From One Dupont Circle: Quarterly Update

You have made it to the half way mark!

Fall 2005 opening is a memory and the anticipation of finals and the accomplishments of completing the first semester for the class of 2009, reflects the hard work and dedication to a talented group of educators – college student educators!

Thank you for your devotion and attention to the needs of so many students and others in the university community. I extend a special thanks to the many campuses that came to the “rescue” of our colleagues from the Gulf Coast Region following the natural disasters of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In addition to the routine task of the fall, college campuses across the country (and beyond) offered assistance to students, support to faculty and administrators, and prayer for the loss of life and property. What a small world in which we live and these natural disasters are evident of our dependency on one another for survival. This recognition is something we must continue to instill in our students and reinforce by our actions with one another.

“Together we can accomplish everything”

Other activity of the Association this fall focused primarily on the work of our two appointed task forces:

  1. Certification – Under the leadership of Dr. Merrylee Dunn (GA) and Dr. Kent Porterfield (MO) this group continue to assess the results of the survey from the membership that emphasized a need for intentionally structured professional development that might lead to a professionally certified credential or transcript. More information is forthcoming as the Task Force continues their work throughout this academic year.
  2. Governance – Under the leadership of Dr. Patty Perillo (MD) the diverse group of association members have advanced their work following a three-day retreat and numerous conference calls, looking at ways the Association can conduct its business in a more efficient and “nimble” governance structure. This group intends to present a model (s) for membership reaction at the Annual Convention in Indianapolis.
  3. ACPA Educational Leadership Foundation (ELF) – Under the leadership of Dr. Leila Moore (NH), former ACPA president and currently President of the Board of Trustees of the ACPA ELF, the ELF Board of Trustees are currently attempting to re-engineer the Foundation to strategically identify means to increase revenue in support of ACPA’s strategic goals. Many Association members have been invited to participate in focus groups held throughout the east coast this fall. I thank you for sharing your honest thoughts and concerns related to fundraising challenges facing higher education and our Foundation. The current ELF Board of Trustees will hold their annual orientation of new Board members and their next planning session in January 2006.
  4. State/International Divisions – Under the leadership of Dr. Ann Groves Lloyd (WI), this group continues to encourage and support quality professional development conferences, workshops and seminars throughout the country. I have had the pleasure to attend several state conferences and am most impressed with the quality of programs with specific emphasis on how these organizations welcome new state educators at these events. Many educators find the state meeting to be their only opportunity to interact with other colleagues away from campus. I encourage continued support and appreciation to each state and to our international division in the Caribbean.
  5. 2006 Convention – Dr. Boyd Yarbrough (SC) and the Convention planning team is in the thick of planning what will be the professional development extravanzga of the year in the NEW Indianapolis. The theme, “Making a Difference in the Lives of Students” will set the stage for the exchange of ideas, theories, and practices in our profession. Mark your calendars for March 18-22, 2006 to join us there. If you have not been to Indianapolis in the past eight to ten years, you are in store for a real treat. The downtown of Indianapolis has been completely transformed into a modern, accessible, destination site for visitors (downtown city center shopping mall), conventioneers (new convention center), sports fans (NCAA headquarters) and educators in particular (the huge downtown campus of Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis and other higher education campuses in and near the city).

This is just a brief snapshot of the many events that occurred since we last communicated. A special thanks to the many state divisions who have held conferences this fall. I had the opportunity to attend a few and the quality and resourcefulness of the state leadership is admirable.

Until next time,


Hummingbirds and Hurricanes

Jane Fried
Chair of the Ethics Committee, Associate Professor
Central Connecticut State University

The hardest part of handling an ethical dilemma is knowing that you’re having one. Harry Canon, former Chair, ACPA Ethics Committee

This past summer as I sat on my patio watching the hummingbirds dive bomb their feeder, I began to wonder how so many of them lived in the woods near my home without being visible. After looking carefully into the foliage, I was able to pick out a few of the most obvious hummingbirds lining up for a drink, but I was also amazed at how quickly they disappeared into the background once they were satisfied. Shortly afterward, we experienced two overwhelming, mind-boggling hurricanes, Katrina and Rita. The contrast between hurricanes and hummingbirds moved into my awareness. Nobody in the country could escape the information about the hurricanes, the human and physical catastrophe, the confusion, the suffering and the muddled attempts to address an issue that was apparently bigger than all of our human service agencies could have imagined. Hummingbirds are easy to miss and hard to see. Hurricanes knock us over and keep us down for a long time. The size of most ethical dilemmas seems closer to a hummingbird than a hurricane. The question for student affairs practitioners becomes “How do we learn to notice the hummingbirds?”

