State University, Northridge, the Center consists of a Director and an Advisory Committee drawn from the university.
The Center seeks to serve the university, the immediate community, and society at large through: (1) research on ethical and social policy issues; (2) dissemination of research through publications, conferences and public events; and (3) help for individuals and organizations requesting consultation on ethical decisions and matters of social policy.
Drawing primarily upon the intellectual resources of the University, the Center's approach is multicultural and multidisciplinary. The topics dealt with depend on the interests of the members and availability of resources. Examples of past topics of interest are: gender and environment issues; public access to education; values in public education; the question of justice; immigration, racism, poverty; racial and ethnic conflicts; health issues such as euthanasia, care for the poor, death and dying; meta-social issues involving conceptual and methodological problems or research biases.
The Center consists of a Director and an Advisory Committee that oversees general policies.
a) Advisory Committee: The campus Advisory Committee members will be selected by the Dean of the College of Humanities, in consultation with the Director of the Center. Terms for members of the campus Advisory Committee will normally be one academic year, but the same person may serve unlimited consecutive terms. The campus Advisory Committee will elect a chair annually. The campus Advisory Committee chair and the Institute Director will set the agenda for campus Advisory Committee meetings. The campus Advisory Committee will elect a secretary who will be responsible for ensuring that minutes are prepared for each meeting and distributed in a timely fashion to all members of the campus Advisory Committee, the Director and the Dean of the College of Humanities.
b) Director: The Director is be appointed by the Dean of Humanities for a period of two years, renewable for up to three consecutive terms, upon consultation with the Center's Advisory Committee. The Director's role is to manage the Center and facilitate Center related research and activities. The Director is responsible to the Dean of Humanities, and keeps the Advisory Committee informed of Center activities.
3. Terms of Office: Terms of office will become effective at the beginning of the academic year.
4. Annual Report:
The director shall prepare an annual report by August 15th, including a financial statement of operations. Prior to submission to the Provost, this report will be reviewed by the Advisory Committee and the Dean. This report will be submitted to the Administrative Council of the College, the Provost's Council, and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
The annual report will include an executive summary of the Center's programs and activities. This will include detailed information concerning the participants in the programs, their relationship to the program and/or university as well as the inclusion of any students who participated in the project. The annual report will include an income statement and balance sheet for the year and a budget plan for the coming academic year.
a) The Center for Ethics and Values will be a self-supporting operation funded by donations, grants, trust funds, and contracts from public and private sources. Any surplus funds will be expended on Center projects or on scholarships or prizes for student research in Ethics. The Director will work with the College of Humanities development office to obtain funding from private and public sources.
b) The Dean of the College of Humanities will be responsible for all financial transactions of the Center.
c) The Center's annual report will be generated by the Director in consultation with the Advisory Committee and will follow established university guidelines.
6. Resources Requested:
Funding required for the Center will come from donations, grants, trust funds, and contracts from public and private sources, as well as from proceeds generated by any Institute projects, programs, or courses. The Director will work with the Director of Development of the College of Humanities, and the Dean of the College of Humanities to obtain funding from private and public sources. The Director will work with the Dean of the College of Humanities and the Advisory Committee to staff projects, programs, or courses, and to arrange for space, equipment, supplies, and other resources and facilities necessary to support and promote the Center's projects, programs, or courses.
This Charter specifies the duties and rights of the Center for Ethics and Values, its Advisory Committee and Director. It will take effect on approval by the Dean of the College of Humanities, the Provost's Council, and the President of the University.
1. Duration: This Charter will expire on June 30th 2011.
2. Amendments: Amendments to this Charter will be submitted to the Dean of the College of Humanities for approval. Power to submit amendments to the Charter will lie with the Director, in consultation with the Advisory Committee.