The University of Cincinnati has officially launched The Cincinnati Ethics Center, a project over three years in the making. They have selected Dr. Andrew (Andy) Cullison as its founding executive director. Andy comes to us from the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics, DePauw University, where he had been its Director for over seven years.
The idea for an ethics center began almost three years ago when several conversations about how best to accomplish goals in The Next Lives Here plan pointed to ethics. There were several meetings about what possible focus areas for research and in every meeting, the ethical component always came up. And it was raised from people in a variety of university roles including faculty, dean, and staff roles. Over time, it was determined that UC should create an ethics center to ensure that ethics always plays a central role in research moving forward.
While ethics center had its origin in those conversations about research, it became clear that there was a significant role for an ethics center in other areas of the UC community, including community engagement.
“What excited me most about the position”, Dr. Cullison said, “was that they didn’t want this to be a traditional academic center. They wanted it to be a center for the entire Cincinnati community, to be a space for Cincinnatians to discuss and solve the critical issues that Cincinnati faces. I’ve always thought that a good institution of higher learning ought to blur the boundaries between itself and the community. It stood out to me that they call it The Cincinnait Ethics Center rather than the Univerity of Cincinnati Ethics Center. To me, that sends a clear message that this is a genuinely a resource for all Cincinnatians”
Dr. Cullison was also excited by the role ethics can plan in Next Lives Here strategic direction. “Almost everything UC is aiming for can be amplified by ethics related programming,” Andy noted, “and it feels good to know that every core goal of the strategic direction can be enhanced by the work of an ethics center”
It is also worth noting that Dr. Cullison was able to come home by taking on this role. “I was born in Cincinnati and grew up right across the river. Cincinnati has always been special to me, and Cincinnati’s origin story has almost certainly influenced my views about ethics and ethical leadership.”
We, The Cincinnati Ethics Center Team, are thrilled to be here and don’t hesitate to contact us if you think there is something we can collaborate on.