Pursuing the best in ethics and values.
About the Center
Founded in 1987 through a matching grant from the Hoffberger Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Hoffberger Center for Ethical Engagement is located in Baltimore, Maryland at The University of Baltimore, University System of Maryland. The Center has provided over thirty years of ethics-related programming.
The Hoffberger Center for Ethical Engagement is dedicated to the pursuit of the best in ethics and values through a program that stimulates scholarship; addresses important topics in applied and professional ethics; encourages ethical engagement within the University, the surrounding Mid-Atlantic region, and beyond; promotes the integration and teaching of ethics across the curriculum; and provides an active forum for ethical reflection and critical inquiry.
The University of Baltimore
Ethical engagement is one of The University of Baltimore’s core values. The Hoffberger Center is a key partner for promoting ethical engagement at UBalt. First, the Center administers a distinctive upper-division University-wide ethics course that satisfies a general education requirement in ethics: IDIS 302 Ethical Issues in Business and Society. In 2021, the Center initiated a thorough revitalization of this course, sponsoring ongoing workshops, continuing education, honors sections, enhanced integration of Writing Fellows, and a revised curriculum to support a vital and dynamic educational experience for today’s students. The Center also sponsors ethics-related scholarship and programs for faculty, students, staff and the community; supports faculty fellows and student fellows; and includes the B.A. in Philosophy, Law, and Ethics (PLE) program. PLE joins a select group of interdisciplinary programs in the United States with ethics as a core part of its design.
The Mid-Atlantic Region
For more than a decade, the Hoffberger Center has sponsored the Maryland Regional High School Ethics Bowl, which annually draws 10-15 regional and Baltimore City high school teams in competition. After months-long preparations, each team joins a day-long conference that tests students’ abilities to think through ethical puzzles and intriguing case studies in ethics. The Center brings together a large team of moderators and judges (over forty volunteers from the University and region) to select a winning team whose members continue to a national championship conference. In 2020, this Ethics Bowl attracted over 250 participants and spectators, the largest turn-out in its history. The Center has also sponsored summer philosophy camps for area high school students, and most recently, a Leadership in Action series, featuring regional leaders who share their experiences and inspire dialogue in the community about leadership and ethics. The Center is currently working on gathering a regional network of faculty researchers interested in ethics.
National and International
In 2020-21, the Center organized its first annual International Conference: “Legitimate Decision-Making in Times of Crisis.” Frequent Author Meets Critics sessions also bring together national and international scholars for debate and cross-disciplinary conversation that serve to connect local, national, and international authors. The Center also supports and creates scholarship related to ethics and values. Center associates often present research at academic conferences, such as those hosted by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.
2022-23 Hoffberger Center Events
Please email center director Steven Scalet for event location information and details. Many meeting recordings are available on Panopto for those internal to The University of Baltimore.
- Sept. 1-30: Regular IDIS302 Instructor Cohort Meetings
- Nov. 14-18: Arts and Ethics Week
- Feb. 3, noon-1:00 p.m.: HCEE Ethics Series: Introduction and Welcome
- Feb. 11, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Mid-Atlantic Regional High School Ethics Bowl
- Feb. 21, 2-3:30 p.m.: Hoffberger Research Fellow Lecture: Sally Scholz, “Moral and Political Justification for Crimes of Solidarity”
- Feb. 23, 2-3 p.m.: HCEE Ethics Series: Descriptive & Normative Claims
- March 13, 8:30-10 p.m.: Guest Lecture by Steven Scalet, “Ethics and Organizational Psychology”
- March 28, 12:30-2 p.m.: Colloquium: Siobhán Petersen, “How Might a Machine Intend?”
- March 31, noon-1 p.m.: HCEE Ethics Series: TBD
- April 3, 8:30-10 p.m.: Guest Lecture by Joshua Kassner, “Ethics and Organizational Psychology”
- April 6: Braver Angels Online Debate, “Is Social Media Misinformation a Threat to Democracy?”
- April 11: Centennial High School Assembly, “Ethics and Political Legitimacy”
- April 11, 12:30-2 p.m.: Author-Meets-Critics Session: Karen Stohr, Minding the Gap: Moral Ideals and Moral Improvement
- April 28, noon-1 p.m.: HCEE Ethics Series: TBD
- May 5, noon-1 p.m.: HCEE Ethics Series: Student Fellows Presentation
- Hoffberger Reading Group, every other Friday, 11 a.m.-noon
- Hoffberger Center Staff Meetings, weekly
- Hoffberger Writing Group, monthly
- Hoffberger Student Fellow Meetings, recurring on Discord
- Philosophy Common Hour
- Daniel Gellasch’s Drop-In Hours