Terrell “Terry” Ward Bynum, professor of philosophy at Southern and founder of SCSU’s Research Center on Computing and Society, has been selected for one of the most prestigious faculty awards within the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system.
The state Board of Regents for Higher Education Friday bestowed Bynum with the title of CSU (Connecticut State University) professor. Southern, Central, Western and Eastern Connecticut State universities each can have up to three such professors. Bynum fills an SCSU vacancy left by the recent retirement of James Mazur, who was named as a CSU Professor in 2010. Bynum joins Southern’s current CSU Professor, Vivian Shipley, who is a professor of English. A third CSU Professor at Southern, Joseph Solodow, recently retired, leaving a vacancy.
“Dr. Bynum has a very impressive career at Southern,” said Ellen Durnin, SCSU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “He has played a leading role in the field of computer ethics and is internationally regarded as the most prominent teacher and theoretician in the field.”
In addition to launching the Research Center on Computing and Society, Bynum organized and hosted the first international computer ethics conference in 1991. The event was funded by the National Science Foundation.
He received the inaugural INSEIT/Joseph Weizenbaum Award in information and computer ethics in 2009 during the International Conference of Computer Ethics: Philosophical Enquiry. The award was presented for making significant contributions to the field of information and computer ethics through research, service and vision. And earlier that year, he was chosen as the recipient of the American Philosophical Association’s Barwise Prize for his life-long work on computing and human values.
Bynum is an accomplished author, having written his first book, “Gottlieb Frege, Conceptual Notation and Related Articles,” about a noted German philosopher. Oxford University Press would eventually republish the book as an Oxford Scholarly Classic, according to Troy Paddock, chairman of the CSU Professor Advisory Committee.
Bynum would go on to write books on computer ethics, as well.
“He is considered to be, by more than one scholar, the ‘founding father’ of the field,” Paddock said.
He established the American Association of Philosophy Teachers and has conducted more than two dozen teaching workshops, Paddock said. He also created the Computer Ethics course at Southern and has taught in the SCSU Honors College.
Bynum began teaching at SCSU in 1987 and holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from City University of New York.