SUNY Oswego, WCNY to host documentary, panel on ethics


March 28, 2018

SUNY Oswego will partner with WCNY to host a preview of the PBS documentary segment “The Whistle Blower,” followed by an ethics-based faculty panel discussion on Wednesday, April 11.

The screening, which starts at 6:15 p.m. in Marano Campus Center auditorium (Room 132), will consist of one of the three 30-minute segments from the PBS film “Playing by the Rules: Ethics at Work.” The full film is scheduled to air on WCNY later in April. It focuses on corruption and fraud scenarios in corporate settings in America. The section being shown is specific to CitiMortgage employee Sherry Hunt’s experience.

This program will encourage students to prepare themselves for when they may face something unethical in their future workplace, said SUNY Oswego philosophy professor Robert Card.

“We are doing this for the students,” said Card, who will be a panelist and worked with WCNY to organize the event. “This is really preparing (students) to be professionals; this is what every student here is aiming for.”

The event will begin with the film preview, then transition to the panel of three SUNY Oswego professors, moderated by Debbie Stack, WCNY senior director of education and community engagement.

In addition to Card, Oswego faculty experts will include economics professor and chair David Andrews and Pamela Cox of the School of Business. Ethical considerations apply to each of these areas of study, Card noted.

Card looks forward to students getting the opportunity to learn from first-hand perspectives in the film and to see “how meaningful it is for someone to stand up,” as well as the difficult factors that play into ethical decision making.

“We are going to be asking the audience to really think, ‘What would you do?’ if you ethically disagree on something that is happening in the workplace,” said Card.

Card has published articles on both business and healthcare and is currently focusing on ethics-related topics in the medical field for a book he is working on.

The film ties in with a new major approved at Oswego in the fall encompassing philosophy, political science and economics. The new major will enable students to gain a core understanding of the three topics and specialize in one of three specific tracks that will be offered.

Fruitful partnership

“The Whistle Blower” consists of both original reporting and input from experts who can provide first-hand experience in this type of crisis. The other two segments of the documentary series are “Ask Why” and “The Run Coal Memos.” The segments will air on WCNY separately on three consecutive Sundays at 6 p.m.: “The Whistle Blower” on April 15, “Ask Why” on April 22 and “The Run Coal Memos” on April 29. WCNY was able to work on this event with the help of a WNET grant.

Ronnie and Lawrence D. Ackman provided major funding for the film. Additional funding was provided by Betty and John Levin, Lise Strickler and Mark Gallogly, Patricia and Philip Laskawy, and Graves and Colleen Tompkins.

"I think bringing these films to college campuses like Oswego is a terrific idea because each film exposes students to real-world decision making and situations while they are still in college," Stack said. 

The media company and SUNY Oswego have developed a fruitful partnership, she added. "WCNY's President and CEO, Bob Daino, is an Oswego graduate who has also been an Oswego commencement speaker," Stack noted. "We encourage students from Oswego to apply for WCNY internships. The April 11 program is an example of yet another way WCNY is working with Oswego."

Syracuse's WCNY is a community-owned media company. It was originally founded in 1965 as the Educational Television Council of Central New York. Currently, WCNY produces and distributes television, radio, magazine, web, email and social media content on a global scale. It operates five digital pledge-free broadcast channels and three radio stations.