Over the past two years I’ve been impressed by the professionalism, integrity, honesty, and dedication throughout our campus. A strong culture is indeed the best defense we have. Reputations are hard to build and easy to blemish. As the old saying goes: One bad apple spoils the whole barrel — and can cast doubt about an entire organization.
A strong culture of ethical leadership is based on a pervasive expectation that we act above reproach, a commitment to responding quickly and incisively when we do not, and a practice of being transparent with our stakeholders to earn and maintain their trust. Without that trust, we simply cannot deliver on our important mission to improve the human condition.
Georgia Tech’s upcoming Ethics Awareness Week (Nov. 8-12) puts a week-long emphasis on a year-round imperative – to be ethical and responsible stewards of all that’s entrusted to us by the taxpaying public, our students, our sponsors, our donors, and our partners.
Last year’s Ethics Awareness Week at Georgia Tech (during the pandemic, no less!) attracted the attention of the University System of Georgia, which invited our director of Ethics and Compliance, Kara Tucker, to share our experience with other USG schools.
This year, Kara and team, along with campus partners including the Veteran’s Resource Center, the LGBTQIA Resource Center, and the Alumni Association, have planned a creative, instructive week of activities and events for the Georgia Tech community, this time around the theme of “Leading Ethically,” inspired by one of our strategic plan’s core values: Lead by Example.
From a keynote address by Spyro Karetsos, the chief compliance officer at Google, to an ethics-focused Game Time Mashup with executive leadership (including yours truly), to an Instagram-worthy “Sticker Blitz” with the Ramblin’ Wreck, to faculty and student presentations, there’s a diverse schedule of in-person and hybrid events that give the whole campus an opportunity to engage.
You can find a full list of the week’s events and activities here, and I encourage each of you to find one or more events to attend or participate in.
It’s up to all of us to embrace an ethos of compliance and integrity at Georgia Tech so we can fully and proudly live out our goal to “Lead by Example.”