Former SFU leaders discuss ethical decision-making in new book

November 17, 2023

A new book edited by former dean of the Faculty of Environment Ingrid Leman Stefanovic opens a dialogue about responsible leadership in academic institutions.

In Conversations on Ethical Leadership: Lessons Learned from University Governance (UTP Press), contributing authors present case studies to discuss the moral dilemmas that university leaders face — including some that are increasingly topical in the wake of the pandemic and during a climate crisis.

In introductory remarks, Stefanonvic says, “Whether it is a question of determining morally sound, responsibility-based budget models, defining the meaning of academic freedom, or considering how to lower the carbon impact of institutional investments in an era of global climate change, university deans, vice-presidents, presidents, and program directors must deal with problems that are complex and often confounding.”

Among the book’s contributors are former Vice-Provost and Associate VP Academic, economics professor Gordon Myers, who weighs in on resourcing the pursuit of academic excellence, and SFU chancellor emeritus Anne Giardini, who shares "how a chancellor's leadership and vision can go beyond ceremonial and ritual support.”  

While authors primarily draw lessons from their experiences in academic administration, the book aims to explore ethical hurdles that are also relevant to leadership in sectors outside of academia; each chapter includes community remarks that speak to the broader applications of these lessons in both public and private organizational settings.

In a review, current dean of the Faculty of Environment Naomi Krogman writes: "Featuring a wealth of diverse voices from leaders in higher education, this collection provides a unique contribution on the current challenges for ethical leadership in higher education.”

Print and electronic formats of the book are available at the SFU library and can also be purchased here.