To facilitate URI Community conversations regarding the practice of ethics and to foster university engagement in public service throughout the State of Rhode Island.


Since its inception in 1994, the John Hazen White Sr. Center for Ethics and Public Service has sought to integrate best practices in ethics with the practice of public service, especially at the level of state government. The John Hazen White Center sponsors several signature initiatives, including those that explore institutional dimensions of ethical practice, encourage student service learning, and foster public service broadly construed.


Institutional Dimensions of Ethical Practice

  • Commissioned a White Paper on Integrating Ethics Across URI
  • Ongoing sponsorship of a Summer Institute on Ethics Across the Curriculum for URI Faculty
  • Ongoing sponsorship of an annual John Hazen White Sr. Center of Ethics and Public Service Lecture as part of the URI Fall Honors Colloquium
  • Convening an Ethics Summit for all divisions at the University of Rhode Island
  • Investment in curricular development around indigenous culture and language as well as future curatorial content for the Tomaquag Museum

Student Service Learning

  • Annual sponsorship of a Student Ethics Fellow with the Rhode Island Ethics Commission
  • Support for Alternative Spring Break service projects for undergraduates, such as building housing for low-income families
  • Support for student participation in Winter J-term Study Abroad courses to Cuba and the Dominican Republic
  • Underwriting student service fellowships for targeted individual projects¬†
  • Investment in curricular innovations that integrate ethical practice with service to the public

Foster Public Service

  • Commissioning a White Paper on Integrating Public Service at URI
  • Sponsor visiting practitioner and public events featuring professionals in government and public service, such as that of Dr. Mary Thompson Jones on diplomacy
  • Developing an Awards program to recognize excellence in public service among members of the URI community (staff, faculty, students)