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Principled Leadership

Redefining the purpose of business

At the Opus College of Business we believe that the purpose of business – any business – is to advance the common good by thinking critically, acting wisely and working skillfully in whatever capacity you serve. The reward for this is profit. Our commitment to this belief can be seen in our curriculum, our centers and institutes, our programs and our public events.

Center for Ethical Organizations

The Center for Ethical Organization (CEO) develops innovative strategies for cultivating vibrant, ethical cultures. CEO challenges our understanding for ethics in the workplace in order to both qualify and quantify its strategic value while managing systematic improvement. We aim to champion these novel approaches in three areas: principled leadership, organization citizenship, and meaningful work.

Learn more about the CEO.

Veritas Institute

The institute fosters ethically and socially responsible organizational conduct by promoting, applying, adapting and continually improving the Self-Assessment and Improvement Process (SAIP).

Through its engagements with practitioners and collaborations with scholars, the institute also aids the formation of ethical, effective leaders.

Learn more about the Veritas Institute and the SAIP.

Integrated Business Ethics

The Opus College of Business has one of the largest business ethics faculty in the world. The integration of business ethics is centered around the belief that responsibility for one's actions and respect for the dignity of others are fundamental to success in business.

Our emphasis is on the importance of dialogue for developing mature moral judgment both personally and in group decision making. This maturity includes the exercise of certain virtues in the workplace, such as honesty, fairness, empathy, promise-keeping, prudence, courage and concern for the common good. It also includes interaction between the both "head" and "heart" and the need for congruence between judgment and action. We believe such moral development is a lifelong process.

Our goal in the Opus College of Business is to encourage this development in the context of sound policies and practices. We affirm the legitimacy and centrality of moral values in economic decision making because without them, business relationships and strong communities are impossible.

Learn more about our business ethics faculty and curriculum.


Launched at the 2007 UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in Geneva, the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative is the first organized relationship between the United Nations and business schools, with the PRME Secretariat housed in the UN Global Compact Office. The Opus College of Business became a signatory in 2014.

The mission of PRME is to inspire and champion responsible management education, research and thought leadership globally.

The Six Principles of PRME are inspired by internationally accepted values and provide an engagement structure for academic institutions to advance social responsibility through incorporating universal values into curricula and research. They seek to establish a process of continuous improvement among institutions of management education in order to develop a new generation of business leaders capable of managing the complex challenges faced by business and society in the 21st century.

Principles for Responsible Management Education »

Great Books Seminar

Great Thinkers who Shaped Western Civilization

Coordinated by Dr. Jeanne Buckeye and T. Dean Maines, the Great Books Seminar is a unique graduate-level elective course based on the world-renowned Aspen Institute Executive Seminar.  Students and alumni of any St. Thomas graduate program are welcomed. The readings revolve around such universal human concerns as justice, rights, liberty, equality, power, leadership, democracy and community. Moderators lead conversations on the enduring ideas and ideals of world civilization, the problems and opportunities facing society today and critical issues to be encountered in the years ahead.

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Business 200

All undergraduate business majors at the University of St. Thomas are required to complete the Business 200 service learning course, underscoring the close connection between business success and business ethics.

Learn more about Business 200.