Who We Are

The Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC) at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business assists leaders in creating ethical and profitable business cultures.

Serving at the intersection between 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.

Founded in 1978, the Center for Ethical Business Cultures has been affiliated with the University of St. Thomas since 1988. Through this core relationship, the center integrates the practical concerns and challenges of business and the research and educational talents of its academic partner.

The Center for Ethical Business Cultures is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit and is primarily supported by membership dues with additional support from grants, contributions from members and the University of St. Thomas.


Assisting business leaders in creating ethical and profitable business cultures at the enterprise, community and global levels.


To be a leading edge resource integrating business experience with academic rigor and research to help leaders create and sustain ethical cultures.

Shared Values Statement


Values and norms determine an organization’s soul and character. It is the common thread that binds the collective energy and efforts of an organization. Even though individuals bring together diverse backgrounds, experiences and cultures, the shared values provide a common link. They are the unspoken language that depicts how an organization behaves regardless of the external influences. Shared values are how organizations are known by their audiences … their customers, employees, owners, regulators, suppliers, partners, competitors, and communities.

At CEBC, shared values take on an even more important role than in other organizations. This is because CEBC’s purpose is to assist other organizations in creating their own “corporate character” … their own ethical culture. As a result, while the values that CEBC chooses are clearly important, it is vital that CEBC holds itself to a higher standard and “walks its talk” in order to model the behavior it challenges and encourages others to aspire to. And we must be congruent, modeling our standards both inside and outside of CEBC. We must recognize that whether we are engaged in CEBC business, or our personal or professional pursuits, we must hold ourselves … and we will be held to a higher standard.

CEBC Shared Values

The CEBC values can be described in three categories:

  1. How We Work Together
  2. How We Employ Entrusted Resources
  3. How We Create Value For Our Customers and Partners
How We Work Together
  • Integrity Is Our Hallmark: We value mutual respect in each other. We care about each other as people. We embrace and engage the diversity of our people. Essential to us is transparency … openness in communications, processes and decision-making while maintaining and protecting confidences. We accept responsibility and accountability is treasured. Teamwork is our building block … cooperatively working together to achieve CEBC goals.
How We Employ Entrusted Resources
  • We Are Entrusted Stewards: We have been gifted with a valuable community treasure in the CEBC. We take serious our responsibility to perpetuate this legacy. We give thanks for, and recognize investments in CEBC. We are fiscally prudent, fully utilizing our resources. We generate a surplus to contribute to perpetuating the CEBC. We invest funds with moderate aggressiveness generating the corresponding risk/return premium. While we measure our performance and progress in short term increments, we are guided by long-term outcomes. We communicate our stewardship to our investors.
How We Work With Our Customers and Partners
  • We Create Value For Our Customers and Partners: We listen, understanding our customers and partners better than anyone else. We excel at responsiveness consistently exceeding expectations. We are innovative, constantly putting in place new ideas or approaches that improve the products and services we provide, enabling our customers to increase both ethical and financial value. We are multi-dimensional … increasing our knowledge through continuous learning; engaging different disciplines and partnerships. We lead by serving our customers and partners.

The paragraphs following each value above describe what it means to live each value. The operative words in each statement are underlined and in bold. While it is difficult to perfectly reflect each value every moment, we aspire to do so. In conclusion, we are guided by the three CEBC Values:

  1. Integrity Is Our Hallmark
  2. We Are Entrusted Stewards
  3. We Create Value For Our Customers and Partners