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International Leadership Expert to Deliver State Farm Ethics Lecture

International Leadership Expert to Deliver State Farm Ethics Lecture
Bill O'Rourke speaking to business students at a previous State Farm Ethics Lecture.
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business hosts the annual State Farm Ethics Lecture featuring Bill O’Rourke on Friday, October 26, at 11:30 a.m. in Howard L. Hawks Hall room 002 and simulcasted in multiple rooms in the lower and second levels. O’Rourke, a leading expert and advocate on the importance of ethical leadership in business, will present “Leading with Integrity.” The event is free and open to the public. Attendees are required to RSVP online at and will receive assigned seating as a large crowd is anticipated. 
O’Rourke is the executive director of the Beard Institute in the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University, where he teaches MBA students in strategy, leading change and ethics. In 2011, he retired as vice president of Alcoa after 36 years with the world’s sixth largest producer of aluminum. He joined Alcoa as a patent attorney and held numerous leadership positions with the company, including president of Alcoa-Russia. Prior to joining Alcoa, he worked as an industrial engineer for U.S. Steel and served as an officer in the U.S. Army.
“As this year’s speaker for the State Farm Ethics Lecture, Bill brings us the perspective of someone who has frequently dealt with ethical challenges in a large international corporation, both in the U.S. and Russia,” said Dr. Janet Near, associate dean of faculty and research, professor and Howard Hawks Chair in Business Ethics and Leadership. “He also brings experience as a current university faculty member and a familiarity of the ethical concerns that students feel about their future careers. These two sets of experiences make him an excellent source of expertise and knowledge for our students.”
His most recent book, called “The Business Ethics Field Guide: The Essential Companion to Leading Your Career and Your Company to Greatness,” adds to his growing list of published works. In addition to his position at Duquesne University, O’Rourke is a fellow at the Wheatley Institution at Brigham Young University, serves on the board of the Alcoa Foundation and teaches in Alcoa executive development programs. He is the board chair of Sustainable Pittsburgh and serves on a number of other civic, charitable and religious organizations.
“Bill’s approach to ethics is practical and hands-on. His book provides realistic examples of the kinds of ethical dilemmas that arise at work and clear recommendations as to how to resolve them. All members of the community, in addition to students, faculty and staff, will benefit from hearing about his past experiences and learning about his pragmatic approach to dealing with ethical questions in the workplace,” said Near.
The college has hosted more than 15 speakers on business ethics topics through the State Farm Lecture Series, established by the Business Ethics Program at the college. Founded in 1998, the Business Ethics Program focuses on integrating ethics and the discussion of ethical issues throughout the college’s curriculum. The program also maintains a library of resources and coordinates the College of Business Student Ethics Board, which created the student-written CoB Student Ethics Code Scroll. For more information, visit:
Published: October 12, 2018