Center for Professional Responsibility in Business & Society

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Gretchen Winter
Executive Director
Illini Center, Fourth Floor
200 South Wacker Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60606
(p) 312-575-7952
Email: gwinter@illinois.edu

Center News

Photo: Leighton Lecture participants.

2013

Curriculum Conference encourages ethical culture in business and academia

The Coordinated Science Lab's National Center for Professional and Research Ethics (NCPRE) and the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society in the College of Business hosted a Curriculum Conference in May to encourage discussion between academic and business professionals about ethics and professional responsibility.

“The goal was to share ideas and learn from others who are pursuing the same objective in different ways. We believe that we can learn from one another and reduce the reinvention of the wheel,” said Gretchen Winter, the conference co-convener and executive director of the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society. read more about this conference »

C. K. Gunsalus discusses the responsibility of teaching ethics in Inside Higher Ed

People who hire and supervise others in the real world are desperate to hire people — our graduates — who have the "whole package": substantive knowledge plus "soft" skills (basic responsibility, working well with others, ethics, etc.) that contribute to success in the world of work. You might argue that teaching those skills isn't our problem because we’re providing educational foundations for professional knowledge. Or that we can hardly be held responsible for failings of families and society, which ought to be the ones instilling work ethic and manners and common sense. read the full article »

C. K. Gunsalus recognized by The Economist as one of the Top 15 Business Professors in the World

Assessing value blends both art and science, the former lending its free form creativity and the latter its precision. It’s scarcity, however, from which a good derives value. The pool of business academics abounds in talent, the most valuable of professors ascending high above expectations of a teacher, a value so conspicuous in Professor Gunsalus’ classroom it’s easy to forget how scarce it truly is. In taking two of Professor Gunsalus’ courses, I’ve been exposed to the delicate care she infuses in each student relationship. I’d never met someone so fiercely embodying the values she espoused—leading classes in Professional Responsibility and Negotiations, the values disseminated through lesson plans are the same that govern her personal decisions, bringing ethics and theory to life via personal stories as few others can, because she lives what she teaches as few others do. Cultivating a style that delivers not just knowledge but a unique personal touch to each student, her teaching shapes every decision I make, a subconscious nod to the quality she delivers. Transforming our College into a community—and establishing Professional Responsibility as its cornerstone in doing so—Professor Gunsalus’ impact extends beyond any classroom. Her passion for student learning proves tangible, flowing through her students’ every work, reinventing the concept of learning for me and so many others as she mounts a one-professor campaign to escalate the standard defining scarcity. read her entire nomination »

Deloitte and the University of Illinois College of Business Collaborate on Innovative Award-winning Learning Tool

The American Accounting Association (AAA) presented its prestigious Innovation in Auditing and Assurance Education Award to Deloitte and the University of Illinois for the groundbreaking learning program the two developed together - the Auditor Independence Education Materials (AIEM). The award recognized the collaboration of a Deloitte team, headed by Mark Chain, partner in Deloitte LLP’s Independence Consultation Group, and Professor Mark Peecher, Ph.D. of the University of Illinois College of Business. They were supported by Phil Hueber, Audit Senior Manager, Catherine Armfield Mojumdar, Audit Senior Manager, and Gwyn Blanton, Director Ethics and Compliance. read more about this award »

What Should You Do? C.K. Gunsalus helps students form responses and habits that build professional responsibility muscle

"The scenario presented above is what’s known in Business 101 at ILLINOIS as a two-minute chal- lenge. It’s a strategy that C. K. Gunsalus, professor emerita of business administration, has devel- oped to “help students form re- sponses and habits that build professional responsibility muscle.” Two-minute challenges are an inte- gral part of the curriculum for this in- troductory class, which is required of every first-year business student. The impact of addressing these ethical challenges early and often, however, reaches far beyond the classroom and has merit in corporate settings as well." read the full article in the Spring 2013 issue of Perspectives »

2012

BP leads college exercise in professional responsibility

Working with the University of Illinois Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society, BP Integrated Supply and Trading Global Oil-Americas (IST GO-A) sponsored and led 36 undergraduate and graduate students in a strategy competition that addressed the professional responsibility challenge involved with building a downstream fuels business in a developing nation.

