I had the privilege of being part of an exciting and unique event at Eastern Michigan University last week. The first event of its kind in the country, offered by a business school. “Ethos Week” was created, developed and implemented by undergraduate and graduate students of the College of Business.
“Ethos Week is a week-long series of events that occurs once a year in March. The purpose of the week is to promote business ethics and to further ethics education.” Students started this tradition in 2006, when the student members of the Dean’s Board of Student Advisors worked with the College of Business Dean (COB), Dr. David Mielke to develop an Ethos Honor Society. Their first Ethos Week was then implemented in 2007. (http://cob.emich.edu)
What impressed me the most about the event is that the entire week was organized and staffed by the undergraduate and graduate students of the university’s COB. While Dean Mielke supported the students’ initiative. It was the business students that saw a need for an Ethos Week and urged for it to be open to the not only to the university’s community, but the business community as well. This program is truly a student-led, faculty and administration supported week of ethics in business!
This event got me thinking, why don’t other universities/colleges do something like this? Anyone who has heard my programs knows that I am an advocate of ethics being proactive. Why not raise the awareness of ethics in business while in school and deal with those issues before students enter the workforce? To my knowledge, EMU is the only university that has an Ethos Week. The COB here, is really taking a very positive and proactive approach. And this I see, as a very important step for our future, particularly in today’s culture, where we can not go one day without hearing about corporate greed, transparency, compliance, and unethical behavior in Corporate America.
We have had such negative news in recent months about business ethics in this country. I am not only honored to have been part of this event but experiencing this Ethos Week gives me great hope for the future…which makes me sleep better! Thanks EMU!