Huge win for The Only Way is Ethics Campaign
As we come towards the end of this term it seems timely to review our priority campaign for the year- the Only Way is Ethics.
We knew we were being ambitious when we started this campaign. We knew we were asking for a lot and we knew it would be hard to ensure LSE made substantive changes to its ethical processes. What we have seen this last term is a genuine push from LSE to consult across-campus on all things pertaining to Ethics at LSE and a fundamental shift is taking place.
When the LSE Council looked over Lord Woolf’s inquiry into LSE’s links to Libya in November the school took a strong stance in committing to learning the lessons of the report and implementing the recommendations through the year. Woolf’s inquiry throws up many points and issues- issues on ethics underlay virtually everything within it. The Woolf inquiry’s first of fifteen recommendations was for the School to establish an "embedded code dealing with ethics and reputational risk which applies across the institution". Since the beginning of February we have been doing just this. Together with other key members of the school I now sit on the Ethics Code Consultation Group. The group is comprised of nine of us- two independent governors, two academic governors, the director of finance and facilities, the academic registrar, a member of the staff consultative council and a senior professor.
We’ve put together an illustrative draft code and have been undertaking serious consultation within key constituencies of the school. To date this has included a meeting for students interested, a town-hall style meeting for academics, staff and students of LSE to give their views as well as taking consultancies to various other committees and fora, so far we have been to 11 separate consultations. There has been representation from all stakeholder groups (students, academics, staff and governors) represented throughout and useful discussions have been had. Beyond this we are inviting anyone interested to email firstname.lastname@example.org with their views on what they think an ethics code should look like and what they think it should cover.
Of course, having an ethics code itself is not enough- which is why one of the things we are looking at is how we embed this within the school, which is why, moving forward, we’ll be setting up a proper ethics committee.
These issues affect us all- they may cover areas from ethical investment to guidance on speech, academic processes to donations and grants screenings. We are in an absolutely unique position here- for the first time all members of the school are able to meaningfully shape how LSE operates in regards to ethics We have an opportunity here to set a new standard for conduct in not only LSE, but in Higher Education institutes everywhere; an opportunity I hope we will grasp.
For more information see the LSE's information on the group check out their website email email@example.com.