Spring and Summer 2013
Dr. Jaime Gmu Price Faculty Development Workshop. The first faculty development workshop was held in March 2013, facilitated by Jaime Gmu Price, Ph.D., George Mason University, on The Foundations of Ethics, Public Policy and Social Change. This development workshop was scheduled in conjunction with the Center’s partner, The Center for Catholic Studies. Dr. Price and the Micah Center also collaborated on a series of pieces to be read by participants before attending the conference. A small stipend was offered to the 12 attendees, who also prepared a report on their experience at the workshop.
Dr. Michael Naughton Faculty Development Workshop. The second faculty development workshop, which was held on April 19, was facilitated by Professor Michael Naughton, Director of the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought and Alan W. Moss Endowed Chair in Catholic Social Thought at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Naughton spoke on The Vocation of the Business Leader, a recent publication from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and further addressed the importance and potentials mechanisms for including business ethics into the business school curricula. A cadre of 10 faculty members participated in the workshop and prepared brief summaries of their experience. A small stipend was offered to attendees.
Inaugural Micah Faculty Workshop. As a direct follow up to the Dr. Naughton workshop, an extensive half-day summer faculty workshop was held to discuss how best to deploy certain baselines consistent with Catholic Social Teaching into our curricula. A key outcome of this workshop was a new emphasis on the need to measure the successful retention of business ethics education by students throughout their upper-level classes, and, more importantly, their careers. The workshop included participants from the Micah Institute for Business and Economics at the Center of Catholic Studies and the Dean of the Stillman School.
Napa Institute Conference. In the late summer, the Micah Center participated in the Third Annual Napa Institute Conference. One of the three themes of the conference was the “sanctity of work,” which, through the various lectures, panel discussions, and workshops, provided very useful information for the work of the Micah Center. From the conference, we received a great deal of useful scholarship and, particularly, on business ethics pedagogy, which will be included in our database. How to restore true meaning to one’s work was a particular focus, the discussions around which provided a great degree of inspiration for the work of the Micah Center.
Tom Joyce Business Leadership Breakfast. In the fall, the Micah Center supported and planned a leadership breakfast and conference partially sponsored by Investors Bank, who have become a great partner in the work of the Micah Center and the Stillman School more broadly. The President and CEO of Investors Bank, Kevin Cummings, personally participated and did the kick-off. Tom Joyce, the former CEO of the Knight Capital Group, delivered a talk entitled “Maintaining Value Driven Relationships in an Age of Technology.” A computer malfunction caused the company to lose more than $450 million on a single day in August 2012, through erroneous trades. Joyce, a Harvard College graduate, was able to keep the firm out of insolvency by arranging a cash bailout a week later and, in December, sold Knight to Getco LLC in a deal valued at about $1.4 billion. About eighty people attended the talk, including members of the professional community, faculty, senior students, and other invited guests. This was the Micah Center’s first event to extend beyond the academic community and, as will be noted below, we are working to continue this event in November 2014.
Professor Paula Alexander Book Project. The Micah Center offered some financial support to Professor Paula Alexander Becker for her research on a forthcoming book regarding the future of corporate social responsibility after the financial crisis and how educators might approach questions of corporate social responsibility in business schools today. The book’s tagline reads: “Corporate Social Irresponsibility focuses on ethical failures in order to relate corporate responsibility to business ethics, corporate governance, and organization effectiveness. The book advocates a strategic approach to CSR – ethical management cannot, and should not, be divorced from effective management.” The book is scheduled for release in January 2015.
Ave Maria Mission-Driven Education Conference. After months of planning beginning in the summer, the Micah Center successfully organized a conference in Ave Maria, Florida this January in conjunction with the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) and Ave Maria University (Florida). The conference was attended by over 30 scholars from 14 institutions and approached the topic of “mission-driven business education” from the perspective of various branches of business education (management, marketing, economics, finance, and accounting).
The seminar, which focused on the uniquely Catholic dimensions of business education, lasted two and a half days, with formal presentations and informal discussions. In their presentations, the participants laid out their understanding of the Catholic intellectual tradition and of Catholic social teaching. Then they connected these ideas with the specific pedagogical strategies that they use to help students make relevant connections. Other scholars responded by highlighting what they thought was most relevant, thus starting a discussion among the whole group. The work done at this seminar resulted in background papers, syllabi and teaching notes in the areas of management, marketing, micro- and macro-economics, and accounting, which are available on a curriculum web site through the University of St. Thomas. The proceedings of the conference were compiled in a 46-page document by the Micah Center, which is available for review on the Micah Center and University of St. Thomas’ website.
The conference also provided a truly excellent networking opportunity for the Micah Center and we have successfully held one event at Seton Hall with a conference attendee, Professor Charles Clark, and have two more events planned for the Fall of 2014.
