ETHICS: Accountability and Program Improvement
If We Want To
Improve Should We Know Where We Are Going?
Conducted by: Richard Parry
Small crimes always precede great ones. Never have we seen timid innocence pass
suddenly to extreme licentiousness
Jean-Baptiste Racine (1639-1699)
Where We Are
Is an individual or business that is unethical more likely to break the law? Both the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the federal government seem to think so, and for good reason. The AACSB has responded by promulgating recommendations on the subject of ethics, referring to the “crisis” in business ethics. As part of the process universities must “assess” the ethics of their students. This is done in a variety of ways, primarily testing at CSUF.
Where We Are Going
Both the AACSB and the government recognize that it is not enough to simply instruct students on the subject of ethics. The AACSB requires program assessment, an on-going process to monitor, and hopefully improve, the delivery of ethics instruction to students. As part of this schools collect information that (hopefully) demonstrates an increase in our students’ ethics as a result of the educational process. However, the process requires more. Just as our students hopefully learn, so should we. As part of the assessment of the data we create new and innovative ways to convey ethics.
How Do We Get There?
We must target our approach and the information from the United States Sentencing Commission may help us to do so. While most, if not all, business law textbooks include a chapter on ethics, it is arguable that a student would learn more about ethics from a novel by John Grisham. In addition, simply teaching “ethics” to our students is insufficient. We must create an ethical environment. Ethics does not flow from the bottom up; rather, it flows from the top down.
Administrators, faculty and related personnel that are involved in a university’s efforts to comply with AACSB requirements.
Upon completion of this workshop, participants should be able to
1. Review the assessment process with an emphasis on identifying the significant factors that both the AACSB and government consider to be important in the area of ethics instruction and assessment
2. Locate federal government information on ethics-related issues;
3. Target instructional material and efforts to address both AACSB and government concerns
4. Coordinate the consistency of ethics instruction across a variety of courses to address AACSB and governmental concerns
Richard O. Parry, Esq. is an assistant professor at California State University, Fullerton. Professor Parry has taught a variety of courses at CSUF, including Business and its Legal Environment, both at the graduate and undergraduate level, Employment Law and International Business Law, a graduate-level course.
Professor Parry is rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for attorneys. In addition, in 2005 Professor Parry was recognized as an outstanding faculty member for scholarship and creative activities.