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Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado: Fostering Responsible Investors and Companies
By Michael Schweibinz

Within the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business lies the Center for Education on Social Responsibility, (CESR). The department aims to “prepare future leaders to confront social, environmental, and ethical challenges; as well as the economic issues, faced by modern day businesses.” This unique program helps distinguish Leeds as one of the nations leading business schools on sustainability, recently ranked number six by Bloomberg.

Leeds unorthodox approach is based on the notion that ethics are discovered, not taught. Faculty members understand that college students have already developed their values; the goal is to facilitate the realization and practice of those morals.

Through case studies, classroom discussions, staff involvement, and internships, students are encouraged to “isolate and articulate their personal values that will shape business conduct.” By intergrating values 100 percent into the curriculum, Leeds is helping shape the next generation of leaders to make more ethical and sound decisions in the workplace.

Beyond the mandatory courses that infuse CSR (corporate social responsibility), Leeds offers a certificate in Socially Responsible Enterprise, (SRE). This niche certificate offers students an in-depth focus “in the field of socially responsible business, whether their unique interests lie in environmental sustainability, social entrepreneurship, corporate ethics, or values-driven leadership.” By offering this specific undergraduate certificate, Leeds is better preparing students for their careers and helping to create a more sustainable future for all.

First Affirmative applauds this program and its efforts to develop responsible members of society. The curriculum within the CESR division provides students with the opportunity to consider difficult workplace scenarios that affect not only the bottom line, but also the world in which their children will grow up.

Undergraduate CESR courses include:

  • Introduction to Business
  • Business Applications of Social Responsibility
  • Leadership Challenges: Exercises in Moral Courage
  • Business Solutions for the Developing World: Learning Through Service
  • Sustainable Operations
  • Privacy in the Age of Facebook
  • Integrated Reporting for Socially Responsible Strategies
  • Microfinance
  • Corporate Boards in Action

Posted: November 13, 2013