Darrell K. Royal Professor in Ethics and American Society
HDO Master’s Course: Approaches to Leadership

Education: Ph.D., Princeton University

Paul Woodruff is a philosopher, writer, and translator who teaches at the University of Texas at Austin. For twenty-four years he was engaged in administration, as department chair, honors program director, and then dean. As dean of Undergraduate Studies, he introduced a new core curriculum across all majors and brought various student support programs into harmony around their shared mission. 

His main interests in philosophy these days are ethics and leadership, which he approaches first through ancient texts and then through applications to today’s problems. Reverence, his first book of this kind, was the topic of an interview with Bill Moyers in 2003. The Ajax Dilemma: Justice, Fairness, and Rewards, uses an ancient story to illustrate solutions to a problem we have today—how to keep an organization running smoothly when some members receive larger rewards than others. In 2018, he brought out an edited volume of essays by philosophers on philanthropy, The Ethics of Giving. His latest book, The Garden of Leaders, discusses how higher education should prepare young people for leadership. He is now working on a book about practical ethics.

He has translated a number of classics from ancient Greek for the Hackett Publishing Company. In his spare time, he rows a single scull on Lady Bird Lake, designs furniture and builds it in his workshop, and plays the cello.

For videos of his lectures and interviews, go to https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/philosophy/faculty/pbw55#videos