Wednesday Lunch Talk - The Organizational Trap of Ethical Fading: Privileging Clout in Admissions at the University of Illinois

Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Noon - 12:50 pm
Genrich-Rusling Room, LeChase 215

Most policy recommendations in higher education characterize ethical misconduct as a problem of individual moral failings that can be fixed by adopting more stringent rules. My research advances an alternative thesis. My presentation will explore a secret "clout list" and "shadow" undergraduate admissions process for high-profile applicants at the University of Illinois; the exposure of this process prompted the resignation of numerous University officials in 2009. My research, which analyzes extensive public testimony from a state investigative commission, advances our theoretical understanding of ethical misconduct in colleges and universities by clarifying the relationship between the ethical traps of cognitive biases and the environmental factors and organizational structures that aggravate these psychological tendencies. It animates the concept of "ethical fading" to explain why and how academic leaders rationalize misconduct as serving institutional strategic interests.

Presented by Nathan Harris, Warner School of Education.

Lunch from Moe's will be served. Food will be available at 11:45 am. The program starts promptly at noon.

Tags: Nathan Harris, Warner Wednesday Talk