University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business





Business Integrity Leadership Initiative

The initiative strives to foster a culture of integrity, and promote thought leadership and inquiry among scholars, students, and business leaders to address the ethical challenges inherent in our increasingly complex business world.

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What We're Doing

The Sam M. Walton College of Business began the Business Integrity Leadership Initiative in January 2020 to bring a more comprehensive, strategic and influential approach to business ethics for our students and other stakeholders.

We are equipping future business leaders with a mindset that encourages them to act with integrity. We are also equipping current business leaders with a mindset that encourages them to lead with integrity for long-term, sustainable business success.

We’re accomplishing this by creating and sharing thought leadership and encouraging innovation through three channels: education, research and outreach. Our Initiative’s approach is practical, integrated, and experiential in nature.

Vision:

Promote thought leadership and ongoing inquiry among scholars, students, business leaders, and regulators to address the evolving ethical challenges inherent in our increasingly complex global business world and foster a culture of integrity within organizations.

Mission:

To advance and disseminate business ethics knowledge and to encourage innovation in the practice of business integrity.

  • Education - Develop innovative and experiential educational courses and opportunities to advance the understanding of practical business integrity issues, foster sound norms of ethical reasoning, and influence students to become responsible business citizens who act and lead with integrity.
  • Research - Produce and publish transformative research on matters related to the ethical challenges individuals and organizations face in business and the increasingly interdependent global marketplace.
  • Outreach - Create externally oriented programs designed to bring business leaders, students, scholars, and regulators together to provide analysis and discourse on the complex business integrity issues that exist for individuals and organizations in the global business community and in the regulation of global economies.

Why It Matters

In business, managers and leaders must act and lead with integrity to attain long-term, sustainable business success. That means all business students, and those managing and leading businesses need to understand business ethics, and how it affects a company’s strategy and operations.

"Personal and moral integrity is one of our basic fundamentals and it has to start with each of us."

- Sam Walton

To thrive, companies must be trusted. Studies indicate that stakeholders base their trust in a company primarily on their view of that company’s ethics.

Despite this, business leaders and even some CEOs fail to understand that their own unethical behavior affects how stakeholders view their company’s culture of ethics and integrity. In the past few years, we have unfortunately seen a record number of CEOs let go for unethical behavior.

With this Initiative, Walton College is poised to help reverse this trend and positively affect the amount of trust that current and future business leaders create for stakeholders.

A Message from the Founder and Executive Chair

Cindy comes to the Walton College with over 27 years of leadership experience, most recently at Walmart, Inc., where she spent the last 20 years collaborating with the Walmart Board of Directors, four of the five Walmart CEOs, C-suite executives, and other senior leaders to drive global, technology, culture, risk management and governance change across the enterprise.

Cindy spearheaded the transformation of Walmart’s global culture of integrity in the wake of Walmart’s foreign corrupt practices act investigation. She developed and implemented a global ethics program in 27 countries for over 2 million employees.

She also led a multi-disciplinary, 400-person ethics and compliance department and implemented blockchain technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to advance controls in critical regulatory risk areas existing in over 5,000 U.S. facilities.

Cindy also drove the modernization of Walmart’s global corporate governance and enterprise risk management practices. She regularly reported to the Audit Committee, interfaced with and presented to the Walmart Board of Directors, and served as a key, senior leader of the Walmart Global Governance and Walmart U.S. business leadership teams.

Externally, Cindy is the immediate past Chair of the Board of the Ethics and Compliance Association. She also served as a Director for the Ethics Research Center. She has served locally on the board of the Ruth I. Kolpin Family Foundation for 20 years, and as a board member of the Northwest Arkansas Chapter of Girls on the Run.

Cindy is a licensed attorney with a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center, where she graduated magna cum laude. She also graduated summa cum laude from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Science degree.


I’m excited to join the Sam M. Walton College of Business as the Founder and Executive Chair of the Business Integrity Leadership Initiative.

Operating with integrity was a core principle for Sam Walton, our college’s namesake, and how he ran his business, Walmart. This same focus has been carried over into the values of Walton College – excellence, professionalism, innovation and collegiality (EPIC).

Integrity is called out as one of the core behaviors that define “professionalism.” Because integrity is already woven into the values, Walton College is well-positioned to take a more comprehensive approach to integrating business ethics into the culture of the college itself, and the experience of all students and business stakeholders.

I am thrilled to be here and have the opportunity to work with the amazing faculty, staff and students who are eager to take business integrity to the next level at Walton College!

Connect with Us

Engage with our initiative on social media, and get updates from our email newsletter.

News of Note

Noteworthy Papers/Articles

Activities / Events

  • University of Arizona case competition, October 2020
  • February 2020: Sponsored APPE’s annual workshop for University Ethics Center Directors. Over 40 different universities represented.
  • April 2020: Presenting Partner sponsorship of IBECC’s 23rd Annual International Business Ethics Case Competition
  • Six students involved in IBECC's April 2020 Moral Compass Competition, and three students placed!

Faculty and Staff Engagement

  • Creation of an Academic Advisory Board at Walton College for Business Integrity Leadership
  • Creation of an Staff Committee at Walton College for Business Integrity Leadership