Business students win national ethics competition

DELAND, FLA. — A team of students from Campbell University’s Lundy-Fetterman School of Business placed first among 16 public and private colleges in the national Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition, held Feb. 23 at Stetson University.

Mackenzie Campbell of Uniontown, Ohio, and Richard Hager of Sanford — both members of Campbell’s Truist Business Scholars Program — took home the $2,500 prize.

This is Campbell’s fourth time winning first place in the Templeton Business Case Ethics Competition in the past seven years. The teams competed in a 20-minute presentation format, followed by five minutes of questioning. Semifinalists were chosen from each of the four brackets to compete in shorter eight-minute presentations for the top spot.

The case involved a fictitious university struggling with how to protect its students following two recent on-campus overdose deaths. Playing the role of consultants hired by the university, teams were instructed to consider the financial, legal and ethical considerations for the university of supplying naloxone and other harm-reduction supplies and strategies for students. U.S. public health data shows dramatic increases in overdose deaths, primarily due to the increase in synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. The Campbell team’s position was that the university should provide students access to Narcan and fentanyl test strips across its campus. Numerous studies have shown that such harm reduction strategies do not cause increased use of drugs, and in fact, have shown to lead users into recovery.

“This case was unique in that it forced these college students to deal with a real-life tragedy happening on college campuses across the country,” said Dr. Mark A. Steckbeck, who mentored the team for the competition. “Mackenzie and Richard put together a compelling argument for why a university should act to protect students from paying with their lives due to a lapse in judgment.”

Campbell, a first-year student, said, “The challenge allowed me to grow in my critical thinking and public speaking skills, analyzing an issue through the lens of ethics. Winning the competition was a wonderful start to my undergraduate career; it’s a memory from Campbell that I’ll treasure forever.”

Hager, also a first-year student, noted, “This competition provided me a great opportunity to learn more about ethical evaluations of business practices, presenting before an audience, and developing my reasoning skills. It was an amazing experience.”

Other teams competing in this year’s contest include Penn State University, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, the U.S. Naval Academy, The University of Florida, Florida State University, Iowa State University, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Boston College.