We are used to thinking about the five ethical principles first articulated by Kitchener (1985), but less familiar with the ethical virtues of our profession (Meara, Schmidt & Day, 1996). We need to know about these ethical principles when we become aware of an ethical dilemma. We need to use the ethical virtues every day of our lives. The development of those virtues allows us to see less visible but equally significant dilemmas.

Virtues are habits of behavior and thought. They represent our default approach to handling whatever issues face us in the course of our work, the attitudes and personality characteristics that we typically use in addressing professional issues. For helping professionals there are four primary virtues which serve as the foundation for our work with others – prudence, integrity, respectfulness and benevolence. Prudence and integrity are considered “self-regarding” virtues; respectfulness and benevolence are “other” regarding virtues.

Self-regarding virtues: Prudence, the first self-regarding virtue, suggests that we should develop the habit of moving slowly and thinking carefully when dealing with difficult ethical situations. Anyone in student affairs who is called upon to help resolve student or staff conflicts can easily see the power of prudence in carrying out this responsibility. A conflict that only has two sides is generally a simple conflict. Most conflicts have as many sides to them as there are stakeholders. When the student center staff holds its scheduling meeting to consider conflicting requests for major events requiring large amounts of time, space and student support, a great deal of information must be considered prudently before decisions are made. When a student charges another student with assault and nobody observed the incident, but both students are bruised, prudence is required when deciding appropriate penalties. Prudence, when managing conflicts, generally involves careful examination of evidence, awareness of various perspectives on any issue, exploration of values and principles that may be involved and refusal to be pressured into an expedient but unfair resolution.

Prudence, used over an extended period of time, leads the way toward personal integrity, a sense that the ethics and judgment of the decision-maker are consistent. Integrity also implies that the decision-maker has an internal anchor, a set of principles and standards by which judgments and actions are evaluated. A person with integrity can be trusted by the students who work with her or him because they will not experience drastic differences in value criteria from one situation to another. A person with integrity treats everyone with fairness and thoughtfulness even when circumstances differ and the details vary. If a person behaves with integrity, the reasons for different judgments under different circumstances are clear and transparent.

Other regarding virtues: Respectfulness and benevolence are the two “other regarding” virtues. Other regarding virtues are oriented toward creating good for people in the community or client population which the professional person serves. Learning to treat other people with respect has become challenging because ideas about respect vary from culture to culture. On our campuses we have students and staff from all over the world. Behavior which is respectful in one culture can be construed as disrespectful by people from another culture. Male/female handshaking as a form of greeting is respectful in the US, but is considered rude and unacceptable to people who are observant Muslims. For Americans it is respectful to begin a meeting promptly (when the time on the clock conforms with the time announced for the meeting), to conduct business with little personal conversation, even though attendees are often addressed by first names. In other cultures, particularly those where relationships are very important and age is a mark of rank, meetings may begin later than the announced time, with inquiries about family and the welfare of the participants. People may expect to be addressed by title or family name. It is not unusual to have people with differing sets of expectations about respect in the same meeting trying to move toward a common goal. Even when the virtue of respect is shared, the details of cross-cultural respect must be learned.

The Golden Rule, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, now has a corollary, Do unto others as they would be done unto. In other words, we have all had to learn to treat others in the way that they consider respectful, not necessarily in the way that we consider respectful. This particularly extends to the issue of including family and accepting many definitions of family. US law defines an adult as a person over the age of 18 but in many cultures that distinction is meaningless as long as the student is not married. For those students, there is an ethical issue to be untangled when it comes to deciding whether or not to include parents in some conversations. Another issue of respect is generational. Students who live in an IM, text message world, may not have the same idea of how to approach a receptionist or speak to an administrator who grew up in a face to face, complete sentence, “Hello, how can I help you?” world. Students may act in a manner that seems appropriate to them and yet be perceived as disrespectful by those whose services they are seeking. There is certainly a large amount of overlap between cultures and generations when it comes to respect, but it is prudent not to take anything for granted.

