University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Business Integrity Leadership: Let's Talk About Keeping Your Word

walton college
August 24, 2023

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The Fall 2023 Let's Talk program, produced by the Walton College Business Integrity Leadership Initiative consists of guest speakers and a podcast series.

This program is an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff at the Sam M. Walton College of Business to learn from experts about the importance of keeping your word and following through with your actions.

It's about maintaining trust and avoiding reputational harm.

Dieselgate: The Volkswagen Scandal

We will be taking a deeper dive into the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal or “Dieselgate.”  

In 2015, after years of promoting “clean diesel”, Volkswagen was cited by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating the Clean Air Act.

Volkswagen had been cheating on the emissions tests for their diesel-powered vehicles for several years prior. During emissions testing, these VW vehicles were designed to show low emissions; however, when on the open road, the vehicles emitted up to 40 times more pollution than U.S. standards allowed.

VW eventually plead guilty to cheating and obstruction of justice. The plea agreement resulted in probation for three years under an independent corporate compliance monitor.

In total, the VW Dieselgate scandal has cost VW over $30B in fines and penalties.

Our Speakers

Michele Edwards is one of our guest speakers for the Fall 2023 semester.

Edwards has over 25 years of experience in fraud, compliance risk management, auditing and monitoring.  In 2017, Edwards served as Chief of Staff for the independent compliance monitor and auditor team appointed by the Department of Justice for the VW monitorship.

Cindy Moehring is the second of our guest speakers for the Fall 2023 semester.

Moehring is the founder and executive chair of the Business Integrity Leadership Initiative. With three decades of experience in the legal, ethics and compliance industry, Cindy offers a deeper insight into the lessons learned and the ethics (or lack thereof) involved in the Dieselgate scandal.


Live Program:

October 24th from 6:00-7:00 p.m.Michele Edwards spoke in-person on the University of Arkansas campus at Faulkner Performing Arts
Center. Participants attended live and virtually.

Watch and Listen:

Available October 3rd – Watch the recorded presentation  by Cindy Moehring over the book “Faster, Higher, Farther” by Jack Ewing.

Available now

Listen to the six-episode podcast series “American Scandal: Volkswagen Diesel Scandal” by Wondery.

To earn the career readiness badge, students must draft their reflections in Suitable for each of the three activities.

Students who are earning the Let's Talk about Keeping Your Word badge as part of a class, must complete their reflections in Suitable by Friday, November 17.

Walton College

Walton College of Business

Since its founding at the University of Arkansas in 1926, the Sam M. Walton College of Business has grown to become the state's premier college of business – as well as a nationally competitive business school. Learn more...

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. Learn more...

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