The Center for Ethics and Public Engagement, first and foremost, exists to enrich the liberal arts education we promise our students by engaging them in ethical reflection about the many challenging issues that affect the public—locally, nationally, and globally. By encouraging and supporting deep reflection about ethical matters and responsible citizenship, the Center helps students connect the pursuit of learning with what it means to live a meaningful life. Specifically, the Center promotes research, writing, and ongoing conversation about the public choices confronting society and the role ethics ought to play in making those choices.

Two principles guide the work of the Center. One, because every vexing issue confronting society exists at the boundaries where disciplines meet, the Center emphasizes interdisciplinary inquiry. By encouraging conversation among those who study shared problems from different perspectives, the Center engages students, faculty, and the broader community in understanding the complexity of issues of public concern.

Two, the Center focuses on public engagement and consideration of what active citizenship means and requires. This focus demands not only sustained deliberation on the dilemmas that arise from living in community but also reflection on the principles that ground our ethical decision-making.