CSEP Publications

The Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP) was established in 1976 to promote research and teaching on practical moral problems in the professions, and throughout this long history Center faculty have continued to publish important works in the area of professional ethics.

Publications by Topic

A list of all publications produced by CSEP faculty associates, scholars and others from 1976 to the present, including presentations, Center publications, journal articles and books. Use this page to order copies of publications from the Center.

CSEP Publications

Perspectives on the Professions

Presenting short original articles by practitioners and scholars, Perspectives has won a wide audience in the U.S. and abroad. Each issue deals with a particular topic in professional ethics. An index of topics is available. 

Code Making: How Software Engineering Became a Profession by Dr. Michael Davis

During the period of 1993-2000, CSEP fellows and staff were participant observers in a joint project of the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS) and the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) f to help organize software developers and engineers into a profession. One of the main goals of this project was to develop a universal code of ethics for software engineers. Dr. Davis was a participant observer throughout the drafting of the Software Engineering Code of Ethics, and afterward wrote a detailed account of how the code was developed by the ACM and IEEE-CS committee. “Code Making” gives insight in how the profession of software engineering was formed and wrote its own code of professional ethics, and also looks at this project as a case study to see how other professional societies can better go about drafting and revising their own codes of ethics. The entire book is available for free download under a Creative Commons License.

Municipal Service Delivery; Thinking Through the Privatization Option by Inge Fryklund, Dr. Vivian Weil, and Harriett McCullough

Published in Sept. 1997, these practical and ethical guidelines highlight correct management of the privatization process. This project, funded by the Joyce Foundation, was the joint effort of CSEP and the National League of Cities.

The cost for either of these publications is $10.00 per copy, plus $3.00 for shipping and handling.

Trying Times: Science and Responsibilities after Daubert, edited by Dr. Vivian Weil

Can judges make responsible decisions about what scientific evidence is admissible in court? When is expert witnessing unethical? How can courts respect scientific standards while pursuing justice? These are some of the questions that direct attention to responsibilities of the professionals in legal cases requiring evidence from experts. These responsibilities are the concern of a recent publication, Trying Times: Science and Responsibilities after Daubert, produced by the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP) at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in collaboration with the Institute for Science, Law and Technology (ISLAT) at IIT's Chicago-Kent College of Law. The volume includes essays by Barbara Jacobs Rothstein, a federal judge, Richard Meserve, a former litigator in high stakes cases involving scientific testimony, Sheila Jasanoff (Science and Public Policy, Harvard), and Ullica Segerstrale (Social Science, IIT). The editor, Vivian Weil, has an introductory essay. An annotated bibliography acquaints readers with the lively literature since the Supreme Court's 1993 decision in Daubert that made judges gatekeepers for admitting science in the courts. The volume is aimed to clarify the responsibilities of judges, lawyers, scientists, engineers, and researchers in medicine at this intersection of law and science.

Notable Publications by CSEP Fellows

Critical Attributes of Good Process Decisions: A Guide for the Reflective Special Education Hearing Officers by Dr. Robert Ladenson

This monograph offers guidance for special education due process hearing officers in their efforts to write good due process decisions. It has four sections dealing respectively with:

- Summary and explanation of factual findings;
- Justification of legal conclusions;
- Framing and determination of rulings and orders;
- Writing choices in a special education due process opinion as to word selection, organizational structure, style, rhetoric, and tone.

The monograph is not intended to replace, but instead to supplement, the use of comprehensive summaries of substantive and procedural special education law. It aims to address an essential, yet presently unmet need – for an educational approach that helps special education due process hearing officers to focus critical reflection upon processes involved both in thinking through issues in a case and finding words to express the conclusions arrived at in writing a decision.

Limitations Upon Legitimate Authority to Suspend and Expel K-12 Public School Students: A Moral Analysis by Dr. Robert Ladenson

This paper presents a moral analysis of the limitations upon legitimate authority to suspend and expel students in K-12 public schools. The paper has four sections. The first presents two case vignettes that pose difficult moral issues concerning suspensions and expulsions in K-12 public schools. The second section develops an analysis of the moral bases of a child’s right to receive a K-12 public education. Section three extends the analysis in section two, relating it specifically to limitations upon morally legitimate authority to suspend and expel students in K-12 public schools. The fourth section returns to the two case vignettes and discusses the moral issues they pose from the standpoint of the analysis developed in sections two and three. The analysis will benefit educators, parents, and the general public in helping to identify, clarify their understanding of, and gain insight into principles, which underlie any morally justifiable policy concerning K-12 public school suspensions and expulsions.

Religion and Ethics

CSEP Faculty Associate Dr. Robert Ladenson, talks about the nature of ethics and its connections to religion, morals and law in a changing world as part of an online course developed by MentorCLE, an organization that develops online video continuing learning education course for Illinois attorneys. The course is available for free, and will be of interest to a anyone interested in questions of ethics and its relationship to law and the legal profession. The course runs for three hours and includes discussions on this topic by a rabbi, priest and a Muslim teacher. The segment by Dr. Ladenson can be seen in segments 10, 11 and 12 of the video.

Thinking Like an Engineer: The Role a Code of Ethics Plays in the Practice of a Profession

This article, CSEP Senior Fellow Michael Davis, is an extremely good description of how codes of ethics are used in professional practice.

Publications by CSEP Students


This article, written by IIT student Noe' Brambila in October, 1996 to fulfill an assignment for a Moral Issues in Engineering course, answers the question, "How is it possible (if it is) to be self-directed and governed by a code of ethics?"

Authoring a Code of Ethics: Observations on Process and Organization

As a summer intern at the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, Andrew Olson participated in the Center’s Codes of Ethics Online project making an online archive of codes available to Internet users worldwide. After the experience, he wrote a short analysis of the codes of ethics included in this project, as well as a guide to producing codes of ethics.