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Deloitte Teams with University of Illinois to Instill Professional Responsibility in Next Generation Business Leaders

Preparing tomorrow's business leaders

Helping to prepare tomorrow's business leaders for the inherent role they will one day play in driving positive societal change, the Deloitte Foundation joined forces with the University of Illinois in 2006 as a founding sponsor of the university's Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society. After eight years, the relationship is still going strong, with Deloitte continuing to support the Center's programs and outreach, all with the goal of advancing the conversation for — and commitment to — professional responsibility at both the individual and organizational level.

Left to right: Gretchen Winter, Executive Director, Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society at the University of Illinois College of Business; Larry DeBrock, Josef and Margot Lakonishok Endowed Dean, University of Illinois College of Business; Ariel Jin, student, University of Illinois College of Business; Mike Zychinski, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, Deloitte LLP, Avijit Ghosh, CEO, University of Illinois Hospital, Associate Vice President for Hospital Operations; Gwyn Blanton, Director, Deloitte LLP.

With high-profile cases of professionally irresponsible decision-making in business, sports and government shared more quickly and broadly than ever via social media, today's business students are already asking questions about professional responsibility, both individually ("What do I owe to myself, my company and the world at large?") and organizationally ("What do companies owe society?"). Through curriculum development and student involvement, academic research and corporate and public engagement, the Center helps students answer those questions, demonstrating the value of conducting business professionally to serve and protect the broader public interest.

Larry DeBrock, Mike Zychinski, and Gretchen Winter gather with University of Illinois College of Business student section leaders for Business 101: An Introduction to Professional Responsibility.

At the curriculum level, the Center supports and coordinates Business 101 — An Introduction to Professional Responsibility, a required course for incoming freshmen in the College of Business at the University of Illinois each year. With a focus on personal, professional and global responsibilities, the course serves as the foundation of each business student's education. The themes of professional responsibility and business ethics are reinforced by a suite of additional courses supported by the Center, including higher-level elective classes for business students, an introductory class for transfer students and a set of workshops for students minoring in business. 

As part of its commitment to broader public and corporate engagement on the topic of professional responsibility, the Center also hosts conferences and events for business and academic leaders, often with support from Deloitte and other business organizations.

"We are thankful for Deloitte and the Deloitte Foundation's involvement and for the enduring impact of their contributions, both financially and even more importantly, their investment of human energy into defining and overseeing the execution of our mission," said Gretchen Winter, Executive Director of the Center. Retired U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen, Advisory Board member, agrees: "Deloitte colleagues have added intellectual and inspirational content and we have formed close friendships. We look forward to doing more good works together in many years to come."

Mike Zychinski chats with University of Illinois College of Business student section leaders for Business 101: An Introduction to Professional Responsibility.

As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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