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Duke Unveils Interdisciplinary Center of Leadership and Ethics: “Coach K” Joins Fuqua Faculty to Teach, Write

November 05, 2003

DURHAM, N.C.—Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business announced on Monday the formation of a $5.1 million center that will create inventive courses and materials, support research and training on leadership and ethics, endow distinguished professorships, and conduct conferences.

As part of this initiative, Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski will join Fuqua’s faculty as an executive-in-residence at the center, teaching and writing on leadership and ethics during the off-season for basketball.

The Fuqua/Coach K Center of Leadership and Ethics (COLE) was announced during the opening session of The Coach K and Fuqua School of Business Conference on Leadership on the Duke campus. Joining Fuqua Dean Douglas T. Breeden in the announcement were Duke President Nannerl O. Keohane, Coach Krzyzewski, and Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics Director Elizabeth Kiss.

President Keohane remarked, “Ethical leadership is basic to the success of our economic and social systems. I am very pleased that the Fuqua School is bringing together resources from across Duke University to explore practical models for moral engagement in business. This is surely one of the most urgent topics of our day.”

Added Krzyzewski, “This is a great, great thing for Duke and Fuqua,” he said. “I believe in leadership and doing things in an ethical manner. That’s what Duke is about. Why not be the leader—be recognized across the country as the place to go to if you want to study these topics in depth?”

Breeden said he believes Duke’s Center of Leadership and Ethics will be a “pathbreaking” place where the leading thinkers and corporate leaders from around the world will come for training and to advance key leadership and ethics issues. “It will influence the way students, academics, corporations, governments, and non-profit organizations view leadership and ethical foundations of business and policy in the 21st Century,” he said.

During the Campaign for Duke, the university’s $2 billion fundraising campaign, $5.1 million has been committed to fund the center. Breeden said the goal is to increase that to $8 million. Two chairs honoring James L. Vincent and George C. Lamb, Jr. have been established and will be awarded to two Fuqua professors who will work with COLE.

Associate Professor Sim Sitkin and Allan Lind, the Thomas A. Finch Professor of Management, will serve as the center’s faculty co-directors when it officially opens in January, 2004. A managing director will be recruited.

Vincent and Mrs. George C. Lamb, Jr., wife of the late George C. Lamb Jr., were recognized by Breeden and Keohane for their major gifts to the center along with: John A. Allison IV, Gerald L. Hassell; Peter M. Nicholas; John J. Mack; Mark, Helga and Hanna Kehaya; William W. Priest, Jr.; Robert K. Steel; William A. and Judith M. Vogel; and G.R. Wagoner, Jr., Michael R. and Cynthia C. Hemmerich, and Steve and Nancie Cooper

“We are delighted that this center’s founding partners include many of Duke’s most prominent business leaders,” Breeden said. “Corporations are increasingly being questioned regarding their leadership. Failures to lead ethically have resulted in serious breaches in public confidence and support. Today’s competitive environment and global economy require managers at all levels to have strong leadership skills. We have the opportunity through this center to address these issues of great importance around the world.”

Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics will work closely with COLE through the George C. Lamb, Jr. University Professorship, established by Mrs. Lamb in her husband’s memory. It will fund a scholar at Fuqua who will have an active affiliation with the institute. The institute will also work with Fuqua students on projects focused on moral courage and leadership.

“This is a wonderful initiative, especially at a time when we’re bombarded with bad news about unethical leadership in many social spheres,” Kiss said. “Duke is emerging as a national model in its university-wide commitment to making ethics central to what and how we teach and to understanding how good leaders foster a strong ethical culture in their organizations. We are excited about collaborating with the Fuqua School and Coach K and look forward to working together to create resources for ethical leadership from the classroom to the boardroom and beyond.”

The center will develop business school cases and teaching materials on leadership and ethics, create short non-degree courses for Fuqua Executive Education, serve as a global library for leadership writing and research, give research grants to Fuqua and other schools’ professors, and sponsor leadership conferences each year with Coach K and Fuqua students. It will also sponsor a speaker series on leadership and ethics.

To date, 33 Fuqua students have been named Leadership Fellows to lead students’ involvement in research, conferences, case study development, and team-based learning about leadership and ethics issues for first-year students. Fellows both receive instruction on being better leaders and group facilitators and teach other students these same skills.

“With President Keohane and Coach K leading the way, Duke is already identified with leadership and is known for its commitment to the highest standards of ethics,” Breeden said. “The Fuqua/Coach K Center of Leadership and Ethics is our opportunity to extend that culture far beyond the Research Triangle of North Carolina.”