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Roundtable participants during an Opus College of Business event.

Go Beyond Compliance

Center for Ethics in Practice

Join the Conversation and Commitment to Ethical Business Practices.

The Opus College of Business Center for Ethics in Practice has been helping develop ethical business leaders and cultures for more than 40 years. The Center facilitates conversations and learning about practical ethics to develop innovative and successful tools for upstanding business success. We strive to promote the common good through facilitating a successful business community that values doing business the right way.

Contact

Nicole Zwieg-Daly

Director
Phone Number
(651) 962-4122

I think the Center has the opportunity to transform the lives of people and companies in our region and beyond.

Tim Welsh

Center for Ethics in Practice

  • Business Ethics Resource Center
  • BERC Press Release
  • Customized Training
  • Interactive Events
  • Articles by our experts
  • Business Ethics Resource Center

    The Business Ethics Resource Center powered by U.S. Bank (BERC) is an open-access website that makes business ethics resources available freely to the public with the intent to educate business leaders and assist them in building and maintaining strong organizational cultures of ethics and compliance in the businesses and industries they serve. BERC will provide users with the opportunity to gain a foundational ethics and compliance understanding as well as learn best practices and offer solutions to ethics and compliance challenges commonly experienced by small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States.

    For more information, click on the BERC press release box to the left, and visit the BERC site using the link below.

     

    Business Ethics Resource Center (BERC)

    BERC Press Release

    New online ethics resource helps small business owners
    gain customers and grow

     

    The University of St. Thomas Business Ethics Resource Center website, sponsored by U.S. Bank, gives business owners and leaders the ethical tools for success

     

    MINNEAPOLIS (July 15, 2019) – Small businesses are a key driver of a vibrant U.S. economy, employing nearly half of the U.S. workforce, generating 44% of U.S. economic activity and producing 16 times more patents per employee than large firms. But many lack the resources they need to prevent or recover from business damage caused by unethical behavior.

     

    That’s about to change as the Center for Ethics in Practice at the University of St. Thomas launches the Business Ethics Resource Center (BERC). The new website offers free practical tools and information tailored to help businesses develop resilient and ethical organizations.

     

    U.S. Bank, named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute in 2019, is the founding sponsor of the BERC.


    The BERC website provides resources from the Center for Ethics in Practice at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, which has helped develop ethical business leaders and cultures for more than 40 years.

     

    The site specifically addresses the needs of small to midsize businesses, providing tools and information to help them develop ethical cultures, codes of conduct and internal controls that promote ethical practices.

     

    In addition to benefiting from timely and professional ethics resources and guides, visitors can access other information sources to learn how to make ethics central to business. The site also helps businesses implement employee training programs, which can reduce the instances of unethical behavior through detection and prevention.

     

    “A growing body of research shows that good ethical practices grow stronger businesses,” said Katie Lawler, senior vice president and global chief ethics officer, U.S. Bank. Lawler also serves on the advisory board of the Center for Ethics in Practice.

     

    “By sponsoring the Business Ethics Resource Center, we’re helping the University of St. Thomas give business owners the resources to prioritize ethical decision-making and intentionally build a culture of integrity, reinforcing their success,” said Lawler.

     

    Research shows a positive association between an organization’s ethical reputation and its ability to attract customers, partners, investors and employees – and even to command higher prices in the marketplace. Findings from a Mintel report showed that 56% of Americans stop buying from brands they believe are unethical.

     

    According to an Ethisphere study, stock performance of the 2018 World’s Most Ethical Companies outperformed the market index for other U.S. large cap companies by 4.8% over three years. And a 2019 Salesforce survey showed 80% of customers are more loyal to companies with good ethics.

     

    In a competitive landscape and tight labor market, ethical businesses may even be elevated to the ranks of most-admired businesses, earning the loyalty of a new generation of customers – as well as millennial employees, who want to work for socially responsible employers.

     

    “Smaller organizations are not just big businesses in miniature – they have distinct entrepreneurial cultures, operate with less outside oversight – and give employees more decision-making authority,” said Dawn R. Elm, Ph.D., executive director, Center for Ethics in Practice.

     

    Elm is the David A. and Barbara Koch Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics and Leadership at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business. She notes that the fallout from poor ethical decisions is often felt more directly and deeply by everyone in smaller businesses.

     

    “Organizations need continual emphasis and processes to keep ethics alive for their stakeholders,” said Elm. “BERC provides real-world tools, grounded in actual business reality and is ready to use. They’re essential guardrails that can keep a small business on track with their performance goals.”

    Customized Training

    The Center for Ethics in Practice offers a variety of educational programming designed to help develop principled business leaders and ethical business cultures in today's complex, ever-changing environment. Led by scholars and practitioner ethicists, our programs encourage experiential learning, networking opportunities and practical knowledge to apply in the workplace.

    Interactive Events

    Ethics Edge Breakfast Series

    The Ethics Edge Breakfast is a discussion series between Twin Cities business leaders and University of St. Thomas ethics faculty. This series provides Center members an opportunity to network in an ethical forum, converse and collaborate on ethical issues facing the business community. The Ethics Edge is held four times per year.

