Insider in Big Tobacco case to speak at ethics institute

Jeffrey Wigand among host of speakers focusing on business ethics on campus on May 13 | May 9, 2003

Jeffrey Wigand, who took on big tobacco interests and became the subject of the Academy Award-nominated film “The Insider,” comes to the University next week to tackle some tough questions. And he won’t be alone. Wigand is one of several experts taking part in the center for business ethics’ inaugural ethics institute, which runs May 13-14 in the Conaton Board Room. Along with Wigand, who’ll speak Tuesday, May 13, at 3:00 p.m., the lineup of speakers for the event includes Frank Vogl, co-founder of the international anti-corruption organization Transparency International; Rush Kidder, president of the Institute for Global Ethics; Marianne Jennings, professor of legal studies at Arizona State University; and John Lechleiter, a 1975 graduate and a senior executive vice president with Eli Lilly. Center director Paul Fiorelli says the speakers are being augmented with a panel discussion on “corporate governance after Enron” featuring Lawrence Pike, chairman of Union Central Life; Robert Kohlhepp, CEO of The Cintas Corp.; Melissa Leucke, chief financial officer of Meridian Bioscience; James Thyen, president of Kimball International; and Robert Kitsinger, president of Chiquita Fresh. The two days of workshops are aimed at faculty, staff administrators, business people and students. “We want to help students do ‘the hard right’ as opposed to the ‘easy wrong,’ ” Fiorelli says. “We want to make the faculty more comfortable with questions of ethics. The more comfortable they are, the more they’ll talk about ethics. And the more students hear, the better prepared they’ll be to resist temptation when they go into the work environment. Finally, we also want to be a resource to the local, regional and national business communities.” The ethics institute is made possible by a generous grant from Xavier alumni Michael Thyen. Cost for attending the workshops is $25 for the first half-day, $60 for the second day or $75 for the entire event. Students may attend free. A few slots remain open. Anyone wanting to attend should contact Fiorelli at 513 745-2050 or e-mail