FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Leadership ethics will enrich curriculum as an added emphasis under President Schulthies.
Cedar City, Utah – In collaboration with the Board of Trustees, the new president of George Wythe University, Shane Schulthies, has developed a plan to infuse a preparatory foundation of leadership ethics training throughout the curriculum as an additional emphasis of the school. Implementation of this added preparation for students will characterize the theme of Schulthies’ tenure as president.
“The frequency at which leaders in all sectors self-destruct due to ethical lapses is alarming,” said Schulthies. “These tragedies don’t need to happen. By tying lessons in the classics to modern case studies and rigorous simulations, we can buffer students against the risks when they assume leadership positions later in their lives.”
Ten years ago, Schulthies chaired the Human Subjects Committee over BYU’s three campuses while serving on their faculty. This committee enforced ethical standards for all research involving human subjects. His experience scrutinizing proposals, holding researchers to accountability standards and training faculty to keep themselves in check inspired the GWU Board of Trustees to consider potential ways in which the principles and practices might be transferable for the benefit of GWU students.
“If your institutional mission is to plant and nurture the seeds of statesmanship, it’s impossible to over-prepare on this,” said Schulthies. “We intend to make it an overt characteristic of the school culture, from students and faculty through administration.”
“We’ve actually had a lot of discussion about the principles of ethics on the board over the last year,” said Curriculum Committee Chair Vicki Jo Anderson. “We’re particularly excited for the benefits this training will bring to students, and by extension to society.”
Rather than add a specific course in ethics, classes across the curriculum will probe more frequently into questions presenting ethical challenges for leaders, with many courses receiving additional case study readings, analysis, discussion and simulations throughout a student’s enrollment.
“We really want this ingrained in our graduates,” said Schulthies. “We want it to last a lifetime.”
Currently only two handbooks are required as universal supplements to GWU classes: a style manual for English composition and Robert’s Rules of Order. With this change, a third will be added which will serve as an anthology of case studies in ethics.
This handbook will be chosen from a list comprised of texts currently being used in Masters and Doctoral programs in Public Administration and Political Science across the country.
“We compared books from quite a few programs,” said Schulthies. “From Stanford, Princeton and Harvard to local institutions like BYU.”
The first screening narrowed the list to a dozen books. Three finalists will be tested this semester. Two of these, Ethics Moments in Government and Combating Corruption/Encouraging Ethics, are published by the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). The third, Ethics for Adversaries is published by Princeton University Press. A packet of readings will also be included that evolves over time by including new case studies from current events.
The school already implements a variety of simulations within the majority of courses as well as campus-wide competitions. These will be enhanced with the kinds of unforeseen ethical dilemmas typically faced by policymakers and business leaders, particularly the subtle traps that to lead to escalating compromises in integrity and destructive ends.
For illustrative purposes in mentoring and faculty training, Schulthies has also compiled a collection of ethical dilemmas faced by academic researchers during his years chairing the Human Subjects Committee. The first of these is introduced in the President’s Welcome Message on the school website.
“The classics in a liberal arts education already provide tremendous material for this kind of training” said Schulthies. “The difference will be in how we mentor, so that students can apply what they learn in modern times.”
Implementation of the new ethics emphasis will begin during Fall Semester, 2010.
Contact: Gary Arnell
Vice President of Administration
George Wythe University
About George Wythe University: George Wythe University is a non-profit classical liberal arts school created for the sole purpose of building statesmen for the 21st century. In addition to its main campus and extension programs in many states, it now offers live online virtual classrooms serving students anywhere in the world. GWU was founded on the principles and methods of classical liberal education in the Western Tradition. It was inspired by the example set by George Wythe, the first law professor in the American colonies, as he mentored Thomas Jefferson and other statesmen of his day. Other core elements of the methodology include scenario-based simulations and field experiences. GWU sets itself apart by seeking innovative and effective ways of applying the traditional principles of the classical approach in order to achieve its mission of preparing students for a lifetime of leadership. The school’s current main campus is located in Cedar City, Utah. For information visit: www.gw.edu.
“To build men and women of virtue, wisdom, diplomacy and courage, who inspire greatness in others and move the cause of liberty.” – GWU Mission Statement