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Robert Ladenson

Dr. Robert Ladenson

Emeritus Faculty Associate

HUB Mezzannine, Room 204, 3241 S. Federal Street, Chicago IL 60616


Robert Ladenson is an emeritus faculty associate at the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions and a emeritus professor of philosophy at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He is the author of Ethics in the American Workplace (1995), A Philosophy of Free Expression (1982), and co-author of Values and Ethics in Organizational and Human Systems Development (1990). He has published numerous articles on the subjects of ethics, political philosophy, and the philosophy of law.

Professor Ladenson is also the creator, developer, and organizer of the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, which combines the excitement and fun of a competitive game with a valuable experience in practical and professional ethics education. The Ethics Bowl began as a small, intramural competition in 1993 at the Ilinois Institute of Technology. It has now expanded to include over a hundered of colleges and universities throughout the United States, and teams compete in ten different regional competitions for a chance to make it to the national competition.  

Selected Publications

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.