Fast Company asks: Are B-School Graduates More Ethical? Yes, at UST.

Last week Fast Company posted an article on the results of the Aspen Institute's Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey of how schools are teaching social, environmental, and ethical topics:

Many industry watchers saw business schools as contributing factors in the financial crisis, arguing that, by failing to challenge orthodoxies, and overlooking “socially useless” activities, they helped create conditions for collapse. That nearly every relevant banker, regulator, and politician was an MBA graduate helped make the case. But what about now? Have b-schools changed? Yes, and no, according to [the] survey. On the one hand, MBA programs are teaching more social, environmental, and ethical content than ever. Four-fifths now require students to take a business and society course, compared to just 34% in 2001. ...On the other hand, schools have yet to significantly reform “core” subjects like finance and accounting.

Dawn R. Elm, Ph.D., Chair of UST's Department of Ethics and Business Law notes that in the Opus College of Business "we do have a required business ethics course in all of our programs, and we supplement our ethical focus with integration of the emphasis on ethics and values as the whole proposition across all the courses in our curricula."

We deliberately include the ethical dimension in our courses and we teach both accounting and finance with a view toward the “full cost of business” says Elm.  "This has taken a commitment from the faculty of the college to learn about, and engage in, innovative approaches to integrating ethics and corporate social responsibility into traditional business courses.  It is significant that our faculty ARE rewarded and tenured for this commitment."

Elm adds, "In addition to our activities in the classroom, the college has also created and partnered with other socially oriented organizations to create multiple events and experiences for our students and alumni that continue to emphasize the importance of ethical values and practices in the profession of business."

Check out our profile on the Aspen Institute website.