Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OU Business School Joins Coalition on Environmental Issues in Curricula

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OU Business School Joins Coalition on Environmental Issues in Curricula

Article excerpt

The University of Oklahoma College of Business Administration has been chosen as one of 25 members of a coalition of schools of business committed to integrating environmental issues through core business school curricula.

The Business-Environment Learning and Leadership program, or Bell, is a two-year initiative to make environmental issues a permanent part of business education. The program was organized by the Management Institute for Environment and Business in Washington.

OU joins such institutions as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northwestern and Stanford universities as members in the coalition. Coordinating OU's participation in the Bell program is Mark Sharfman, an assistant professor of strategic management.

"Here at OU, we are in a unique position when it comes to integrating environmental issues into the business curriculum," Sharfman said. "We already have several faculty in the college with interests in environmental issues, as well as a wide variety of resource people across the campus that we can call upon."

"Increasing numbers of corporations understand that the environment is an intrinsic part of business activity, from product design and production to marketing and disposal," said Matthew Arnold, president of the management institute.

"In many cases, companies can reduce waste, lower manufacturing and regulatory compliance costs, achieve higher quality products, reduce litigation and increase customer loyalty. Until very recently, however, business schools had not addressed environmental issues as a significant element of a business education."

The members of Bell will work with organizations in their communities to make environmental and conservation issues an integral part of the business curriculum, Arnold said.

The Bell program will assist business school faculty by developing curriculum materials for areas in which little material exists; providing technical assistance to help schools institutionalize programs that promote awareness of environmental issues; assisting in the development of environmental partnerships among universities, corporations and communities; sponsoring conferences; and facilitating a continuous exchange of ideas and course materials through the Internet. …

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