Benevolence is intertwined with respect. Benevolence involves taking the other person’s wellbeing into account. Benevolence suggests “opening ourselves to many others, to family, to friends and even to strangers, forming genuine and deep bonds based on our common humanity” (Dalai Lama, 1998, p.84). When we are able to find our common humanity, regardless of perceived rudeness or communication difficulties, we can develop benevolence. We can begin to realize that a remark that might hurt another person, if aimed toward us, would also be hurtful. Cultivating the virtue of benevolence leads inevitably to the development of respect. If I care about a person’s well-being and I unintentionally act in a disrespectful manner, I will be able to apologize and change my behavior out of consideration for the other person. Their welfare becomes more important than my loss of “face.”

Virtues are formed after a great deal of practice. In the midst of a crisis a person’s character comes to the fore, and their behavior reflects their habitual responses and thought processes. The cultivation of the ethical virtues allows us to “see” the hummingbird sized dilemmas and to respond appropriately. A prudent person does not worry about jumping to conclusions in a difficult situation and then making the wrong choice. A person with integrity is fairly predictable and students and colleagues know that he or she can be trusted. A benevolent person doesn’t take advantage of another person or humiliate others even if they have done something wrong or offensive, or broken a rule. A benevolent person habitually treats others with respect. The cultivation of virtues takes a long time, and the road is filled with missteps. Nevertheless, it’s the virtues that let us know when a hummingbird is in the area. If we take care of the hummingbirds, we’ll be able to figure out what to do about the hurricanes when the need arises.


  • Dalai Lama & Cutler, H. (1998). The art of happiness. NY: Riverhead Books.
  • Fried, J. (2004). Ethical standards and principles. In S. Komives & D. Woodard (Eds.) Student services: A handbook for the profession (pp. 107-127). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
  • Kitchener, K. (1985) Ethical principles and ethical decision-making in student affairs. In H. Canon and R.D. Brown (Eds.), Applied ethics in student services. New Directions for Student Services, 30, San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
  • Meara, N., Schmidt, L., & Day, J. (1996). Principles and virtues: A foundation for ethical decisions, policies and character. Counseling Psychologist, 24, 4-77.

From the Editor

From the Editor

In this issue you will hear a fresh new voice in our legal issues section. Jason Lane, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of North Dakota joins Developments as an author for our Legal Issues column. He has agreed to share this responsibility with Robert Hendrickson who continues to write two articles each year. Dr. Lane has agreed to write the other two articles. His first article provides new information on file-sharing at college and universities. Please take a look.

In addition to his piece, Greg Roberts provides his quarterly report. Jane Fried provides a thoughtful look at ethical virtues. Scott Brown offers a personal reflection about his Maltese identity and Developments interviewed Daniel Macari, editor of the new Journal of the Minnesota College Personnel Association. Enjoy the articles and have a safe winter.

Call for Applications

ACPA Books and Media Editorial Board

ACPA Books and Media invites applications for positions on the Editorial Board. Members are appointed for three-year terms beginning at the Annual Convention, March 2006. ACPA Books and Media solicits and approves book proposals and other media for publication through ACPA and its publisher. Board members also serve as editorial consultants on completed manuscripts and media. Interested persons must meet the following qualifications:

  • Membership in ACPA,
  • Experience in publishing and/or reviewing manuscripts/media,
  • Demonstrated expertise in cultural diversity issues in higher education, and
  • Ability to provide honest, direct, yet supportive, feedback to colleagues.

To apply, please send a cover letter addressing the qualifications noted above, a curriculum vitae, and at least two letters of support from colleagues who are familiar with the applicant’s professional experience and skills. Deadline for applications is March 1, 2006.

Send all materials via email to: Nancy J. Evans, Editor, ACPA Books and Media. Email: [email protected]. Phone: 515-294-7113 or 515-268-8903.

Colleges, Courts, Congress, and Napster: Student Affairs’ Role in Reducing Illegal Copyright Piracy

Jason E. Lane
Assistant Professor
University of North Dakota

Colleges and universities remain at the epicenter of the file sharing movement, and thus at the heart of concerns regarding copyright infringement and piracy. College students created file sharing software such as Napster and i2hub. Postsecondary institutions number among the most networked organizations in the world and provide access to millions of colleges students, with limited oversight as to how students use these networks. Further, college students are arguably one of the most egregious groups of current copyright violators in the United States. In 2002 downloading music from the internet was an almost exclusively illegal activity as legal alternatives were only in their infancy. A 2002 study by Pew’s Internet and American Life Project found that college students had a significantly higher propensity for downloading music from the internet than any other group of internet users (Jones, 2002).

