Carly Fiorina To Deliver Lecture in Ethics Tuesday

Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard CEO and author, will deliver the inaugural Peter S. Hagerman ‘61 Lecture in Ethics at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, in the Zoellner Arts Center’s Baker Hall. Fiorina, who has spoken publicly about having faced sexual harassment in her business and political careers, will address “Why Ethics and Respect Matter.” 

Fiorina’s talk will help launch Lehigh’s new Center for Ethics, an interdisciplinary endeavor housed in the College of Arts and Sciences. Under the direction of Robin S. Dillon, William Wilson Selfridge Professor of Philosophy at Lehigh, the new center aims to promote rigorous inquiry into, probing reflection on, and responsible engagement with the ethical dimensions of life, from the personal to the global.

Dillon said she and Donald E. Hall, the Herbert and Ann Siegel Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, had decided that sexual harassment in the workplace would be the programming theme for the semester and invited Fiorina to speak after she gave several widely-publicized interviews about the issue. In interviews and a post on Medium.com, Fiorina told about her own experiences with being sexually harassed, Dillon said, but also offered “some really interesting proposals” for dealing with sexual harassment.

In her Medium.com essay, Fiorina wrote, “Women have been fighting for our right to contribute to our full potential for at least the last 100 years. We have been fighting to be treated with the respect our compassion, our capability and our brain power deserve for 100 years.  One hundred years later though, I think it’s men’s turn. It is men’s turn to stand up and say: We actually need women to be full participants in every walk of life, every industry and every community because we all need their smarts, their heart and their potential.”

Fiorina’s talk at Lehigh is free and open to the public.

The Center for Ethics

Lehigh’s new Center for Ethics, which serves all of Lehigh and the larger community, launched with programming in the Spring 2018 semester.

Dillon said she has been “hoping for, working on, agitating for” a center since joining the Lehigh faculty in the late 1980s, but funding remained an issue. She and Hall took up the conversation for a center when he arrived at Lehigh as dean, she said, and when funding became available, he wanted to move forward. The center is funded through the dean’s office and through financial support from the Class of 1961.

“The Center for Ethics comes at an important time at Lehigh,” Hall said in an email to the campus community. “The center creates interdisciplinary opportunities for reflection on ethical issues while promoting the study of ethics in the curriculum, as well as engagement with ethical issues in the Lehigh life experience.”

The College of Arts and Sciences, which hosts the center, he said, recognizes that in a morally complex and culturally diverse world, that education, research, and community involvement must work to increase awareness of life’s ethical dimensions and foster dialogue.

“The presence of a center allows us to explore and examine ethical issues previously unacknowledged or studied in depth and will help make Lehigh a leader in ethics education,” he wrote.

Since she joined the Lehigh faculty 30 years ago as the only person doing ethics, Dillon said, the number of faculty members whose research, teaching and service interests are in the ethics domain has increased significantly, to about 150, which is about a quarter of the Lehigh faculty. This includes faculty from all four colleges.

According to the center’s mission statement, the center seeks to meet three needs: for Lehigh students to engage with the ethical complexities across campus and to become well-prepared to grapple with the difficult life choices they will face after graduation; for faculty to address ethical issues in their research and teaching; and for Lehigh to be a leader in addressing significant ethics ethical issues in all dimensions of life.

To address the needs, the center plans to support and enhance curricular, co-curricular, and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to engage in the study and practice of ethics, as well as supporting improvement of existing courses and development of new courses pertaining to ethics, and the advancement of approaches to and skills for teaching ethics across the curriculum; to support faculty and graduate student research and scholarship in the ethics domain and foster interdisciplinary collaborations on ethical issues; and to bring to campus ethics leaders from academia, business, civic organizations, and government, while also  serving as an ethics education resource for the wider community beyond the Lehigh campus, including the general public.

On April 18, the center will host a panel discussion titled “MeToo? Sexual Harassment and Intersectionality: The Position of Women of Color, Transpersons, and LB Women.” The panel will include members of the local community as well as the Lehigh community. The program will be held at 4 p.m. in the Roemmele Global Commons in Williams Hall. The program is free and open to the public.

More information about the center can be found on its website.

Fiorina: a Leader in Business and Community

As the inaugural speaker for the Peter S. Hagerman ‘61 Lecture in Ethics, Fiorina brings a wealth of experience in business, politics and community service.

As CEO of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2005, Fiorina was the first woman to lead a Fortune 20 company. Forbes ranked her 10th on its 2004 list of "the World's 100 Most Powerful Women," Fortune named her "the most powerful woman in business" from 2003-2008, and Time magazine included her in its 2004 list of "the 100 most influential people in the world today."

While at Hewlett-Packard, Fiorina focused on innovation, and in a period when many technology companies went out of business, she saved 80,000 jobs and grew the company to 160,000 jobs. In her 2007 memoir Tough Choices, which was a New York Times and international bestseller that has been translated into 12 languages, she talks about her life and her views on leadership, technology and workplace diversity.

Fiorina has been a candidate for U.S. Senate, and in 2016, U.S. President. Two months after she dropped out of the GOP presidential contest, Ted Cruz announced that she would be his running mate if he secured the Republican nomination.

After leaving Hewlett-Packard, Fiorina focused on other initiatives. Under President George W. Bush, she headed a newly-formed External Advisory Board for the Central Intelligence Agency.

In 2008, with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, she founded the One Woman Initiative, an international women’s empowerment fund. When the organization later merged with Opportunity International, Fiorina served as Global Board Chair. She also was chair of Good360, a charity that has distributed more than $8 billion in donated goods to more than 40,000 nonprofit organizations.

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