Blog Post

Ethical Leadership

By: Dr. Jennifer Robinson, Ph.D.

“When you put your life in perspective, you realize how little time there is to make something truly significant out of it. To some people this might mean acquiring a lot of possessions, building a business, or owning property. There’s nothing wrong with these aspirations, but for me they pale in comparison to individuals who want to leave something more consequential as their legacy.” — Bill Daniels

Bill Daniels may not be a household name to most Utahns, but his connection to our state is an important one. He was the owner of the Utah Stars – the state’s first professional basketball team. The Stars won the ABA championship in their inaugural season in 1971 and were considered an incredibly successful team during their tenure. In 1975, just 16 games into the season, the team was forced to fold due to financial troubles for Mr. Daniels.

During the summer of 1980, Bill Daniels returned to Utah with a goal in mind – to pay back, with 8% interest per year, everyone who was owed money – players and coaches, shareholders, advertisers, sponsors, and season ticket holders. Mr. Daniel’s wasn’t legally obligated to pay this money back, he felt morally obligated to satisfy his debts.

Mr. Daniel’s concern about ethical business practices lead him to establish the Daniels Fund, a private charitable foundation dedicated to making life better for the people of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming through its grants, scholarship program and ethics initiative. The David Eccles School of Business is proud to house the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative that incorporates ethics, values, and personal integrity in business school curriculums.

This fall, the D