In the strategy competition each team presented their analysis and solutions to a distinguished panel of judges from BP, the University of Illinois, legal, and business professions. The team that presented the best articulation of case objectives won the top prize of $2,000 in scholarships. "This is our second year and BP's partnership with the Center continues to deepen and grow," said IST GO-A Head of Operations Tim Harms. "This competition further advances the dialogue about the importance of professional responsibility with both current and future business leaders." "Gretchen Winter, the Executive Director for the Center, and I were thrilled by the level of interest in this competition and the outstanding quality of students who applied. We picked the best of the best and ended up with a mix of students from 11 different countries with a wide range of academic and cultural backgrounds. The diversity of the student teams was fantastic and many of the students mentioned that this level of diversity was one of the unique benefits of this competition."

Said Zackary Starbird from BP IST Legal: "The student teams that participated in the University of Illinois Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition were outstanding. They committed an enormous amount of time and energy into their presentations. As judges in the final round, we were very impressed by the quality of the presentations of the finalist teams."

Said Jim Bordignon from BP IST Legal, Ethics and Compliance: "The students who participated in the Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition clearly developed a deeper understanding of the complex ethical and legal challenges facing professionally responsible businesses today. The commitment, enthusiasm, and performance of the students demonstrates the value and the importance of the alliance between BP and the University of Illinois and its Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society, an alliance that we will continue to grow." As part of the competition, the students traveled to BP's Chicago office and the Whiting refinery. Their itinerary included BP presentations about refining, IST, bribery and corruption, HSSE and community outreach.

Students expressed these sentiments, reflecting the positive experience of all participants:
- "This case competition helped me step out of my comfort zone and develop as a responsible global operator. The main takeaway I learned from this case competition was that you need to stay true to your values in both your personal life and professional career."
- "I appreciate the contribution of staff of BP and the Center of Professional Responsibility. The Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition is the most well-prepared event I ever participated, especially the trip to Chicago office and Whiting Refinery."

The winning team included students Akash Moradia, Yanzhong Deng, Xiongwei Zhang and Jessica Weaver. Best Speaker and Best Q&A awards went to students Nicholas Connolly, Lindsay Gross, Jessica Weaver, Nikhitaa Sundaravadivelpandiyan, Arjun Dutta, Yijin Iris Zhang and Akash Moradia.

Gunsalus Discusses Book: The Young Professional’s Survival Guide

Discussion about ethical dilemmas in the workplace with C.K. Gunsalus, Director of the National Center for Professional and Research Ethics, and Professor Emerita in the College of Business at the U of I, and author of The Young Professional’s Survival Guide: From Cab Fares to Moral Snares. listen to interview »

Business Student Dylan Hoyer's Commentary on Professional Responsibility

"Freshmen Business students know all too well about the concept of professional responsibility: What do I owe to myself, my company and the world at large? The final third of the semesterlong course is dedicated to the question of what companies owe society. This question, once the topic of theoretical debate, is becoming reality, not just in the classroom but in greater happenings around the world and here in the states." read more »

Why Employment Counsel Should Study FCPA Guidance

This article, written by Steven J. Pearlman, partner and head of the Whistleblower and Retaliation practice at Proskauer, and published in Law 360 (November 27, 2012), focuses on the convergence between employment law and HR best practices and FCPA issues and investigations. It highlights the expanding role of HR and methods companies can take - particularly with respect to incentivizing, training and disciplining employees - to minimize the risks of FCPA claims. read more »

New book helps young professionals navigate workplace ethics

College of Business professor C.K. Gunsalus' new book on professional ethics was the subject of this recent article in USA Today. read more »

