Senior Fellow in Government Ethics for Santa Clara University, and speaker at this week’s Trust, Ethics & Transparency conference, Judy Nadler explains, “The law is the floor, not the ceiling. Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it is ethical. It is critical to view ethics from a values-based perspective.”
Ethics is everyday, explained Nadler. “While many people believe they are faced with ethical dilemmas only in certain high-pressure situations, we face and make ethical decisions every day in our personal and professional lives.” Being mindful of this, she added, leads to practicing good ethical decision-making daily, which makes it more likely that you will “do the right thing” when a serious ethical dilemma occurs.
“While both business and government are expected to act ethically, there is a higher standard for people in public service.” Nadler says, “we entrust our elected officials with the authority to set policy, spend tax dollars wisely, and put the public interest above their own personal, political, financial, or any other interests.”
The Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility will host the Ethics, Trust & Transparency conference on Wednesday, November 2, 2011 in the Jim Collins Conference Center on Southern Methodist University’s Dallas campus. Registration to attend the conference is open to the public. For more information and to register online, click here or copy and paste this URL in your web browser.