Additional Information


Welcoming Letter to Task Force Members,
March 2, 2007

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing to thank you for agreeing to serve on the ASA Task Force on Teaching Ethics. The Task Force has been appointed by the Council and I have had initial conversations with Carla Howery and other ASA staff. My purpose in writing at this time is to let you know who is on the Task Force, remind you of our charge, and start you thinking about some of the issues we'll be examining during the next two years (or less if we are really fast).

First, our official title is: Task Force on Teaching Ethics throughout the Sociology Curriculum

Our official charge is:
Working with members of the ASA’s Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE), this Task Force would develop curriculum materials to teach students about professional ethics from early in their undergraduate careers throughout graduate school. The Task Force would develop case materials (some of which exist from earlier COPE work but need updating) and course modules that faculty could include in a variety of courses. The resulting set of materials would be housed on the ASA website so they can be downloaded quickly and easily and can be updated. The Task Force would also offer a series of workshops at the ASA and regional sociology meetings to illustrate how these materials can be used.

The Task Force membership is:

Earl Babbie, chair
Carla Howey, ASA liaison
Ruben Rumbaut, Council Liaison
Jean Shin, ASA liaison when Carla retires from ASA
Tom Van Valey, member
Lisa Ann Zilney, member

A more detailed listing of members is in the attached pdf file.

We will have one or more Task Force meetings at ASA in NYC in August. Before then, however, I am hopeful that we will be able to prepare and circulate some draft pieces on various topics to launch our discussions in NYC and give us a good start toward completing our work.

There is nothing specific for you to do at this point, but you might be thinking about the following kinds of questions:

Who will be the audiences for our products?
Undergraduates, Graduate students, Faculty, Administration, Public?
When should ethics be taught in the curriculum?
Ethics of what roles: researcher, teacher, advisor, activist?
Specific topics to be covered: plagiarism, confidentiality, informed consent, missrepresentation, service learning, etc.?

I will have another conference call with ASA regarding some of the resources we already have, and I will be back in touch with the Task Force shortly after that.

In the meantime, if you want to communicate with the rest of the Task Force you can do so by a REPLY ALL (or whatever) to this email.

Thanks again for your service to ASA. I am looking forward to our working together on a significant undertaking.