Corporate Governance Center celebrates 10 years of helping businesses run efficiently and effectively

Four months after the creation of the Corporate Governance Center‚ it was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal – seven years before accounting scandals at corporations like Enron‚ WorldCom and Tyco made corporate governance a kitchen−table issue.

Georgia (Aug 11, 2005) — Four months after the creation of the Corporate Governance Center‚ it was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal – seven years before accounting scandals at corporations like Enron‚ WorldCom and Tyco made corporate governance a kitchen−table issue.

When the center was founded in 1995‚ it was the first of its kind‚ not only in the nation‚ but the world. Today‚ there are bountiful director education programs available at a number of universities across the country‚ as well as five or six other corporate governance centers‚ but as KSU’s Corporate Governance Center celebrates its 10th anniversary this year‚ there is still much work to be done‚ according to Director Paul Lapides.

“You follow your passion in life and sometimes‚ the world ends up in the same place you are‚” Lapides said.

The center was born out of a meeting between three certified public accountants‚ Lapides‚ and co−founders Dr. Dana Hermanson‚ a KSU accounting professor‚ and Bobby Vick‚ a former partner in Price Waterhouse Coopers.

“The vision we had was to become a leading source of information on corporate governance for anyone who might be interested in the field‚” Lapides said. “There was‚ and still is‚ a tremendous opportunity for directors to improve what they do‚ and to increase their understanding of what their duties and responsibilities are as directors.”

And‚ true to that vision‚ the center has become a nationally recognized leader in the field of corporation oversight‚ providing information to directors‚ researchers‚ professors‚ chief executive officers and other interested parties‚ including the media. Clients such as Oglethorpe Power and WellStar Health System have looked to the center for guidance in years past.

“In the last three−and−a−half years‚ I’ve done 500 media interviews with TV‚ radio and newspaper reporters‚” Lapides said. “In the seven previous years‚ I did between 100 and 200 interviews‚ which is still a lot‚ but we never could have predicted how big an issue corporate governance would become.”

As former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski and his WorldCom counterpart Bernard Ebbers prepare to spend years in prison for their roles in the scandals that caused the collapse of their respective companies‚ Lapides said the center will continue promoting a strong‚ uniform code for corporate governance.

“In some areas‚ there’s been significant success‚” he said. “In other areas‚ only baby steps.”





A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 38,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.

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