Partners in Business Ethics Conference

The 3rd annual Partners in Business Ethics Conference took place on September 19 & 20, 2012 in Chicago, IL. The conference was hosted by the College of Business at ILLINOIS and its Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society, with sponsorship support from the Deloitte Foundation and BP. read more »

2012 Leighton Lecture on Ethics and Leadership

This year’s Leighton Lecture featured Keith Darcy, Executive Director of the Ethics & Compliance Officer Association (ECOA) who delivered his talk on “Managing Organizational Integrity in an Age of Texts, Tweets & WikiLeaks.” read more » | view slides » | watch video »

New Speaker Series: "Professional Responsibility in Action"

A new speaker series co-sponsored by the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society and The Hoeft Technology & Management Program aims to explore real word challenges associated with addressing professional responsibility, ethics, and compliance issues in a corporate environment. Each seminar features one business leader and one ethics/compliance leader from the same company. This team shares the ways they work together to address real situations their companies face. read more »

New MBAs Would Sacrifice Pay for Ethics

According to a May 2011 Harvard Business Review Daily Stat, 88.3% of graduating MBA students say they'd take a pay cut to work for firms that have ethical business practices, and the average amount they'd forgo is $8,087. read more »

Executive Director Quoted in Tribune Article about Reported $86,000 Ethics Violation at Chicago Public Schools

Center Executive Director, Gretchen Winter, was quoted in a Chicago Tribune report about the Chicago Public Schools food director, Louise Esaian, having accepted gifts from a food vendor she recommended. A follow-up story details Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard calling for Esaian to be fired. read initial article » | read follow-up article »

2011

600 Business Students Compete for Scholarships with Responsible Designs

Madhu Viswanathan, professor of business administration and an instructor for Business 101: Introduction to Professional Responsibility, said students in the final module of the three-module course study subsistence living with the goal of developing "informed empathy" so they can come up with products useful to the poor. The capstone project involves a poster session competition where students present their products and business plans to a panel of judges. "The ideas spanned a variety of needs from food, health and sanitation to transportation, education, housing, energy and entrepreneurship," said Viswanathan. In all, $4,200 in scholarships was awarded to 28 participants. read article »

Bounty Hunting: Will New Regulations Create a New Incentive for Whistleblowers?

Earlier this year, the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act went into effect. The legislation authorizes the SEC to provide financial awards to eligible individuals who provide original information that leads to an enforcement action in which more than $1 million in sanctions is ordered. Some call it an award; others call it a bounty. Most everyone calls it a challenge?a challenge for companies, compliance officers, and the SEC. And the next year or two will tell the tale of just who is up to that challenge. read article »

Multidisciplinary Teams Challenged in New Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition

The inaugural 2011 Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition was sponsored by the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society, BP, the Center for International Business Education and Research, and the James Scholar Executive Committee. Six teams took on a complex 66-page case that situated them as analysts employed by a fictional international energy company, World Petroleum, Inc. Their challenge was to create a business plan to build a long term, financially successful downstream oil business in Afrinia, a fictional developing African nation. The plan?s objectives also needed to include the team?s vision of professional responsibility within the business, as well as the Afrinian society in which it operates. read article »

Nell Minow on Apple, HP, and What Enables Bad Boards

Nell Minow has been called the "CEO killer" and the "queen of good corporate governance." She is a former president of Institutional Shareholder Services and has literally written the textbook on corporate governance -- it's titled Corporate Governance and is now in its fifth edition. Nell is co-founder of The Corporate Library, which is now part of GovernanceMetrics International, where she serves on the board of directors. read article »

A Minute With Corporate Governance Expert Ruth Aguilera

In an interview with News Bureau Business & Law Editor Phil Ciciora, business professor Ruth V. Aguilera, an expert on comparative corporate governance and a fellow in the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society, discusses how firms handle CEO succession and its effect on a company?s value. read article »

Ethics in Action: Leighton Lecture Hosts Bart Schwartz, Corporate Monitor

"In most cases, it is not a company-wide problem that causes an ethical issue, it is the activity of a few individuals," explains Bart Schwartz, chairman and CEO of SolutionPoint International, LLC, and recent speaker at the ILLINOIS Leighton Lecture on Ethics and Leadership. read article »

