Economic inequality is a complex issue, often made more so by diverse political and socioeconomic opinions that accompany the topic in public discussions.
What is clear is that economic inequality is growing: The gap between Americans at the top and the bottom of the income ladder increased 27 percent from 1970 to 2016, according to the Pew Research Center. The gap and its growth are even more acute in corporate America, with a long-running study by the AFL-CIO showing leaders of S&P 500 companies making about 347 times more than their average employees in 2016, up from 41-to-1 in 1983.
Notre Dame Ethics Week 2019 will examine the economic gap during its annual event held Feb. 12 to Feb. 15 (Tuesday to Friday) at the Stayer Center for Executive Education Commons C. “Economic Inequality: On Campuses, in Communities and at Companies” will feature both Notre Dame and outside experts with diverse professional experience and backgrounds to discuss some of the underlying causes of economic inequality and its impact on specific segments of society, as well as related emerging issues such as technology and CEO pay.
Ethics Week lectures, sponsored by the Mendoza College of Business, the Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership and Chase Bank, are free and open to Notre Dame students, faculty and staff, and the larger community.
The schedule of speakers and panelists is as follows:
- Feb. 12, 4:30-5:30 p.m.: Virginia Eubanks, associate professor of political science at the University at Albany, SUNY, and author of “Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor.”
- Feb. 13, 4:30-5:30 p.m.: Panel discussion with Bob Mundy, director of admissions, University of Notre Dame; Mary Nucciarone, director of financial aid, University of Notre Dame; and Marc Burdell, former director of the Office of Student Enrichment, University of Notre Dame.
- Feb. 14, 12:30-1:30 p.m.: Panel discussion with Dan Graff, director of the Higgins Labor Program of the Center for Social Concerns and professor of the practice, Department of History, University of Notre Dame; and Charlice Hurst, assistant professor in the Department of Management and Organization, Mendoza College of Business.
- Feb. 15, 12:30-1:30 p.m.: Steven Clifford, author of “The CEO Pay Machine: How It Trashes America and How to Stop It.”
Now in its 22nd year, Notre Dame Ethics Week takes place annually in February and brings in experts from a diverse array of industries to explore current ethics issues. The series was established to encourage the discussion of ethical matters in undergraduate and graduate business classes at Notre Dame and to secure a foundation for future discussions inside and outside the classroom.
Ethics Week honors the legacy of John Houck, a Notre Dame management professor who wrote numerous works on business ethics, including “Is the Good Corporation Dead?” Houck died in 1996.