Photo Feature: EthicsFirst brings accountability to the front of the room

This year’s Ethics First event brought the ethical value of accountability to the front of the room.

While many in the audience thought they knew what it meant to be accountable when they arrived, keynote speaker Sam Silverstein shared that the core value of accountability is actually the foundation for building a strong organizational culture. 

He left the audience with four key takeaways:

  • Leverage the power of your cultural values – internally, externally, and communally
  • Build massive trust through the Ten Commitments of Accountability
  • Remove obstacles and excuses to inspire collaboration and accountability
  • Empower your team to drive change versus resist change

Following the keynote, Chancellor Reddy joined Silverstein on the stage and hosted a short question and answer session. In his remarks, Reddy reminded the audience that the mission of the faculty and staff here at UCCS is to support our students.

“Universities are not just places of academic learning,” Reddy said.

“Our students come to college to become whole and complete graduates. At UCCS, students learn to take care of their physical and emotional wellbeing, to become engaged and informed citizens, to give back to their community. Ethics education is a critical piece of that puzzle.”

As Silverstein summed up his presentation, he reminded everyone in the audience that everything we do is about relationships: it’s personal. 

At the conclusion of the keynote address, Lynn Vidler, Dean of the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences and Sloan Gonzales, Program Director of the Chancellor’s Leadership Class and UCCSLead, led a short workshop where participants could take the knowledge they learned about accountability and apply it to one of two simple case studies. The result was a conversation on accountability and how it applies to the daily work of the university. 

The morning wrapped up with a panel from across campus that included faculty, students and staff. Moderated by Sandy Ho, Assistant Dean and Director of Student Affairs for the College of Education, the panel shared their thoughts on a variety of questions centered around our campus community and our values. 

Panelists included:

  • Patty Witkowsky, Assistant Professor in the Department of Leadership, Research, and Foundations and the Program Coordinator for the Student Affairs in Higher Education program in the College of Education at UCCS
  • Federico (Freddy) Martínez-García Jr., Faculty Director of Access Services and Assistant Professor at the UCCS Kraemer Family Library
  • Alex Baker, Case Manager for the Office of Dean of Students and Past President of the UCCS Staff Association
  • Emily Gregory, President of the UCCS Student Government Association and a junior studying Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Aerospace Engineering
  • Nicole Simmons-Rochon, Student Affairs Manager in the UCCS College of Education

See photos from the event below. Photo credit: Jeffrey M. Foster.

Chancellor Venkat Reddy opened the 2021 EthicsFirst event with remarks on the importance of accountability to UCCS’ student-centered mission.
Keynote speaker Sam Silverstein is the author of “The Theory of Accountability, No Matter What and Pivot.” 
Silverstein engaged audience members in a keynote presentation focusing on the core ethical value of accountability.
The morning wrapped up with a panel from across campus that included faculty, students and staff.
Martínez-García Jr. shared thoughts from a faculty perspective.
Simmons-Rochon shared her thoughts from the perspective of a student affairs professional.
Debi O’Connor, Director of Campus Compliance, closed the session.

EthicsFirst is brought to campus annually by the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program at UCCS and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Learn more about ethics at UCCS on the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program at UCCS College of Business website and the Ethics and Compliance Program website.