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New UMD Center Links Business and Criminology

November 5, 2013

Laura Ours 301-405-5722

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland announces the launch of the new Center for the Study of Business Ethics, Regulation, and Crime (C-BERC), a joint effort of the university's Robert H. School of Business and Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

UMD announces the launch of the new Center for the Study of Business Ethics, Regulation, and Crime, the first venture of its kind to formally link business with criminology in an academic environment.C-BERC is the first venture of its kind to formally link business with criminology in an academic environment. Through C-BERC, UMD seeks to scientifically confront, assess, evaluate and develop best practices at the intersections of business, ethics, regulation and crime.

"Recent headlines from major news sources highlight the critical need for C-BERC, from stories about insider trading to drug-marketing settlements to corporate compliance.  Although there is a great deal of conjecture about why otherwise successful companies violate the law, as well as strong points of view about specific policies and strategies designed to prevent and control crime and victimization, there is far too little scientific investigation into these issues to answer these key questions," says C-BERC Director Dr. Sally Simpson. "The goal of C-BERC is to build a diverse scientific community of scholars and students, whose research and training will address these and other critical challenges confronting business."  

Business is at a crossroads with regard to its roles and responsibilities. Corporations are called upon not only to do well, but also to "do good" in an increasingly complex legal and social environment.  C-BERC's mission is to generate new ideas and information at the intersection of theory, policy, and practice that will serve as a resource for business leaders, policymakers and practitioners. 

The center embraces a unique interdisciplinary approach to the legal and ethical challenges of modern business operations by integrating and extending research in the fields of business ethics, regulation and criminology.  The center's scholarly work embraces multiple diverse perspectives and methods of analysis. In addition, through its graduate certificate, professionals and students will gain training in law, evidence, and auditing. 

Research topics addressed at C-BERC will include measuring the extent and pervasiveness of business-related crime, costs of business crime, evaluation of regulatory policy and accounting ethics.

The center will formally launch at an event on Friday, Nov. 8 from 12-3 p.m. in UMD's Riggs Alumni Center. The event will include a keynote by Columbia Law School Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law John C. Coffee, Jr., titled "Missing in Action?: What Explains SEC Passivity." Members of the public may RSVP for the event by contacting Rebecca Johnson at rebjoh24@umd.edu.

To learn more about C-BERC, visit www.rhsmith.umd.edu/cberc.

For media interested in attending the launch event, please contact Laura Ours and 301-405-5722 or lours@umd.edu.


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