The University of Arizona announced the launch of the Center for Leadership Ethics, which brings existing education, research and outreach programs into one group at the Eller College of Management.
The goal of the center is to cause "a fundamental change in the way we do business," said Executive Director Stephen Gilliland.
He said he hopes future business leaders will study ethics as seriously as they study accounting or other business topics.
The center will invite the heads of ethics and compliance from large companies to share their latest challenges and learn about the latest research findings, he said.
The center will focus on all kinds of leadership ethics, including business and public-sector management, but will not include political ethics.
Forming a center allows the existing programs to attract new grants and donations, and also increases the visibility of the programs, Gilliland said.
About a dozen faculty members already are involved with the center, including research director Russell Cropanzano and founding director Paul Melendez.
The center also will include a selective student group called the Eller Board of Honor and Integrity, which will coordinate outreach programs such as the High School Ethics Forum and the Collegiate Ethics Case Competition.
The founding corporate partner at the center is Phoenix-based Merchants Information Solutions, which offers behavioral integrity tests for hiring.
CEO Russ Johnson said he was impressed by plans for the center when his company did a presentation about integrity tests on campus last semester. Merchants made an undisclosed but "substantial" three-year gift to the center, he said.
The company makes its proprietary tests and data available to UA researchers, who in turn work with the company on ways to improve the tests.
Other corporate partners at the center include EthicsPoint and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
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