World View Seminars
Each University of Dubuque student must complete four World View seminars during their time at UD. Through the World View Seminar series, students are confronted with significant questions that help them examine their lives from numerous perspectives. These courses prepare students to participate as engaged, purposeful, and reflective members of society.
In collaboration with Academic Affairs and the Director of the First Year Experience, Wendt Character Initiative Director Annalee Ward contributed four sessions to the recent revision of World View I; these sessions focus on exploring integrity, lying/honesty/truth telling, and academic integrity. Dr. Ward is also developing curriculum for World View II, based on how we build upon integrity to serve our neighbor with justice and compassion, and for World View IV, which emphasizes vocation and ethics within the disciplines.
MBA and PA Programs
The MBA and PA programs are working with Dr. Annalee Ward to thoughtfully integrate a moral character emphasis into their programs.
One of the points of description in the MBA states, “graduates are equipped to exercise character and ethics in decision-making.” The program promises to challenge students “to develop the moral character needed to manage and lead with integrity, justice, and compassion.” As Rich Birkenbuel, Director of the MBA and Associate Professor of Business points out, “Management with character are the beacons for a firm’s success; those without character hasten its demise.” Connecting moral character to disciplinary curriculums is key to a successful Wendt Character Initiative. It’s also key for building a better world, a world where people act with integrity, treat people fairly and compassionately.
In the new Physician Assistants program, thought has also been given to how best make connections to character. Because PAs are licensed on a condition of having good “moral character,” making these connections takes on extra significance. “As medical care becomes increasingly complex and specialized, it is important that the front line medical provider – increasingly the PA of the future—have a trustworthy character,” notes Dr. William Karkow.
Dr. Annalee Ward continues to encourage Departments in their integration of character work into their disciplines by giving guest lectures and meeting with individual faculty to discuss how the Wendt Character Initiative fits with their projects, classes, and disciplines. As a result, all disciplines at UD integrate concerns for integrity, justice, and compassion throughout their majors.
As UD's Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Mark Ward, puts it, "At UD, education is not just about the transfer of information. It is a process of forming the habits, practices, and virtues of learning, including those related to character development. Each major area of study situates the development of character into the curriculum. From exercising integrity in accounting transactions to justice in our legal system to compassion at the hospital bedside, UD students are equipped to lead lives of purpose and character."