Dear Alma: A New Ethics Test?

Dear Alma

Dear Alma,

Been feeling down in the dumps, so I went back to the dumpsters. Found a new ethics question that the state’s consulting firm has sent for approval.

Pressure from a Supervisor:  Lilith is the Chancellor of a University campus. Her supervisor, Mistopher, is appointed by the Governor. One day Lilith overhears Mistopher making a comment that suggests he will intervene in a job offer to a prospective employee on political grounds. What should Lilith do?
   a. Report what she heard to the University’s Ethics Officer, since employment contracts should not be granted or revoked for political reasons.
   b. Do nothing, since Mistopher is a political appointee with no academic expertise – political grounds are the only ones he understands.
   c. Decline to forward the letter of appointment to Mistopher for his signature, in order to spare him the embarrassment of refusing to sign the contract in public at a Board of Trustees meeting.  Tell the employee that the contract would not have been approved by the Board in any case.
   d. Lessen the sting by announcing that the employee is not being hired for humanitarian reasons: the university wants him to take a job someplace with a better climate.

What do you think of this question?  Is it too unrealistic? Is it too difficult to answer? Love,

Dear Diva,
Not to worry. Lisa Troyer passed her ethics exam. Rod Blagojevich passed his ethics exam.



Published by Susan Davis

I teach in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois.

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