AUSTIN, Texas — The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin is renewing its ethics education program, Ethics Unwrapped, for two more years due to the program’s expansive growth and popularity worldwide.
Ethics Unwrapped, initially launched in 2012 as a free educational video series for business students, has more than doubled each year and moved far beyond the walls of UT Austin. Four years later, the program has been used at more than 500 universities across 170 countries.
“It’s unique for a business school to be spearheading this effort because traditional business education has focused students on the bottom line, which can often cause the ethical dilemmas that arise in business to be overlooked,” said Cara Biasucci, creator and director of Ethics Unwrapped.
The goal of the program is to prepare students for situations in which their ethical judgment may be tested and to teach them skills to reasonably overcome the most complex moral dilemmas.
“Ethics Unwrapped serves an important role in teaching our students about making ethically sound decisions and being ethical leaders,” said Brent Iverson, dean of undergraduate studies at UT Austin. “This innovative collection of teaching resources and ethics videos has been instrumental in the development and implementation of the ethics and leadership flag across the entire campus, and it continues to be a valuable resource for ethics education across the country.”
The video series combines recent research findings, real-life situations, and commentary from experts and students to create an engaging and memorable learning experience. In a recent survey, 90 percent of students found the videos helpful in learning complex ethics concepts.
“Recent research shows that most of us want to be good people and think of ourselves as good people, often not realizing that like everyone else we frequently depart from our own moral standards,” says Robert Prentice, faculty director of Ethics Unwrapped. “Absent education, most people are not prepared to cope with the social and organizational pressures and cognitive biases that make it difficult for even the most well-intentioned people to always do the right thing.”
The program’s videos have been recognized for a variety of awards, including:
- 2013 Telly Award for filmmaking excellence for “In It To Win: The Jack Abramoff Story”
- 2013 Telly Award for filmmaking excellence and silver Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Award for excellence in educational videos for “Ethical Fading”
- 2014 silver CASE Award for excellence in educational videos for “Fundamental Attribution Error”
- 2014 Telly Award for filmmaking excellence for “Moral Imagination”
The renewal of Ethics Unwrapped will be funded by the McCombs School of Business. The funding will allow the program to continue educating and equip tomorrow’s leaders with the tools they need to make ethical decisions in their daily lives.
Previously, Ethics Unwrapped has been funded by generous donations from outside benefactors and donors, such as the Ethics at McCombs Advisory Council, the Bob and Ann Pratt Endowment, the Teagle Foundation and the Provost’s Office at The University of Texas at Austin.