My university had all of its professors take an ethics workshop online. The workshop was pretty complex and sophisticated and took quite a bit of time to complete. A week after we completed it, we discovered that it is possible we will not receive our salaries in December (right before the Christmas and New Year's celebrations). The university and the Governor of our state have known that the state has been defaulting on its payments to our school for a while (since summer, actually.) In the meanwhile, we were encourage to incur research-related expenses with the promise that we will be reimbursed for them. Nobody warned us about the possibility of not getting our paychecks, so we have been making no savings and no provisions for this daunting prospect.
We are still not being told what exactly will happen with our paychecks. There is a lot of vague rumors that nobody is trying to address in spite of numerous pleas. The President of the University will give a public talk tomorrow, but of course, it has been scheduled for a time slot when more than half of all professors on campus are in class (including me.)
As a result, I have a few questions: How ethical is it to lecture people on ethics while concealing this crucial information about their livelihood from them? How ethical is it to waste money on ethics workshops when salaries might not even be covered? Is the Governor of Illinois doing the ethical thing and waiving his salary until he can ensure payments to us, state employees? How ethical is it to keep paying a Governor who betrayed his voters in such a basic way? (Of course, if this governor had cheated on his wife, the whole country would be abuzz. Leaving a bunch of college professors in an economically devastated area without any means of existence, however, interests no one.)
I understand that the crisis is severe and there are cuts everywhere. I don't understand, however, why a state that seems as poor as Illinois would want to waste resources on constructing and maintaining a new Guantanamo on its territory. How is that an ethical thing to do?