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Vol 57 No. 19 : December, 2005
Vol 57 No. 19 | December, 2005

Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership Gets Launched

Mick Ukleja

Mick Ukleja

Officials at CSULB officially launched the campus’ newest educational venture – the Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership – at a special reception on Nov. 2, at The Pointe in The Walter Pyramid.

The Ukleja Center is housed within the campus’ College of Business Administration and its aim is to promote ethical leadership through community outreach, university research and the inclusion of ethics principles across the university’s curriculum. Center officials’ goal is to be the preeminent center of thought on applied ethics in leadership in business and the professions among public comprehensive universities.

Under the direction of Luis Ma. R. Calingo, dean of the College of Business Administration, the Ukleja Center is designed as an interdisciplinary establishment, and it will draw upon the collective expertise of faculty and administrators from all of the university’s colleges as well as its Division of Student Services.

“Ethical issues and problems exist in many professions and industries – business, journalism, sports, biotechnology, health care and government – just to name a few,” Calingo pointed out. “We believe that the preparation of tomorrow’s ethical leaders is a critical component of the education experience, and as a result of the Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership, we envision graduating students in all of these fields who are not only technically competent but also honest and ethical citizens.”

The center was named in honor of its primary benefactors, Mick and Louise Ukleja, long-time supporters of CSULB whose substantial gift toward an initial $2.5 million endowment was responsible for establishing the center. Mick Ukleja is the founder and president of LeadershipTraQ, a consulting firm focused on training corporate executives in responsible leadership.

“The center will combine solid academics with solutions to real-time challenges that we face on a day-to-day basis – on the job and in our families,” explained Ukleja, a CSULB graduate and a member of the university’s Board of Governors. “Louise and I are proud to be a part of a center that sees the importance of learning about ethical leadership. Living with integrity is not easy. Living without it is impossible.”

The Ukleja Center is focusing on three primary areas – education, research and community outreach. Its initial educational initiative is “Ethics Across the Curriculum,” which will financially support the infusion of ethics and ethical leadership in undergraduate and graduate courses throughout the university.

“We do not want our center to merely react to perceived ethical failures and crisis, but rather, the purpose of the center is to cultivate a positive, inclusive and multidisciplinary emphasis in all of our ethical and leadership programs,” noted Kathleen Lacey, associate director of the Ukleja Center. “One of the programs the center will be developing in fall 2006 is a California Leadership Academy to prepare student leaders from around the state in meeting the challenges in ethical leadership beginning in student activities and student government and extending to their professional lives.”

With the intent of being a leader in research on ethical leadership, both in the academic and practitioner arenas, the center will award competitive grants for faculty and student research that will result in articles, books and teaching materials (case studies). Initially, the center will place a priority on research in areas that are aligned with the founding faculty’s capabilities and interests, including ethics of international business, the implications of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 for management practice and the ethical aspects of global outsourcing of U.S. jobs.

In the area of community outreach, the Ukleja Center will assist companies, educational institutions and not-for-profit organizations in meeting the challenges and advancing the practice of ethical leadership. Already, center officials have proposed three major outreach initiatives: a Leadership Roundtable that will bring national scholars and speakers to the campus for briefings on new developments in business ethics, corporate governance and leadership; a Business and Organizational Ethics Partnership with companies in various sectors to help manage their ethics programs; and continuing professional education opportunities such as workshops, training seminars or other events.

“We’re extremely grateful to the Uklejas for their generosity and guidance in helping to create this Center for Ethical Leadership,” said CSULB President Robert C. Maxson. “The center will surely benefit the lives of the students who graduate from this institution, and, equally as important, it will greatly enhance the public dialogue of how ethics influence each and every one of us on a daily basis.”

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