As the business world embraces transparency, it is important that ethical business practices root themselves in firm guiding principles. Without those pillars supporting each decision, businesses are left on unstable ground and subject themselves to failure. Now, some may say that business policies and procedures provide a check on ethical decisions, but not everyone feels that way.
The Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at the University of New Mexico welcomes Andy Fastow, former CFO of Enron, as their third NASBA Center for the Public Trust speaker. Fastow will join a group of students and business leaders to talk about “Rules versus Principles” on Monday, Nov. 24 at 4:30 p.m. in the UNM Anthropology Lecture Hall. Space is limited and RSVPs are required.
“Ethical business practices are the key to long term success,” UNM President Robert G. Frank said, “Mr. Fastow, I’m sure, will provide a fascinating vantage point of what happens when we put ethics on the backburner.”
Fastow has been selectively speaking at organizations across the country about the importance of principles in establishing an ethical organizational culture and curbing misconduct. Of course, Fastow is well known for his role in the securities fraud investigation and downfall of Enron. Having completed his federal prison sentence in 2011, Fastow now lives with his family in Houston, Texas, and has been a guest lecturer for universities and corporations across the nation.
“Mr. Fastow’s message is important for our students, faculty and, of course, members of the business community,” organizer and Bill Daniels Professor of Ethics, Linda Ferrell said. “Understanding his message can help us recognize how to bolster the reputation of businesses, going forward."
The lecture encourages attendees to think critically about how the ambiguity and complexity of laws and regulations breeds opportunity for problematic business decisions. Fastow aims to suggest what questions business leaders should ask themselves that not only follow the rules, but also uphold the principles behind them.
The Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at UNM is part of an 8 school consortium supporting principle based business ethics education including the University of Wyoming, University of Utah, University of Denver, Colorado State University, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, University of Northern Colorado, and New Mexico State University. The Daniels Fund specifically provides $1.25 million to UNM for five years of funding for business ethics education.