The Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity (RZCCI) is a forum for discussion of a broad range of issues confronting U.S. corporations and capital markets. The Center prepares you to overcome challenges facing today’s business world and empowers you to make the best decisions on behalf of your organization.
Established in 2002, the Center aims to further the discussion of corporate behavior and issues, fostering interaction among corporate leaders, regulators, scholars, and students. It increases the awareness of ethics in the classroom and in students’ lives while raising the ethical climate of American business to a higher plane.
...a place that has the courage to bring forward and debate cutting-edge issues of ethics and integrity in business.”Larry Zicklin, BA '57
Strengthening the American Economy Through Education and Research
Through our services, we encourage greater awareness of ethical obligations among the many participants in our economic system. Our concerns include:
- Transparency of corporate reporting
- Corporate governance
- Examining legal and ethical corporate behavior
- Spotlighting executive accountability
- Corporate responsibility in global business development
- Risk assessment and amelioration
- Resolving conflicting corporate stakeholder interests
- Evaluating the role of governmental regulation
The Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity is a forum for discussion of a broad range of contemporary issues confronting US corporations and capital markets. Our concerns include: transparency of corporate reporting, corporate governance, examining legal and ethical corporate behavior, spotlighting executive accountability, corporate responsibility in global business development, risk assessment and amelioration, resolving conflicting corporate stakeholder interests, and evaluating the role of governmental regulation.
The Center aims to:
- Engage in timely discussion of corporate behavior and issues
- Foster interaction among corporate leaders, regulators, scholars and Baruch students
- Increase the impact of ethics in the classroom and on our students’ lives
- Raise the ethical climate of corporate America to a higher plane
- Increase the visibility of Baruch College and the Zicklin School
The Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity (CCI), formerly the Center for Financial Integrity, was established in 2002 to keep an informed spotlight on the changing issues of governance and financial reporting confronting U.S. corporations and capital markets.
Public confidence in U.S. business has eroded in recent years, and names like Enron, Andersen, and Canary Capital have created a new vocabulary of cynicism. The reputations of many corporations, banks, mutual funds, accounting firms, and senior executives have been badly tarnished. Nonetheless, CCI’s mission and underlying philosophy are rooted in a belief in the fundamental strength of American enterprise.
The goal of CCI says former New York State Comptroller Ned Regan, who helped found the center while serving as President of Baruch College, is to strengthen the American economy through discourse, education, and research that leads to greater awareness of the fiduciary and ethical obligations among the many participants in our economic system and, when necessary, to support new laws and regulations that will bolster the probity of American business.
The modern corporation is a wealth creation instrument of virtually limitless power and efficiency, with an unsurpassed capacity for marshalling capital, human resources, knowledge and intellect to achieve its goals. It is no exaggeration to say that the modern corporation is central to the progress of the world’s developed – and developing – societies. In the United States, it is the sine qua non of the highest standard of living in human history.
But there is a downside to America’s dependence on its business firms. The fallout from flaws and, worse, breaches in trust, can be catastrophic: Billions are lost in investment capital, government revenues decline and tens of thousands of jobs may be at risk. A Brookings Institution study estimates that the recent corporate scandals cost the U.S. economy $35 billion in the first year alone. In New York State, the losses associated with the scandals amounted to some $2.9 billion in economic activity and $1 billion in uncollected taxes in FY2003.
In 2002, Baruch College created a forum for the discussion of issues raised by the Enron collapse and other corporate scandals. Baruch appeared to be a natural home for these important discussions. The largest public business school in the United States and the only one located in New York City, Baruch annually graduates some 2,500 students who go on to careers in business and public service. Scholarship and resources are provided by Baruch’s Stan Ross Department of Accountancy, one of the nation’s premiere centers for research on ethical financial reporting practices.
In addition to the Zicklin School of Business, the college comprises and draws upon the resources of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, highly regarded for its programs in ethics and business communications; and the School of Public Affairs, a national leader in the field of nonprofit management.
David Rosenberg, Esq., was appointed Academic Director of the Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity in July 2012. He is a is an Associate Professor in the Law Department in the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College. Professor Rosenberg teaches the law of business organizations and other business law subjects in the Zicklin School’s undergraduate and Master’s degree programs. He holds a J.D. from Cornell Law School where he was an Editor of the Cornell Law Review. He received a B.A. from Oberlin College.
Professor Rosenberg is an expert on the fiduciary duties of corporate directors and other business leaders. He has published scholarly articles on corporate governance, limited partnerships, venture capital funds and other areas of business law. His two most recent articles addressed the debate in the Delaware courts over the meaning of the term “good faith,” as it applies to a director’s duties to a corporation and its shareholders. He is currently a Director/Trustee of the Fred Alger family of mutual funds.
Tech Ethics Director
Professor Yafit Lev-Aretz is the Director of the RZCCI’s Program on Tech Ethics. Tech Ethics examines the ethical dilemmas associated with the various technology applications, including in the context of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data. The tech ethics program is designed to increase awareness of such ethical dilemmas and foster a conversation on the positive and negative impacts of technology. The program also aims to equip future leaders with the insights and perspectives needed to make complex decisions about the use of technology in business and society.
Professor Lev-Aretz is a tech policy expert, researching the fascinating relationship between the law, technology, and society. She has written about information privacy, the growing use of algorithmic decision-making, intrusive means of news dissemination, choice architecture in the age of big data, and the ethical challenges posed by machine learning and artificially intelligent systems. Additionally, her research highlights the legal treatment of beneficial uses of data, such as data philanthropy and the data for good movement, striving to strike a delicate balance between solid privacy protections and competing values.
Ruzdo “Rocky” Srdanovic is the Associate Director of the RZCCI. Rocky joined the Center in 2010 as a College Assistant. He later became the Conference Coordinator upon completing his B.B.A at Baruch College. Rocky was given the role of Associate Director in 2017. In addition to his work at RZCCI , Rocky has served as a Board Member of the FEBA Business Council, an organization founded by a group of business leaders and professionals with the aim of creating a positive business environment that fosters job development and promotes economic growth for the Balkan-American community.
Douglas Carmichael, PhD, CPA, is the founding director of the Center for Corporate Integrity. In April 2003 he was named chief auditor of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). In 1983, he came to Baruch, where he is now the Morton Wollman Distinguished Professor of Accountancy, from over a decade with the American Institute of CPAs, where he focused on auditing standards. He has been a consultant for the Securities and Exchange Commission and an expert witness on forensic accounting and independence issues. Accounting Today selected him as one of the100 most influential accountants in the country, one of only three academics listed, citing him as “a strong advocate for safeguarding ethics and integrity in the profession.” An award-winning author, he has been a frequent source about the financial statements of public companies in the business press, including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times . He recently co-authored The CPA’s Guide to Professional Ethics (John Wiley, 2000).
Norman N. Strauss, MBA, CPA, Ernst & Young Executive Professor in Residence at Baruch College, has a broad background in accounting as well as specialized expertise in financial reporting. His research and writings have appeared in numerous professional journals, including the Journal of Accountancy and the Harvard Business Review, and he has lectured widely on a broad range of accounting and auditing issues. He has participated in a number of FASB and AICPA initiatives, serving as a member of FASB’s Financial Standards Advisory Council and its Emerging Issues Task Force, and chairing the Accounting Standards Executive Committee of AICPA. Currently, he is a trustee of the Financial Executive Research Foundation, and a member of the IASB’s Standards Advisory Council. Prior to joining Baruch, he spent 25 years at Ernst & Young, serving as National Director of Accounting from 1993 to 2001. In 1994, he was honored as one of the 100 most influential accountants in the country by Accounting Today.