Teaching Values – What is the responsibility of universities?


Recent reforms of higher education in Europe and in the United States have asked universities to play a more active role in shaping their students’ personalities. European universities face increasing demands to move beyond offering narrow, disciplinary instruction. Are universities the right place to shape the ethical foundations of a person?

Universities already fulfil a wide range of tasks, from providing their students with expert knowledge, networks, career preparation, international viewpoints and otherwise diverse perspectives. Should we also “burden” them with a responsibility of teaching what is good and what is bad behaviour? Do our universities even have the necessary capacity for this enormous task? Finally, what does this mean for the organization of universities and the design of curricula?

These questions will be discussed by the following panellists:
Michele Moody-Adams is Dean of Columbia College and Vice President for Undergraduate Education at Columbia University and Joseph Straus Professor of Political Philosophy and Legal Theory. Professor Moody-Adams graduated from Wellesley College with a B.A. in philosophy. She attended Somerville College at Oxford University on a Marshall Scholarship, and received a B.A. in philosophy, politics, and economics. She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University in 1986. She wrote her dissertation on “Moral Philosophy Naturalized: Morality and Mitigated Skepticism in Hume" under the supervision of John Rawls. Before coming to Columbia, Moody-Adams was Vice Provost for Undergraduate education at Cornell as well as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education at Indiana University, Bloomington.
Helmut K. Anheier is Dean of the Hertie School of Governance. Anheier was educated at the University of Trier and at Yale University, where he completed his PhD in 1986. He worked as a social affairs officer at the United Nations and held academic positions at Rutgers University and at the London School of Economics, where he founded and directed the Centre for Civil Society. At UCLA, he established the Center for Civil Society. Today, Anheier is also a professor of sociology at Heidelberg University, where he is Academic Director of the Center for Social Investment. He is currently researching the nexus between globalisation, civil society, and culture and is interested in policy analysis and methodological questions.
Sebastian Litta is a Fellow at stiftung neue verantwortung, where he leads a research team that analyzes changes in German higher education. He is also a guest researcher at Berlin’s Social Science Research Center (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin). He was educated at Harvard University, Duke University, Freie Universität Berlin and St. Petersburg State University and worked as a business consultant in Germany and the UK. He taught German politics at Moscow State University from 2004 to 2005. From 2006 to 2008 he was part of a reform team at Leuphana University Lüneburg, where a radically new curriculum was introduced in 2007 that is unique among German public universities. 



Michele Moody-Adams (Columbia University);
Helmut K. Anheier (Hertie School of Governance);
Sebastian Litta (snv)

15.06.2011 - 18:00 bis 20:00