Heroes of Professional Ethics series brings Time person of the year to campus

Enron whistle-blower Sherron Watkins to speak on Moral Leadership in Business | October 8, 2003

Sherron Watkins, the Enron whistle-blower who was one of Time magazine’s 2002 Persons of the Year, is speaking on “Moral Leadership in Business” in the Cintas Center on Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. as part of the Heroes of Professional Ethics lecture series presented by the University's center for business ethics and social responsibility. Watkins is the former vice president of Enron Corp. who warned former CEO Ken Lay that the company "might implode in a wave of accounting scandals."

Together with the Cintas Corp. and CMC Properties, Xavier's center for business ethics and social responsibility designed the lecture series to educate legal, business and student communities about moral courage in the workplace and to promote ethical leadership when facing difficult decisions or false consensus.

Watkins is speaking about her experiences at Enron, which culminated when she testified before U.S. Congressional committees from the House and the Senate at the height of their financial investigations of the company. Her honor from Time magazine came for being one of the "people who did right just by doing their jobs rightly." She is the author of Power Failure, the inside story of Enron's collapse.

All students and professionals are invited to attend the 90-minute event, which begins at 8:00 a.m. with a free continental breakfast and includes a question and answer period following Watkins' lecture. General admission is $35, and tickets are available at the Xavier box office at 513 745-3063. Students, faculty and staff are admitted free when they show a valid University ID at the gate.

"We hope the program will help our current and future leaders incorporate moral character and responsibility into their decisions," says Paul Fiorelli, director for the center for business ethics and social responsibility. "Just look at the impact a single company can have on public confidence and people's lives. The Enron case study says it all, and Sherron Watkins says it better than anyone else."

The Heroes of Professional Ethics program has been approved by the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Continuing Legal Education for 1.5 total credit hours in professionalism.

For more information, contact Paul Fiorelli at 513 745-2050 or fiorelli@xavier.edu.