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Running head: LEG-Component 2

A Corporate Ethical Management System (CEMS)


Code of Ethics (COE)
A Code of Ethics, or COE, is designed to describe a companys corporate values, as well
as appropriate corporate behaviors to display those values. A Code of Ethics helps internal
stakeholders clearly understand their defined corporate values. Likewise, external stakeholders
are able to turn to corporate Code of Ethics to understand the values that have been outlined as
most important to an organization they may work with. The Wayne State College Office of
Admissions does not currently have a defined Code of Ethics for internal or external stakeholders
to reference to understand corporate values and behaviors. For the Wayne State College Office of
Admissions, the student is at the center of all office activities, functions, and processes. The
student is the purpose for and purpose behind recruitment and enrollment, therefore, the word
STUDENT was utilized in creating a Code of Ethics for the WSC Office of Admissions.
S- Service of prospective students/families comes first
T- Treat each student like an individual
U- Understand varying needs and desires
D- Develop relationships
E- Encourage open, honest communication
N- Never talk negatively of competitor institutions
T- Team-oriented attitude is required
Service to prospective students and families comes first. Everything should be dropped to
answer a phone call, respond to an email, help an office walk-in, serve a tours request, or work
to find a solution to a prospective student or family members question or problem. It is

Running head: LEG-Component 2

important in the recruitment of new students that each student be treated like the individual
person they are. Each new student cannot be recruited in the same way; therefore, each student
must be met where they are and communicated with in the way that works best for them. It is
important that each student is recognized as having their own unique needs, wants, questions,
and desires and all should be addressed to the best of staff abilities. Part of the story told about
WSC is a very personal experience on campus, so it is important to portray that in the
recruitment and enrollment process as well. By developing relationships with Admissions Office
staff, other campus faculty/staff, and prospective students, the Office of Admissions is better able
to serve prospective students and work toward common office and campus goals.
Open, honest communication with prospective students and their families is encouraged.
The Office of Admissions does this by presenting WSC in an honest light, by not pressuring the
student to commit to if WSC is not the right fit, and by respectfully understanding the choice a
student makes, even if it is not to attend Wayne State. Talking negatively of competitor
institutions is absolutely unacceptable. It does WSC no service by bad-mouthing other
institutions and it does not represent who and what WSC stands for as an institution. A teamoriented attitude is necessary to success in recruitment and enrollment of new students. While
each staff member has an individual recruitment and enrollment goals, the overarching goal to
serve, recruit, and enroll any new student is the bigger priority. Teamwork is what help will help
staff reach individual and office goals.
Values represented by the Wayne State College Office of Admissions Code of Ethics
include customer service, individual treatment, understanding, relationships, honesty, ethical
communication, and team-orientation. These things represent the hallmarks of new student

Running head: LEG-Component 2

recruitment and enrollment and those of Wayne State College. These values are demonstrated
through workplace behaviors such as a customer service first approach, individual treatment of
each prospective student, an empathetic and understanding demeanor, and open, honest
communication. When staff members use these behaviors in their interactions with prospective
students and their families, the defined values are clearly identifiable and met.
Decision-Making Ladder (DML)
A Decision-Making Ladder is a ladder designed method for ethical decision-making. The
rungs of the ladder are based on and defended by ethical theory. The use of these ethical theories
lays the groundwork for how ethical decisions should be made. Based on the principles of these
various ethical theories, the decision-maker can ask questions that help them determine their
course of action. The Decision-Making Ladder (DML) for the Wayne State College Office of
Admissions involves five rungs, which consist of four ethical theories and one set of ethical
principles mandated by a national organization of which the Office is a member.
Because the Wayne State College Office of Admissions is a member of the National
Association of Collegiate Admissions Counseling (NACAC), decisions must following their
Statement of Principles of Good Practice (SPGP), which can be referenced on their website at
http://www.nacacnet.org/about/governance/policies/documents/spgp_9_2013.pdf. The SPGP sets
the precedence for codes of conduct within the Admissions profession across the United States.
This document lays out the core values of NACAC, member conventions, and practices within
our profession. Some of the most referenced practices related to accurately representing your
institution, not talking poorly of another institution, be sensitive to confidential information, do
not make false promises to students, do not accept compensation (beyond pay) for recruitment of

