Examining Today’s Moral Issues

The Center for Research on Ethics and Values promotes transformational scholarship in ethics and values, broadly defined across a variety of disciplines, in order to foster a better understanding of the significant moral issues of our world and impact culture in positive ways.


Established in 1994, the Center for Research on Ethics and Values is guided by the vision of an esteemed leader in United States education, Ernest L. Boyer (1928-95). Throughout his distinguished career—as chancellor of the State University of New York, U.S. Commissioner of Education, and finally president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching—Boyer sought to integrate academic disciplines and cultivate vital communities of learning.

In a Carnegie Foundation report titled “A Quest for Common Learning” (1981), Boyer wrote that scholarship and teaching should find ways of integrating “those experiences, relationships, and ethical concerns that are common to all of us simply by virtue of our membership in the human family at a particular moment in history.” And in another report, titled “Campus Life: In Search of Community” (1990), Boyer outlines his vision for cultivating intellectual community: “If a balance can be struck between individual interests and shared concerns, a strong learning community will result. We believe the six principles highlighted in this report—purposefulness, openness, justice, discipline, caring, and celebration—can form the foundation on which a vital community of learning can be built. Now, more than ever, colleges and universities should be guided by a larger vision.”

The Center for Research on Ethics and Values seeks to develop that kind of larger vision by promoting interdisciplinary dialogue and supporting research on ethics and values. Ernest L. Boyer was a friend of the university as well as the brother of a valued APU colleague, William E. Boyer, former dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, now faculty emeritus.

The Center for Research on Ethics and Values complements the goals of a number of offices and programs at the university, including the Office of the Provost, particularly in the area of transformational scholarship; the William E. and Ernest L. Boyer Common Day of Learning; the Center for Academic Service-Learning; the Center for Research in Science; the Office of Research and Grants; the Office of Faith Integration; and the David C. Bicker Communication IMPACT Conference.