Xavier hosts second annual ethics seminar

Ethics institute explores corporate scandals, small business ethics and the U.S. Patriot Act | May 11, 2004

The second annual business ethics institute, which took place on campus on Wednesday, May 12, looked at corporate scandals in America, business people caught up in real ethical dilemmas, ethical issues unique to small business, and the U.S. Patriot Act.

The seminar took place in the Conaton Board Room from 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and featured John R. Steer, member and vice chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, ethics officers from local and national corporations and Anthony Muñoz, founder of the Anthony Muñoz Foundation.

The program, sponsored by the center for business ethics and social responsibility of the Williams College of Business, strives to educate and inform faculty, staff, students and the broader business community about the roles and responsibilities of corporate citizens in society, and to provide appropriate context regarding the impact of ethics on individual and organizational performance.

Ethics and corporate citizenship have become increasingly important in today’s complex business economy. In recent years, Americans have witnessed a flood of corporate scandals and executive malfeasance resulting in poor leadership and costly liability for business stakeholders.

The ethics institute was created by Xavier’s center for business ethics and social responsibility with help from a generous alumni to counter these developments. The center was founded as part of the Williams College of Business in the fall of 2001 to help students and other Xavier stakeholders recognize and deal with ethical and values-related issues in the workplace.

The center also serves as a resource for the local, regional and national business communities.

Those attending the $200-per-person seminar were addressed by University President Michael J. Graham, S.J., academic vice president Roger Fortin and dean of the Williams College of Business Ali Malekzadeh.

In addition to Steer of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, other speakers included ethics and compliance officers Jeff Cooper of Great American Financial Resources; Kay Nolen, general counsel and compliance officer for Drake Hospital in Cincinnati; Terry Thomas, ethics officer for MCI Corp.; and Nancy Thomas-Moore, chair of the Ethics Officer Association and ethics officer at Weyerhaeuser Corp.

Paul Fiorelli, director of the center for business ethics and social responsibiltiy, moderated the early session.

Another session on the special problems of small businesses included Jim Cohen, president of CMC Properties, Jocile Ehrlich, president and CEO of the Cincinnati Better Business Bureau, and Dino Lucarelli, former interim CEO of Cintech.

In the afternoon, Donavan the Magician is made a special presentation titled, "Lying, Cheating and Stealing are Good for My Business." It was followed by "The United States Patriot Act: Privacy, Policy and Business Implication" led by Gene Beaupré, assistant professor of political science; William Hunt, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Southern District of Ohio; and Howard Tolley, American Civil Liberties Union and professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati.

Muñoz and Robert Kohlhepp, vice chairman of the Cintas Corp., were among several speakers during a philanthropy segment that closes the session.

The program has been accepted for eight hours of continuing professional education credits for accountants in Ohio.