Newton Ethical Leadership Initiative (NELI)

Promoting leadership and ethical action in students, employees, and citizens

NELI promotes leadership and ethical action throughout Southwest Florida and beyond in a variety of ways to include:
  • The annual FGCU Rist Family Foundation High School Ethics Case Competition;
  • The annual Distinguished Speaker in Ethics Series;
  • The annual Celebrating Ethical Leadership in Southwest Florida event featuring the three organizational finalists for the Uncommon Friends Foundation Business Ethics Award;
  • FGCU student participation in multiple national and regional ethics case competitions during the year;
  • And more!

Character education is about celebrating and teaching positive human qualities, qualities that lead to productive lives and a thriving society. Good character doesn’t just happen; it must be taught and modeled. Many states, in fact, mandate the teaching of character education in schools. Uncommon Friends Foundation is dedicated to character education and has as its mission instilling ethics, moral values, and a sense of purpose in tomorrow’s leaders. The foundation’s character education program teaches such traits as honesty, integrity, friendship, cooperation, and perseverance.

Dr. Eric B. Dent

Dr. Eric B. Dent is all about leadership and ethics. He serves as Eminent Scholar, Professor and Uncommon Friends Endowed Chair in Ethics Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University. He is a consultant to Fortune 500, government, and non-profit organizations as well as an invited speaker to national audiences. Dr. Dent now provides leadership and ethical consulting as an Executive Coach, Management Consultant, Professor, Speaker, and Scholar. He is committed to an interdisciplinary research agenda and has publications in journals of leadership, consulting, philosophy, workplace spirituality, history, communications, psychology, education, and others

Eric B. Dent, Ph. D.
Lutgert Hall 2318
Phone: (239) 590-7162

The Uncommon Friends Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the ethical culture in Southwest Florida businesses through its endowed Chair of Business Ethics at Florida Gulf Coast University, currently held by Dr. Eric Dent. The FGCU Chair of Business Ethics is funded by an endowment through the Uncommon Friends Foundation and initially launched in 2006 with a generous gift from UFF board member Bob Taylor. As a result of this Chair position, all FGCU business majors are required to take classes in ethics.

In offices and boardrooms across America, businessmen and women are working hard at more than just improving company profits—they are shaping the character, work ethics and integrity of their corporate culture. UFF helps support this effort through business ethics roundtables and a our annual Business Ethics Award that goes to an outstanding business that exhibits a commitment to business ethics at all levels of the organization, among its industry peers, and within its community. The Business Ethics Award is presented in conjunction with the Florida Gulf Coast University Chair of Business Ethics to a Southwest Florida business that exemplifies the highest standards of ethical behavior throughout the organization and in its dealings with the public. The finalists participate in a special Business Ethics luncheon hosted in conjunction with Florida Gulf Coast University that is held at FGCU in early fall.  The winner is then announced at the Uncommon Friends Foundation’s annual Uncommon Evening event held in the fall at the Burroughs Home & Gardens in Fort Myers.

Latest News

FGCU ranked 11th place among the World’s Universities with Real Impact in Ethical Value

Columns & Articles

Distinguished Ethics Speaker Series

7th Annual Distinguished Speech in Ethics sponsored by the Newton Ethical Leadership Initiative FGCU

Erik Lindbergh

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FGCU 6th Annual Distinguished Speaker in Ethics - Cheryl Bachelder

Rajmohan Gandhi

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FGCU 4th Annual Distinguished Speaker in Ethics - Cheryl Bachelder

Bryon Donalds

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FGCU 3rd Annual Distinguished Speaker in Ethics - Cheryl Bachelder

Cheryl Bachelder

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Distinguished Ethic Speaker Dr. Mark Livingston

Dr. Mark Livingston

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Distinguished speaker John Allison

John Allison

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Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Read papers

Ethics Speakers at FGCU

Jordi Tejero, CEO, CRS Technologies
Jordi Tejero
CRS Technologies
Angela Melvin
Angela Melvin
Valerie's House
Gary Gardner
Gary Gardner
Management Consultant and Founding Partner
The Leadership Culture
Theo Etzel presentation
Theo Etzel
CEO and Owner
Conditioned Air
Ted Todd, CEO, Ted Todd Insurance
Ted Todd
CEO and Founder
Ted Todd Insurance

Uncommon Friends Foundation

Business Ethics Award - The Uncommon Friends Foundation