Richard Kyte is Director of the D. B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership and Professor of Philosophy at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin where he teaches a variety of ethics courses dealing with issues in business, health care, law, politics, the environment, art, and religion. He has published and lectured widely on topics related to justice, forgiveness, virtue, and the meaning of life.
After growing up in Frazee, a small town in northwestern Minnesota, Richard attended Hamline University where he earned a B.A. in philosophy. He then went on to graduate school, obtaining a Ph.D. in philosophy from The Johns Hopkins University in 1994. Since then he has taught at several colleges and universities including Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee.
Rick is the author of the book, An Ethical Life: A Practical Guide to Ethical Reasoning. For more information regarding information about Rick's book click here.
Servant Leadership and the Common Good
In the 1970s Robert K. Greenleaf coined the phrase "servant leadership" to describe the approach one takes to leadership when the primary desire is to serve others. In the years since, servant leadership has been adopted by organizations throughout the world, including most of the companies that regularly make Fortune magazine's top ten list of the best companies in America to work for. This presentation will look at the history of servant leadership, the principles that inform it, and some of the inspiring examples of individuals and organizations who have taken servant leadership to heart.
Ethics, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life
Can any kind of life have meaning, or only certain kinds of lives? Does life as a whole have meaning, or is meaning found only within particular activities? Is happiness a reliable gauge of life’s meaning? Is there a necessary link between goodness and happiness?
Religion, Politics and the Ethics of Controversy
As our society becomes more diverse we see an increasing number of disputes over the proper place of religion in the public sphere. These disputes often play out in local communities causing heated arguments among neighbors. This presentation will look at some of the historical and cultural causes of religious/political disputes and explore ways of living together without sharing the same worldviews. Some of the specific topics covered will be prayer at government functions, teaching evolution/creation in schools, and the place of religious symbols in public places.
The Cultural Significance of Wilderness: A Lost Voice?
Environmentalist authors from the mid-nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries shared a conviction that the experience of wilderness was crucial to the health of American society. That conviction has all but disappeared from contemporary social commentary. This presentation will look at the writings of authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, Aldo Leopold, and Sigurd Olson in an attempt to reclaim an important voice in American social and political life.
Richard is also willing to discuss with you other ideas for programs, such as book discussions, presentations and workshops in areas related to the topics outlined above.
Selected Recent Presentations:
- “Ethical Issues in a Pandemic.” Workshop for the Vilas County Department of Social Services. Eagle River, WI. July 16, 2009.
- “The Debate over Natural Selection and Intelligent Design.” Roncalli Newman Center. La Crosse, WI. June 16, 2009.
- “Servant Leadership in Challenging Times.” With Tom Thibodeau. Northwestern Mutual Leadership Forum. Milwaukee, WI. June 10, 2009.
- “Should We Reform Wisconsin Supreme Court Elections?” Judicial Independence Forum. Cosponsored by League of Women Voters of the La Crosse Area and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. La Crosse, WI. June 1, 2009.
- “Ethical Issues in the Business and Industry Workplace.” Annual Wisconsin Ethics Symposium. University of Wisconsin-Stout. Menomonie, WI. May 5, 2009.
- “Anger and Forgiveness in Dead Man Walking.” University of Wisconsin-Waukesha. Waukesha, WI. April 16, 2009.
- “The Cultural Significance of Wilderness: A Lost Voice?” Driftless Speakers Series. Viroqua, WI. October 16, 2008.