The Opus College of Business is launching a new organization, the SAIP Institute, which will help companies assess and enhance their ethical conduct.

The institute will promote a proprietary method, the Self-Assessment and Improvement Process (SAIP), which is modeled after the corporate-appraisal method pioneered by the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program. The SAIP extends the Baldrige approach to the areas of business ethics, governance and social responsibility.

“Like the Baldrige process, the SAIP can be a real eye-opener for organizations, helping them address current ethical issues and prepare for emerging ones,” saidT. Dean Maines, one of the SAIP’s developers and president of the SAIP Institute. “It highlights an organization’s strengths and weaknesses and facilitates continualimprovement, allowing companies to systematically examine and improve the processes and practices that drive stakeholder relations.”

Maines is a former human resource executive with Cummins Inc. Since 2001 he has served within the Opus College of Business as the research associate to the KochChair in Business Ethics.

“A number of ethics assessment tools are entering the marketplace,” noted Dr. Christopher Puto, dean of the Opus College of Business. “The SAIP is unique because it focuses not only on assessing corporate performance, but improving it.

“The SAIP Institute is in a position to become a national leader in this area. Its partnership with the Opus College of Business will help ensure that SAIP continuesto combine practicality with intellectual rigor.”

Joining Maines at the new institute will be SAIP codeveloper Arnold Weimerskirch, who was vice president for quality at Honeywell and formerly chaired the panel of judges for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Weimerskirch will serve as an executive fellow within the organization.

The institute, which receives financial support from the Pennsylvania-based Halloran Foundation, will be housed on St. Thomas’ downtown Minneapolis campus.

The SAIP Institute’s creation gives the Opus College of Business two organizations dedicated to helping businesses with ethical matters. Founded in 1978, the Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC) offers educational, training and consulting services that help business leaders create ethical and profitable enterprises.

For more information about SAIP, call the institute at (651) 962-4261; e-mail Maines attdmaines@stthomas.edu; or visit the Web site at www.stthomas.edu/cob/about/ethics/resources/saip.html