May 24, 2018

May 24, 2018


Jindal School Duo Places First at Collegiate Ethics Case Competition

Katherine Huston and Lewis Warner

UT Dallas seniors Katherine Huston and Lewis Warne placed first at the 12th annual Collegiate Ethics Case Competition at the University of Arizona. 

Practice made perfect for Naveen Jindal School of Management seniors Katherine Huston and Lewis Warne, who came in first this year at the 12th annual Collegiate Ethics Case Competition at the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.

The pair placed ahead of teams from 27 other universities, including The University of Texas at Austin, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Yale University and Emory University. Indiana University placed second, Stetson University in Florida placed third and the University of Alberta in Canada placed fourth.

Jindal School accounting faculty member Amy Troutman, the team’s advisor, said Huston, an accounting major in the Professional Program in Accounting, and Warne, a finance and managerial economics major, were hungry for a win after placing in the top 10 in 2013. To help them prepare, she had them present their case several times to a total of 10 JSOM accounting professors before the duo traveled to Tucson.

The case this year was whether a U.S.-based company should “invert” — a topic much in the news as American corporations consider becoming a subsidiary of, or merging with, a foreign company, typically to enjoy tax advantages.

“The best information we learned from last year was to never forget this: It is the Eller Ethics competition,” Huston said, emphasizing the word ethics. “Last year, some of the judges felt we spent too much time on the financials. This year, we made sure to visit ethical issues on every slide of our presentation.”

Both students said the lessons they learned preparing for the competition will be of value in their professional lives.

“We must consider all who will be impacted by a decision, not just the shareholders,” Warne said. “I also learned that doing what is best for all stakeholders can be the best decision for company financials in the long run.”

Huston said she and her partner made a concerted effort to choose their words wisely, lest they offend a judge. For Huston, it was an exercise in being more cognizant.

“When Lewis and I decided to argue in favor of inversion, we knew we could face strong dissenters. We needed to counter beliefs that inversions are unpatriotic or unfair, without alienating the judges who held these beliefs,” she said. “Lewis and I decided we needed to eliminate negative and combative language from our presentation.

“As we developed our presentation, I became much better at identifying and modifying my word choice. For me, this is a very useful form of self-awareness,” she said.

This story was reported and written by freelance contributor Jeanne Spreier.

Media Contact: Kris Imherr, Naveen Jindal School of Management, (972) 883-4793, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]

facebook icon twitter icon linkedin icon email icon

© The University of Texas at Dallas 800 West Campbell Road, Richardson, Texas 75080 (972) 883-2111