American Express, Penn State host summit on business ethics

September 23, 2010

University Park, Pa. – Eleven deans from leading business schools will meet with corporate leaders at a symposium hosted by American Express and the Penn State Smeal College of Business Thursday, Sept. 23, in New York City, to forge a new partnership in promoting business ethics in academia and corporate America.

The Partners in Business Ethics symposium will be held at American Express corporate headquarters at the World Financial Center in New York.

The event will lay the groundwork for a new collaboration between business and academic leaders on the business ethics front. Participants will discuss ways to deepen their curricular and cultural investments in the ethical leadership development of business students. Corporations and business schools will share ideas, challenges and best practices in preparing young professionals to lead with integrity in today's workplace. Discussion topics will include academic integrity initiatives, business ethics curricula and programmatic efforts to create, sustain and strengthen ethical cultures among business students and in corporate ranks.

"Business academics and practitioners have long worked together on various research projects that advance business knowledge, so it makes great sense for us to collaborate on a larger scale on such an important issue," said James B. Thomas, John and Becky Surma dean of the Smeal College of Business. "Trust in our business leaders and processes is paramount in our economy. If we expect to see continued economic growth, we must work collectively to foster ethical cultures in our business schools and at all levels of business."

This meeting between business school deans and corporate leaders emerged out of conversations on business ethics between Thomas and Joan Amble, executive vice president and corporate comptroller at American Express. Amble is a Smeal alumna and sits on the college's Board of Visitors. She has been a strong proponent of academic integrity issues at Smeal and was instrumental in the implementation of the enhanced Smeal Honor Code in 2006 and 2007.

Between panel discussions and breakouts, the symposium will feature addresses by Ken Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer of American Express; retired Navy Vice Adm. John R. Ryan, president and CEO of the Center for Creative Leadership; and Michael R. Young, partner in the law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. 

In addition to Smeal's Thomas, the following deans are participating in the symposium: 

  • -- Alison Davis-Blake, dean, the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota
  • -- Thomas Gilligan, dean, the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin
  • -- William Hunter, Henry B. Tippie Dean, the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa
  • -- John Kraft, dean, the Warrington College of Business Administration at the University of Florida
  • -- Judy Olian, dean, UCLA Anderson School of Management
  • -- Donde Plowman, dean, College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln
  • -- Paul Portney, dean, the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona
  • -- Thomas Robertson, dean, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
  • -- Joan Schmit, interim dean, the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • -- Daniel Smith, dean, the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University

 The Penn State Smeal College of Business offers highly ranked undergraduate, graduate, executive MBA, Ph.D., and executive education opportunities to more than 5,000 students at all levels. Featuring academic departments in accounting, finance, marketing, insurance and real estate, management, and supply chain and information systems, the college is also home to several leading-edge research centers, including the Center for Supply Chain Research and the Institute for the Study of Business Markets. For more information on all of Smeal’s offerings, visit online.


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Last Updated September 23, 2010