Upon his arrival at the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics in July 2010, Jose “Zito” Sartarelli made no bones about the fact that he placed great importance on ethics. That coincided perfectly with the commitment by WVU’s business school, but the College has raised those standards even more since the dean’s arrival.
Those standards — through ethics education and practices — have been recognized by Bloomberg Businessweek, which has named the College of Business and Economics fifth among Top Undergraduate Business Schools for Ethics. Businessweek ranked a total of 124 top undergraduate business schools across the country and based the rankings on student responses.
“This No. 5 ranking in ethics is important and makes us very, very happy,” Sartarelli said. “We read in the news headlines far too often about the unacceptable behavior of CEOs and top business leaders, and we emphasize to students the importance of integrity, character and ethics.”
Sartarelli takes time to speak to classes at the business school on the subject of ethics.
“Our message to students is this,” he said. “As you go out into business after you’ve earned your degree, remember that when you encounter the pressures to meet your objectives, there is a right way and a wrong way. Make sure you choose the right way.
“We can’t teach ethical behavior,” Sartarelli added. “Parents have done that. However, we can ensure that our students know that in business, as in life, there is a right way and a wrong way.”
Ethics is taught across the core disciplines at the college, as a three-credit-hour course is required of all students pursuing an undergraduate degree in Business Administration — accounting, finance, management, marketing, management information systems and general business. It is also ingrained in a number of individual courses, as well as internship and study abroad opportunities. Sartarelli added that the college has a student Business Ethics Club, and that ethics is taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at WVU’s business school.
“This ranking is a reflection of the importance we put on ethics,” said Sartarelli, “and all of us at the WVU College of Business and Economics believe our students leave here better graduates and better people because of that emphasis on ethics.”
The College of Business and Economics has been the focus of several national rankings thus far this year:
• May – No. 5 national ranking by U.S. News & World Report in the Best Online Programs for Veterans for its online MBA program;
• April – No. 9 national ranking by Bloomberg Businessweek for Top Undergraduate Business Schools for ROI (return on investment);
• March – No. 12 national ranking by Military Times in the “Best for Vets: Business Schools” list; and
• January – No. 29 national ranking by U.S. News & World Report in its 2013 Best Online Graduate Business Programs.
For further information on the WVU College of Business and Economics, please visit www.be.wvu.edu .
CONTACT: Patrick Gregg, WVU College of Business and Economics
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