2010

Presentation by Michael Krzus, Grant Thornton

Integrated reporting is more than the newest "best practice" in corporate reporting which companies can choose to practice or not. Instead, it is a moral obligation of any corporation that truly wants to take an ethical stance towards all of its stakeholders, including investors and civil society. It is only through integrated reporting that a company can understand the relationships between financial and nonfinancial performance, both positive and negative, in order to make the right decisions for creating a sustainable strategy for a sustainable society. And it is through integrated reporting that a company makes a binding commitment to do so, provides evidence on its progress, enables all stakeholders to evaluate and challenge its performance and, through the Internet, facilitates dialogue and engagement with them. Michael Krzus from Grant Thornton presented on campus, and you can learn about the concept of integrated reporting and the current international efforts that are underway to create a common reporting standard that incorporates the measurement of sustainability efforts in the corporate world by downloading the podcast or viewing the speakers session. watch video » or download the podcast »

Brain Trust: How Do You Know What You Know?

Businesses have spent a lot of time, money, and thought establishing and ensuring compliance with ethical systems, and yet the general assessment is that they haven't been highly successful. [We] explored the possibility that the answer to why this is true might have to do with the disconnect between the way ethical systems are designed and implemented and the way human beings actually make decisions.- Ira Solomon read article »

Sharon Allen's ECOA Presentation

Deloitte Chairman of the Board, Sharon Allen, presents to the Annual Business Ethics and Compliance Conference, in Anaheim, California on the topic of “ROE (Return On Ethics)”. The meeting is hosted by the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association. read article »

One Thing Leads to Another: How Corruption Topples Business

Executive Director Gretchen Winter and faculty fellow Ruth Aguilera are featured in this article from the Spring 2010 edition of Perspectives, the official magazine from the College of Busienss. read article »

Leighton Lecture

This year's Leighton Lecture featured Andy Milnes, head of supply and trading for BP America who delivered his talk on “Ethical Leadership as a Competitive Advantage.” In his presentation, he spoke from personal experience, detailing a compliance issue at BP and the company’s actions and recovery. watch the video or read article »

2009

Winter Joins Legislative Internship Hall of Fame

The Samuel K. Gove Illinois Legislative Internship Hall of Fame honored five individuals who have served as legislative interns at the state Capitol. John Day, Claire B. Eberle, Stephen R. Pacey, Lee J. Schwartz and Gretchen A. Winter were inducted during a ceremony on November 16, 2009. Inductees are selected based on their contributions to Illinois and its citizens. The Hall of Fame is also recognition of the important role public service internships play in developing public sector leadership. read article »

Emotions an Overlooked Key to Whistle-blowing

Though largely overlooked, tapping into employees’ emotions and personal values can produce powerful triggers for calling out wrongdoing in the workplace, U. of I. researchers say. “If I care deeply about my company, I’m more inclined to defend it and blow the whistle on wrongdoing,” said Ruth V. Aguilera, professor of business. “If my job is just a paycheck, I’m more inclined to just say ‘whatever’ if I see something wrong.” read article »

A Minute With Ruth V. Aguilera

The U.S. government has joined the growing outcry over earnings of top executives, ordering deep pay cuts at seven big firms that have yet to pay back bailout cash. Business professor Ruth V. Aguilera, an expert on comparative corporate governance and a fellow at the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society, discusses the recession-fueled unrest over wages and bonuses in an interview with News Bureau Business & Law Editor Jan Dennis. read interview »

Corporate Compliance Roundtable

On November 6, 2009 the Center co-sponsored a corporate compliance roundtable on global anti-corruption law and corporate practice with the Center on Law and Globalization as a program of the College of Law, the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), and a corporate partner, McDonald’s. The day-long seminar was open to students, faculty, alums, business representatives, and friends of the University, and the discussion was dynamic and thought-provoking. Background on the law and global enforcement efforts was presented by Professor Paul McGreal and Trace International, and corporate policies and practices were presented by McDonald’s, Aon, and Monsanto. Links to each presentation are provided below.

