Established in 1980 by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Program in Applied Ethics is an inter-school program reporting to the Office of the Provost. In 2018, it was renamed the Patrick J. Waide Center for Applied Ethics. It operates in close coordination with the deans of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Dolan School of Business, the School of Engineering, the Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, and the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions.
The Center integrates interdisciplinary courses, seminars, lectures, colloquia, and workshops in the fields of professional ethics (business, healthcare, science, law, engineering, education, and communication), ethics for the citizen (government, community, environmental concerns, war and peace), and global studies (ethical dimensions of global violence, global health, environmental policies, business practices, and humanitarian action). This unified approach to the theory and practice of ethical conduct in all fields raises student awareness of the moral dilemmas of their chosen fields of practice, of allied fields, and of society and the world. The Center offers a series of core-level and elective courses and seminars in service to various academic and professional programs, and a 15-credit minor.
In 2002, Patrick J. Waide Jr. '59, a former University trustee and distinguished alumnus of Fairfield University, generously established a continuing fund to spend on invited speakers, course materials, and scheduled activities on topics of international affairs, global ethics, and public policy. In 2018, Mr. Waide made a major gift to endow Applied Ethics as a Center, which now bears his name.