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How to build ethical leaders

June 16, 2016
Bill McCoy

Bill McCoy

Bill McCoy is a believer.

As the director of the Building Ethical Leaders Using an Integrated Ethics Framework (BELIEF) Program in the NIU College of Business, he knows the importance of ethics and spends each day ensuring that NIU is building a future generation of ethical leaders.

“We are not only giving students the tools to make it through college, we are giving them tools for life,” McCoy said. “These tools are also something they can use to teach others.”

McCoy understands what it’s like to be an NIU student, because he was one. As an undergraduate, he walked the same pathways and corridors as his students do now.

“There are professors I had when I was here, some who have made a significant impact on my personal life and academic life,” McCoy said. “I now get to take what I have learned and utilize that pedagogy on the students that I serve.”

McCoy went on to earn a master’s degree from University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2002 and a doctorate degree from Edgewood College in 2010. He was hired as NIU’s first full-time BELIEF program director that same year, and has helped the program earn national ranking and international recognition since then.

William C. McCoyWith a mission “to build ethical leaders through the integration of program development, faculty support, business community involvement and learner engagement,” McCoy uses his experience as a former NIU student to connect with today’s learners.

McCoy said that fulfilling this mission equips the learner with a lasting set of practical tools to apply ethical values in business practices, as well as to use right here and right now.

“Ethical decision making is not something we only do after we graduate,” McCoy said. “Here is a decision-making framework to use to make better decisions; we are not only giving you the tools to make it through college, we are giving you tools for life, and it is also something you can teach other people.”

McCoy was one of four members of the Supportive Professional Staff (SPS) to earn the university’s 2016 Presidential Awards for Excellence.

by Jane Donahue