McCombs renews educational ethics program for two more years

Kayla Meyertons

Students will have access to the UT McCombs School of Business ethics program, “Ethics Unwrapped,” for two more years after garnering national attention and popularity since its launch in 2012. 

Ethics Unwrapped is a free online video series designed to teach business students how to handle ethical dilemmas in the workplace. The program has now been used at more than 500 universities across 170 countries, according to the University Communications press release. 

The renewal will be funded by generous contributions from the Ethics at McCombs Advisory Council, the Bob and Ann Pratt endowment, the Teagle Foundation and the Provost’s Office at The University of Texas at Austin, according to the Ethics Unwrapped website.

Ethics Unwrapped has received three Telly Awards for filmmaking excellence in 2013 and 2014, and one Council for Advancement and Support of Education Award for excellence in educational videos in 2014. 

Internal audit affiliate Will O’Hara, founding co-chair of the Ethics at McCombs Advisory Council, said ethics is important for teaching the business curriculum and expanding the McCombs brand.

“We have an obligation to our donors and to the people who recruit our employees to know our curriculum,” O’Hara said. “Our students not only learn how to do the profession but also to make ethical decisions when confronted with unethical situations.”

O’Hara said McCombs Dean Jay Hartzell also funded the renewal of Ethics Unwrapped in order to help create a new center for leadership and ethics in the McCombs School. 

The video series combines research findings, real-life situations and commentary from experts and students to help students navigate ethical challenges, according to the press release.

Robert Prentice, faculty director of Ethics Unwrapped and the Business Honors Program, said the new ethics and leadership center will focus on analytics, business ethics and inclusion.

“When students think about ethics, [we want them to] think about the University of Texas at Austin and the McCombs School of Business,” Prentice said.

Brent Iverson, dean of undergraduate studies, said he is in favor of anything that’s helping students develop better ethical decision making skills.

“I think it’s very clear [why Ethics Unwrapped is important],” Iverson said. “One of the things I am absolutely most proud of about UT Austin is we require legitimate ethics training for every single one of our undergraduate students. That’s something that sets us apart. I’m in favor of ethics period.”

BHP and Plan II sophomore Seth Krasne said Ethics Unwrapped helps reinforce a better understanding of how students should go about making ethical decisions in their academic and personal lives.

“Ethics is super important. It’s not talked about, and it’s something that’s really hard to talk about,” Krasne said. “Ethics Unwrapped brings all of those together. Ethics is something that all universities across the country have a lot of work to do to improve upon and [it’s critical] to have a resource like this.”