The extent of this collaboration would not have been possible without the support of our generous grant funders.
Session at Jim and Judy O’Brien Colloquium. In February, and in conjunction with the Jim and Judy O’Brien Capital Markets Colloquium, the Micah Center was pleased to welcome Professor Charles Clark, Professor and Senior Fellow, Vincentian Center, Economics and Finance, The Peter J. Tobin College of Business, St. John’s University. Professor Clark delivered his presentation “Good Wealth: Using Catholic Social Thought to Link Wealth Creation to Poverty Alleviation,” which outlines the concepts of “good” and “bad” wealth, views of wealth within the tradition of Catholic Social Thought, and the processes behind meaningful wealth creation and poverty alleviation. An informal networking reception was held at the conclusion of the colloquium. The proceedings of Dr. Clark’s presentation are available on the Micah Center’s website.
Dean’s Conference on Business Ethics. In March, the Director of the Micah Center—along with the Dean of the Stillman School, Joyce Strawser—attended the University of St Thomas’ (Houston, TX) Dean’s Conference on Business Ethics. This conference helped supplement the work of the Micah Center, and, in particular, brought forth new information on some of the best practices used in business schools for aligning Catholic Social Teaching and business ethics to a business school’s mission. In conjunction with the Dean, we have complied materials from the conference and hope to make them available after rights and permissions issues are resolved.
Website Launch. This May, the Micah Center launched its website, which already has materials from several Micah events and provides more information about the Center and the Director. Its development will be a focus of the next several months, as detailed below.
Stillman Ethics Instruction Database. Over the course of the reporting period, the Micah Center has also worked on a Stillman-wide project cataloging how different faculty approach ethical questions in their courses. The end goal is to build a database of best practices and encourage its distribution inside and outside of the Stillman School of Business.
Napa Institute Conference. In July 2014, the Micah Center’s Director attended the Fourth Annual Napa Institute Conference in California. For this year’s Conference, the themes included Beauty & the Arts, Economic Justice, and Reason & Faith. The Micah Center’s participation was focused primarily on the second of the three and, more broadly, used the conference as an opportunity to discuss the development of pedagogy around these issues and the elaboration of one of the journal articles the Micah Center may support on the legal concept of unconscionability. As with the previous Napa Institute Conference, networking opportunities were pursued, including several potential speakers.
Back-to-School Faculty Development Workshop. In this workshop, facilitated by Justin Anderson, Assistant Professor of Moral Theology in the School of Theology, 17 Stillman School faculty members discussed the challenges of incorporating ethics-education into their curricula, as well as the particular challenges of doing so with Catholic Social Teaching. Professor Anderson outlined basic Catholic Social Teaching tenets and the faculty also discussed how several assumptions in various disciplines—such as economics—might run counter to Catholic Social Teaching and other ethical systems. Attendees will receive a small stipend and were required to submit an account of their experience at the workshop.
Accounting Ethics Workshop. In the fall of 2014, we plan to host Brian Shapiro, of the University of St. Thomas, who will facilitate an accounting ethics workshop. Professor Shapiro was an attendee at the Ave Maria Conference, and scheduling conflicts prevented the Center from hosting Professor Shapiro in the Spring of 2014. Professor Mark Holtzman, Department Chair of Accounting and Taxation, is coordinating with Stillman’s Accounting faculty and working to ensure maximum participation among members of the Department.
Finance Ethics Workshop. In November, Dr. Maura Donahue, Director of Budget and Operations at the University of Dayton and a Professor of Finance, came to Stillman to facilitate a workshop on issues surrounding Finance education and expanding both the terms and structures by which we study firms and apply ethical concepts to them. Specifically, Dr. Donahue explored the role of narrative in the pedagogy of business ethics and what might be learned through the narratives of the Christian tradition in teaching business ethics. Faculty from Stillman, the School of Arts and Sciences, and members of the priestly community were in attendance. Each attendee received a small stipend and was required to submit a brief synopsis and analysis of their experience at the workshop.
Investor’s Bank Business Leadership Breakfast. In the second annual Investor’s Bank business leadership breakfast, the Micah Center hosted Shawn Tully, Senior Writer at Fortune and author of the cover story “This Pope Means Business.” Mr. Tully delivered a talk entitled “Reforming the Vatican from the Inside Out: Pope Francis as Manager.” As with the prior year’s breakfast, regional business leaders, Seton Hall and other university faculty, as well as select members of the student body, attended. In addition to the lecture itself, the Leadership Breakfast is meant to serve as a unique forum for people to network and to engage in thoughtful conversation with their peers. Such events, which bring students, academics, and business leaders together will be a focus of the Micah Center in the coming year.