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$5 Million Gift Will Establish New Business Ethics and Communications Program at Michigan Ross


The Ross School of Business is the recipient of a $5 million endowment to establish the Mitchell Program for Business Ethics and Communications to bolster the development of ethical, diverse business leaders. It is the first gift of its kind at Ross to support faculty in business ethics.

John and Patricia Mitchell

The Patricia W. Mitchell Trusts made the gift to the University of Michigan — which also includes an additional $5 million gift to support the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts — to honor the legacy of Columbia Pictures Television Founder John H. Mitchell, LSA ‘39, and his wife Patricia Mitchell.

.The multifaceted program will encompass four key components:

  • The John H. Mitchell Professorship in Business Ethics — the first focused exclusively on business ethics at Michigan Ross, pending approval by the U-M Board of Regents.
  • The John H. and Patricia W. Mitchell Scholarship Fund — a scholarship for undergraduate and graduate business students dedicated to ethical business practices and communications excellence.
  • John H. and Patricia W. Mitchell Internship Fund — a funded internship in the entertainment industry for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • The John H. Mitchell Lecture Series Fund — a new lecture series featuring ethically-minded leaders from creative industries, such as film, television, and other media.

“Michigan Ross is committed to teaching students not only the fundamentals of business, but also how to act in an ethical manner as business leaders who are inspired to make a positive difference in the world,” said Scott DeRue, the Edward J. Frey Dean and professor of business at Ross. “The Mitchell gift will enable us to greatly enhance our offerings by infusing business ethics and communications excellence into virtually every student experience at the school.”

Last year, a record 39 percent of top executives who were let go were dismissed over accusations of ethical lapses, according to a PwC study of turnover among the top 2,500 global public companies, making the impact of the Mitchell’s gift to Ross even more timely and significant.

The gift is part of a combined $50 million gift to three universities. Other institutions receiving a share of the funds are the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.

Read more about the gift