Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility

The Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility (CESR) was founded in 2007 in response to the Leeds Family’s naming gift mandate that the four pillars of business ethics, corporate social responsibility, diversity and inclusion, and sustainability be incorporated throughout the school’s curriculum. Through our conferences, certificates, case competitions, treks, scholarships, student organizations and collaborations on curriculum, we aim to help students discover their values and practice using them in ethical decision-making. Faculty from the related Social Responsibility and Sustainability (SRS) division teach core courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels to ensure that all students learn about ethics and social responsibility, and elective courses that delve deeper into questions of ethical leadership, sustainable operations, social entrepreneurship and more.

CESR champions collaboration with the natural and organic products industry as a way to provide meaningful, values-driven work for students and essential business skills to companies that are making a positive impact. We seek out ways to partner with like-minded organizations across the CU Boulder campus. These efforts include the First Peoples Investment Engagement Program created through a partnership with the Indian American Law Clinic at CU Law, and work to foster greater social impact by joining forces across disciplines. We also lead at the international scale by chairing the North American chapter of a global United Nations initiative, called the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), which seeks to integrate corporate sustainability into business education worldwide.

We are proud to be part of what makes Leeds different from other business schools. Keep reading to learn more about our mission and vision, and why each of our four pillars is so important.


Educating current and future values-driven leaders to engage and positively impact ethical, social, environmental and economic challenges.


To be the recognized leader and authority for innovative education in ethics, social responsibility and sustainability.