Don Heider, chief executive of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Center also serves as the John Courtney Murray, S.J. University Professor of Social Ethics and holds an appointment as professor of communication. The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics is one of the most active ethics centers in the United States, with programs in business, government, journalism, engineering, internet ethics, health care ethics, social sector ethics, and leadership ethics. Formerly, Heider was the associate provost and dean of the School of Communication at Loyola University in Chicago. He served as associate dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at University of Maryland, College Park, and as associate professor of journalism at University of Texas, Austin. Heider began his career as a TV journalist and received five Emmy awards for his work. He is the author or editor of seven books including A Practical Guide to Digital Journalism Ethics and Ethics for a Digital Age, Volumes 1 and 2.
“This process likely involved the donor and the university president,” Don Heider told The Fix via a phone interview. He said it is likely Onwuachi-Willig would have had no say in the process. The awarding of endowed chairs to deans is “commonplace” in universities, Heider said. In fact, the endowment itself, $3 million, “isn’t enough to start a professorship from scratch.” Heider said that he sees this as a way for the university to retain Dean Onwuachi-Willig and university officials likely made the decision without her involvement.3 June 2021
“Journalism does have an uncomfortable history of journalists and editors having cozy relationships with politicians, though not often their siblings.” Don Heider noted. “Newspaper editors for many years knew all the local politicians and power brokers, so this isn’t anything new. “3 June 2021
“From an ethics perspective, it has everything to do with the idea of the common good, the idea that our actions should contribute to a life that helps everybody, especially on a team,” Heider said Friday, later adding, “If you look at championship teams, they have that special chemistry and they have that great deal of respect and love for each other. How can you respect and love somebody if you’re not concerned about the health and well-being of them and their families as well?”3 June 2021