The Ethics Table has been a key initiative of the Beamer-Schneider Professorship in Ethics. It has been a metaphor that has many institutional forms. Since spring semester 2013, it has taken three. In all these forms, “ethics” is meant broadly in the original sense as ethos, a way of life, and so includes politics as well as more private matters.

Chat -n- Chew Lunches, 2017-18

In the 2017-2018 academic year, the Chat-n-Chew lunches will meet approximately once a month on Fridays during Common Hour.  They will be convened as topics arise.  They are open to any member of the campus community. 

Fall 2017 lunches, Fridays 12:45-2PM

September 8th, Thwing Center, Cleveland Room:  Welcome back — what topics came to light this summer?

September 15th, Inamori Ethics Prize panel with Marion Wright Edelman

September 22th, Guilford House Lounge (with Philosophy Common Hour) The ethics of real estate development (the case of climate change)

October 13th,  Inamori Center Classroom with Kyle Powys Whyte, 2017 Beamer-Schneider Lecture in Ethics & Civics, “Indigenizing Futures, Decolonizing Our Lands: Indigenous Methods for Transformation”

October 27th, Guilford House Lounge (with Philosophy Common Hour)

November 10th, Guilford House Lounge (with Philosophy Common Hour)

December 1st, Guilford House Lounge(with Philosophy Common Hour)

December 15th, Guilford House Lounge:  End of semester talk — what did you think about this semester?

January 26th, Guilford House Lounge

February 23rd,Guilford House Lounge

March 23rd,Guilford House Lounge

April 27th, Guilford House Lounge

Chat-n-Chew Lunches, 2016-17 

2015-2016 Brown Bag Lunches

2014-2015 Brown Bag Lunches 

2013-2014 Brown Bag Lunches 

2012-2013 Brown Bag Lunches


Ethics Table Fellows

The Ethics Table Fellows is a group of students, staff, and faculty selected from an application process that focuses on a project to improve the ethical learning environment of Case Western Reserve University. The fellowship is periodic, based on perceived need and interest.

Across the year, the fellows meet monthly, reading and discussing ethical theory, working on individual projects, and preparing for an open symposium at the school year’s end. Fellows are given some research money and a stipend or other appropriate form of compensation at year’s end for their work. If you are interested in applying to be a fellow, please contact:

2017-18 Ethics Table Fellows Application

Ethics Table Fellows, 2015-2016

Ethics Table Fellows, 2013-2014


The Moral Inquiries ~ a Heights gathering

The third form the Ethics Table has taken is a spin-off group that meets in the historic Coventry neighborhood of Cleveland Heights at Mac’s Back’s Books, the much-loved independent bookstore that adjoins Tommy’s.  Called “The Moral Inquiries ~ a Heights gathering,”  this community group discusses moral issues and is co-organized with members of the community.  For more information, please see its website.  You can join the hosting platform easily if you want to sign up for it.


The first Ethics Table

In the mid-1990s, Bob Lawry from the School of Law convened a summer ethics institute that allowed Case Western Reserve University faculty to explore incorporating ethics into their classes. In 2011-12, supported by the Kent H. Smith Charitable Trust, the Beamer-Schneider Professorship renewed the institute in a different, evolving form–and opened the Table to staff, administration and to graduate students who in direct ways through their programs foster the ethical learning environment of Case Western Reserve University.


In its new form, the Ethics Table’s first pulse was during the year 2011-2012. The group met daily for a week in August 2011 to explore the idea of a university ethos. Readings included D.H. Winnicott’s Playing and Reality; Dan Scheinfeld’s et al., We Are All Explorers: Learning and Teaching with Reggio Principles in Urban Settings; Martha Nussbaum’s Creating Capabilities; Alice Munro’s Runaway, and the Share the Vision common reading for the year, Justice by Michael Sandel.

Ethics Table

The group then met monthly around town — to get out of school, gain perspective and to support local businesses. We ate at the Squirevue Vallee Farm with Spice of Life farm to table catering, at Le Petit Triangle in Ohio City, Club Isabella in University Circle, Prosperity Social Club in Tremont, the Alumni House where we skyped in philosophical counselor Lauren Tillinghast, Empress Taytu in East Cleveland, Café Anatolia in Cleveland Heights, and at the Greenhouse Tavern downtown.

At each of these meetings, two members of the group presented on ethics from their perspective in the university, and a special guest gave a presentation. The special guests this year were Anthony Jack (Cognitive Science), Shannon French (The Inamori Center), Chin-Tai Kim (Philosophy), Laura Hengehold (Philosophy), Lauren Tillinghast (NYU extension branch and private practice), Rhonda Williams (Social Justice Institute), Piers Turner (Ohio State University, Ethics Center), and Dean Moyar (Johns Hopkins University, Philosophy).

Finally, the group convened for a two day retreat in May 2012, with The Montessori School of Cleveland and Roger Saillant (Fowler Center) as special guests at the Inamori Center and at the Manor House of Squirevue Vallee Farm. The group reflected on its future and on the prospect of future developing our university’s ethos. Members of the group also chose to read Simon Blackburn’s Being Good, which was given to all members of the group for their reference.

Ethics Table participants

Members of the Ethics Table 2011-2012

  • Elizabeth Banks, Director, Center for Civic Engagement and Learning
  • Nicole Deming, Assistant Professor of Bioethics, Director of Medical Education, Co-Director, Bioethics Master’s Program
  • Sarah Gridley, Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing
  • Mary Holmes, SAGES instructor and local foods entrepreneur
  • Megan Jewell, Director, The University Writing Center
  • Kenneth Johnson, Graduate student, Affiliate of the Inamori Center
  • Kathryn Mercer, Professor of Legal Writing, the Law School
  • Mark Pedretti, Lecturer, the Department of English
  • Adam Perzynski, SAGES instructor and medical sociologist at MetroHealth
  • Rolfe Petschek, Professor of Physics
  • Drew Poppleton, Assistant Director for Experiential Learning, the Career Center
  • Suzanne Rivera, Associate Vice President for Research and the Department of Bioethics
  • Rachel Sternberg, Associate Professor of Classics
  • Tracy Wilson-Holden, Director of Research Education
  • Jeffery Wolkowitz, Dean of Undergraduate Studies
  • Peter Yang, Associate Professor of German

Ethics Table