Colorado State’s College of Business Answers National Call for Corporate Values and Ethics Education

In response to President Bush’s recent call for the nation’s schools of business to "be principled teachers of right and wrong," Colorado State University’s College of Business is offering an array of courses and programs geared toward corporate ethics and responsibilities.

The university will offer:

  • a new graduate level business ethics course,
  • integration of ethics into the undergraduate curriculum,
  • a unique business e-ethics certificate program, and
  • essential resources for the business community through the E-Center for Business Ethics.

"The guiding principles for the College of Business are built upon a strong ethics foundation," said Ajay Menon, dean of the College of Business. "To build on our tradition of community and customer focus, a task force has been established to ensure that the curriculum will contain a broad-based inclusion of ethics, corporate values and social responsibility in both undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Business."

The College of Business also will implement a year-long initiative including a lecture series, workshops, symposiums, debates and a business day focusing on business ethics, organizational values and corporate social responsibility. O.C. Ferrell, director of the E-Center for Business Ethics, and Lynn Turner, director of the Center for Quality Financial Reporting, will lead the effort designed for both academic and business communities.

"We have the opportunity and responsibility to prepare our students, not only in the realm of business but in all areas, for the intellectual, ethical and social challenges they will face once they embark upon their careers," said Albert C. Yates, president of Colorado State University.

The College of Business is immediately implementing a graduate-level business ethics course taught by Ferrell, one of the nation’s leading business ethics experts, and Turner, internationally known for his focus on corporate responsibility. The course, Social and Regulatory Issues in Business, will focus on the underlying causes of what has happened this year in the corporate world and how the legal and ethical environment can be improved by both business and government.

"Ethics is an area that has been consistently overlooked and neglected by colleges of business because of the assumption that it’s all about personal values," Ferrell said. "Corporate decision-making environments are highly complex and the penalties are high when the wrong decisions are made. Business students are challenged more than ever to understand the legal and ethical environments in which they make their decisions."

Colorado State offers the only entirely online Ethics Certificate Program in the country. The program is specifically designed for individuals and graduate students working in management, human resources and legal and ethical compliance. The 10-week program, which will begin Sept. 9, includes interactive learning modules on topics such as ethical misconduct recovery, ethical considerations that contribute to fraud and misrepresentation of facts, programs that can prevent fraud and government initiatives to improve ethics in corporate America.

As the director of the E-Center for Business Ethics, Ferrell provides resources for businesses, academics and students as well as online courses. The center’s Web site provides an opportunity to develop partnerships among all entities to promote sharing of best practices associated with business ethics and organizational citizenship. The electronic center uses a unique approach to coordinate a network of expert contributors and Web resources to provide information and linkages to best practices developed through government, business and academic development and research.

For more information, visit the E-Center for Business Ethics Web site at