Business ethics program plans spring events

The NIU College of Business fared extremely well in a recent BusinessWeek magazine story citing a 2010 survey of senior-level students across the country ranking how well their business school integrated ethics into the curriculum.

An overwhelming majority of NIU business students gave the college’s BELIEF Initiative an “A.” That level of satisfaction ranked second only to students at the University of Notre Dame, and was the highest among all participating public universities.

BELIEF (Building Ethical Leaders Using an Integrated Ethics Framework), a college-wide ethics integration program that affects every class offered in the NIU College of Business, has been held up as a model program by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Denise Schoenbachler
Denise Schoenbachler

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for a program,” Dean Denise Schoenbachler said. “Pam Smith and all those who worked to create and refine BELIEF have put us in the forefront of teaching students how to make ethical business decisions.”

As part of its growth and evolution, the program plans to offer two faculty development days this spring and will sponsor its first ever ethics case competition.

The first faculty development day, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, in Barsema Hall Room 127, will focus on academic integrity. The event will feature a presentation by Brian Glick, assistant director of the NIU Office of Community Standards & Student Conduct, as well as several students providing their perspective on those issues. Topics to be covered will include cheating on tests, downloading papers and other common dilemmas.

The second faculty development event, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, also in Barsema Hall 127, will feature a panel discussion on how best to integrate ethics education across a curriculum, which is one of the key aspects to the BELIEF program.

Both events are open to College of Business faculty only.

On Friday, April 1, the BELIEF Initiative is sponsoring its first ever ethics case competition, which will feature a first place prize of $1,000 (in scholarship money for individuals, or payable in cash to a sponsoring student organization). Prizes of $750, $500 and $250 will be presented to teams placing second through fourth, respectively.

The event will require teams of two students to study an ethical dilemma (which will be provided two weeks prior to the competition) and describe how they would handle it and why. The competition is open to all NIU students majoring or minoring in business or philosophy.

For more information on the event, or to obtain an entry form, contact BELIEF Initiative Director William McCoy at [email protected].

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