Chris Samuels, Deseret News
Students walk past the "block U" on the University of Utah's campus in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Undergraduate students from the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business took first place in the eighth annual Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative’s Consortium Case Competition

SALT LAKE CITY — Undergraduate students from the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business took first place in the eighth annual Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative’s Consortium Case Competition, while U. graduate students took second place in their division.

The competition, which was held in Denver April 11 and 12, exposes 10 teams of undergraduate students and 11 teams of graduate students to a business ethics case, similar to a situation that they might face in their professional careers. It is designed to challenge students’ ethical reasoning, give them tools for ethical decision-making and raise awareness of the importance of principle-based ethics.

In advance of the competition, teams were provided with a business ethics case involving a fictional gene editing company. Students took on the role of a management consulting firm hired by the board of directors to help deal with ethical issues and risks at the company.

Each team conducted an analysis of the ethical issues involved, and presented their prepared recommendations to a panel of judges. After a question-and-answer session with the judges, the teams received a second part of the case — a crisis that provides new information and puts a twist on the case. They had four hours to reanalyze their original recommendations and make a second presentation to the judges.

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The panels of judges for each track were comprised of business and community leaders and evaluated presentations against established criteria, including the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Principles: integrity, trust, accountability, transparency, fairness, respect, rule of law, and viability.

An undergraduate team from University of Colorado took second and third went to a team from the University of Wyoming. Graduate students from University of New Mexico placed first and students from the University of Wyoming placed third. This was the first year the event included a separate competition for graduate students.