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Business students excel in ethics competition

October 26, 2011
Austin Schulte (left) and Sam Kunde

Austin Schulte (left) and Sam Kunde

A pair of NIU business students, Austin Schulte of Dixon and Sam Kunde of Marengo, enjoyed success at the annual Collegiate Ethics Case Competition.

The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona hosted the event from Thursday, Oct. 20, through Saturday, Oct. 22, in Tucson, Ariz.

NIU’s duo earned a second place finish in the main competition for their approach to a business case scenario involving how to deal with a family on the verge of foreclosure in Arizona. State laws there allow mortgagees to walk away from their contractual commitments without fear of lawsuit from the mortgager.

Schulte and Kunde had three weeks to design a presentation, which was delivered before a panel of corporate-level judges.

They also took top honors in the optional Bright Line Essay competition, in which students presented the philosophical positioning of their approach to the case. Judges praised their “practical and ethical approach” to the dilemma.

“We’re thrilled with our finish, considering the strong field of participants that competed,” Kunde said, noting that the competition drew teams representing nearly 30 universities from across the country. “Most of all, we’re proud to have represented NIU so well on the national stage.”

The NIU College of Business is consider a leader in ethics for its development of the BELIEF (Building Ethical Leaders using an Integrated Ethics Framework) program. The program consists of three main components: a faculty group, a corporate advisory board, and a student group. Schulte and Kunde are a part of the student group known as “LEAD” – Leaders in Ethics and Academic Discipline.

Led by William McCoy, the program has been named among the Top 3 business ethics program in the nation by Businessweek Magazine for the last two years.