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Ethics Week celebrates UNG's institutional values

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James (Jimmy) A. Faulkner, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the UNG Foundation and retired member of the BB&T Financial Corp. Board of Trustees, spoke about integrity, one of UNG's core values, at a luncheon held Nov. 12 to kick off Ethics Awareness Week at UNG.

Each year, the University System of Georgia (USG), through the leadership of Chancellor Steve Wrigley, highlights our ethical culture during Ethics Awareness Week, this year Nov. 11-17. In support of this effort, the University of North Georgia (UNG) plans to "Celebrate our Ethical Culture."

The statewide SPIRIT of USG campaign is focused on Stewardship, Prevention, Integrity, Responsibility, Inspiration, and Trust. The awareness campaign is part of a comprehensive Ethics and Compliance Program, including ethics training, mandatory compliance training, assurance audits, consulting engagements, and an ethics and compliance reporting hotline.

"Our culture is very important to the success of not only our institutions, but our employees, students, communities and ultimately how Georgia is educated, which makes it very important to me, and hopefully to all of you as leaders for the USG," USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said.

The weeklong Ethics Awareness campaign is designed to remind those in the USG of shared ethical values and expectations, to include excellence, integrity, respect, and accountability.

To kick-off Ethics Awareness Week at UNG, the university held an Ethics Week luncheon for leadership from all five campuses, including members of the Executive Council, Faculty Senate, Staff Council and Student Government Association, to engage in this important initiative and show their support.

"We pride ourselves at UNG for leadership and character development, and our culture and community are integral to our long-standing success," UNG President Bonita Jacobs said. “We have a great track record at UNG, but it's always good to take time to reflect upon our core values."

The luncheon also featured a keynote speech from James (Jimmy) A. Faulkner, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the UNG Foundation and retired member of the BB&T Financial Corp. Board of Trustees.

"Integrity is living out our values on a consistent basis," Faulkner said. "As we continue here on the long tradition of building leaders who exhibit the highest level of integrity, I think it is supremely important that we emphasize integrity and ethical behavior in those leaders. UNG with its rich military heritage and the code of honor that we expect all our students to adhere to reflects the highest commitment to that integrity and ethical behavior."

At UNG, "Celebrate Our Ethical Culture" examines ethics while celebrating institutional values of excellence, student focus, integrity, engagement and service. Messages throughout the week on UNG social media, email and digital signage will highlight each value through testimonials from faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

Jill Holman, UNG's director of internal audit, led the university's efforts.

"To me, being ethical is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking," Holman said. "At UNG, we are committed to promoting an ethical culture. We take this opportunity each year to focus on our ethical values and encourage ethical decision-making among our staff, faculty and students. We strive to always be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us."

Also this week, UNG's Office of Human Resources will roll out the required annual ethics training module, and more information about online training will be sent via email to university employees or can be found on the Human Resources website.

Rose Procter, director of the BB&T Center for Ethical Leadership within UNG’s Mike Cottrell College of Business, serves on the USG's SPIRIT of USG planning committee and is coordinating related efforts through the center system-wide.

On Nov. 17, the center will host the 2018 Mid-Atlantic Regional Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Competition, a one-day competition that brings multiple universities from Georgia and the surrounding states to compete in a debate-style critical thinking competition around 15 regional ethics cases published by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. There are 18 teams from 15 schools participating in this year’s regional ethics bowl, held at UNG’s Dahlonega Campus.

During the fall semester, the center also hosted six Business Ethics Education (BEE) high school programs brining students throughout the region to multiple UNG campuses, including Dahlonega, Gainesville and Oconee. These programs focus on promoting critical thinking on ethical behavior, ethical decision-making, and allowing students to focus on their core values.

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