Illinois Tech’s Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP) Receives Grant from MacArthur Foundation


Illinois Institute of Technology’s Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP) has received a $200,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to enhance its highly regarded Ethics Code Collection (ECC). The ECC is a unique resource, comprising a curated collection of over 4,000 ethics codes and guidelines across a range of disciplines for over 40 years. With this generous funding from the MacArthur Foundation, it will serve as a more dynamic global resource for informing ethical decision making in professional, entrepreneurial, scientific, and technological fields, and inform critical research into the advancement of ethical practices in a rapidly changing world.

“This is an exciting step forward for the Ethics Center,” says Elisabeth Hildt, director of the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions and professor of philosophy in Illinois Tech’s Lewis College of Human Sciences. “The MacArthur Foundation’s support will allow us to extend one of the center’s historical strengths—its collection of ethics codes—into the future. We are also particularly looking forward to investigating critically the manifold societal functions of ethics codes.” This revitalized resource, and the research and greater public accessibility it will bring, present the opportunity to inform the development of ethical standards and practices within professional and entrepreneurial communities across the globe, including countries with newly emerging democratic civil societies.

ECC currently is used by professors and students, by entrepreneurs and practitioners looking for guidance in how to resolve professional ethical issues in their daily work, by professional societies writing their own codes of ethics, and by consumers interested in finding out more about the ethical guidelines of professionals.

Funding from the MacArthur Foundation will provide the resources to embark on an extensive design strategy to improve the digital ECC, and will include tools such as better keyword search, sorting capabilities, comparisons, and downloading in different formats. Funding will also enable new research on the current and future roles of ethics codes within society, business, and technological innovation.

The Illinois Tech Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions is a leading center of research in science and engineering ethics since 1976, operating within the university’s Lewis College of Human Sciences