Expanding on an Ethical Framework

brochure cover

Cable TV pioneer Bill Daniels was widely known for incorporating principle-based ethics into his business practices, and the foundation he created furthers his business practices, as evidenced by the cover of the Daniels Fund*s brochure for its University Partnership for Ethics Initiative.

A Daniels Fund scholar at UNC has firsthand knowledge of the foundation's mission to carry out the legacy of its late founder and believes the latest grant to UNC will benefit students.

Freshman Sara Regan already had a crash course in principle-based ethics before she arrived at UNC last fall.

As a Daniels Fund scholar, she attended a weeklong summer training in Denver that provided an ethical framework as she set out for college.

She'd heard the legendary stories about the cable TV pioneer and his commitment to integrity. Among them:

- After the pro basketball team he owned in Utah was forced to file for bankruptcy, he made it a priority to repay with interest (at a personal cost of $750,000) every season ticketholder and vendor even though he wasn't legally obligated.

- As an insurance salesman early in his career, he personally paid the benefits of a plan he sold to a warehouse owner after the underwriter went out of business just weeks before the claim was filed. Again, he was not legally required to do so.

- Daniels himself, and subsequently his foundation, have provided grants to universities in a four-state region because of his belief in the importance of incorporating ethics into curriculum.

UNC is part of that network '' this week receiving a $1.25 million grant from the Daniels Fund that in part creates the Bill Daniels Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics in the Monfort College of Business. Among the professor's tasks will be to help connect efforts to address ethics throughout the university, including in introductory courses offered to incoming freshmen.

Regan, a Sports and Exercise Science major, recognizes the merits of expanding opportunities to receive ethics-based instruction. It's the glue that connects everyone and everything, she says.

"Eventually everyone will work in a business-type setting. Whether you own your own business or are working for someone '' everything is a business," said Regan, adding that even though ethics are important in the business world, they are also crucial to building relationships and being a competent student.

For additional information about the Daniel Funds grant UNC received, read the press release announcing it.

- Christina Romero