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Alumni Study Ethical Decision Making in Health Care Workshop Homecoming Weekend

by Marguerite Darlington Friday, October 23, 2015

For most University of Wisconsin-Madison alumni, Homecoming is tailgating, red and white Badger gear, and a rousing session of “Jump Around” after the third quarter in Camp Randall.

At the Wisconsin School of Business, Wisconsin Evening and Executive MBA graduates came back for the game—and they also came back to the classroom to enhance their professional credentials and build new leadership skills.

“We’re offering alumni the chance to attend a workshop designed to enhance the education they received in the MBA curriculum in conjunction with a weekend filled with networking events,” says Lynn Snyder, director of academic resources and student affairs for the Wisconsin Evening and Executive MBA Programs at the Wisconsin School of Business.

wisconsin mba alumni healthcare homecoming evening and executive mba

Wisconsin Evening and Executive MBA alumni (From L to R) Elena Poznakhirina (MBA '10); Jill Uitenbroek (MBA '12), Steve Van Der Weide (MBA '13); and Jacqueline Kimble (MBA '06); participate in the ethical decision making workshop Homecoming weekend.

The Friday afternoon workshop focused on the health care industry. Steve King, executive director of the School’s Center for Professional and Executive Development (CPED), led “Ethics in Healthcare and Lessons Learned for the Business Community,” a seminar focused on developing a tool kit for executives that improves their ability to make effective ethical decisions.

“Frankly, I think it is a critical skill for all leaders, in and out of healthcare,” says King.  “The examples used in the session were health care, but we quickly expanded those examples to other business-related ethics challenges. Ethics and health care were the starting points for the conversation, but decision making was the main focus of the session.”

steve king center for professional and executive development cped executive mba

Steve King, Executive Director of the Center for Professional and Executive Development at the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

King, who was vice president of global talent management for Baxter International before joining CPED, kicked off the session with an introduction to the “Ladder of Inference,” a framework for understanding the assumptions that we all make when processing information and making a decision.

“There’s so much change in healthcare today that any skills that build resilience, adaptability, and wisdom are important for industry leaders to master,” says King.

Once the Evening and Executive MBA alums were firmly rooted in the difference between fact and assumption, they tackled a case study set at a fictional research hospital that used human subjects for research.

Jill J. Uitenbroek, internal audit manager at SECURA Insurance Companies, says the ethics topic interested her because it aligns with her professional responsibilities. “In my role, I lead the internal audit unit for my company and we are consistently faced with ethical decisions,” says Uitenbroek. “This learning opportunity helped to reinforce our process and reminded me to think globally in complex situations when there is no right answer.”

Snyder says the workshop was well-received by alumni because it allowed them to network with other WSB graduates in their industry and improve their skill sets while returning to campus to re-engage with alumni, faculty, and the WSB at large.

“One of our core initiatives at the School and within our office is lifelong learning,” says Snyder. “We want to facilitate more opportunities for our alumni to stay up-to-date in their respective industries. We also want our alumni to stay apprised of the most current research faculty are producing and teaching in the classroom.”

Learn more about the Wisconsin Evening MBA and Wisconsin Executive MBA Programs.