Smeal faculty/staff advocating culture of integrity

Efforts to create a culture of integrity in the Smeal College of Business extend beyond students in the classroom to faculty and staff in the workplace.

“In addition to fostering a learning environment that upholds academic integrity, we are committed to creating a workplace that promotes integrity and ethical behavior,” said Jennifer Eury, Smeal director of honor and integrity.

Eury has helped spread the integrity message at Smeal through group sessions like Coffee and Conversations. During those voluntary gatherings, Smeal faculty and staff are split into small groups and presented with ethical dilemmas. The groups devise solutions to the dilemmas and share with the larger group. Julie Del Giorno, Penn State’s athletics integrity officer, helps Eury facilitate the group offerings.

It was because of Coffee and Conversations that Janet Spearly, director of student enrichment and academic advising manager, scheduled an integrity session with Eury for the Undergraduate Education Office.

“In small groups, we worked through a series of ethical dilemmas that advisers and first-line staff have encountered while working with undergraduate students,” Spearly said. “The small groups came back together as one group to review the responses and get feedback from Jen and Julie.”

The session highlighted strategies that can be used on a day-to-day basis said Sarah Krupp, a Smeal academic adviser.

“The scenarios we discussed allowed us to think through how to proactively respond to a variety of situations that we might encounter on any given day in our interactions with students and/or colleagues.” Krupp said. “Any time we are able to process through situations it’s helpful to our professional and personal development.”

Carrie Marcinkevage, Smeal’s MBA managing director, felt a special motivation for scheduling an integrity session for her group.

“MBA students created the honor code, so integrity is clearly a core value within the program. Values need to be discussed and nurtured to remain vibrant in any community. So, any opportunity we have to discuss and align around integrity, we’ll take it,” she said.

Eury said she and Del Giorno design individualized sessions, with custom content for each group training they facilitate. For the MBA group, it was more about strengthening its commitment to integrity.

“If we consider ethics along the spectrum from awareness to advocacy, our group is hopefully working in the advocacy realm. This training was to move us into aligned advocacy, where not only do we share similar approaches to common situations, be we can also identify, appreciate, and discuss differing ethical perspectives,” Marcinkevage said.

“I believe we increased comfort with identifying and naming our own values, raising difficult situations, discussing different perspectives, and aligning around decisions.”

In addition, Eury has facilitated Corporate Compliance and Ethics Week, which was held in May of 2014 and is planned again for November, luncheons for faculty, one-on-one introductions to honor and integrity for new staff in the offices of Undergraduate Education and Career and Corporate Connections, as well as producing and distributing Integrity Insights, an integrity e-newsletter.

About Integrity at the Smeal College of Business
Integrity and ethical behavior are fundamental to the Smeal College of Business culture. These values underscore who we are and what we do as a leading business school community, both in and out of the classroom. The college's foundation of honor and integrity lies in the Honor Code, drafted in partnership with MBA students in 2006 and adopted by undergraduates in 2007. Integrity and ethical behavior are infused into courses across the Smeal curriculum, and the G. Albert Shoemaker Program in Business Ethics supports ethics lectures and related scholarly research. For more information on integrity at Smeal, visit www.smeal.psu.edu/integrity.

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Last Updated June 30, 2015