Ronald James (Retired)

Adjunct Faculty, Ethics and Business Law

(651) 962-4123

Minneapolis Campus
1000 LaSalle Ave
Terrence Murphy Hall 331E
Minneapolis, MN 55403

B.A., Business Administration and Economics, Doane College

See publications in UST Research Online

Ron James serves as president and CEO of the Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC) at the University of St. Thomas. The center, founded in 1978, is an independent nonprofit 501(c)3 organization within the University of St. Thomas' Opus College of Business. Serving at the intersection of thought and practice leadership, the center brings together leading academic and business practitioners in the field of business ethics and provides public programs; engages in research; and builds and delivers governance and ethical leadership development programs and services.

In addition, James teaches business ethics in the graduate programs at the University of St. Thomas' Opus College of Business, and has formerly taught at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management.

James served on the advisory group of the United States Sentencing Commission from 2002-2004 with a task of reviewing the 10-year Federal Sentencing Guidelines that apply to organizations, and participated in former President Bush's Economic Summit focusing on Corporate Responsibility.

James, a frequently sought after national public speaker, was recognized by Ethisphere in its 2010 list of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics in the thought leadership category. In 2006, James was recognized by the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics, receiving one of several international awards for "pioneering in the field of applied business ethics through executive leadership training focused on developing integrity and ethical behaviors in order to improve corporate citizenship and develop corporate culture."

From 1996 to 1998, James served as president and CEO of the Human Resources Group, an international division of Ceridian Corporation. Before joining Ceridian, James had an extensive career in telecommunications and served as Minnesota's top executive officer for US West Communications Inc. (now CenturyLink), and regional vice president for US West, which included responsibilities for Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska.

James currently serves as a board member of the Best Buy Corporation, the RBC Funds (an Investment Fund of the Royal Bank of Canada), and Bremer Financial Corporation, with past affiliations on the boards of Allina Hospitals and Clinics, The St. Paul Companies, Ceridian Corporation and Automotive Industries. Civically, he serves on the Center for Healthcare Innovation affiliated with Allina Hospitals and Clinics and is retired from the board of the Greater Twin Cities United Way, having chaired its Minneapolis board in 1998 and served as campaign chair in 1992, and the Guthrie Theater, a board he chaired from 1992-1994.

James was recognized in October of 2011 by Twin Cities Business together with the National Association of Corporate Directors as a 2011 Outstanding Director and additionally for lifetime achievement in the field of corporate governance.

Fall 2018 Courses
Fall 2018 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
BETH 702 - 121 Ethics Laboratory See Details * *
Description of course Ethics Laboratory : CRN: 42898 1 Credit Hours
Registration is restricted to Full-time MBA students only. See description for BETH 701
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
SCH 1201330-164507 Sep '18
SCH 3161330-164505 Oct '18
SCH 3161330-164502 Nov '18
SCH 3161330-164507 Dec '18
LAWS 865 - 01 Ethical Leadership in Orgs. - - W - - - - 1800 - 2100 MSL 458
Description of course Ethical Leadership in Orgs. : CRN: 43170 3 Credit Hours
This course will help students explore their role as counselors and servant leaders in an organizational setting. Using a case study methodology common in business schools, students will discuss cases and real-world problems with a focus on counseling and problem solving. After reflecting on their own values, students will examine the concept of leadership within the profession and will hear from numerous guest lecturers who are leaders in Minnesota's legal and corporate communities.
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
J-Term 2019 Courses
J-Term 2019 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
Spring 2019 Courses
Spring 2019 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
BETH 652 - 201 Exec. Persp. in Eth. & Compl. - T - - - - - 1800 - 2100 SCH 127
Description of course Exec. Persp. in Eth. & Compl. : CRN: 22041 3 Credit Hours
This course will provide students with an opportunity to learn about compliance from the perspective of executives and leaders in the industry. Practicing compliance executives will discuss goals, strategies, activities and challenges associated with their business. Students will have an opportunity to relate the philosophies and techniques developed in the MSL/LLM compliance program to those presented. Through candid and in-depth conversations with participating executives, students will learn about compliance from a leadership perspective relevant to today's complex business environment. Prerequisite: LAWS730/BETH650 AND Prerequisite or concurrent registration with any one of BETH651/BETH601/BETH701.
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
Academic and Professional Positions
  • Adjunct Instructor, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul / Minneapolis (2004 - present)
  • President and CEO, University of St. Thomas - Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC), Minneapolis (2000 - 2017)
  • Adjunct Instructor, University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management, Minneapolis (2003 - 2009)
  • President and CEO, Ceridian Human Resources Group, Ceridian Corporation, Minneapolis (1996 - 1998)
  • Vice President & CEO Minnesota and Regional Vice President, US West Inc., Minneapolis (1990 - 1995)
  • Vice President & General Manager - Large Business Customers, US West Inc., Minneapolis (1987 - 1990)
  • V.P. Communications Services & Advanced Information Markets, Northwestern Bell, Minneapolis (1985 - 1986)
  • Sales, Marketing and Operations, Northwestern Bell, Minneapolis (1971 - 1984)

Professional Service
  • Allina Health Systems - Quality and Population Health,
  • Bremer Financial Corporation,
  • RBC Funds,
  • United Way - Greater Twin Cities,

Public Service
  • The Greater Twin Cities United Way, Board Member


Books and Chapters
  • James, R., Goodpaster, K. E., & Rodbourne, D. (2015). A force for good: How enlightened finance can restore faith in capitalism. Corporate responsibility in America: Two centuries of evolution. New York: Palgrave MacMillan

Research Interests
  • Ethics and Corporate Responsibility

Awards and Honors
  • International Award for Pioneering in the field of Business Ethics Education, Society, 2006
  • Lifetime Achievement Award -Governance in Corporate and Non-Profit, Twin Cities Business Monthly and the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors, 2011
  • Outstanding Director's Award, Twin Cities Business Monthly and the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors, 2011
  • Top 100 Most Influential People in the world in Business Ethics, Ethisphere Magazine, 2010

  • "Leading ethics and compliance professionals from our region" Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 01, 2014
  • "Leading HR practitioners in our region" Human Resources Executive Counsel, October 01, 2013
  • "Building corporate conscience within American refining group" Conference of Ethics & Responsibility in Engineering and Technology, Marina Del Ray, California, June 01, 2005