March 7, 2013 Symposium on the Ethics of Public Service. Contact Beth Velde for information.
The Symposium included a morning keynote presented by Stephen B. Thomas, Director of the Center for Health Equity at the University of Maryland. Dr. Thomas is the principal investigator of the Research Center of Excellence on Minority Health Disparities, funded by the NIH-National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. He is also principal investigator, with Dr. Sandra Quinn, of the NIH National Bioethics Infrastructure Initiative: Building Trust Between Minorities and Researchers awarded in 2009.
The Symposium included two sessions on how service is rewarded by universities. Our luncheon speaker is KerryAnn O'Meara and Dr. O'Meara will also lead a workshop in the afternoon. Her includes work on the UMD Advance project and she will have an interesting message for women faculty.
Posters: Institutional Ethics and a Moral Order: How East Carolina University Does Public Service, John Howard; Building a Methodology for Monitoring and Measuring Community Engagement, Kathleen Hill; Volunteer and Service Learning Center, Dennis McCunney; ECU’s Public Service Initiatives, Beth Velde; Office of Faculty Excellence, Dorothy Muller
Break out Sessions: KerryAnn O’Meara, Tenure and Promotion
John Chinn,Conflicts of interest in Public Service
Conflicts of Interest (COI) is not an uncommon situation when people have multiple roles and responsibilities with more than one party. Identifying the conflict is one of the steps to managing the conflict. Depending on the nature of the conflict, additional measures may be needed. Understanding when a conflict arises and what steps are needed to manage the conflict will enable the public service volunteer to maintain transparency and objectivity in his or her public service performance.
Dennis McCunney & Austin Robey, Service Learning
"Service-learning is a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development. Reflection and reciprocity are key concepts of service-learning” (Jacoby, 1996). When these key elements -- addressing needs, integrating community work with course content, participating in structured reflection, and forming and maintaining reciprocal partnerships -- are intentionally included, high-quality service-learning can result (Furco, 2009). However, building strong, equitable, and mutually beneficial campus-community partnerships takes time and commitment. This raises an important question: what level of partnership needs to be maintained in order for service-learning pedagogy to be effective and, ultimately, transformative? Further, should we have a common definition of partnership, and particularly, a common understanding of the notion of reciprocity within partnerships (Enos & Morton, 2003)? While partnerships may be grounded in reciprocity in theory and intention, they may not fully express this concept in practice. The approach taken in this session will be similar to Rogers’ (2001) approach to the concept of reflection within higher education, where he explores the “lack of clarity in the deﬁnition, its antecedent conditions, its processes, and its identiﬁed outcomes” (p. 38). Because of such variation in meanings of the term “reflection,” Rogers sought to establish “a broad and ultimately integrated understanding of the concept” (p. 38). This session will attempt to do the same for the concept of reciprocity. Facilitators will encourage participants to seek out an experientially informed and integrated understanding of the concept for the sake of engaging in high-quality service-learning pedagogy and practice. The session will also consider a variety of sources of knowledge regarding reciprocity and partnerships: service-learning literature, participants’ lived experiences with service-learning, and innate understandings of the concepts.
Jim Mitchell:Challenges to the Sustainability of Public-Academic Partnership in Social Science Research
Despite efforts by college and university administrators to encourage partnership between academic scholars and public/community representatives in engaged scholarship, significant challenges and ethical questions remain. This presentation highlights challenges within the discipline of Sociology and those that are organizational and individual that can arise in public/community and academic partnership.The 2004 American Sociological Association’s presidential inaugural address advocated Public Sociology as a tool to enhance social capital in the promotion of civil society. His typology of Professional, Critical, Policy, and Public Sociology illustrates challenges to academic-public/community partnership in social science research within the discipline of Sociology.
Other challenges arise in academic and public/community partnerships. These include potential disjoints in the perceived focus or purpose of joint work, timelines such as annual work plans or production schedules underlying academic career progression, and differences in accountability to public advisory councils or work site supervisors compared with peer reviewers and department/school tenure and promotion committee members. Still other challenges to public/community and academic partnership are at an individual level, affecting partnership sustainability. For example, ego-investment stemming from educational selection and preparation or public-sector experience may undermine the joint direction of scholarly initiatives grounded in public/community and academic partnership.
Norma Epley, Institutional Review and the Ethics of Public Service
The ECU Institutional Board is an active participant in engaged scholarship, providing guidance to ECU faculty and students in the consent process, ethical issues that may arise, and responses to unexpected events. The IRB staff will present case studies and a question and answer period to inform participants of the role of an IRB in engaged scholarship.
Student Perspective on Public Service
Teams of faculty and students who participate in community/campus partnership will provide examples of ethical dilemmas they have faced in the their work and how they responded. These teams will represent a service learning team, and engaged scholarship team, and a Small Business Institute team.