Wheeling Jesuit University

Business Professor William Kline Opens Distinguished Speaker's Program

WHEELING, WV, Oct. 24, 2011 "Business IS Ethics" will be the topic of a public presentation at Wheeling Jesuit University at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 3. The first event in the Institute for the Study of Capitalism and Morality (ISCM) 2011 Distinguished Speaker's Program, the talk will be delivered by Dr. William Kline, from the University of Illinois at Springfield. The program will take place in the National Technology Transfer Center auditorium.

"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Kline (shown at right) to campus and know that our students and area business leaders will enjoy his presentation. We are most grateful to the BB&T Foundation for its continued support of our efforts at studying capitalism and morality, said Dr. Edward Younkins, Wheeling Jesuit professor of accountancy. The distinguished speaker program provides a forum for discussing issues regarding capitalism and morality, business ethics and related issues.

Kline is an assistant professor of liberal studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He received his Bachelor of Arts in economics from Grove City College and his doctoral degree in philosophy from Bowling Green State University. His areas of expertise include business ethics, and social and political philosophy.

"Business practitioners do not commonly argue over what 'business' means. Similarly, business ethicists begin with the assumption that we all know what business is and their task is to apply ethics to this commonly understood practice," Kline explained. "What is oddly overlooked is that in the field of business ethics, our conception of 'business' is just as important as our concept of 'ethics.'"

Kline will argue that the reason business ethics is not an oxymoron is because business is ethics.

"Profit and loss record whether a business is successful, but it is a handful of moral rules that determines what should count as business in the first place. While economics may study business, its birthplace is firmly within moral philosophy," he said.

Kline teaches philosophy of business, radical capitalism and liberty studies. A well-published professor, his writings have appeared in some of the top business ethics journals where his topics have included liberty, commerce and moral responsibility. He has also lived and taught in Hungary where he enjoyed learning the language.

Founded in the spring of 2006 as a result of this major gift from the BB&T Charitable Foundation, Wheeling Jesuit's ISCM is dedicated to an examination of capitalism and the promotion of an in-depth examination of a free society. The ISCM sponsors an annual series of programs, including lectures, seminars and undergraduate courses, to advance its mission of providing a deeper understanding of the moral, legal and economic foundations of such a society.

It supports the growth and development of teaching and research while establishing a forum for differing opinions to promote an appreciation of the concept, operation and effects of a Capitalistic system by engaging students and the community in programs and activities designed to stimulate discussion of these important topics.

Other speakers in the series include a presentation by Dr. Andy Gillette on Dec. 5.

For more information on the ISCM, please call 304-243-2087.

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