For ethics week at Colorado Mesa University, the school invited two guest speakers to present their outlooks and experiences on ethics. These meetings were open to all students who wished to attend, though they were geared more toward business students.

On Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., CMU’s Ethics Club welcomed Ryan Hirsch, vice president of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) Center for Public Trust, to talk about his strategies for dealing with ethical communication challenges. This took place in Dominguez Hall.

The NASBA Center for Public Trust is an organization that provides a platform for corporate America to talk about ethical practices in organizations. 

Hirsch incorporated humor and audience interactions into the event, one of which was a game of telephone, where ten volunteers had to copy an action from one to the other. For example, the first person in the row got the action “Riding a bike and then hitting a wall.”

Hirsch also posed hypothetical questions to the audience, including asking whether or not answering a work-related email during a meeting would be considered appropriate.

He addressed the ethics of connecting with co-workers on social media, stating, “Even if you are behaving ethical on social media, your co-worker might not be.”

“I would say, if you want sustainable, long term success throughout the duration of your career, you have to put ethics first and do things with integrity and be accountable for your actions,” Hirsch said. “Make sure you work for an organization whose values align with yours. If you don’t, you might have to do something you don’t agree with, and if it happens one time it is probably going to happen a second time.”

“When you’re interviewing for a job, remember you’re interviewing the company as well. Make sure that they are the type of organization that you want to align your own brand with,” Hirsch said.

On Thursday at 5:30 p.m., Mike Huether, the previous mayor of Sioux Falls, S.D., presented in Dominguez Hall, starting out by talking about a test he cheated on when he was in school. He talked about his father’s sales tactics, greed, and how low people have gone to win in his experience.

Huether spoke of running for his second term, when he was opposed by someone who, according to Huether, didn’t act ethically in the race.

“Here was the game plan of my opponent. It was to make it so miserable for me the last two weeks, so what they did, they didn’t go after me. Guess who they went after,” Huether said. “They went after my wife.”

Huether spoke more than once on ethics being something that comes around and either benefits or harms the person making the choices, as well as other people. He also said that he feels that a “big part” of his life was spent worrying about making more money.

Lucas Vader | The Criterion

“We want to teach our kids how to make money,” Huether said, “but more importantly, we want to teach our kids how to give it away, how to be good stewards, share your time, your talent, your treasure as an outward sign of your love to others.”

Huether said that he firmly believed that people should always own their own choices as well. “They’re your choices,” he said. “They’re yours. Don’t make the decision then say ‘Oh!’ and try to blame somebody else.”

“Make some dang mistakes, people,” Huether said. “Write that down. Make some dang mistakes, young people.”


  1. Did any of the students ask Mayor Heuther about the ethics (or lack thereof) in his handling and representation to citizens of a “one million dollar settlement” with suppliers and contractors following construction of an event center in Sioux Falls ?

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