Running head: LEG-Component 2

new students, and not pressure students to make admissions decisions before May 1st for the
upcoming academic year. Realistically, all decisions in our office must first and foremost abide
by these principles. If the decision at question is not address by the SPGP, one could move up the
DML to determine their best practice. Questions to ask on this rung include: 1) Is the question at
hand addressed by NACACs Statement of Principles of Good Practice? 2) If so, what behavior
is mandated? 3) Can a decision be interpreted from the SPGP?
Any decision not addressed by NACACs Statement of Principles of Good Practice
should then be thought of in terms of the natural law theory, in which ones general revelation
comes from natural feelings and urges such as ones gut, intuition, or conscience (Dunn, 2015).
These are fairly common considerations anyone uses when making decisions, therefore, these
things are still relevant in making work-related decisions. One needs to use logic, consideration,
and previous experiences to make the best, most well thought-out decisions. Questions to ask on
this rung include: 1) What does my gut tell me to do in this situation? 2) Is this a decision I am
comfortable with? 3) Is this a decision I can live with?
Next, staff is encouraged to use ethical egoism in making decisions. Based on Hobbes
and Rands work, Ethical Egoism encourages one to consider self-interest in ethical decisionmaking. Ethical Egoism, like the Golden Rule, wants the decision maker to put himself or herself
on the receiving end of the decision. Hobbes believed that an action was ethical if it was based
on self-interest and Rand further reiterated that in her belief that an individual does not need to
sacrifice to be ethical (Ciulla, 2003). Questions to ask on this rung include: 1) Will this decision
benefit and not harm myself and others? 2) How would it feel to be on the receiving end of this
decision?

Running head: LEG-Component 2

Utilitarianism is the fourth rung on the DML for the WSC Office of Admissions.
Utilitarianism is an attempt to benefit the most people possible with your decision. Ciulla (2003)
said, The notion of the greatest good also helps settle debates between conflicting duties
because it requires us to take into account the interests and well-being of others (p. 143). In
working with students, this is the number one goal is to think about the student and to make a
decision based on what will benefit the most. Questions to ask on this rung include: 1) What is
the greatest benefit for the greatest number involved? 2) What is the greatest harm for the
greatest number involved?
Lastly, use of Kants Categorical Imperative will assist Office of Admissions staff when
making ethical decisions. Categorical Imperative involves turning the decision into universal
law. It also involves the consideration of respect and reciprocity. Kants theory equates morality
more so with the intention of the action than the outcome, because the outcome often cannot be
known in advance (Ciulla, 2003). Questions to ask on this rung include: 1) Would I be
comfortable with this decision becoming the universal law for this situation? 2) Does this
decision respect the majority involved? 3) Does this decision use the person as an end to the
means?
The principles outlined by NACAC and the ethical theories of Natural Law Theory,
Ethical Egoism, Utilitarianism, and Kants Categorical Imperative are most relative to the ethical
decision making process in the Office of Admissions at Wayne State College. The ideas of
personal intuition, self-interest, greatest good, and universal law work together well to help a
decision maker to consider things that are within their realm of knowledge, no matter the
decision situation. When used in the order outline in WSC Office of Admissions DML and in

Utilitarianism

NACAC
Statement of
Principles of
Good Practice

Natural
Law
Theory

Ethical
Egoism

Kant's
Categorical
Imperative

Running head: LEG-Component 2

conjunction with mandated principles from NACAC, any office staff member would be best
equipped to make the most ethically sound decision on all accounts.

