A team of four University of St. Thomas (UST) Full-time MBA students won their division and received the highest overall honor at the national Intercollegiate Business Ethics Case Competition hosted by Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association (ECOA) at the ECOA’s annual meeting held September 22-24 in Anaheim, Cal. The UST team, which consisted of Sean Elder, Kelsey Luers, Roman Savchenko and Sara Speiker, was invited to deliver their winning presentation on “Social Media, Free Speech and the Ethical Corporation” as part of the awards ceremony at an evening ECOA event.
One judge said to Dr. Ken Goodpaster, UST Koch Endowed Chair in Business Ethics and the team’s mentor, “Fantastic! I’ve been judging this competition for six years – yours is the best I have seen in all that time.” Their analysis and recommendations were for corporations seeking ethical solutions amid the exploding phenomenon of social media.
Competing were teams from California State University (Long Beach, CA), Central European University (Budapest, Hungary), La Salle University (Philadelphia, PA), Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, CA) and St. Thomas.
Members of the winning St. Thomas team were selected last spring through the CEBC Ethics Case Competition hosted by the Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC), University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business and UnitedHealth Group. The winning team then competed in a virtual competition securing their advancement to the national competition.
At the competition, teams participated in a series of rounds that involved: 30-minute, 10-minute and 90-second presentations. The 30-minute presentation dealt with the legal, financial and ethical of a case chosen by the team; students were then questions by a panel of judges for another 20 minutes; and the judges then gave the students feedback on their performance. The 10-minute competition and the Ernst & Young 90-Second Challenge focused solely on the ethical dimensions of the case.
The CEBC Ethics Case Competition is one of several ethics education initiatives that the Opus College of Business and CEBC collaborate on to engage tomorrow’s business leaders in the challenges of building enduring ethical and profitable business cultures. This engagement takes a variety of forms, including hosting public forums on emerging ethical issues, conducting center-created business ethics simulations, speaking to – or arranging speakers to address – classes as guest lecturers, leading study abroad courses and arranging business site visits for UST MBA students interested in ethics and corporate responsibility issues.