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Courses and Curriculum

Undergraduate Business Law and Ethics Curriculum

Law serves an important role in national and international business environments by providing the rules of the road. Informed decision-making requires knowledge of the foundations of the American and international legal systems, including laws governing contracts, commercial relationships, employment, real and personal property, and business formation and governance among others.

However, meeting the requirements of the law is insufficient in the current business environment. The study of business ethics focuses on how businesses and their directors, officers and employees may go beyond regulatory compliance in their decision-making processes. Ethical considerations include identification of stakeholders and their interests, the application of various frameworks to the business decision-making process, and corporate social responsibility.

Legal and ethical considerations create risks for businesses, and these risks must be avoided, minimized or managed. A practical understanding of law and ethics has thus become a critical element in business decision-making and strategy. Businesses cannot rely exclusively on outside counsel or in-house legal staff to manage all risks. Managers need an understanding of the legal and ethical environments in which they operate.

MGT 2106 - Legal Aspects of Business
This course introduces students to business-related aspects of the American legal system. The course will cover torts, contracts and property as well as constitutional law, administrative law, dispute resolution, business formation, and equal opportunity. The course also focuses on enhancing awareness of ethical issues.

Electives

MGT 3605 - Principles of Commercial Law
Principles of Commercial Law is intended for students whose career plans require advanced knowledge of commercial law concepts beyond the survey topics covered in MGT 2106, the introductory course in business law.  In particular, MGT 4806 provides an in-depth examination of several topics important to commercial business transactions including, among others, contracts for sale of goods (Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code); negotiable instruments/commercial paper (UCC Article 3); and debtor/creditor issues such as secured transactions (UCC Article 9), bankruptcy and insurance.  The course is designed for students who plan to start their own business; students who will be employed by the financial services industry, particularly in banking; students pursuing a concentration in accounting; students who plan to attend law school; and other students who desire a more complete understanding of how the legal system affects business planning and transactions. The course should enable a student to:

  • demonstrate a knowledge of the fundamental concepts, principles and rules of commercial law as they apply to business transactions,
  • understand how statutory enactments, such as the UCC, bankruptcy code, etc., modify the common law and change the legal rights and responsibilities of the parties to certain business transactions,
  • explain the policies underlying these legal doctrines,
  • explain how and why the law both facilitates and constrains business activity,
  • structure commercial relationships and transactions to minimize legal risks,
  • anticipate potential legal problems and identify when it is appropriate to consult an attorney,
  • enhance his/her analytical and legal reasoning skills, and improve his/her oral and written communication skills

MGT 3606 - International Business Law
(Previously taught as MGT 4803 - International Business Law. No credit allowed for both).
International Business Law is designed to introduce students to the legal environment of international trade and private commercial transactions. Specific areas of study will include the legal environment of international trade and business, the regulation of U.S. trade, the GATT, import and export regulation, customs law, regional trade agreements, international contracting, intellectual property rights protections and licensing, and the sale of services. The emphases of the course are recognition of legal problems and the discovery and application of appropriate principles of international and domestic law that may assist in resolving these problems.

MGT 3607 - Business Ethics
(Previously taught as MGT 4803 - Business Ethics. No credit allowed for both).
This course introduces students to ethics-related aspects of the business decision-making process. Students will address a variety of topics, including the theoretical underpinnings of ethics, stakeholders, decision-making strategies, and utilization of such strategies in specific areas such as shareholder and employment relations, marketing, and globalization. The emphases of the course are issue recognition, application of ethical principles, and analysis of the consistency of corporate decision-making processes with such principles.

MGT 3608 - Technology Law and Ethics
(Previously taught as MGT 4803 - Technology Law and Ethics. No credit allowed for both).
Virtually every aspect of contemporary life is touched by computing, information technology, and digital media. They mediate much private and public communication, transaction, and social interaction, forming the infrastructure for critical societal institutions including commerce, banking and finance, governance, utilities, national defense, education, social networking, political campaigning, and entertainment. This class will examine some of the ethical, legal, and social issues associated with computers, information systems, and public and private networks including the Internet.  Some of the issues to be covered include intellectual property protection, crime, viruses, privacy, security, reliability, work environments, liability, and artificial intelligence. Balancing of the needs and desires of individuals or groups against those of other individuals or groups, including business, economic, professional, individual, governmental and social interests, will be a focus of the class.

