Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership
Ethics Team

Ethics Team Participation

Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE)

Annual Ethics Bowl
 • University of Arizona
 • Eller School of Management Annual Ethics Case Competition
 • Baltimore Area Annual Regional Ethics Bowl

More than 120 colleges and universities from across the nation compete against one another by presenting solutions to interesting ethical dilemmas in a series of events called "Ethics Bowl." The USNA Ethics Team won the Southeast Regional of the Ethics Bowl, one of various regional meets, in November of 2012. The regional competitions serve as feeders for the national competition, which is held in late February or early March during the annual meeting of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. These competitions are similar to panel debates, and use a set of 15 cases distributed to teams about two months before competitions.

In addition there are business ethics competitions sponsored by the University of Arizona Eller School of Management in Tucson Arizona, and the Berg Center of the University of Pittsburgh. These two events are not debate competitions, but revolve around a team produced business ethics PowerPoint presentation dealing with ethical challenges or dilemmas faced in the business world. Teams and judges "role play" as players in the corporate world. All teams in these competitions handle the same case. They are given 2 weeks to prepare their presentations, executive summaries, and essays concentrating on the ethical aspects of the cases. In the Eller competition, the Ethics team finished second in their division in 2012, and placed third overall in 2011. In the Berg Cup competition, the team placed first overall in 2013, and placed first in the crisis management exercise in 2012.

USNA participation

This has been a tradition at the Academy, attracting a loyal group of midshipmen who thrive on the discussion and teamwork. Midshipmen interested in participating in the Ethics Competitions work with the Stockdale Center, in selecting a team and formulating arguments.

The USNA team attends the Southeast Regional Ethics Bowl, November of each year, in St. Petersburg Florida. The National Finals of the APPE Ethics Bowl are held in Either Cincinnati Ohio or San Antonio Texas early March of each year. The Eller Business Ethics Case competition is held in late October, and the Berg Cup competition occurs late March.

In the past, the USNA Team has also competed in a Baltimore Area Ethics Bowl. This competition, was held by the Hoffberger Center of the University of Baltimore. Other competitors included the University of Baltimore, the University of Maryland, Baltimore, University of Maryland College Park, and Towson University. In 2010, three teams from this competition (including USNA) made the trip to the national finals where competition was intense. This area event may be reinstated in the 2013-14 academic year.

Since these competitions are annual events, prospective Ethics Bowl participants should consider ongoing involvement. Team members can participate in one, two or three of the events. Team members may also choose to play support roles for the traveling team, conducting research and serving as a 'scout team' prepping the team during rehearsals. Because the competitions are distinct in expectations, many of the skills needed and benefits gained are complementary to skills needed at the Academy and after graduation.

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