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In 2019, at the meeting of the European Network for Academic Integrity, Diane Pecorari and I had a chat about a special issue of the journal focusing on positive aspects of research and teaching integrity. She got Wendy Sutherland-Smith on board and both worked to produce this fine issue on positive integrity. Please read both their informative editorial for the issue as well as the interesting range of scholarly articles contained here.

It was over two decades ago that I thought about starting an interdisciplinary scholarly journal looking at all aspects of ethical theory and practice related to universities. Universities are complex multifaceted organizations with multiple purposes and activities, many of which have ethical implications. At the time, I was working as a senior academic administrator at a brand, new university in British Columbia, Canada that was establishing a unique small research-intensive university de novo. The experience was unique and remarkable, thinking from a blank slate about programs, faculty, students, research, about both serving the academy and serving the community. The first five years were the best experience of my career. In such a context, as a scholar/administrator, I spent any available time I had doing research about the nature of universities, the purpose of higher education, the role of the creation of new knowledge for the common good, pedagogy, publications, practice and most of all intellectual integrity to assist me in all that we did and all that we would do. So, it wasn’t surprising that in this context, that I proposed the Journal of Academic Ethics for consideration to Springer Publishing.

We are now well into the 21st year of the journal and it has grown in breadth and depth over that period. As noted in this issue’s guest editorial, a large number of articles over that period have addressed aspects of ethical misconduct. While violations of research, teaching and publication ethics are important and significant aspects of scholarly integrity, ethical theories and ethical practices are grounded in a commitment to positive values and virtues.

With this issue, I have decided to step down from the journal. It has been a wonderful undertaking – a bit shaky at first but now firmly entrenched in the landscape of theoretical and applied ethics.

I have many people to thank. First, Alex Michalos who is always first in everything I do or undertake and enthusiastically supported the proposal for this journal as Co-Editor in Chief. The editorial board members of the journal who have brought their specializations and careful consideration to their, in some cases, multiple contributions to the quality of the journal. To the many peer reviewers who understand the importance of careful consideration of manuscripts within their scholarly expertise and the important contribution of constructive criticism in fostering and promoting the scholarly record.

To the Springer staff and managers including Floor Oosting, Chris Wilby, Neil Olivier, Diana Nijenhuijzen, over the many years, thank you for your help. It has been a great pleasure working with Cristina dos Santos, Aimee Villahermosa and Jed Joseph Adel over the past number of years. I also wish to thank Jennifer Kisamore and Michael Dougherty who had previously served on the editorial board and then accepted newly created positions as Associate Editors. I thank them both for their assistance over the past year. I won’t be saying goodbye to Springer, as such, however as I have a number of ongoing projects currently.

As I step down from the position of founding Editor in Chief of the Journal of Academic Ethics, I pass the role on to Loreta Tauginiene. Loreta is an academic professional, lately as an Associated Researcher with the Hanken School of Economics and formerly as a researcher at Vilnius University. Loreta’s scholarly focus includes academic/research integrity, social responsibility in higher education institutions and citizen science.

I look forward to watching the next phase of the journal’s growth and its continued diversification with respect to university ethics under Loreta’s leadership.

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Correspondence to Deborah C. Poff.

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Poff, D.C. Editorial. J Acad Ethics (2021).

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