Sept. 13-26, 2002
Back Issues
State OKs parking garage
’92 bonds transformed Grounds
HR to implement payroll in Oracle Sept. 26
Nominations sought for Thomas Jefferson Award

Ayers paints realistic budget picture for board

Budget crisis at a glance
Research boosts economy
Why study war in 21st century?
On Ethical Grounds
Faith makes a good dad
In Memoriam
Hot Links -- State Governmental Relations
Bioethicist sees cautionary tale in clash of ethics, science
Vaccine holds meningitis cases to zero
Echinacea — Does the herbal cold remedy really work?
New chancellor installed at Wise
Events feature activists, authors, films and music
After Hours -- Green thumb comes with British touch

Envisioning Integrity
Integrating ethics into U.Va. life

By Carol Wood

“Living honorably and with integrity is a complex undertaking today,” says Ruth Gaare Bernheim, executive director of the University’s Institute for Practical Ethics. “Every day our students face complex ethical dilemmas that their parents never dreamed about.”

These increasingly complex dilemmas sparked a conversation between President John T. Casteen III and Patricia M. Lampkin, interim vice president for student affairs, about how integrity and trust should touch students’ lives.

“Envisioning Integrity at U.Va.” became the name of a University-wide initiative, led by Lampkin and chaired by Darden Professor Patricia H. Werhane, an international expert in ethics. Their 30-member committee, drawn from all corners of the University — including the Institute for Practical Ethics — initially was charged with focusing on how living an honorable life, and all that it implies, was playing out in the undergraduate experience.

The goal was to help students realize that integrity and trust are overlapping values that should be integrated into all aspects of everyday life. But, it became clear at the committee’s first meeting that a broader mission was needed if the group was to have a lasting impact on student life.

Because the student experience hinges on multiple relationships formed over four years, the committee decided that everyone — students, faculty, staff and administrators — should understand the values of honor, ethics and integrity and how those values underpin all University life.

“The committee set out to see what could be done to enhance the lives of U.Va. students, but their vision extended to enriching the lives of everyone at the University,” Lampkin says. “The plan they have created should be the beginning of a rich, University-wide dialogue that embraces every member of the community of trust.”

To understand how different University groups viewed honor and integrity and the roles they played in the student experience, six subcommittees were formed to do research, uncover areas of weakness and find solutions. The groups were divided into six categories: undergraduate students; graduate students and teaching assistants; professional students and postdoctoral fellows; faculty; administration and staff; and alumni and parents.

In June, the committee sent its final report to Casteen, along with myriad recommendations and a five-year plan for rolling out their implementation. A complete list of recommendations is online at
One recommendation meant to reach both students and alumni will go into effect this fall. Working closely with faculty at the Institute for Practical Ethics, the University will unveil a new, one-hour course, “Ethics and Integrity in Contemporary Life.” Guest lecturers will include leaders from business, law, medicine and government, and will be led by several of the University’s leading ethicists.

In conjunction with the course, alumni clubs around the country will take part in a specially designed lecture series in which many of the same faculty members who are delivering ethics lectures in their Charlottesville classrooms will bring those discussions to alumni.

“The course will serve as a springboard for numerous conversations on ethics,” says Bernheim, who also served on the alumni/parents subcommittee. “Our hope is that these discussions — beginning on Grounds and extending across the nation — will be a bridge between the generations of understanding of honor, ethics and integrity.”

Stories reprinted from the fall 2002 issue of U.Va. Alumni News


© Copyright 2002 by the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

UVa Home Page UVa Events Calendar Top News UVa Home Page