College Announces Center for Ethics in Business and Governance

September 8, 2017

By Michelle Adams O'Regan

At a State of the College address on September 7, Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo, president of Saint Anselm College, addressed the community on topics ranging from the college's financial health including enrollment, endowment and advancement initiatives, to student and academic affairs and plans for the future.

He also announced the inception of The Center for Ethics in Business and Governance (CEBG), a forum for research, discourse, and education about pressing ethical issues in the business world. The Center will address the need for ethical corporate governance by drawing upon principles and values from Saint Anselm College's Benedictine tradition of work, governance, learning, and inquiry within community.

"With the support and involvement of the entire campus and the regional corporate community, the Center for Ethics in Business and Governance will become a catalyst in strengthening the college's national identity and transforming corporate culture and practice," said Dr. DiSalvo.

The Center will develop a variety of initiatives, including academic courses featuring team-taught seminars on dynamic and interdisciplinary topics and other student ethics programming. Executive Ethics Workshops and a Prominent Speaker Series offered at the Center will complement and reinforce academic inquiry with opportunities for faculty, students, executives, and political leaders to converse, collaborate, and develop innovative solutions. An annual conference, a Politics, Business and Justice Debate Series, and professional development modules will educate board members and executives in ethical governance and leadership.

The Center is a priority in both the college's Strategic Plan and the capital campaign (which will launch publicly next spring). Michael "Mike" Salter, a member of the Advisory Board for the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP) and now chair of the Advisory Board and a member of the Academic Steering Committee for the CEBG, believes that it has enormous potential to make a difference. He was an early supporter of the Center, contributing not only his time and energy, but also making a generous gift to the college to make the launch possible.

Salter lives in Amherst, N.H., with his wife Judith, and has been a close neighbor and special friend of the college for years. He worked in the high-tech industry for over 35 years, holding senior management positions at TRW, Informatics and Raytheon, before retiring as Vice President and General Manager of the Asia Pacific Group and President of EMC Japan. Here in New Hampshire, he served as executive chairman of Lifecycle Business Partners, a management consulting firm, and was a longtime board member of Easter Seals N.H. and founder of its Veterans Count program. Several years ago, Salter was one of four recipients of the 2012 Granite State Legacy Awards, which recognize those who have contributed significantly to the state through business, philanthropy, politics, and more.

He emphasizes the role of the center as a forum for civil discourse and an opportunity for the business community to come together with the academic community to develop a new model for consensus building. Exposure to this model through the Center, he believes, will also equip students with vital skills which they will take into the workforce and the world beyond the Hilltop, as the next generation of leaders.

"We are all going to live in a world of conflict. It's how we work within that, and understand it, and try to listen to the other side to promote balanced solutions to problems, that matters."

Salter also believes that Saint Anselm, with an emphasis on engaged citizenship and service, is an ideal place for these ethical issues to be confronted and for compromise solutions to global challenges to be developed.

"The most important title is not ‘President,' it's not ‘Congressman,' it's not ‘Director' or ‘Senator'—it's ‘Citizen.' And as citizens we have a responsibility, which we can employ in partnership, to do a better job. We citizens need to get engaged in a positive way, with places like Saint Anselm, to make a difference—we can do better."

"In 40 years, I've met quite a few Saint A's students; I've never met one who didn't love the college. I see a quality of education and the principles that are there. It's a secret that shouldn't be a secret—it needs to broaden and stretch outside the box, because of the great potential that it has. I see this as an opportunity to have some fun and do some good."

Max Latona, associate professor of philosophy and Bready Chair for Ethics, Economics and the Common Good, will serve as Executive Director, and Kyle Hubbard, also of the philosophy department, will serve as Program Director for the Center, which is currently housed at the NHIOP. The Ethics in Governance Initiative (EIG), which has been operating at the NHIOP since 2013 through an endowment created by the N.H. Secretary of State's Office, will now become a part of the Center, and many outreach programs that focus on sound governance and financial literacy will be jointly supported by the CEBG and EIG.

"With their support and collaboration, the Center for Ethics in Business and Governance has much to offer the for-profit and non-profit communities in terms of ethics and governance," says Latona.

"Saint Anselm College has a long tradition of teaching ethics from a philosophical and theological perspective, a strong record of community programs, the Institute of Politics that attracts policy makers and media from all over the nation, and vast numbers of students interested in business, finance, and marketing. With the CEBG, we are bringing together all of these strengths with our Benedictine heritage to change the way corporations do business."

Latona continues, "That Benedictine heritage should not be overlooked in terms of its importance for the Center. Because of its stability and success over the centuries, the leadership and governance model offered by the Rule of Benedict and the Benedictine monasteries has become an object of increasing interest by the business community, and will be an important element in the CEBG's offerings."

On September 26 at 5:30 p.m. in the Dana Center, the Center will officially launch with its first major event. Dr. Kenneth E. Goodpaster, the Koch Endowed Chair in Business Ethics and professor emeritus at University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, will speak on "Corporate Responsibility in America: Tenacity and the Institutional Insight." Dr. Goodpastor will discuss three basic convictions behind an institutional aspiration in America: to uphold relative market freedom for business enterprises in the face of frequent moral failure. These convictions—checks and balances, moral projection, and moral common ground—help explain the tenacity with which Americans have held on to the idea of "corporate responsibility."


Academic Steering Committee
Loretta Brady, psychology
Dan Daly, theology
Kyle Hubbard, philosophy
Jennifer Kelber, economics and business
Dale Kuehne, politics
Max Latona, philosophy
Mike Matheis, economics and business 
Elaine Rizzo, criminal justice
Kathleen Cahill, nursing
Mike Salter (ex officio) Chair of CEBG Advisory Board

Advisory Board
Chair Mike Salter, form. Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific Group EMC Japan
William Brewster, Vice President, Harvard Pilgrim
Joseph Carelli, President, Citizens Bank, NH & VT
Sylvio Dupuis, Former Mayor of Manchester
William Dell'Orfano, President, Sector Capital
Mark Dell'Orfano, General Counsel, Sector Capital
Michael Martin, Principal, MDM Ventures
Connie Roy-Czyzowski, Vice President Human Resources, Northeast Delta Dental
Kenneth Sinclair, Hewlett Packard, Easter Seals
John Truslow, Director of Ethics, BAE Systems