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Hoffberger Center's Ethics Week, March 7-12

February 18, 2011
Contact: University Relations
Phone: 410.837.5739

Whatever happened to civil discourse in our society? Why can't we discuss important moral and ethical issues without resorting to emotional tirades, name-calling and verbal bullying? In fact, refusing to engage in civil and responsible conversation about what matters most to us has become a crucial ethical issue in itself.

The University of Baltimore's Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics will host its 19th annual Ethics Week March 7-12, with a series of discussions that will emphasize the need for respectful and meaningful discussion of provocative ethical issues in the military, academia, government, history, business and personal life. The following questions reflect the central theme of the seven programs presented during Ethics Week. How would you answer each?

  • Would you betray your integrity in an academic experiment? 
  • Does your personality dictate your moral compass? 
  • Would you be upset if the Iranian government imprisoned you without recourse to a trial, simply on suspicion that you are a threat to their security? 
  • Are most Americans secretly anti-Muslim?
  • Do blacks have a chance at economic prosperity that is equal to that of whites? 
  • Can we learn moral lessons from the great dramatists of the past? 
  • Who is harmed by the 2010 health are law?

The Hoffberger Center, now in its 24th year, provides expert analysis and commentary on common ethical issues that arise in business and the professions. All Ethics Week events are free and open to the public and will take place on the UB campus. Reservations are required. (See attendance details below.)

The following events are confirmed for the 2010 Ethics Week at UB:

Monday, March 7
12:30 – 1:50 p.m.

"On the Hermetic Experience: Admiral Stockdale, Lao Lo and the Stanford Prison Experiment"

Shaun Baker, assistant director of the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership, compares the experiences of Vice Adm. James Stockdale while in a North Vietnamese prison-of-war camp with those of participants in the so-called Stanford prison experiment, in which the "wardens" subjected the "prisoners" to punishments and humiliation tactics. Baker poses a question: Why were Stockdale's experiences considered ennobling, while the results of the experiment were condemned and labeled a travesty of experimental psychology? The different roles of law, authority and social utility are explored.

To be held in the UB Student Center’s Bogomolny Room, 21 W. Mt. Royal Ave.

Tuesday, March 8
12:30 – 1:50 p.m.

"Moral Psychology: Everything Old is New Again"

Susan Dwyer, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Maryland, College Park, will discuss "empirical moral psychology," which has been receiving a good deal of attention throughout the first decade of the 21st century. A never-settled debate between "rationalists" and "sentimentalists" has been revived; the vast majority of empirical moral psychologists contend that recent experimental results favor the sentimentalists. In her talk, Dwyer will present a brief survey of this old/new debate, focusing on the new, and argue for a different account of moral judgment known as the "linguistic analogy."

To be held in Room 003 of the William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center, 11 W. Mt. Royal Ave.

Tuesday, March 8
5:30 – 7 p.m.

"The Response: Moral Ambiguity at Guantanamo Bay"

Sig Libowitz, a writer, producer and actor who has worked on a number of award-winning films and television series including In the Bedroom, The Sopranos, Law & Order and the Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning The Believer, will present a courtroom drama based on actual transcripts of the Guantanamo Bay military trials, officially known as Combatant Status Review Tribunals. The Response allows the audience to experience what was seen and heard in the courtroom during these riveting trials. The characters are composites, but the drama of the legal process is real.

To be held in the Moot Court Room in the John and Frances Angelos Law Center, 1415 Maryland Ave.

Wednesday, March 9
12:30 – 1:50 p.m.

"The Dreyfus Affair: Moral Diversity in Historical Perspective"

In 1894, a young French artillery officer, Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, was convicted of treason by a French military court martial. The Hoffberger Center will visit this infamous case of anti-Semitism, with a program that includes a short film, a brief lecture and audience discussion.

To be held in the atrium and the M. Scot Kaufman Auditorium of the William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center, 11 W. Mt. Royal Ave.

Wednesday, March 9
2 – 3:20 p.m.

"Parren J. Mitchell: A Living History Presentation"

Lenneal Henderson, distinguished professor in the UB School of Public Affairs and senior fellow in the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics, will portray Parren Mitchell in a living history presentation about Maryland's first black Congressman, who was also the first black person to be elected to Congress from south of the Mason-Dixon Line since 1898. Mitchell, a hero of the civil rights movement who is credited with establishing standards for directing federal contracting to minority-owned firms, also served as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus during part of his 16-year tenure.

To be held in Room 143 of the William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center, 11 W. Mt. Royal Ave.

Thursday, March 10
12:30 – 1:50 p.m.

"Ethics in Dramatic Presentations"

Fred Guy, director of the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics and associate professor in the Division of Legal, Ethical and Historical Studies at UB, will be joined by Jonathan Shorr, associate professor and executive director of the School of Communication Design at UB, is a talk on the impact of ethics in modern and historical drama.

To be held in Room 003 of the William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center, 11 W. Mt. Royal Ave.

Saturday, March 12
11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

"2010 Health Care Law"

John J. Callahan, executive in residence and director of the graduate and undergraduate programs in Health System Management at UB, and C. Alan Lyles, the Henry A. Rosenberg Professor of Public, Private and Non-profit Partnerships in the School of International Affairs and the School of Health and Human Services at UB, will co-present an overview of the significant changes wrought by last year's passing of federal health care reforms. Although the law is currently being challenged in more than one federal court, its impact is undeniable: Americans understand that basic health care is at stake, and their voice matters.

To be held in Room 003 of the William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center, 11 W. Mt. Royal Ave.

Lunch will be provided at the midday events. An R.S.V.P. is required for all events; to reserve a seat please call 410.837.5379 or send an e-mail to

The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the School of Law, the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Public Affairs and the Merrick School of Business.


Last Published 6/9/16