Responsible management education: StFX’s Schwartz School of Business signs on to the PRME initiative
StFX’s Gerald Schwartz School of Business has signed on to become a member of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative, starting a transformational journey toward a more sustainable and responsible business education.
PRME is a United Nations-supported initiative founded to raise the profile of sustainability in schools around the world, and to equip business students with the understanding and ability to deliver change tomorrow. Working through six principles, PRME engages business and management schools to ensure they provide future leaders with the skills needed to balance economic and sustainability goals, while drawing attention to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aligning academic institutions with the work of the UN Global Compact.
By becoming a PRME signatory, the Schwartz School joins a worldwide network (including 19 in Canada) of business schools that have declared a commitment to responsible management education, says Dr. Brad Long, Schwartz School professor and the John T. Sears Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility, who introduced the initiative to StFX.
“Ultimately, PRME implementation boils down to embedding the values of corporate sustainability and responsibility into the daily activities of the Schwartz School of Business through a wide range of potential projects, actions, policies, and structural changes,” Dr. Long says.
“PRME is a way of holding us accountable for developing the responsible business leaders of tomorrow.”
Dr. Long says by signing on to PRME, the Schwartz School is formally acknowledging its commitment to responsible education as it aligns its teaching, research and knowledge dissemination with those concepts so its graduates are able to enter the workforce concerned about and having a skill set in social responsibility and sustainability.
“We’re also being true to ourselves, to our stated strategic objectives, in the Schwartz Strategic Plan,” he says.
Dr. Long says the PRME designation will be a process of incremental change. It doesn’t radically change the BBA curriculum; rather, it’s building on it. He says there will be some new course offerings and some other courses that will develop modules that connect their topics and materials to these ideas.
The process will be guided and developed through a PRME working group of Schwartz faculty, and Dr. Long says the learning will be in the classroom and also beyond it in terms of research opportunities, conferences, guest speakers and service learning. Faculty, too, will be looking to how their own research questions can contribute to advancing sustainable development goals.
“I’m proud of the school and the faculty for seeing the value in this initiative,” Dr. Long says.
“I think it’s an important milestone in the history of the Gerald Schwartz School of Business. I look forward to seeing what comes out of it. We’re on a journey, and I’m excited to see where that takes us.”