Consistent with the Catholic intellectual tradition of the University of St. Thomas, the College of Business educates students and working professionals to become effective, ethical business leaders and to be constructive contributors to society. — Opus College of Business Mission Statement

Serious about fulfilling its mission, the Opus College of Business faculty and staff members met last June for a seminar jointly sponsored by the John A. Ryan Institute and the College of Business. The moderators of the seminar were Ken Goodpaster, Koch Chair in Business Ethics, and Michael Naughton, Moss Chair in Catholic Social Thought and director of the John A. Ryan Institute, who led the group for several days in an intensive examination and discussion of what it means to be a mission-driven Catholic business school.

Based on the Opus College of Business’ Great Books Seminar, the 19 participants read and discussed a wide range of authors including Milton Friedman, Jacques Maritain, Mortimer Adler and Pope John Paul II. The goal of the seminar was to promote an exploration and understanding of the mission of the College of Business in light of the Catholic and liberal arts mission of the University of St. Thomas. Based on the robust conversations during the seminar and the strong evaluations after it, the goal was well achieved. One participant remarked, “I very much appreciate the opportunity to get together with my colleagues to discuss and debate the issues. I really like the ‘marriage’ of Catholic principles with the business school mission and the readings really lent themselves to considering the issues.” Because of the success of the seminar, Dr. Chris Puto, dean of the Opus College of Business, hopes that all business faculty will attend similar seminars over the next three years.

Business Education at Catholic Universities: The Role of Mission-Driven Business Schools

Representatives from 16 Catholic business schools met at UST in July to discuss the role of mission-driven business education at Catholic universities. Through presentations and open discussions, the participants from these partner schools examined such themes as the nature and challenges of Catholic universities and their business schools, the role of the Catholic intellectual and social tradition within business education and the essential elements of a Catholic business education. The gathering was a springboard for preparations for the Seventh International Conference on Catholic Social Thought and Management Education to be held at the University of Notre Dame June 11-13, 2008. The purpose of the conference is to engage in significant questions so as to better understand the current state of business education at Catholic universities and to explore what a mission-driven Catholic business education could be.

For more information about the Notre Dame conference, please visit the conference Web site at www.stthomas.edu/becu.