Recent legal and political developments suggest that file sharing on college campuses remains a primary issue of concern for many of higher education’s external stakeholders. Campus based piracy has been the focus of Congressional hearings since Napster first attracted public attention. In 2002 higher education and recording industry officials formed the Joint Committee of the Higher Education and Entertainment Communities “as a way to help combat copyright piracy on campuses nationwide” (Boliek, 2005). In one of the more aggressive moves by Congress, Reps. Lamar Smith (R, TX) and Howard Berman (D, CA), indicated that they would request that the General Accounting Office (GAO) investigate college and university anti-piracy policies and provide a “ranking” [check] of their effectiveness. The signals from Congress suggest a growing external desire for colleges to take responsibility for the illicit uses of their campus networks.

Interestingly, such expectations extend far beyond requirements of federal statutes, which protect universities from being held liable for activities engaged in by users of their networks, so long as the university abides by a set of minimal reporting, monitoring, and educative requirements (see Hawke, 2004; Hendrickson, 2004; and Lane & Hendrickson, in press for detailed discussions of institutional safe harbor requirements). However, some universities have begun to set expectations for institutions by engaging in high profile activities such as partnering with providers of legal, digital downloads of music. Pennsylvania State University began the movement in 2003 by partnering with Napster and as of September 2005, nearly 70 institutions had entered into similar partnerships. Another preventive measure recently attracting media attention is the University of Florida’s controversial filtering software: Icarus. UF officials attest to the software eliminating a vast majority of illegal file sharing on their networks, but critics believe the software unfairly restricts students’ privacy and the “student newspaper referred to Icarus as ‘invasive’ and ‘evil’” (Read, 2005b).

The battle over campus-based internet privacy is not only being waged in Congressional hearing rooms, but also in the hallowed halls of the federal judiciary. Lawsuits and subpoenas, including the thousands filed by the Recording Industry Association of American (RIAA) and the Movie Picture Association of America (MPAA) against individual users, initially garnered a great deal of attention from the media and, as of January 2005, resulted in the identification of approximately 260 potential copyright infringers on 85 campuses (Read, 2005a).

Additionally, the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. et al. [MGM] v. Grokster Ltd, et al. (2005) brought additional public scrutiny to the file sharing debate. In this case, a group of copyright holders filed suit against companies that distribute free peer-to-peer [P2P] software (such as Morpheus and KaZaA). P2P software allows users to connect directly to each other’s computers to search for and download digital files such as documents, music, and movies. Evidence suggested that billions of files were transmitted across these networks each day and that most users of the software engaged in downloading illegal versions of copyrighted files. MGM and other copyright holders sought damages from these companies believing them to be liable for enabling the illegal activity. The Court acknowledged that the decentralized nature of the networks prevented the distributor from direct monitoring of the network and that the software could be used for non-infringing activity. However, the distributors of the software could be held liable for the illegal use of their software as they profited from the illegal activity on their networks and knowingly positioned themselves as alternatives to Napster, the original file sharing network. Such activities, the Court decided, indicated the distributors intended the software to be used for illegal purposes. The Court determined that many of the distributors of software designed for file sharing could be held liable for the copyright infringing activity engaged in by the users of the software.

Other than drawing attention to the issue of copyright violations and campus-based piracy, what is the meaning for student affairs practitioners? While the MGM v. Grokster (2005) has for the moment limited the availability of P2P software, the case has little direct legal impact on colleges and universities. Students do use campus networks to engage in infringing activities, but colleges and universities do not profit from the illegal behavior nor were the networks created to encourage illegal file sharing. As such, college and university legal liability does not necessarily increase due to this ruling. However, it does not mean that stakeholders will not expect aggressive institutional responses to piracy. Already, many campuses across the nation are assuming more active roles in confronting and preventing infringing activities.

