The Robert P. Stiller School of Business at Champlain College has joined PRME, or Principles of Responsible Management Education, a global group of more than 500 business schools committed to preparing the next generation of business leaders capable of managing the complex challenges faced by business and society in the 21st century.
Wesley Balda, dean of the Stiller School, says most business schools in the U.S. and abroad endorse corporate responsibility and sustainability, but these values have not yet become embedded in mainstream business curricula.
"We are therefore pleased to join PRME, a platform for business schools around the world to adapt curricula, teaching and research to the new business challenges and opportunities."
Balda notes that Champlain's business school already has a mission to prepare business professionals who will use their integrity, expertise and entrepreneurial spirit to create positive change in their workplaces, their communities and the world. He adds that Champlain College is a member of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR), which "is a non-profit, statewide business trade organization with a mission to advance business ethics that value multiple bottom lines- economic, social and environmental" (http://vbsr.org/about_vbsr/).
"Our membership in this organization is evidence of the commitment we have as an institution to CSR issues in our region and beyond," says Balda. "Joining PRME is a logical next step for us."
Champlain students must participate in community-based projects and reflect on their ethical and societal implications, and they must develop personal code of values and ethics that includes a commitment to understanding themselves and others.
The new Stiller School undergraduate business curriculum includes a core course in corporate social responsibility and sustainability developed in consultation with the business community, including companies like Ben & Jerry's, Seventh Generation and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. In the course, students create proposals for ways that Champlain can improve, and already ideas have resulted in changes, including replacing paper towels with hand dryers in bathrooms. Students also do projects with CSR-minded companies in the area to further enhance their exploration of these topics outside of the classroom.
Balda says many undergraduate business and MBA courses also include corporate social responsibility and ethics, and many faculty/student research projects focus on these values as well.
In joining with PRME, Champlain pledges to advance its principles to prepare students leaders committed to creating sustainable value for business and society; incorporate socially responsible curricula; create materials, processes and environments that enable effective learning experiences; advance research that supports ethical and sustainable business principles and practices; increase collaboration with business partners with a focus on corporate social responsibility; and advocate for better understanding and acceptance of global social responsibility and sustainability.
Since 1878, Champlain College has provided career-focused education to students from its hilltop campus in Burlington, Vt. Champlain's distinctive educational approach embodies the notion that true learning only occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain offers traditional undergraduate and online undergraduate courses, along with online certificate and degree programs and eight master's degree programs. Champlain offers study abroad programs at its campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 378 Colleges: 2014 Edition. Champlain was named a "Top-Up-and-Coming School" by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges and is ranked in the top tier of 2013 Regional Colleges in the North. For more information, visit www.champlain.edu