On February 19, 2001, the Ethics Across the Curriculum program accepted the first-place honor of the prestigious TIAA-CREF Hesburgh Award for Faculty Development to Enhance Undergraduate Teaching and Learning at the American Council on Education Conference in Washington, D.C.. Named in honor of the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, former president of the University of Notre Dame, the $30,000 cash award is presented to the school with the most outstanding curriculum development in American higher education.
The center used the award money to set up an endowment to fund ongoing ethics education at UVU. "The fact that we are being recognized for our work in ethics is particularly gratifying," then-UVSC President Romesburg, who accepted the award on behalf of the center, said. "Trying to promote and instill ethical thinking and decision making with our students has long been a hallmark of our curriculum." Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Elaine Englehardt, who founded the center in 1993 and has been a pioneer in Ethics Across the Curriculum, said that the purpose of the program is to "explore the ethical dimensions of a wide variety of disciplines and contemporary moral issues in open, public discussion." Englehardt added that earning the Hesburgh Award involved a community effort. "The success of the Ethics Across the Curriculum program in no small part is due the widespread participation in the program from every corner of campus." Under the leadership of Englehardt, UVU has received over $1 million in grants for the Ethics Across the Curriculum program from the National Endowment for the Humanities, FIPSE, the Utah Humanities Council and other foundations.
According to David Keller, director of the Center for the Study of Ethics, Ethics Across the Curriculum is the keystone of the center's programming: "UVU is fertile ground for Ethics Across the Curriculum, due to the unique diversity of the school. I have seen a marked improvement in UVU students' awareness and understanding of the many sides of complex ethical issues. In my experience, students come out of the ethics program with a strengthened sense of their own beliefs because they have rational justification for holding them."
Based on the idea that moral discourse is vital to a flourishing civil society, the Ethics and Values course serves as a GE core requirement for all UVU graduates. To date, over 32,000 students have taken Ethics and Values. The course has been applauded by scholars throughout the nation as a model for interdisciplinary ethics education, and it distinguishes UVU as the only school in Utah with an ethics requirement. As Vice President for Academic Affairs Lucille Stoddard said, "UVU's reception of the Hesburgh Award is evidence that UVU ranks with the nation's top academic institutions for originality and creativity in curriculum development" (Source: UVSC press release document, 2001).