MGT 3609 - Legal Aspects of Real Estate
(Previously taught as MGT 4803 - Legal Aspects of Real Estate. No credit allowed for both).
This course introduces students to legal considerations in real estate transactions and land use planning. Students will become familiar with the nature and scope of real estate, the rights of others in such property and types of ownership. Students will study aspects of transactions for the sale, purchase and lease of real estate, including the retention of agents, the preparation of sales contracts and leases, the procurement of title insurance and financing and the conduct of closings. Additionally, students will become familiar with legal principles governing the regulation of real estate and land use planning, including the rights and duties of landowners and occupants and the impact of zoning and environmental laws. The emphases of the course are issue recognition and the resolution of such issues through application of legal principles.

MGT 4010 - Business Taxation
This course examines federal taxation of businesses. The primary focal points are tax planning and decision-making and an examination of the Internal Revenue Code and associated regulations.

MGT 4803 - Business and Government Regulation
Government regulation plays a substantial role in the management of every business. For many businesses, the cost of regulatory compliance is a large part of operating expense and consumes managerial resources that might be more productively allocated to other activities.  Failure to comply with regulatory requirements can result in substantial fines and penalties, damage to a business’ reputation, and in some instances incarceration of responsible managers and executives.  Businesses also use the regulatory process to enhance their competitive position, and to optimize operational, financial and marketing results. For these reasons, business owners, executives and managers need to understand the effect of the government and regulatory environment on their enterprise, and how they can influence the regulatory process in order to further strategic objectives.

This course provides students with an understanding and knowledge of the government and regulatory environment that will enable them to be effective and pro-active managers in a highly regulated business world.  Upon course completion, students should be able to

  • demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental concepts, principles and rules of government regulation as they to pertain to business;
  • understand the authority government has to regulate business at the federal, state and local levels, and the processes by which that authority is exercised;
  • recognize how government regulation affects business decision-making and planning;
  • develop legislative and regulatory action plans that link business objectives to desired regulatory outcomes and specify actions to achieve those outcomes;
  • understand how to influence regulatory outcomes through participation in the regulatory process and representation before legislative bodies and regulatory agencies;
  • demonstrate knowledge of laws concerning business participation in the political process;
  • analyze ethical considerations related to business influence of government and regulatory processes;
  • understand important areas of government regulation of business including financial regulation, environmental regulation and competitive practices;
  • anticipate potential regulatory and legal problems and identify when it is appropriate to consult an attorney or other professional; and
  • demonstrate enhanced analytical and reasoning skills, and oral and written communication skills.

MGT 4803 - Corporate Governance
This course examines the evolution of the United States corporate governance model, the meaning of and distinction between corporate governance and management, why understanding corporate governance is important, and how corporate governance matters are addressed from an internal and external perspective. The Course primarily focuses on the United States for-profit, public companies and laws that relate to them. The Course also identifies best practices in corporate governance, and briefly explores global corporate governance matters.

The following are the Course objectives:

  • Describe the difference between corporate governance and management.
  • Analyze and address situations in which corporate governance issues exist, providing potential practical solutions to such issues.
  • Understand the legal and ethical responsibilities of shareholders, directors, and management of a corporation.
  • Understand the interplay between law, ethics, business and public policy.
  • Experience in analyzing and critically discussing legal and business cases.
  • Exposure to real-world happenings in the corporate governance arena in order to understand how to stay abreast of issues for purposes of conducting due diligence, making informed business decisions, and employing methodologies and processes to assist in avoiding legal risk and exposure with business activities.
  • Understand how to manage time effectively.
  • Exposure to (1) situation analysis and judgment decision-making and providing recommendations, through individual, participant-centered learning and group work; (2) writing in an organized and concise manner to the appropriate audience, while identifying and applying the principles of legal business writing; and (3) communicating, presenting and debating issues and positions.
  • Understand team work, its dynamics and the results that come from working on a team.

MGT 4803 - Employment, Benefits and Compensation Law
This course examines the legal responsibilities and constraints human resource professionals encounter.  Topics covered include issues in establishing, severing, and pausing an employment relationship, as well as employee benefits, compensation, and workplace regulation.  Problem-based learning will be emphasized in this course. There are no prerequisites for this course; however, MGT 2016, Legal and Ethical Environment of Business is recommended.

MGT 4803 - Foundations of Internet Policy and Governance
This course asks students to place themselves in the roles of those creating and implementing policy and governance of the Internet.  Each small group of students will create a report and recommendations on a significant current policy debate about the Internet.  To prepare for this report, the class will first examine key Internet topics, such as online speech and net neutrality, with an emphasis on U.S. law.  We will next look at global governance issues, including the domain name system, the proposed Do Not Track standard, and the role of the International Telecommunications Union.  Before completing the projects, we will study the policy and legal debates arising in the wake of the Edward Snowden leaks.  The course seeks to teach the substance of these important debates and also the advocacy skills needed to participate in such debates.

