stetson hosts templeton business ethics competition
PHOTO COURTESY CAMPBELL UNIVERSITY THIS YEAR’S WINNERS — For the second year in a row, Campbell University students placed first in the Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition. This year’s team was Caleb Langdon and Laura Care.

Stetson University virtually hosted the annual Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition Feb. 17-18, in which undergraduate students from invited institutions in the U.S., Canada and Mexico competed. The teams had the opportunity to analyze and present arguments on a contemporary business issue with financial, legal and ethical implications, according to a news release from Stetson.

Through the generous support of Troy and Sissy Templeton, the Stetson Business Ethics Initiative within the School of Business Administration sponsors the Templeton Case Competition each spring semester.

Stetson students coordinated the event, but did not compete. Teams from these 16 institutions participated in this year’s competition: Belmont University, Campbell University, Clemson University, Elon University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida State University, Georgetown University, Iowa State University, Northern Illinois University, Pennsylvania State University, St. Petersburg College, Universidad Panamericana (Mexico), University of Calgary (Canada), the University of Florida, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and the University of North Dakota.

After receiving the case, student teams were given two weeks to prepare and submit an executive summary and a visual presentation. The case presented to the students this year was titled “Building Codes and the Climate Crisis: The ICC and Stakeholder Alignment.”

According to the release, teams took on the identity of consultants, advising the CEO and senior management team of the International Code Council on the financial, legal and ethical issues surrounding the process they will adopt for the upcoming cycle of code development.

Jim Beasley

Specifically, the teams were told that the CEO wants to ensure that the ICC’s model energy conservation code (IECC) does not become irrelevant because it does not address the climate change crisis with the seriousness and urgency advocated by state and local code officers. At the same time, the CEO is equally concerned that the ICC does not alienate significant constituents in the building construction and fossil-fuel industries.

During the event, teams made an oral presentation to a panel of judges. Bracket winners then delivered a final eight-minute oral presentation to the entire body of judges that included all conference attendees, members of the Stetson University community and the public.

For the second consecutive year, Campbell University students placed first in the competition. The University of Massachusetts-Amherst took second place, St. Petersburg College came in third, and Florida Gulf Coast University finished fourth.

The top four teams and the four bracket runners-up (Penn State, Georgetown, Belmont and Clemson) all received cash prizes. The benefactors of the program, Troy and Sissy Templeton, were present for the awards ceremony on Friday, Feb. 18.

“The Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition is a wonderful example of the transfer of learned course material to a real-world setting,” Jim Beasley, Ph.D., Stetson professor of management and founding director of the event, said in the news release. “The use of concrete, actual business dilemmas in the cases analyzed by student participants prompts a level of learning that significantly supplements students’ curricular programs in business education.”

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