    Upcoming dates (topics will be added when determined):

    October 10, 2019

    December 12, 2019

    February 13, 2020

    April 9, 2020

     

    Annual Stakeholder Dialogue

    The Stakeholder Dialogue is an annual series focusing on various groups that have a stake in the business enterprise. This distinctive annual event, sponsored by the Koch Distinguished Professors, Center for Ethics in Practice and the Veritas Institute, is designed to increase public understanding of issues and encourage ethical action by business organizations.

    Date: Spring 2020

     

    Twin Cities Practical Ethics Conference

    The one-day Twin Cities Practical Ethics Conference will be held on March 26, 2020 on the Minneapolis campus. Developing and maintaining an ethical business culture is an essential component of any organization's success. In partnership with a number of University centers and Twin Cities businesses, the Practical Ethics Conference will serve as an exclusive space for exceptional networking and practical, ethical learning.

    Articles by our experts

    Business Ethics Resource Center

    The Business Ethics Resource Center powered by U.S. Bank (BERC) is an open-access website that makes business ethics resources available freely to the public with the intent to educate business leaders and assist them in building and maintaining strong organizational cultures of ethics and compliance in the businesses and industries they serve. BERC will provide users with the opportunity to gain a foundational ethics and compliance understanding as well as learn best practices and offer solutions to ethics and compliance challenges commonly experienced by small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States.

    For more information, click on the BERC press release box to the left, and visit the BERC site using the link below.

     

    BERC Press Release

    New online ethics resource helps small business owners
    gain customers and grow

     

    The University of St. Thomas Business Ethics Resource Center website, sponsored by U.S. Bank, gives business owners and leaders the ethical tools for success

     

    MINNEAPOLIS (July 15, 2019) – Small businesses are a key driver of a vibrant U.S. economy, employing nearly half of the U.S. workforce, generating 44% of U.S. economic activity and producing 16 times more patents per employee than large firms. But many lack the resources they need to prevent or recover from business damage caused by unethical behavior.

     

    That’s about to change as the Center for Ethics in Practice at the University of St. Thomas launches the Business Ethics Resource Center (BERC). The new website offers free practical tools and information tailored to help businesses develop resilient and ethical organizations.

     

    U.S. Bank, named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute in 2019, is the founding sponsor of the BERC.


    The BERC website provides resources from the Center for Ethics in Practice at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, which has helped develop ethical business leaders and cultures for more than 40 years.

     

    The site specifically addresses the needs of small to midsize businesses, providing tools and information to help them develop ethical cultures, codes of conduct and internal controls that promote ethical practices.

     

    In addition to benefiting from timely and professional ethics resources and guides, visitors can access other information sources to learn how to make ethics central to business. The site also helps businesses implement employee training programs, which can reduce the instances of unethical behavior through detection and prevention.

     

    “A growing body of research shows that good ethical practices grow stronger businesses,” said Katie Lawler, senior vice president and global chief ethics officer, U.S. Bank. Lawler also serves on the advisory board of the Center for Ethics in Practice.

     

    “By sponsoring the Business Ethics Resource Center, we’re helping the University of St. Thomas give business owners the resources to prioritize ethical decision-making and intentionally build a culture of integrity, reinforcing their success,” said Lawler.

     

    Research shows a positive association between an organization’s ethical reputation and its ability to attract customers, partners, investors and employees – and even to command higher prices in the marketplace. Findings from a Mintel report showed that 56% of Americans stop buying from brands they believe are unethical.

     

    According to an Ethisphere study, stock performance of the 2018 World’s Most Ethical Companies outperformed the market index for other U.S. large cap companies by 4.8% over three years. And a 2019 Salesforce survey showed 80% of customers are more loyal to companies with good ethics.

     

    In a competitive landscape and tight labor market, ethical businesses may even be elevated to the ranks of most-admired businesses, earning the loyalty of a new generation of customers – as well as millennial employees, who want to work for socially responsible employers.

     

    “Smaller organizations are not just big businesses in miniature – they have distinct entrepreneurial cultures, operate with less outside oversight – and give employees more decision-making authority,” said Dawn R. Elm, Ph.D., executive director, Center for Ethics in Practice.

     

    Elm is the David A. and Barbara Koch Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics and Leadership at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business. She notes that the fallout from poor ethical decisions is often felt more directly and deeply by everyone in smaller businesses.

     

    “Organizations need continual emphasis and processes to keep ethics alive for their stakeholders,” said Elm. “BERC provides real-world tools, grounded in actual business reality and is ready to use. They’re essential guardrails that can keep a small business on track with their performance goals.”

    Customized Training

    The Center for Ethics in Practice offers a variety of educational programming designed to help develop principled business leaders and ethical business cultures in today's complex, ever-changing environment. Led by scholars and practitioner ethicists, our programs encourage experiential learning, networking opportunities and practical knowledge to apply in the workplace.

    Interactive Events

    Ethics Edge Breakfast Series

    The Ethics Edge Breakfast is a discussion series between Twin Cities business leaders and University of St. Thomas ethics faculty. This series provides Center members an opportunity to network in an ethical forum, converse and collaborate on ethical issues facing the business community. The Ethics Edge is held four times per year.