MGT 4803 - Law for Entrepreneurs
This course will focus on the myriad of legal issues which entrepreneurs face while growing a start-up business from infancy to a publicly held company.  This course will start with the initial issues which an entrepreneur encounters in deciding to leave their employer and assessing what type of legal entity best suits his or her needs in establishing an entrepreneurial venture and continues through the sale, merger or initial public offering of the shares of the entrepreneurial entity The course we will focus on various substantive practical areas of law which most impact entrepreneurs such as establishing ownership structure and related shareholder or membership agreements and other documents which impact ownership structure, sales and lease contracts, loan agreements, raising capital and securities law compliance, venture capital negotiations and agreements, the role of the board of directors and a possible role for an advisory board, debtor-creditor relations, employment law and intellectual property law (both within the U.S.A. and outside the U.S.A.). The purpose of the class is to prepare a student to enter the entrepreneurial world with a full awareness of legal issues which most commonly arise in the course of growing and operating an entrepreneurial business and how anticipating these issues and understanding these issues can make an entrepreneur a more effective business person. The goal is that at the end of the course you can embrace an understanding of the substantive areas of law which entrepreneurs most commonly encounter so that your knowledge of law is as much an asset to you in growing of an entrepreneurial business as your knowledge of finance, management and marketing. Anticipating and expecting various legal issues which will invariably impact an entrepreneurial venture can save you valuable time and money and assist you in avoiding mistakes. Being strategically prepared to address these issues will cause you to better execute when these issues arise.

MGT 4803 - Legal Aspects of Managing Intellectual Property
This course examines the legal framework that supports and regulates innovation, competition, and business development and growth. Three primary topics are addressed in the course. The first topic is private property and the creation of beneficial information, specifically, the law of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. The second topic is the prevention of unfair competition in information property, which addresses regulations on the use of innovation and information in order to foster competition and fair business practices. The final topic is information property in business development and management. Areas covered in this topic include the legal rules that support and regulate business development and growth and valuation and management techniques.

MGT 4803 - Legal Issues in Sports Management
Sports, both professional and college, is big business. Legal Issues in Sports Management will provide students with an in-depth understanding of how legal issues relate to the management of sports enterprises, including professional teams, individual athletes, and leagues, and to the administration of college sports programs and associations. The course is intended to familiarize students with legal concepts and analysis, important to the student’s ability to recognize, approach, and resolve sport management-related legal issues. The course will focus on a variety of topics and principles, including but not limited to contracts, torts, agency, discrimination issues, trademarks, intellectual property law including copyrights and trademarks, antitrust and labor law. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to

  • understand legal concepts and their importance for addressing and resolving management issues in the sports business environment,
  • support sports management decisions grounded on legal and ethical principles,
  • explain the policies underlying these principles,
  • address potential management issues via contract clauses, risk management practices and overall legal strategy for sports organizations and sports-business relationships,
  • anticipate potential legal problems in a sports management context and identify when it is appropriate to consult an attorney.
  • understand NCAA legal-related decisions involving student-athletes and institutions of higher learning, and related compliance and enforcement issues,
  • apply enhanced analytical and legal reasoning skills in business and other contexts, and
  • apply enhanced oral and written communication skills.

MGT 4803 - Privacy, Technology Policy and Law
This mixed undergraduate- and graduate-level course examines the challenge of constructing and complying with privacy policies, technical requirements, and legislation. Is privacy a fundamental human right, an outmoded concept, or something in between? How should individuals, businesses, and governments consider privacy when developing or employing new technologies or policies? Students in the course will participate in extensive in-class debates of privacy challenges, including the ethical and legal foundations of privacy, development of privacy-related technologies, and the comparative differences between American and European approaches to privacy legislation. Course topics include social networks, surveillance, wiretapping, encryption, and web-based advertising. This course features a semester-long collaboration with a company seeking to engage students in real-world privacy challenges; specifically, compliance with federal privacy regulations, assessment of security and privacy policies, and development of new, privacy-sensitive approaches to business analytics.

Business Law and Ethics Certificate
Core Requirement (1 course):
Three (3) courses should be chosen from the following:

MGT 3605 - Principles of Commercial Law (Previously taught as MGT 4803 Priciples of Commercial Law. Credit not allowed for both MGT 3605 and MGT 4803 Principles of Commercial Law).

MGT 3606 - International Business Law  

MGT 3608 - Technology Law and Ethics  

MGT 3609 - Legal Aspects of Real Estate