Monday, April 22, 2013
Business Ethics Week took place in Albers April 15 to 19. The purpose of Business Ethics Week is to underscore the importance of business ethics for our students. During the week, 50 business professionals visited 84 classes to discuss an ethical challenge they had faced at some point in their career. Giving students real world examples of the difficulties they will face, and letting them know that others have found themselves in that spot, will prove to be very valuable for our students.
Getting 50 people to campus to cover 84 classes is no easy task. Many more people end up being asked than are able to visit. I know that many potential speakers were out of town this week or their schedule was too busy to allow them to come to campus. Nevertheless, we had some great volunteers coming to classes, including Robbie Bach, former President of Microsoft's Games and Devices division, Phyllis Campbell, Vice Chair of JPMorgan Chase Northwest, Brian Webster, CEO of Physio-Control, and Dan Wall, Senior VP at Expeditors International.
Other events during the week included a presentation on the sustainability practices of Costco Wholesale. Nearly 200 people showed up to hear Sherry Flies, who leads Costco's sustainability efforts, explain Costco's pioneering sustainability practices.
There was also a panel discussion around ethics and entrepreneurship with about 50 students and faculty attending. If featured Albers alums Kent Johnson (MBA '71) and Meg McCarthy (BSBA '84) as well as Bryan Mistele, founder and CEO of INRIX. Kent created the Lawrence K. Johnson Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship at SU and spent many years as a venture capitalist, forming Alexander Hutton Associates. He now does business resolutions with his new firm, Aebig and Johnson. Meg is a serial entrepreneur having successfully started businesses such as Pharmacy Automation Consulting Technologies, LLC and Bizzults.
The final event of the week was a wrap up panel discussion on business ethics from the perspective of students, faculty, and professionals. Panelists included Jeff Greenaway (CIO onDemand), Dr. Marinilka Kimbro (accounting faculty member), Eric Huang (graduate student), and Mark Pufpaff (undergraduate student).
The Center for Business Ethics organized the event, which is only right, since it is the advisory board of the Center that came up with the idea of Business Ethics Week!! Those who were instrumental in the orchestration of Business Ethics Week include the director of the center, Dr. John Dienhart, and his two graduate student assistants - JP McCarvel and Sherry Ren. It was a job well done!
This was the second year of Business Ethics Week, although last year it was actually Business Ethics Day. We intend to make this an annual event in the Albers School, continuing to make it more impactful each year!