The Center for Compassion, Integrity, and Secular Ethics (CCISE) is a unit of The Octagon recommended for creation to the Board of Trustees of Life University by President Riekeman in 20XX. A formal resolution originating the Center for Compassion, Integrity, and Secular Ethics was approved by the Trustees on xx/xx/20XX.

The Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics at Life University is dedicated to developing and promoting empirically-based programs that foster the human values most conducive to individual, social and environmental flourishing through research, dialogue, education and community empowerment. The Center seeks to engender a world in which people act out of an awareness of our common humanity, innate potential, and inherent interdependence, as expressed in the University’s values of neo-vitalism and Lasting Purpose.

The fullest expression of individual and social health goes far beyond the mere absence of physical and mental disease. The emerging field of positive psychology is illustrating that basic human values like gratitude, generosity, meaning in life, contentment and an ability to forgive contribute to physical health, mental resilience, and optimum performance.

Recent scientific research shows that compassion is especially important to individual and social flourishing. Compassion is the wholehearted motivation to benefit others and alleviate their suffering. Studies show that compassion and related processes like empathy are not only important values for individual and social well-being, but also skills that can be taught and cultivated through contemplative practice. Cultivating compassion changes the brain and body in measurable ways, increasing cortical thickness in key areas of the brain, strengthening immune function, promoting prosocial behavior, and decreasing the likelihood of chronic illness.

Helping others out of genuine compassion requires integrity as its foundation. Being able to remain true to one’s deepest values, regardless of pressures or temptations to compromise them for short-term gain, is not only essential to a life well lived, but is also of profound benefit to both oneself and others. Moreover, like compassion, it is a skill that can be learned and developed.

The Center for Compassion, Integrity, and Secular Ethics has developed a series of projects to begin fulfilling its mission. The Center is engaged a series of wide-ranging projects all focused on the development of compassion, empathy, forgiveness, peace studies and integrity studies. The activities of the Center to these ends involve prison-based education, elementary-level education and business-related training.