Ethics and Leadership Bridging Disciplines Program

STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVE: In the interest of educating thoughtful and responsible leaders, the Bridging Disciplines Program (BDP) in Ethics and Leadership brings together resources from across campus to allow students to examine these complex phenomena from an interdisciplinary perspective. With courses relevant to health care, business, politics, law, engineering, and the media, the Ethics and Leadership BDP can complement a range of majors and interests. Through the connecting experiences component of the BDP, students may work with community and professional organizations or bring their interdisciplinary expertise to faculty research in areas such as public policy, advertising, and bio-ethics. Five interdisciplinary areas of study allow students to focus their exploration:
1. Business Ethics
2. Ethics of Health Care
3. Media, Ethics, and Public Policy
4. Social Jusitce, Politics, and Law
5. Race, Ethnicity, and Ethics

An interdisciplinary faculty panel guides students in choosing courses and identifying research and internship experiences that allow them to connect the challenges of ethical leadership to their majors and career goals.

BDP certificates combine courses that fulfill core requirements, electives, and a limited number of courses counting toward students’ majors with unique research and internships. With planning, the BDP should not add time to students’ UT careers. Rather, the BDP certificates are designed to help students choose the courses they already have to take in an integrated way, giving them the opportunity to develop a secondary area of specialization.

Our goal is to have the Ethics and Leadership BDP approved for recognition on students’ official transcripts. We would like to begin recognizing the Ethics and Leadership BDP on official transcripts for students who graduate in fall 2009. This change affects pages 21-22 of the 2008-10 Undergraduate Catalog.

NEED (EXPECTED DEMAND): There are currently 115 active students in the Ethics and Leadership BDP, and we expect 15-25 students to graduate with an Ethics and Leadership certificate in the 2008-09 academic year. We expect that the program will continue to grow and could accommodate up to approximately 150 active students in any given year.

In order to earn a Certificate in the Ethics and Leadership Bridging Disciplines Program, students must fulfill the following requirements:

18. At least nineteen credit hours of course work, to be distributed as follows:
a. Foundation Courses:Four credit hours of foundation courses that introduce key concepts and methodologies related to the interdisciplinary study of Ethics and Leadership. Students choose one course from each of the following categories:
i. Forum Seminar: BDP 101: Lessons in Ethical Leadership Studies; BDP 101: Professional Ethics in Law, Business, and Medicine; or another course approved by the Ethics and Leadership faculty committee.
ii. Foundations Course: ADV 378: Leadership and Ethics; BDP 306: Fundamentals of Ethical Leadership; BDP 329: Medical Ethics; BIO 301D: Bio for Bus/Law/Liberal Arts; CMS 313M: Organizational Comm; CMS 367: Stories of Leadership; GOV 314: Competing Visions of the Good Life and Just Society; GOV 312L: The Citizen’s Presidency; N 311: Ethics of Health Care; PHL 304: Contemporary Moral Problems; PHL 318: Intro to Ethics; PHL 318K: Intro Political Philosophy; PHL 325K: Ethical Theories; P A 325: Adv Seminar in Ethics and Leadership; or another course approved by the Ethics and Leadership faculty committee.
b. Connecting Experiences: Six to nine credit hours of undergraduate research or internships that connect students’ Ethics and Leadership BDP to their major field. Connecting Experiences are designed to be individualized based on the student’s interests and goals, and a variety of course numbers offered through the BDPs (BDP 310, 311, 320, 321) and in departments across the University may be used. All students must write a 3-5 page essay reflecting on the experience, in addition to the academic requirements specified by the faculty member supervising the student and assigning a grade. Examples of past Connecting Experiences completed by Ethics and Leadership students include internships at the Communities in Schools Program; the Texas Civil Rights Project; and the US Department of Education. Students have completed research Connecting Experiences focusing on topics such as the ethical issues surrounding live organ donation; ethical issues related to food industry marketing to children; and non-violent methods of conflict resolution.
c. Courses in a Strand: Six to nine credit hours of courses in a strand that allow students to focus their remaining BDP course work. Students may choose from among the following six strands, or they may design an individualized strand with approval from the faculty committee: Business Ethics; Ethics of Health Care; Media, Ethics, and Public Policy; Social Justice, Politics, and Law; and Race, Ethnicity, and Ethics. The attached curriculum sheet for Ethics and Leadership lists the currently approved courses for each strand. The faculty committee for Ethics and Leadership approves new courses that may count toward the certificate each semester, and the committee may also approve student petitions to count unlisted courses on a case-by-case basis.
19. A 3-4 page integration essay in which students reflect on what they have learned and accomplished through their BDP experience. These essays will be reviewed by members of the BDP faculty panel.
20. Students must earn a grade of C or above in each of the courses taken to fulfill BDP requirements. All but one of the courses taken to fulfill BDP requirements must be taken on the letter-grade basis.
21. At least half of the required course work in the BDP certificate must be completed in residence at The University of Texas at Austin.
22. Completion of the requirements of a major.

Minette Drumwright (Committee Chair), Associate Professor, Department of Advertising
John Dzienkowski, Professor, School of Law
Diane Ginsburg, Clinical Professor, College of Pharmacy
Linda Golden, Professor, Department of Marketing Administration
Sue Heinzelman, Associate Professor, Department of English
Jefferson D. Howell, Senior Research Fellow, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Julie Irwin, Associate Professor, Department of Marketing
Madeline Maxwell, Professor, Department of Communication Studies
Steve Nichols, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Joy Penticuff, Professor, School of Nursing
Robert Peroni, Professor, School of Law
Robert Prentice, Professor, Department of Information, Risk, and Operations Management
Howard Prince, Director, Center for Ethical Leadership; Senior Lecturer, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Stan Roux, Professor, Section of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology
Sean Theriault, Assistant Professor, Department of Government
Geoffrey Tumlin, Assistant Director, Center for Ethical Leadership
Juliet Walker, Professor, Department of History
Jerome Williams, Professor, Department of Advertising
Paul Woodruff, Dean of Undergraduate Studies; Professor, Department of Philosophy

The purpose of a student transcript is to serve as a comprehensive record of a student’s academic progress and achievement at the University. Students pursuing BDP certificate programs at UT Austin complete 19 credit hours related to secondary areas of specialization without receiving recognition for this work on their official transcripts. Recognizing the Ethics and Leadership BDP on students’ official transcripts will represent a more comprehensive picture of these students' academic achievement at UT Austin.

It is in the interests of our students to list BDP certificates on official transcripts, particularly as they apply for jobs and for graduate and professional programs. In most cases, students pursue BDP certificates in order to develop a secondary area of specialization that enhances their major and gives them an additional professional qualification. For example, a student pursuing a certificate in Ethics and Leadership through the Bridging Disciplines Program might wish to complement a Biology Pre-med degree with a certificate that demonstrates more specific knowledge related to ethical issues in health care, or a student majoring in Marketing may wish to demonstrate a focus on business ethics. By recognizing this program on transcripts, we will help these students convey more effectively the full picture of what they learned and accomplished at UT.

Recognizing BDP certificate programs is also in the interest of the University, not only as a means of supporting students as they apply for jobs and graduate/professional school programs, but also as a means of recruiting new students and advising current students. From a recruitment perspective, the ability to combine a major with a certificate might prove attractive to prospective students, particularly those with interests in areas where UT does not yet offer a major. From an advising perspective, the option of combining a certificate with a major might help persuade students to choose majors more rationally, especially in cases where students have been rejected from their first-choice college or feel compelled to select multiple majors.


Approver: Paul B. Woodruff
Date: December 16, 2008
Title: Dean, School of Undergraduate Studies