Precious Gittens, Senior Director of Compliance Investigations at Fresenius Medical Care North America, discusses compliance with students after a lecture.

As part of its mission, the Girard-diCarlo Center has worked with new and existing faculty to expand curricular offerings in the areas of ethics, integrity and compliance.

The most sweeping curricular addition has been to adapt the well-respected Giving Voice to Values (GVV) pedagogy from the business school and corporate settings. Professor Steve Chanenson, the Center’s Faculty Director, and Professor Doris Brogan, the Harold Reuschlein Leadership Chair and one of the Center’s Affiliated Faculty members, have brought GVV to every single Villanova Law student through the school’s Professional Development course. This innovative effort was on display during the Center’s ground-breaking program in March 2019, Ethics in Action: Giving Voice to Values in the Law, which was the first law-based conference on GVV. 

The Center has also brought the GVV curriculum to Villanova’s Engineering Department. As part of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s Professional Development Seminar, a required course, the Center has for the past several years conducted a 3-hour program each semester for sophomore ECE majors.

Center-related Courses

This course raises practical questions of business ethics that confront business people and the attorneys who represent them. It explores such foundational questions as:

  • What are business ethics? 
  • What do ethics have to do with making money?
  • How are business ethics different from general ethics?
  • Why should I care about business ethics? 

Topics include: the benefits of acting ethically; the moral philosophical bases for business ethics; the legal foundations for business ethics; the corporation as an ethical “person” in modern society; whistleblowing; and major ethical traps in modern business. The class draws on both law and business materials, giving students an exposure to the law in these areas as well as ideas and findings from management theory, organizational behavior, marketing, and strategy.

This course serves as an introduction to compliance and ethics programs. It blends the legal and regulatory basis for compliance programs with more practical discussions of how to implement a compliance and ethics program. 

The course provides an overview of ethics and compliance programs in a practical way so that students with an interest in this area will have solid grounding if they choose to pursue opportunities in the compliance field or as an in-house attorney. While the course explains the theories behind compliance and ethics programs, it is specifically focused on how to create and run a compliance and ethics program. Among other things, the course explores the origins of corporate compliance programs, relevant statutory schemes, enforcement patterns, and the role of a chief compliance officer.

The law plays a critical role in dictating how health care is financed in the United States—from setting conditions for provider payment in government-funded programs, like Medicare and Medicaid, to establishing mandates at the federal, state and local levels for the maintenance of tax exemptions. 

This course focuses on business relationships among the various players in a hospital system (medical staff, nurses, administrators, boards, funders, other health care providers, etc.) and how laws governing quality, privacy, professional autonomy and reimbursement impact these relationships. It explores what makes a highly regulated health care system competitive, what drives decisions to acquire or discard health care providers and how transactions are structured to the benefit of the hospital and its patients.

This course covers the law and procedural rules involved in conducting an effective investigation. Students explore how lawyers conduct an investigation, as well as how to represent the interests of the government, individuals and corporations. Specifically, students learn the methods by which both prosecutors, defense attorneys and in-house counsel conduct investigations and the different ways in which criminal procedure and the rules of professional responsibility govern their conduct.

In Lawyers and the Holocaust, students explore the legal system during the Holocaust. The course encourages students to think deeply about the proper role of lawyers, judges and the law. The course also includes a mandatory day-trip to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

The amateur athletics industry has undergone dramatic changes over the past few decades. Many of the same competitive, legal, regulatory and business dynamics that have historically applied to professional sports are now part and parcel of the world of amateur athletics. At the same time, there are dimensions that are clearly unique and distinctive to the various amateur models (interscholastic, intercollegiate, Olympic/international sports). Students who take this course will develop a deep understanding of the various legal, regulatory, compliance and business issues facing amateur athletics, and propose well-articulated solutions and reforms to those problems.

The David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
299 N. Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085