Hammond Institute to host business ethics panel


Lindenwood students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to take part in a business ethics panel featuring former Gov. Jay Nixon.

The event will take place from 3:30-4:30 p.m. on March 28 in the Dunseth Auditorium and is open to the public.

This panel, sponsored by the Liberty & Ethics Center at the Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise along with the St. Charles Rotary Club, will focus on real-life ethical dilemmas local business professionals have experienced.

Rachel Douchant, director of the Liberty & Ethics Center, said that John Clark from the Rotary Club will serve as moderator.

Other panelists will include Luanne Cundiff, president and CEO of First Bank of St. Charles; Al Li, president of Asian American Chamber of Commerce in St. Louis; and Jay Nixon, former Missouri governor and attorney.

The three prominent business leaders will share an ethical conundrum  they have had to face in their work, like being asked to take bribes, Douchant said.

The speakers will describe their situations, then call on students to ask questions and make suggestions of what they think they should have done. In the end, the speaker reveals the actions he or she took to solve the problem.

“I think it’s important for business students to think about the level of integrity one needs to maintain in order to be prepared for these things when they arise, because they absolutely will arise,” said Douchant. “It’s not just about knowing what to do, but about being the sort of person who will actually do it.”

Douchant said that it sometimes requires a lot of cleverness to be able to do the ethical thing in a way that minimizes damage to oneself and others. She said hearing examples of how people thought through these real-life situations is very helpful for students.

Douchant also mentioned the importance of attending this event based on the networking opportunities that will be available because of the rotary members that attend.

According to Douchant, attendance for these panels is anywhere from 50 to 100, but she hopes having the former governor involved will bring more attention to this event.

Business and philosophy students typically make up the majority, although Douchant hopes that having Nixon at this panel will draw political science students.

Speakers in previous panels have included President Michael Shonrock, President Pro Tem of the Senate Tom Dempsey, CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of America Jim Clark and local medical examiner Mary Case.