    Upcoming dates (topics will be added when determined):

    October 10, 2019

    December 12, 2019

    February 13, 2020

    April 9, 2020

     

    Annual Stakeholder Dialogue

    The Stakeholder Dialogue is an annual series focusing on various groups that have a stake in the business enterprise. This distinctive annual event, sponsored by the Koch Distinguished Professors, Center for Ethics in Practice and the Veritas Institute, is designed to increase public understanding of issues and encourage ethical action by business organizations.

    Date: Spring 2020

     

    Twin Cities Practical Ethics Conference

    The one-day Twin Cities Practical Ethics Conference will be held on March 26, 2020 on the Minneapolis campus. Developing and maintaining an ethical business culture is an essential component of any organization's success. In partnership with a number of University centers and Twin Cities businesses, the Practical Ethics Conference will serve as an exclusive space for exceptional networking and practical, ethical learning.

    Articles by our experts

    Membership

    Membership includes a variety of benefits:

    • Free participation in our quarterly Ethics Edge Breakfast Roundtable discussion series between Twin Cities business leaders and university ethics professors
    • Special invitation for member organization employees to attend a number of engaging, networking events such as the Stakeholder Dialogue, Winning with Integrity and more
    • Quarterly ethics newsletter which shares best practices by Twin Cities businesses as well as highlighting Center sponsors
    • Customized training, at a special member rate, focused on practical ethics to develop principled leaders

    Membership includes a variety of benefits:

    • Free participation in our quarterly Ethics Edge Breakfast Roundtable discussion series between Twin Cities business leaders and university ethics professors
    • Special invitation for member organization employees to attend a number of engaging, networking events such as the Stakeholder Dialogue, Winning with Integrity and more
    • Quarterly ethics newsletter which shares best practices by Twin Cities businesses as well as highlighting Center sponsors
    • Customized training, at a special member rate, focused on practical ethics to develop principled leaders

    Membership rates for new and renewing members as of January 1, 2019:

    Gross Sales

    Corporate/Assoc.

    Non-Profit

    Over $5B

    $5,000

    $4,000

    $1B - $5B

    $4,700

    $3,700

    $100M - $1B

    $4,000

    $3,000

    $25M - $100M

    $3,300

    $2,300

    $1M - $25M

    $1,100

    $850

    Under $1M

    $550

    $450

    Government

    Executive Board

    $1,100

    Federal

    $825

    State

    $550

    Individual

    $210 (self-employed)

     

    Organizations are welcome to sponsor the Center’s work by sponsoring individual Center programs and events throughout the year. Sponsorship benefits include member benefits and additional visibility as a Center partner in all communications for the sponsored
    program or event.

    Membership rates for new and renewing members as of January 1, 2019:

    Gross Sales

    Corporate/Assoc.

    Non-Profit

    Over $5B

    $5,000

    $4,000

    $1B - $5B

    $4,700

    $3,700

    $100M - $1B

    $4,000

    $3,000

    $25M - $100M

    $3,300

    $2,300

    $1M - $25M

    $1,100

    $850

    Under $1M

    $550

    $450

    Government

    Executive Board

    $1,100

    Federal

    $825

    State

    $550

    Individual

    $210 (self-employed)

     

    Organizations are welcome to sponsor the Center’s work by sponsoring individual Center programs and events throughout the year. Sponsorship benefits include member benefits and additional visibility as a Center partner in all communications for the sponsored
    program or event.

    Advisory Board

    Colleen Dorsey, Director, Organizational Ethics & Compliance, University of St. Thomas School of Law

    Dawn ElmDavid A. & Barbara Koch (Graco) Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics & Leadership Executive Director, Center for Ethics in Practice, Opus College of Business, University of St. Thomas

    Michael Garrison, Senior Associate Dean, Opus College of Business, University of St. Thomas

    Ken GoodpasterProfessor Emeritus, Opus College of Business, University of St. Thomas

    Tony HerediaVice President, Corporation Compliance & Ethics, Target

    Ron James, University of St. Thomas

    Katie LawlerSenior Vice President, Global Chief Ethics Officer, US Bank
     
    Stefanie Lenway, Dean, Opus College of Business, University of St. Thomas

    Sally Mainquist, CEO and Co-Founder, Veritae Group, LLC
     
    James Mitchell, Chairman and CEO (Retired), IDS Insurance Company

    Katherina Pattit, Associate Professor of Ethics and Business Law, Opus College of Business, University of St. Thomas

    Center for Ethics in Practice Staff

    Headshot of Dawn R. Elm, Ph.D.

    Dawn R. Elm, Ph.D.

    David A. and Barbara Koch (Graco) Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics and Leadership

    Executive Director

    (651) 962-4265
    DRELM@stthomas.edu

    Mission Statement

    The mission of the Opus College of Business Center for Ethics in Practice is to cultivate partnerships between the professional and academic communities around mutual learning and meaningful innovation in service of ethical leadership, organizational success and the common good.

    The Center accomplishes this mission through dialogues, programs and events to facilitate practical learning and actionable scholarly research about professional responsibility and ethics.