Pro Sports Executives to Join Professors for Jan. 28 Symposium on 'Winning With Integrity'

Lisa Kihl

Lisa Kihl

Executives from four professional sports teams will join professors from the University of St. Thomas and University of Minnesota on Jan. 28 for a symposium on “Winning With Integrity: A Conversation on Sports, Ethics and Leadership.”

John Tauer, Ph.D., psychology professor and men’s basketball coach at St. Thomas, will moderate the discussion. He is the author of a new book on youth sports, parents and motivation, Why Less is More for WOSPs (Well-Intentioned, Overinvolved Sports Parents): How to Be the Best Sports Parent You Can Be.

Tom Curvers

Tom Kurvers

On the panel will be Lisa Kihl, Ph.D., a sport management professor at the University of Minnesota; Tom Kurvers, senior adviser to the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning; Kevin Warren, chief operating officer of the Minnesota Vikings; and Chris Wright, president of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx.

Topics for discussion include:

  • How do experiences in sports influence character, values and ethics?
  • What dynamics support, reinforce or threaten ethical conduct?
  • In sports and business, do we value winning at all costs?
  • How can leaders play an active role in strengthening and honoring ethical culture?
  • How can leaders better anticipate and minimize the risk of individual and organizational misconduct that can erode commitment to values?
Kevin Warren

Kevin Warren

“Sports exert a powerful influence in American society and culture,” said Stefanie Lenway, Ph.D., dean of the Opus College of Business. “Sports experiences – as children and adults, in schools, colleges, in community leagues – help to shape an individual’s character, sense of right and wrong, and understanding of what is fair or unfair. Athletic competition also shapes what it means to be a part of a team and what it means to be a leader. Coaches, teammates, personal ambition, organizational pressures and competition forge and challenge those emerging values.

“At every step, individuals and organizations in sports and in business may choose to bend the rules and cut corners or to play with integrity albeit with the hope of winning. Building commitment to ethical conduct in sports and business requires building a culture that aligns individuals with an organizational purpose and core values,” she said. “This alignment requires leading with integrity that spills over from athletics to business.”

Chris Wright

Chris Wright

Registration for the symposium is required and there is a fee, except for St. Thomas students, staff and faculty. To register and for more information visit the Center for Ethical Business Cultures website.

The symposium is organized and hosted by the Center for Ethical Business Cultures, the Veritas Institute, and the Opus College of Business Department of Ethics and Business Law, all based at St. Thomas.