The Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics is one of the newest departments at the Sauder School of Business, and strives to develop students into mindful, sustainable business leaders. I had the opportunity to interview the Centre’s newly appointed Executive Director Christie Stephenson and former Interim Director Dale Griffin, and we discussed the Centre’s purpose and its plans for student engagement in the upcoming school year.

Staff Writer: Colis Cheng

What is the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics?

After Stephenson jokingly answered “in progress,” she explained that the Centre’s underlying mission is to maintain a reach within the business community. This will be achieved by supporting student initiatives, building a research hub, and encouraging the discussion of more ethics-related topics in academic curricula. With sustainability as a focus, the Ethics Centre will help guide students’ academic development at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The goal of the Ethics Centre is to become a connecting ground for discussion throughout UBC by maintaining strong ties to the faculties of applied sciences, medicine, and law. Stephenson and Dale also hope to contribute to the community and establish UBC as a global leader in sustainability and ethical business behaviour.

How will the Centre’s presence affect Sauder in the coming year?

Although still in development, Stephenson and Griffin are enthusiastic about the impact and campus presence that the Centre will have in the coming year. In terms of events, students can visit the Centre to participate in case competitions, meet other business professionals, and learn more about the Centre’s initiatives. Additionally, Sauder has introduced several new courses focused on ethics and sustainability, which are available for the 2016-2017 academic year. Among the new additions to Sauder’s course list will be COMM 386A (Business Ethics Leadership), COMM 386E (Social Enterprise) and COMM 386L (Impact Investing). These courses will be a great fit for business students who are passionate about sustainability and social responsibility.

How will the Centre affect students beyond the classroom?

Before the interview wrapped up, I asked Stephenson and Griffin about how they were planning to engage students in the study of sustainability. They mentioned that, even without a cemented engagement plan, they were not particularly worried. The implementation of the Ethics Centre and Sauder’s addition of ethics-related courses demonstrate a need for ethics and transparency in business. The presence of the Ethics Centre urges all Sauder students to think with social responsibility and integrity in mind.  It will be exciting to see what else the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics has to offer in the upcoming school year and beyond.

Where is the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics?

If you are interested in business ethics or sustainability, the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics can be found on the fourth floor of the Henry Angus building (the office with “Peter P. Dhillon” inscribed onto the wall).