Ethics is defined as the moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity

Ethics is defined as the moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity

Statement  1

Ethics is defined as the moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity, principles that hopefully lead us to choose “right over wrong or a certain set of values over others” (Project Management Methods and Ideologies, 2011, pg. 1). A leader’s job is difficult not only because of the job obligations and responsibilities that the title entails, but more so because of the ethical dilemmas that need to be faced on a regular basis-ethical dilemmas such as what budget cuts need to be made in order to sustain an institution or what course of action need to be taken for change to take place. A person is not born with leadership traits but rather learns them along the way. Hill (2005, p.29) states that “though some of the qualities of effective leadership are innate or acquired principally through prework socialization, much of leadership is learned.” In other words, a person develops into a leader as a result of skills learned and wisdom gained from past experiences. Currently, I am not in any leadership position. However, if I were, the steps I would take to frame my decision-making in the educational environment I’m placed at by God would be the following. The first step would be to gather as much facts as possible about the situation at hand (Dobrin, 2012). No decision can be made ethically without gathering the facts. Though it is impossible to know all the facts about a particular situation, gathering as much information as possible can help a leader make a decision that he or she can live with. The second step I would take would be to weigh the varied outcomes of possible decisions. For example, if I took route A, then this is the predicted outcome of my decision, but if I chose to go the other route, route B, then this is what I can expect. Looking ahead or predicting how my decision will affect my institution and the people that work for and with me will help provide insight to know the right choice. Last but not least, I would contemplate on whether or not my decision would benefit my institution and help others succeed in their jobs. My goal as a leader should not solely be to attain success for myself but to help my institution and colleagues succeed.

Senneth Blanchard and Norman Vincent Peale, in their 1988 bestseller The Power of Ethical Management, recommends decision makers to ask the following questions to determine the extent to which the proposed decision grounds in ethical considerations: Is the decision fair? Will I feel better or worse about myself after I make the decision? Does the decision break any organizational rules? Does the decision break any laws? “How would I feel if the decision was broadcast on the news? (as cited in Project Management Methods and Ideologies, 2011, pg. 4)

Dealing with complex issues is part of a leader’s job description. A complex issue that leaders are required to address is one that the president of my academic institution is currently dealing with. As we all are aware because of COVID, the past couple of years have been trying for most everyone. She became president just 6 months ago, at a challenging time to say the least. COVID not only affected the economy, and more importantly, the mental and physical well-being of people, but also other aspects of life. Education, for instance, is one other area seeing the effects of COVID. Anxiety, depression, financial restrains, and lack of motivation are leading less and less students from pursuing higher education. Decrease in student enrollment at my institution has led this new president to face challenges that usually do not come this early in one’s term. Decisions such as which job positions and programs to eliminate and what changes to implement all involve ethical dilemmas that will not only dictate the trajectory of my academic institution but will also have a negative impact on certain constituents, like the loss of employment for some.


Dubrin, A. D.S.W. (2012, July 13). Five Steps to Better Ethical Decision Making. Psychology Today. Retrieved from

Hill, L. (2005, January). Leadership Development: A Strategic Imperative for Higher Education. Retrieved from

How Ethics and Culture Affect Decision Making: World Morals at a Glance. (2011, June 27). Retrieved from




Statement 2


Decision-making in today’s higher education environment has seen dramatic changes. Leaders have relied on their knowledge of values and ethics to guide their decisions during the COVID pandemic. If these higher education professionals work to make values and ethics a part of every decision during the pandemic, better outcomes will logically follow. To infuse values and ethics into all decisions, professionals must agree upon a set of values that apply to almost any situation. These values include transparency, accountability, enhanced communication, fairness, and equity. Most college administrators agree that these values frame how all decisions work in the educational environment, according to Liu et al. (2021).

Chambers & Ransom (2016) states that values framed around defined action allow all professionals in higher education to know what to expect from administrators when it comes to handling various situations that present themselves. One popular model used to frame decisions is the (VIA) Model. The (V) in the model stands for values. Consistency in values helps administrators deal with issues the (I) of the model. Contemplation on values and how they affect issues in higher education set up the administrator to take appropriate action, the (A). This model can help administrators at all levels of higher education, whether one operates in teaching, learning, or practice. This model is quite helpful in facing numerous issues, including the efforts to increase the number of college graduates, coping with sexual assaults on campus, and budget reductions. These are just a few of the issues the model assists with effectively and timely.

Working through issues effectively and time may hinder new graduates who assume administrator roles. Research shows the skills necessary to work through these issues. Naturally, skillful administrators build their ability to steer higher education entities in dealing with such issues require the leader to practice crisis management. McDonald et al. (2006) state that one model for dealing with these issues is the Kitchener Model. The model requires the leader to respect the autonomy of those working for him in student affairs. The model calls for administrators not to harm in their attempt to be and benefit others.

Chambers & Ranson (2016) state that although quite a few models work well, administrators must seek solutions that fairly benefit all students they serve. It should be the goal of an administrator to make every effort to make consistent decisions no matter the student or faculty member they are working with to resolve an issue. Professional bias reduces when administrators follow models such as the VIA Model because the model focuses the leader on the facts of the case.


Chambers, C. & Ransom, H. (2016). Teaching ethics in higher education using values – issues – action (VIA) model. Journal for the Study of Postsecondary and Teaching Education(1), 13-34. Retrieved from

Liu, B., Shi, D., Lim, J., Islam, K., Edwards, A., & Seeger, M. (2021). When crises hit home:  How U.S. higher education leaders navigate values during uncertain times. Journal of Business Ethics. Doi:  10.1007/s10551-021-04820-5

McDonald,W., Ebelhar, M., Orehovec, E., & Sanderson, R. (2006). Ethical decision making:  A teaching and learning model for graduate students and new professionals. The College Student Affairs Journal(25), 2, 152-163. Retrieved from

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Ethics is defined as the moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conducting of an activity


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