Arendt’s lecture hits at the heart of America’s values, long ago and today

“Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” were key values according to our country’s founders. So what would they think, then, of our 24/7 work schedules, the outsized value we place upon work and material consumption today, and the fear that drives many to acquiesce to organizational demands that run counter to their own values and needs? Have our individual rights and freedoms been sacrificed to the organizational value system.”

These were a few of the questions explored by Austin E. Cofrin School of Business Professor Lucy Arendt on Wednesday to a packed house of UW-Green Bay students, faculty members, staff and community members. One of her areas of expertise lies in understanding how leaders within organizations make their decisions as well as the consequences of those decisions, on both the organization and the individuals who work within it. Her lecture, title “Made to Serve: The Tragic corruption of America’s Founding Values,” spoke to a trend she says she has seen through her research on the subversion of individual rights and freedoms to organizational goals, including profit.

Arendt’s lecture was the fourth of six in a series featuring UW-Green Bay professors giving capstone lectures on topics in their area. The Last Lecture Series was created as part of UW-Green Bay’s 50th anniversary. Arendt’s lecture was also the first in the series to be filmed by PBS for the University Place  program. When production is complete in a few months, Arendt’s lecture will be featured on The Wisconsin Channel of PBS as well as located in the online University Place lectures archive. UW-Green Bay will provide links to the lecture at that time.

Coming up in the Last Lecture series:

  • March 23 — Steve Meyer, Associate Professor, Natural and Applied Sciences
    “Forget the Three T’s: Focus on the Six C’s”
  • April 13 — Phil Clampitt, Professor, Information and Computing Science
    “The Magical Connection between Uncertainty, Innovation, and the Human Spirit.”

Past lectures

Click thumbnails to enter slideshow view or view the album on Flickr.

– Photos by Kayla Ermer, Marketing and University Communication Student Intern