The Disappearing Degree
Used by permission ( HYPERLINK “http://www.globalethics.org/dilemmas/The-Disappearing-Degree/36/”http://www.globalethics.org/dilemmas/The-Disappearing-Degree/36/)
As head of a foundation that funds arts programs in a southern city, Connie helps initiate a program to bring artists-in-residence into the middle schools. Her seven-member committee has received
numerous applications, including one from Hamilton Craft, perhaps the best-known painter in the region. His national reputation and amiable personality make him a natural for Connie’s program—and
he lets it be known around the city that he was applying. Reviewing the applications, Connie has little doubt he would be selected.
On the resume submitted with his application, Craft has listed a Ph.D. in art history, received from an east coast university in the late 1960s. Connie’s assistant, doing routine background checks
on the artists, is astonished to discover that the university has no record of such a degree. Craft had indeed enrolled in a doctoral program, but never completed it. He does not hold a Ph.D., his
resume plainly misstates the facts.
Connie tells the committee and then confronts Craft. Cordial as ever, he explains that just as he was completing the work for his doctorate, he had been drafted into the army. What he had meant to
write on the resume, he explains, is, “Course work completed for Ph.D.”—a phrase often used in resumes to indicate that the candidate never completed the writing of the dissertation. But somehow
that phrase got shortened simply to “Ph.D.”
Then, turning surprisingly tough, Craft warns her that if the committee refuses him on this technicality—an issue that surely had little bearing on his ability to work with a classroom of middle
schoolers—he would sue them for mishandling his application and potentially defaming his character.
Chairing the committee, Connie watches it deadlock in a three-to-three vote. It falls to her to break the tie. What should she do?
After reading the case study (The Disappearing Degree) answer the highlighted requirement below base on the Framework above.
• Describe and discuss your group’s ethical/ philosophical framework(s)
• Summarize the relevant facts/issues in the case
• Identify and discuss the ethical issue(s)
• List the affected individuals, groups or organizations
• Use the steps in the Reflective Ethical Dimension Model (REDM) to:
o List possible alternative choices or actions to deal with the ethical dilemma.
o Decide on a course of action consistent with your ethical framework
o Justify your decision based on your ethical framework
Disseminating the project:
• Plan for a presentation of 7 minutes, with an additional 5 minutes for questions.
o Use PowerPoint or Prezi in your presentation
• Plan for a written paper of no more than six pages of text