The University of Central Florida (UCF) is one of the schools (1 of 25) participating in the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ grant program, “Core Commitments: Educating Students for Personal and Social Responsibility.”  (See http://www.aacu.org for information on AAC&U, Core Commitments, and other programs.) 

The projects revolve around the 5 Dimensions of Core Commitments, which you can read at http://www.aacu.org/core_commitments/ .  The 5 dimensions of the program are:

  1. Striving for excellence
  2. Cultivating personal and academic integrity
  3. Contributing to a larger community
  4. Taking seriously the perspectives of others
  5. Developing competence in ethical and moral reasoning

A special edition of UCF’s Faculty Focus Newsletter was published in September ’07 and highlights some of the many programs and points of interest involved in UCF’s Core Commitments projects.  Please see http://www.fctl.ucf.edu/Publications/FacultyFocus/content/2007/september.pdf

Our original grant proposal included the following:

  1. Faculty development opportunities to create course content for “Core Commitments” during the Summer and Winter Faculty Development Conferences at the UCF Karen L. Smith Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL).  Six UCF faculty members (from engineering, health professions, religious studies, philosophy, and political science) participated in the first “Core Commitments Track” at the Summer Conference from April 30-May 3, 2007.  More UCF faculty members will participate in future conferences at UCF.
  2. Creating department and college-level Ethics Task Force Committees to serve as advisory groups to the UCF Faculty Senate Ethics Task Force.  We are in the process of creating these committees to begin in the fall term, 2007.
  3. Instituting University-wide Ethics Bowl Competitions between departments and colleges to facilitate learning and research in ethics and ethical decision making.  These competitions are modelled on the regional and national ethics bowls (see, for example, http://www.appe.org for information on the National Collegiate Ethics Bowl).  We have 3 UCF students who are currently (summer 2007) writing and designing cases for our internal ethics bowl competitions.
  4. Creating IPL (Interactive Performance Lab)/StoryBox scenarios for ethical decision-making in ethical dilemma scenarios.  UCF’s IPL (see www.cah.ucf.edu/IPL/index.php) is an innovative and unique program designed to include participate from “spectactors” in real-life conditions in which quick-thinking in difficult moral dilemmas will be used to test learning and human reactions in such conditions.
  5. Creating “Proactive” Academic Integrity Seminars for UCF students.  UCF currently offers a “reactive” seminar in academic integrity (with the Department of Philosophy and the Office of Student Conduct) for students who have violated some aspect of the UCF code of conduct as specified in the “UCF Golden Rule” (see www.goldenrule.sdes.ucf.edu ).  Our goal is to provide a central resource for opportunities for students to engage in discussion of and learning about appropriate methods of research across the disciplines and how to see oneself as a contributing member of a thriving academic community.

More projects and programs have been created since the beginning of the UCF’s Core Commitments participation, and we will have more information about them in the near future. 

 Members of our Core Commitments team are the following:

Nancy A. Stanlick, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Philosophy (8/07)), Core Commitments PI

Alison Morrison-Shetlar, Ph.D. (Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Director of the Karen L. Smith Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, and Professor of Biology), Co-PI

John Frederick Schell, Ph.D. (Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Professor of English)

Patricia MacKown (Assistant Vice President for Campus Life and Director, Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities and Office of Student Conduct)

Alvin Y. Wang, Ph.D. (Dean, Burnett Honors College and Professor of Psychology)

Stephen Fiore, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor of Philosophy and UCF Institute for Simulation and Training)

Martha Marinara, Ph.D. (Director, Information Fluency Initiative and Associate Professor of English)

Jeffery Wirth (Research Associate and Director of IPL, School of Film and Digital Media) 

Kelly Astro (Burnett Honors College)

Eric Main (Project Coordinator, FCTL)

Robert Slade (Honors Student, Burnett Honors College)

Benjamin Tucker (Philosophy Major, Senior)

Nathan Draluck (IDS Graduate Student and UCF Philosophy B.A.)

Please see additional pages in this blog for further information and to join in the discussion.

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