Campus Events & Programs | University of Portland

Campus Events & Programs

The Dundon-Berchtold Institute intentionally offers a variety of events designed to engage participants in the moral moments of life. Attendees at DBI events are invited to build their ethical muscles and encounter the stories of others as we all explore the mosaic of ethical fibers that make up our personal, professional, social, political, and economic lives.

guest speakers seated in semi-circle of red low armchairs with University of Portland landscape photo on screen in background

Ethics Week

Hosted annually, DBI's Ethics Week offers a variety of on- and off-campus events, conversations, and resources all focused on a central theme of significant relevance to the needs and questions of our community. Signature Ethics Week events include guest speakers, Ethics in the Community Storytelling experiences, and ethics and film events.

To learn more, visit our pages on our previous Ethics Weeks: 202020212022, and 2023.

collage of many colored post-it notes on white board

Staff Formation Sessions

Offered 2-4 times per year, these 45-minute sessions resemble organized "coffee breaks" for UP employees--part personal development, part social glue. Most of the content is small-group discussions and brief exercises around values and virtues, but with different lenses or themes each time. In these sessions, DBI staff intentionally create a safe space for colleagues from across the UP campus to laugh and learn about each other and reflect on who we are and who we are becoming as individuals through our choices, stories, and what we value. A few more major perks? The sessions are by no means required AND there's no prep whatsoever for the participants.

Are you a UP employee and interested in participating in our next session? Contact DBI Director Dan McGinty at

Guest speaker sitting at round dinner table with undergraduate students in the President's board room

Ethics in the Community

Based on a model from the U.S. Air Force Academy, “Ethics in the Community” events feature guests from the greater Portland area who share stories of real-life ethical dilemmas they have encountered in their personal or professional lives. These storytellers stop short of telling attendees what choices they made. The protocol for the event includes a back-and-forth discussion with storytellers and attendees to unpack the guest speakers’ decision-making processes, before the storytellers ultimately share how they stepped through the dilemmas. Attendees hear multiple stories at each event, showcasing the diverse and complex ethical decision-making moments that one encounters in every corner of life.

(Note: These events can be offered in-person or virtually as necessitated by statewide health mandates.)

Disability rights activist Susan Sygall sitting in wheelchair in front of large green bush

Guest Speakers

As another way to encounter the stories of others both within our community and beyond, the Dundon-Berchtold Institute often hosts guest speakers who share with audiences their reflections, experiences, and decisions amid the different ethical situations of the work they do and the lives they lead. Whether it’s a panel of guest speakers dialoguing on a shared theme, an activist unpacking the complex landscape of their efforts, or an internationally-recognized author sharing the public and private texture behind their latest volume, these conversations unveil the decisions we all face, regardless of our background or occupation, and the impact of our choices on our own lives and the world around us.

(Note: These events can be offered in-person or virtually as necessitated by statewide health mandates.)

Students talking and sitting at round table

Ethics & Film

From beloved family movies to thought-provoking documentaries and dramas, films and tv shows offer a plethora of unique “case studies” in ethical decision making. At these DBI-hosted events, attendees have the opportunity to enjoy a film and dialogue with facilitators and fellow guests about the various ethical elements displayed by the plot, characters, and situations within the film. Sometimes, the film is paused partway through for discussion to take place, forcing the attendees to wrestle—much like in real life—with certain ethical questions while not knowing “the whole story” or how the narrative continues.

(Note: These events can be offered in-person or virtually as necessitated by statewide health mandates.)