Ray Jones, clinical associate professor and Mehta family faculty fellow, has been appointed as the new director of the David Berg Center for Leadership and Ethics, a center dedicated to developing academic and experience-based learning (EBL) programs throughout the business school.
He joined the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration as a graduate student in 1992, started teaching in 1996, and came on-board as a full-time faculty member in 2001. Since its beginning, Jones has played a major role within the Berg Center and assisted in the design and development of the College of Business Administration’s Certificate Program in Leadership and Ethics (CPLE).
“Always a student favorite, Ray has been named “Pitt’s Top Professor” eleven times,” says Arjang A. Assad, Henry E. Haller Dean. “He has made a remarkable impact on our students by teaching numerous courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I am grateful to Ray for his many years of devotion to our school and the Berg Center.”
With the Berg Center’s 20th anniversary quickly approaching, Jones will succeed Audrey J. Murrell, who was named Acting Dean of the University of Pittsburgh Honors College. Murrell will continue her work with the Berg Center as a Senior Research Fellow, focusing on supporting EBL programs and research related to local food systems and social entrepreneurship.
“Audrey and I have been working together since I was a graduate student,” says Jones. “She has always built and maintained strong partnerships in the community and within the University. At the Berg Center, we’ve been able to continue these partnerships with people who ‘have skin in the game’—those who we can depend on to get in front of students, staff, and the community to get into real issues facing ethics and leadership today.”
Jones is ready to continue the energy and momentum of the Berg Center in the coming years to support existing and develop new programs and initiatives within the business school, the University, and in the community. He is especially excited about a continuing partnership with Professor Jocelyn Carlin and the Carnegie Library. During the 2019 tax season, the Berg Center and several CPLE students worked with Carlin on an Income Tax Assistance Program at the library’s Oakland location.
Targeting senior citizens and individuals who fall under a certain income threshold, the program was developed for Pitt Business students interested in accounting to get real-world experience through volunteering their time and skillset. In 2020, the Berg Center will be working to expand the program by adding more volunteer days and more tax services.
“I’ve spent so many years studying as a student and teaching as a faculty member, it’s amazing to be working hands-on with a center that focuses so much on meaningful service to the school and community,” says Jones.
The Berg Center has established countless initiatives, research projects, and academic programs within the business school, including the creation of the Certificate in Organizational Leadership and Ethics (COLE) in conjunction with the Office of Human Resources for University faculty and staff. Over 400 University personnel have completed the certificate and over 1,000 have taken at least one session toward the completion of their certificate.
The Berg Center also supports graduate and undergraduate global programs in leadership development and social responsibility. With Pitt Business International Programs Director Bryan Schultz, the Berg Center has assisted in the development of global service learning programs in Bolivia, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad. Additionally, the center is collaborating with International Programs on the Global Competency and Social Responsibility Project, a large-scale longitudinal study examining the global competency of all Pitt Business students from the time they enter the business school until the time they enter the workforce upon graduation.
At the graduate level, the center helped establish the BNY Mellon Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Fellowship, led by Professor Nisha Nair. The fellowships give master’s students the opportunity to understand and measure the impact of corporate social responsibilities throughout a wide range of industries, areas, and functions. In conjunction with Professor Paul Klein, the Berg Center supports the Kenneth R. Woodcock Leadership Fellowship, an EBL program that places master’s students with nonprofits and economic development corporations to develop effective organizational leadership skills through civic engagement, social entrepreneurship, and social responsibility.
The Berg Center has received more than two decades of support from the David Berg Family Foundation. Jones recalls that Dean Emeritus Jerry Zoffer has worked with the Foundation going back to its creation.
“Always a huge supporter of the work we do at the Berg Center, Dean Zoffer constantly reminds me that ‘Leadership without ethics is morally bankrupt. Ethics without leadership is ineffective. And, we need a constant attention to ethics and leadership in any different areas of organizational life,’” says Jones.
To learn more about the Berg Center’s mission or how to get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.