Ethics Week Message Fall 2018

(NOV. 2, 2018)  The Georgia Institute of Technology will be participating in the University System of Georgia’s Ethics Awareness Week Nov. 11-17 along with the other 25 University System of Georgia (USG) institutions. We will be reminding the entire campus community of our commitment to an ethical culture and of our shared values and expectations. Those shared values include integrity, excellence, accountability, and respect, and they inform how we carry out our mission.

In support of Ethics Awareness Week, Georgia Tech will be hosting a variety of activities to build and strengthen our ethical culture. I strongly encourage everyone on our campus to participate. Please visit the Institute’s ethics website for details.

Recent events at Georgia Tech have served as a strong reminder that the decisions we make as individuals reflect directly upon the Institute. As a result, each of us has an obligation to act ethically in our decision-making process, to ask ourselves, “Will our actions reflect positively on us as individuals and on Georgia Tech?”

As a public institution, we have a responsibility to maintain and uphold the public trust, and that is dependent upon the decisions that we make each and every day.

While I acknowledge there have been disappointments, I remain heartened by the many people I have met since arriving at Georgia Tech almost 10 years ago who have shown immense integrity and are continually focused on doing the right thing. Sometimes the right thing is not the easy thing to do. Many people believe that integrity and ethical behavior involve simply following the rules, but they are actually much more than that. I want to thank all of you who have demonstrated your own integrity and come forward with questions or concerns. You are helping to make Georgia Tech a better place.

While ethics is about doing what is right, compliance is about following the rules. There are regulations for compliance, but they never cover everything. That is why it is important to make integrity a priority. We are bound together by common goals — excellence in innovation, education, research, and economic development. Our influence, our effectiveness, and our ability to maintain the public trust are closely tied to fostering a campus culture of ethics and integrity.

To build the type of community we all want to be part of, we need to be open in all that we do. Transparency helps us live and work in an environment of authenticity and trust. A situation may require confidentiality, but our goal will always be to keep the Georgia Tech community informed.

Every day presents new challenges and new opportunities to stand up for what's right. Georgia Tech will grow and evolve, but our commitment to cultivating character and preserving the public trust remains at the core of what it means to be a Yellow Jacket. During Ethics Awareness Week, let’s remind each other of not only our obligations, but also our opportunities to serve as role models for our fellow students, faculty, and staff in all that we do.

With gratitude,

G.P. "Bud" Peterson