The Institute for Ethics in Public Life fellowship program is central to the mission of the institute. Since its founding in 1999, the institute has provided fellowship experiences to almost 100 faculty members of the college from across 30 departments.
Thanks to generous gifts made to the Plattsburgh College Foundation, these fellowships provide release time from one course, a private office in the institute’s well-appointed space in Hawkins Hall, and most especially, the opportunity to become a member of a growing community of scholars engaged in common commitments. Typically, there are two faculty members in residence during semesters when the fellowship program is offered. The institute, in partnership with the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), now designates one fellow as a Pedagogy Fellow, who focuses on helping the CTE to advance its mission and promote its work.
During the residency experience, fellows pursue a unique faculty development program based on a guided inquiry model. Fellows also are expected to spend their time exploring significant issues of ethics and civic responsibility by working on scholarly projects of their own interest that are germane to their fields. The residency also includes a series of seminars for the fellows as well as luncheon colloquies that are open to the entire campus community.
I must tell you that I have relished this experience like few others in my academic work! It has had an effect like that of pouring water on a thirsty soul that had not even known that it was thirsting. And I say soul instead of mind because this has not been a purely intellectual experience of discussion ethical theories, but a holistic one of challenging intellectual scope, reflective physical space and sanctuary, and emotional encouragement, camaraderie, and fellowship...
Holly Heller-Ross, former fellow
The institute’s fellowship program has aided in shaping a number of books and grants, and several national fellowships, as well as numerous professional papers and presentations. More fundamentally, however, the institute has helped faculty in generating several new courses and in redesigning many others in order to incorporate a more explicit focus on ethics.
Most recently, the ethics institute hosted three fellows in fall semester 2020:
Dr. Raymond Carman
Dr. Mustafa Demir
Dr. Richard Spindler
The institute is also home to six senior scholars — members of the institute who have been recognized for their substantial and enduring service to the institute. The senior scholars are:
- Stuart Brody, Esq., attorney, political adviser and author
- Dr. Raymond Johnson, climate scientist
- Dr. James Liszka, coordinator, SUNY Plattsburgh Center for Independent and Area Studies, author
- Dr. Jan Maher, independent scholar, author and playwright
- Dr. Donald Maier, professor of philosophy, SUNY Plattsburgh
- Dr. Doug Selwyn, professor emeritus of education, SUNY Plattsburgh, author