Advisory Board Member Featured in Washington Post

Nell Minow was recently profiled in the Washington Post Magazine where she explained her dual role as corporate watchdog and family movie critic. After the publication of the article Minow also participated in an online chat with readers, a transcript of which is available. read article, view online chat »

Governance Expert Addresses Students, Faculty

Nell Minow, an Advisory Board member, spent a few hours in the new Business Instructional Facility on the University of Illinois campus sharing strategic insights on corporate governance. Her visit with the business students and faculty was sponsored by the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society at the College of Business. read article, read Q&A, watch Q&A »

2009 Leighton Lecture on Ethics and Leadership

Rita Kahle ('78) returned to the University of Illinois as part of the Leighton Lecture Series that was co-sponsored by the College of Business and the Center. Richard (’49) and Grace (’50) Leighton, the generous sponsors of this series, attended Kahle’s lecture and were recognized for their foresight in creating the ethics-based format. read article, view slides »

"Rewriting the Syllabus"

Professor Ira Solomon talks to Crain's Chicago Business regarding the impact of the current financial on business education and how the Center will play an important role in shaping future business leaders. read article »

UI delivering experience dealing with ethical dilemmas

The Center was recently featured in a lengthy article in The News-Gazette. It discusses many of the Center's initiatives, including bringing in noteworthy guest speakers, creating the Business 101 module, and mentoring an award-winning student team in an international business ethics competition. read article »

Solomon Awarded 2009 AICPA "Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education"

Ira Solomon, CPA, Ph.D., who heads the Department of Accountancy and holds the R.C. Evans Endowed Chair in Business at the University of Illinois, is the 2009 recipient of the Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education award from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Solomon serves on the Center's Advisory Board. read article »

U. of I Students Capture Award in Ethics Competition

A three-student team from the University of Illinois earned an award at Loyola Marymount University’s 11th annual Intercollegiate Business Ethics Competition. Gretchen Winter, the Center's Executive Director, was the team's on-site adviser. read article »

Madoff Whistleblower Speaks at University of Illinois

The Center co-sponsored a lecture by Harry Markopolos, who repeatedly tried to warn the Securities & Exchange Commission about Madoff. Speaking at Loomis Lab on May 4, 2009, Markopolos estimated the size of Madoff's fraud at $65 billion – many times greater than anyone had imagined it could be. read article »

Beyond Compliance-Innovative Educational Materials Depict Auditor Independence as a Value Driver

The Department of Accountancy has partnered with industry leaders at Deloitte and thought leaders at the College of Business's Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society to produce educational videos and case studies. read article »

2008

The High Cost of Doing Business Right

Jeffrey W. Jackson, senior vice president and general counsel for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company spoke of his business experiences while at State Farm and gave his advice to College of Business attendees on Oct. 16, 2008. The lecture, titled "How to Survive in Business," was the 7th Alan M. Hallene Lecture and was co-sponsored by the Center. read article, watch video, listen to podcast »

New Business Course Seeks to Instill Professional Responsibility

Handshakes and other people skills, ethics training and social awareness are just a few aspects of a back-to-basics business course that will begin this fall in the College of Business, aimed at instilling professional responsibility to guide students through their careers. The Center provided funding to develop the curriculum. read article »

Net Impact Hosts William Blackburn

On April 15th, 2008, Net Impact proudly hosted William Blackburn J.D., author of The Sustainability Handbook-The Complete Management Guide to achieve social, economic, and environmental sustainability. The Center facilitated the visit, and Executive Director Gretchen Winter attended the event as well. read article »

Leighton Lecture: Creating a Win-Win for Both Employers and Employees

During her lecture on March 26, 2008, alumna Mary Kay Haben of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company left her audience with a strong message to take with them: leadership and ethics constitute reputation and there is nothing more important than how people perceive your character. read article »

 

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