41FrnaTEzlL._SS500_[1]An institute at the University of St. Thomas that fosters ethical and socially responsible conduct by businesses and other organizations has changed its name.

The SAIP institute, established five years ago at the university’s Opus College of Business, is now the Veritas Institute. The institute will continue its goal of advancing the common good through positive social impact.

SAIP, the original name, stands for Self-Assessment and Improvement Process, a proprietary method modeled after the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. The method extends the Baldrige approach to issues of business ethics, governance and social responsibility.

“As our organization has evolved over the past five years, our partners and clients have suggested that we need a name that provides a better window on what we offer and value,” said T. Dean Maines, the institute’s president.

“The concept of veritas or truth, which underscores the rigorous, evidence-based nature of our assessment tools, clearly resonates with our stakeholders. Similar to the Baldrige assessment process in the realm of total quality, tools based on the SAIP method provide data-driven insight into how well organizations have embedded ethical principles and values within the systems that shape their decisions and actions.

“The name Veritas provides an aspirational framework for our work,” Maines said.

“No tool or process, including the SAIP, can by itself orient corporate conscience,” said Dr. Kenneth Goodpaster, who holds the university’s Koch Chair in Business Ethics. “But it seems reasonable to suggest that honest, forthright application of the tools could help to uncover behavior and tendencies like those that undermined Enron, Andersen and other companies. It would seem to me that Veritas illuminates the gap between a company’s current state and its stated destination.”

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