Student-Led Ethics Pledge Marks 10 Years
Commitment to Values-Based Leadership
“I promise to complete my degree with honesty and integrity, and will continue to hold myself and my classmates to the highest standards of honor from this day forward.”
– Graduate School of Management Students’ Ethics Pledge
Ethics concern moral judgements about right and wrong. Decisions within an organization may be made by individuals or groups, but whoever makes them will be influenced by the culture. Values-based leadership has been woven into the fabric of the culture of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management since day one.
Ten years ago when the financial crisis roiled the global economy, business schools—fairly or unfairly—drew public criticism for failing to prepare ethical business leaders. Against that backdrop in 2007, UC Davis MBA student leaders initiated an ethics pledge to both remind and reaffirm the values of honesty and integrity.
This fall marked the 10-year anniversary of the student-led pledge.
“It has been a privilege to watch our students reaffirm their belief in integrity as the basis for their decisions,” said Dean Rao Unnava. “The ethics pledge is special because it has been created by students, is administered by students and has remained an important aspect of their lives during and after their graduate studies.”During Boot Camp this month, new students from all the School’s programs, including the charter class of the Master of Science in Business Analytics, discussed the importance of ethics in business before each student signed their program’s pledge books.
Over the past decade, nearly 1,900 GSM students have now recited the pledge and signed the program pledge books.
“I am confident that you will join your fellow colleagues, alumni, faculty and staff in holding yourself to this ethical standard throughout your time here at the MBA program and beyond,” said Bay Area MBA student Matthew Low, addressing the incoming Part-Time MBA classes during their Boot Camp.
Earlier in the week, Kristen Parker, a second year Full-Time MBA and president of the Associated Students of Management, opened the discussion during Boot Camp for new Full-Time MBA and Master of Professional Accountancy students. She emphasizes the significance that students’ decisions have at the School and in their careers.
“I’m very passionate about what it means to be a GSM alum out in the world,” Parker said. “Because all of our actions—inside the classroom and out—they no longer only affect only us. They affect everyone.”