Communication and Management Process (CAMP)


In order to effectively communicate and manage the ethical climate in the Wayne State
College Office of Admissions, a Communication and Management Process (CAMP) has been
created. The first component of the CAMP would be ensuring there is an ethical training
component in every new staff members training process. Including ethics in training ensures new
members are quickly introduced to these items upon their start. Likewise, including some time to
discuss office ethics during the yearly staff retreat and training would ensure all staff members
are gaining yearly refreshers of the ethical standards for the department. Including in this
refresher the opportunity to revisit, expand on, and perhaps edit office ethics would help ensure
ethics are a real conversation topic that all members of the office feel they are responsible for and
can contribute to.
Verbal and visual communication is the second layer of the CAMP for the WSC Office of
Admissions. Including ethical discussions, as needed, in staff meetings or email conversations
helps all staff members understand the value and place of ethics in the department. Talking

Running head: LEG-Component 2

through ethical situations faced by one or more members of the team privately and as a group
ensures all staff members understand the seriousness of ethical standards and provides learning
and improvement opportunities for the entire department. Visually displaying the Offices Code
of Ethics and Decision-Making Ladder puts it at the forefront of everyones mind. Providing
each staff member with an updated copy of NACACs Statement of Principles of Good Practice
on an annual basis helps to ensure all mandates are seen, while discussing these principles at
meetings and training allows for a true understanding of their intentions and purpose. When
ethics are talked about frequently and seen daily, staff members are more likely to understand
values, priorities, and processes for making ethical decisions. It creates an environment where
ethics can be discussed openly, which mean less will be left to the individual staff members
discretion.
The last component of the Communication and Management Process for WSC
Admissions is role modeling. Role modeling is crucial, as it is one of the most influential ways to
teach others (Kouzes & Posner, 2006). When it comes to teaching ethics, the more present they
are, whether that be through ethical training or verbal and visual communication, the more likely
they will be picked up. Role modeling is an easy way to ensure ethics are displayed each and
every day. While it is easy to see role modeling as a top-down effort, it is important to remember
that everyone has the opportunity to positively influence others and the environment around
them through role modeling. By holding oneself to a high ethical standard and displaying that,
others will naturally want to be at that same standard. When each member of a team does this,
the ethical standard of the entire team naturally rises.
Ethical Audit/Evaluation (EAE)

Running head: LEG-Component 2

In order to be sure the Code of Ethics and Decision-Making Ladder are effectively in use
in the Wayne State College Office of Admissions, an annual ethical audit or evaluation would be
necessary. Because the Office of Admissions staff is comprised of twelve full-time staff
members, some of whom work out of the office daily, others who are on the road more
frequently than not, and one that serves as a regional staff member working out of her home,
administering a Likert-type survey would likely work best. The suggested timeline for
administering of the survey would be one month to a few weeks before the annual staff retreat,
which typically takes place during the summer. The Director of Admissions in advance of the
staff retreat could review results; therefore, they could be discussed, evaluated, and perhaps even
revised during the retreat that all staff members attend. Suggested topics for the Likert-type
survey would include Code of Ethics values and behaviors represented, use of the COE,
Decision-Making Ladder principles and theories utilized, and evaluation of the Communication
and Management Process, like the presence of ethical training, verbal and visualization of office
ethics, and use of role modeling within the office.
By not only evaluating the Offices ethical practices annually, but also offering an
opportunity to discuss, evaluate, and even revise these practices annually, the Wayne State
College Office of Admissions will be best positioned to know its ethical successes and
opportunities for improvement. This active approach to ethics will allow the Office to stay on top
of and ahead of ethical needs and priorities now and in the future. By involving all staff members
in the use and evaluation of ethics, a better understanding of the important role ethics play in
higher education recruitment and enrollment amongst all is to be expected.

Running head: LEG-Component 2

References
Ciulla, J. B. (2003). The Ethics of Leadership. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Dunn, Donald (2015). The DML as a decision making tool [PowerPoint presentation]. Fort Hays
State University. Hays, KS.
Kouzes, J. M. & Posner, B. Z. (2006). A Leaders Legacy. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Statement of Principles of Good Practice. (September 2013). Retreived from
http://www.nacacnet.org/about/governance/policies/documents/spgp_9_2013.pdf.