While college and university legal requirements are limited, the issue raises a number of questions regarding the educational and ethical requirements of an institution. If there is a major outbreak of illegal activity on campus, how should a campus respond? What if there were some questions as to students’ awareness about the legality of their actions? What obligations do colleges and universities have toward developing good citizens and ethical leaders? As Rep. Lamar Smith stated in his opening remarks at a recent Congressional sub-committee hearing, “Universities have recognized that part of their educational mission is not only centered on turning out architects, lawyers, nurses, musicians, and economists. Their mission also includes creating well-rounded individuals with respect for others and the laws of our country.” If one believes the latter part of Smith’s statement to be true, then universities have an obligation not only to provide legal alternatives, but also to educate students about copyright law and the implications of their illegal activities.

Institutional responses garnering the most media attention are technological based such as making legal alternatives available to students and aggressively monitoring network activity; yet the most important responses fall to student affairs practitioners. While the aforementioned programs may change student behavior, they do not necessarily alter the mindset or moral development of students (Lane & Healy, 2005). One of the requirements for universities to be eligible for legal protection from liability is educating students about copyright law. While compliance could possibly be achieved with passive activities such as posting of flyers or inclusion of an informational statement in the student handbook, many institutions are viewing the educational requirement as an ethical responsibility and implementing more active educational measures. Some institutions make students complete a module and pass a quiz about copyright law before issuing them an e-mail ID and network access account. Others are supplementing their orientation activities with discussions of copyright law and appropriate use of campus networks, sharing time with such topics as appropriate alcohol use and campus safety.

In many ways, student governance organizations such as Student Government and Residence Hall Associations are also being included as key players in the development of institutional responses. As colleges and universities debate the provision of legal music and movie downloading services, campus administrators look to these organizations for support. In some cases, these organizations are being asked to approve fee increases to subsidize the expenses associated with offering services such as Napster, Cdigix, and Ruckus. As organizational advisors, it is important to be aware of the issues involved in the file sharing debate and help students process through the associated array of ethical grey areas.

Unlike some other issues where the law provides a clear path for institutions to follow, the legal components of the file sharing debate open the door for institutions to consider their obligations toward the development of the “well-rounded individual.” Should institutions merely provide legal alternatives to downloading? Without concurrent educational experiences, will students understand the legal and ethical concerns surrounding copyright violations? Will they return to illegal activity when the institution stops subsidizing the legal access to online music? As institutions develop responses to online piracy, administrators should consider more than simply the legal requirements, but also the responsibility they have for developing good citizens.

Brief Points for Administrative Contemplation

  • Become familiar with the legal requirements for educational institutions. Protect institutions from legal liability that could be incurred due to activity engaged in by individual users.
  • When developing institutional responses to campus-based digital piracy, consider the ethical and developmental responsibilities of educational organizations. Should the institution’s response be solely about altering illegal behavior or about developing ethical decision-makers and good citizens?
  • What role should organizations such as student government and the residence hall association play in creating the institutional response? Consulting with members of these groups could give you key insights about students’ current behavior and possible effectiveness of proposed responses. In the digital world, users’ trends and behaviors can change very quickly and students are often aware of these changes before staff and administrators.
  • Consider the possible precedents institutional responses may create. How far is the institution willing to go to monitor and alter student behavior? Will or should the same efforts be applied to other illegal or controversial student behavior?


  • Boliek, B. (2005, Sept. 22). Colleges offer legit downloads. Washington Post. Accessed on October 3, 2005 from
  • Hendrickson, R.M. (2004, summer). Students’ downloading of music creates legal issues. ACPA Developments. Accessed on October 4, 2005 from
  • Jones, S. (2002, September 15). The Internet goes to college: How students are living in the future with today’s technology. Washington, DC: Pew Internet and American Life Project. Retrieved January 15, 2005, from
  • Lane, J.E. & Healy, M.A. (In Press). File sharing, Napster, and institutional responses: Educative, developmental, or responsive policy? NASPA Journal.
  • Lane, J.E., & Hendrickson, R. M. (In Press). Digital copyrights and student file sharing: Educational responsibilities and legal liability for schools, colleges, and universities.West Education Law Reporter.
  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. et al. v. Grokster Ltd., et al. 545 U.S. (2005).
  • Hawke, C. (2004). The P2P file sharing controversy: Should colleges be involved? (184 Ed. Law Rep. 681).
  • Read, B. (2005a, January 28). Is there a pattern to the music industry’s file sharing lawsuits? The Chronicle of Higher Education, p. A39.
  • Read, B. (2005b, September 23). Lawmakers will seek a federal study of colleges’ success at stopping file swapping. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Accessed October 3, 2005 from