College of Business > About > Centers & Institutes > Institute for Business & Professional Ethics > About



Founded in 1985, the Institute for Business & Professional Ethics (IBPE) was established as a joint effort of the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences and College of Commerce at DePaul University. IBPE facilitates ethical deliberation in decision-makers by stirring their moral conscience, encouraging moral imagination, and stimulating research in business innovation and practices. We serve as a forum for exploring and fostering ethical practices in business and the professions particularly aimed at:

  • Students: Teaching students ethical practices and inspiring them to engage in socially responsible initiatives.
  • Faculty: Providing resources to support the teaching of ethics in the curriculum, academic programs, research and scholarship.
  • Business: Advancing ethical practices in business organizations in the Chicago area.
  • Community: Catalyzing the for-profit sector to address local and global social responsibility.
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Business ethics is the study of what companies and managers morally ought to do — not necessarily what they always do. A decision-making model to guide these choices can be drawn from, and formed by, any number of political, religious, professional and social codes.

Business ethics seeks a reflective consideration of all elements of business conduct and decisions made within an organization.

In a climate of near-total globalization, each decision a business makes may create consequences beyond its community. New issues in trust, sustainability, rights, social justice and fairness arise every day. It is only through careful consideration of choices and practices that we, as a global society, can move forward without harming others. At every juncture, there is more to be gained and more to be lost than ever before.

IBPE is an educational center focused on furthering the message that ethics are important, with an emphasis on business and professional ethics.

IBPE also utilizes instruction, guest lectures and other student-focused activites to teach students ethical practices and hopefully inspire them to become courageous leaders.

We serve as a resource to Chicago-area business organizations and leaders by publishing materials on ethical decision-making in business and providing opportunities to meet and exchange ideas.

We also work to catalyze the for-profit sector to incorporate Vincentian values through active engagement in the community. This may take shape in the form of case studies, community presentations, publications and various other forms of communication including hands-on involvement — the opportunities are endless.

IBPE boasts world-renowned faculty experts in the field of business ethics, who offer a high-level, yet pragmatic approach to effective decision-making for business leaders.

Ethics training is integrated at the undergraduate and graduate levels in a methodical, consistent manner, emphasized in IBPE's popular Ethics Across the Curriculum Program for DePaul faculty and staff.

IBPE was founded as a university-focused organization under the leadership of Br. Leo Ryan, then Dean of the College of Commerce, and in partnership with the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Today, IBPE has an expanded outreach to the professional compliance and ethics community, businesses and business professionals in Chicago, and national and international organizations.

IBPE's work continues to be supported by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the Driehaus College of Business. Led by several of the nation's guiding business ethics scholars, IBPE strives to bring the broad knowledge base of academic research to life, helping business leaders resolve a growing number of real-world ethical and compliance challenges.