Note: On September 1, 2007, the name of the Institute was changed to The Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility.
(ATLANTA, GA) – The Southern Institute for Business and Professional Ethics, a leading organization in the promotion of ethical leadership and business integrity, will become a unit of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business on January 1, 2007.
According to Robinson Dean H. Fenwick Huss, the organization will have an expanded staff led by Dr. John C. Knapp (pictured at right), founder and director of The Southern Institute, and Steven C. Olson, associate director.
One of the nation’s oldest centers for business ethics, The Southern Institute was founded in 1993 as an independent, community-based initiative, supported by leading corporations, professional firms, small businesses and individuals. Its educational mission is to raise awareness and understanding of ethics in business and professional life, and to stimulate a productive community dialogue about ethical issues, values and responsibilities. The Institute involves several hundred leading corporations, professional firms, small businesses and individuals throughout the Southeastern United States. Programs and services include ethics forums and seminars for business leaders; an employers’ network on workplace issues; customized workshops for professional, governmental and civic organizations; a biennial survey of CEOs; published resources for managers; an executive Certificate in Managerial Ethics, and an innovative program that teaches vocational ethics to high school students in classrooms nationwide.
“The Southern Institute has long been an invaluable asset to individuals and organizations across the region. Through its innovative programs and services, the Institute has benefited society by strengthening ethics in countless organizations,” said Robinson Dean H. Fenwick Huss. He added, “The combined resources of the Institute and the Robinson College will support programs on corporate responsibility around the world, and enhance the College’s efforts to make ethical studies a part of the fabric of every student’s education.”
Knapp received his undergraduate degree from Georgia State University, a Master of Arts from Columbia Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from The University of Wales. Prior to The Southern Institute, he served as president of Knapp Inc., a corporate communication management firm. Knapp has received several honors including the 2001 Georgia Governor’s Award in the Humanities. He is the author of the forthcoming book, For the Common Good: The Ethics of Leadership in the 21st Century (Praeger Publishers), a collection of essays by internationally recognized thinkers.
Olson, co-founder and associate director, is a well-known consultant and leadership coach. He has trained more than 1,000 senior executives and managers in leadership, strategy, conflict management, ethics and organizational development. Prior to The Southern Institute, he taught at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and in 1994 became the founding director of Business and Professional Ethics at Emory’s Center for Ethics in Public Policy and the Professions. Olson holds a Bachelor’s degree from Calvin College and a Master’s degree from Yale University.
“We are excited to be joining the Robinson College of Business. As one of the leading business school’s in the world, Robinson affords us an opportunity to provide thought leadership to businesses nationally and internationally,” said Knapp. “Our combined vision will help us to create one of the top five business ethics centers in the world.”
As before, The Southern Institute will rely on sponsorship and private funding to further its mission. Among its active supporters are AGL Resources, Allied Holdings, Assurant, BB&T, BellSouth Corp., The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Georgia-Pacific Corp., Georgia Power Company, First Horizon Bank, Hardin Construction, The Home Depot, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Lee Hecht Harrison, Littler Mendelson, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Corp., Powell Goldstein, RARE Hospitality International, Russell Corp., Toyota Motor Sales USA, Troutman Sanders, UPS, and Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice.