Henry A. Schimberg Endowment in Ethics and Enterprise

Generously Established by Henry A. Schimberg

In keeping with the Capps Center’s programming in ethics, the Schimberg Endowment seeks to develop among the next generation of business and corporate leaders a strong sense of personal and business ethics. High ethical standards within the business and corporate sector are critical not just in some narrow sense but for maintaining a good and just society. By the examples of integrity and social responsibility they set, businesses enterprises shape values, lifestyles, and ethical practices for the country, and increasingly in an economically and politically interconnected world for the entire globe.

The endowment supports an upper-division undergraduate seminar on “Ethics, Enterprise, and Leadership” which is taught one quarter each year at UCSB – usually in the spring. Unlike many courses on business ethics, this one is grounded in the teachings of the liberal arts and is concerned with introducing students to concepts of ethical behavior from philosophical and religious traditions.

In this creatively designed, very popular seminar students gain familiarity with diverse frameworks of ethical decision-making and evaluate actual corporate and business dilemmas from ethical, legal and business perspectives. The seminar makes use of rich case studies that pose challenges and difficult choices that business and corporate leaders often face. Important to the discussion are the foundational ethical principles and values that are drawn from both Western and non-western cultures; attention is given to both global and domestic business conduct and to leaders who make socially responsible decisions at both levels. A distinguished roster of visitors from the corporate world, non-governmental organizations, and the philanthropic and public sectors are brought to the class to share their experiences.

Offered through the Department of Religious Studies (RS 154), the seminar is open to a limited number of meritorious juniors and seniors majoring in the Humanities, the Social Sciences, and Business Economics. The seminar is taught by Laurie Harris, an experienced attorney and specialist in corporate and business ethics who also teaches in Global and International Studies and in the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB.