UST School of Law

St. Thomas Bolsters Compliance Programs With New Hire

The University of St. Thomas strengthened its place as a leader in compliance and ethics education with the recent hiring of Colleen Dorsey as director of its master’s and LL.M. programs in organizational ethics and compliance. The programs were launched by St. Thomas School of Law in 2014 among the first graduate programs in this field nationwide.

Dorsey’s hiring comes at a time when career opportunities in compliance continue to grow, most notably in the business, financial and health care sectors. The Wall Street Journal called compliance officer “the hottest job in America” in 2014, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting steady job growth through 2022. U.S. News and World Report ranks compliance officer No. 20 among the best business jobs and No. 84 among the best jobs overall.

“Recent data shows that nearly all chief legal officers identify ethics and compliance as top issues in their business today; that’s just one metric that underscores the need for comprehensive and innovative training in this area,” said School of Law Dean Robert Vischer, citing a 2015 survey of general counsels and chief legal officers administered by the Association of Corporate Counsel. “The University of St. Thomas has an outstanding record for educating ethical business leaders, and we’re committed to building on that tradition with the continued growth of our organizational ethics and compliance programs.”

The University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, which partners with the School of Law to offer the two graduate-level programs, is home to the Center for Ethical Business Cultures and the Veritas Institute, and the School of Law houses the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions—all known nationwide for their research and programming on ethics and professionalism.

Dorsey spent nearly 16 years as in-house counsel for Land O’Lakes, where she developed and implemented the company’s first compliance and ethics program. At St. Thomas, she is charged with managing the compliance programs’ visibility and growth, and supporting student recruitment, advising and employment.

“I am excited to be a part of growing the organizational ethics and compliance degree program at St. Thomas in today’s business and regulatory climate,” Dorsey said. “My long tenure as in-house counsel, as well as my background in developing a compliance and ethics program from the ground up, ideally situate me to shape the program in a way that develops highly knowledgeable, but practical and business-minded compliance and ethics professionals.”

More on the University of St. Thomas Organizational Ethics and Compliance programs can be found at Colleen Dorsey can be reached at and (651) 962-4862.