BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Several faculty members and a student at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business recently were recognized with awards from the Academy of Legal Studies in Business.
They included lifetime career achievement honors for Timothy Fort, the Eveleigh Professor in Business Ethics and professor of business law and ethics, who received the academy’s Distinguished Career Achievement Award; and early career success for student Robert Gevers, who won first place in a student research paper competition (more about him in a future article).
Jamie Prenkert, executive associate dean for faculty and research and the Charles M. Hewitt Professor of Business Law, also was honored with the Kay Duffy Outstanding Service Award – the academy’s most-treasured service recognition — for his efforts to produce the 2021 ALSB conference in a completely online format. He served as president of ALSB’s executive committee in 2021-22.
Matthew Turk, associate professor of business law and ethics, was honored as the American Business Law Journal Outstanding Reviewer, which was characterized by Josh Perry, associate dean for academics and the Graf Family Professor of Business Law and Ethics, as “valuable and often unheralded service.”
“This recognition continues our proud Kelley tradition of national leadership in our discipline’s flagship organization,” said Perry, who recently served as chair of the Department of Business Law and Ethics. “I hope each of us felt gratified by our collective stature and legacy in the Academy, connected to colleagues in fresh ways, and inspired to continue striving toward new levels of excellence.”
Founded in 1924, the Academy of Legal Studies in Business is an association of teachers and scholars in the fields of business law, legal environment, and law-related courses outside of professional law schools. In addition to the American Business Law Journal, it publishes the leading pedagogical journal in the field, the Journal of Legal Studies Education.
Lifetime honors for Professor Fort
Fort, who came to Kelley in 2013 after previously teaching at the University of Michigan and George Washington University, has written more than 15 books and more than 80 articles and book chapters and edited an additional 23 textbooks, supplemental pedagogical books, and research volumes. Two of his books have won the Best Book Award from the Academy of Management for social issues, including The Diplomat in the Corner Office and Business, Integrity & Peace.
He has won 13 research awards from three different academic associations, the Academy of Legal Studies in Business, the Society for Business Ethics, and the Academy of Management and has served on the editorial boards of the flagship journals of each of these associations.
He has also won five teaching awards, served as academic director for a unique program for players from the National Football League and co-taught a course with then-Federal Reserve Chair, Ben Bernanke. He has also served as director of an institute, as department chair and as an interim associate dean.
His primary research interest concerns how ethical business conduct can foster sustainable peace. He began that research in 1999 as one of the first people to look at the role business institutions can play in creating more harmonious environments. Fort has organized 15 conferences and encouraged more than 100 scholars to turn their skills to this topic.
“Twenty years later, business and peace is an established field of study with scholarly streams impacting government, business and civil society,” Perry said. “Through Tim’s work, the field has become increasingly accepted and integrated, and its role in addressing civil conflict has never been more important and timely. It is now embraced in the same way that environmental sustainability, rare in business schools 25 years ago, is now recognized.”
With a J.D. and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, Fort’s teaching and research pursuits have increasingly sought to understand how social artifacts and constructs – including business practices, religion, sports, music, film and other cultural forces – can provide a clear vision and normative compass to lead us toward peace and away from violence.
Fort co-chaired a task force on the topic with the U.S. Institute of Peace and helped to develop a program with the U.S. State Department where MBA students served as pro bono consultants to entrepreneurs in conflict-sensitive zones around the world.
This year, Fort became an affiliated scholar with the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He also has served as a faculty fellow at the Institute for Corporate Ethics at the University of Virginia.
At Kelley, Fort has served for the last seven years as course director for the required undergraduate course, “Business Ethics and Equity in Diverse Organizations.” He also led the development of the “Crimson Dilemma,” a two-time award winning, interactive, and immersive ethics video game – believed to be the first of its kind.
“Tim’s work emphasizes the view of business as an exchange of ‘cultural commodities’ through soft diplomacy that helps people find commonalities, and the practical payoff to what Tim has created over his illustrious career is, in short, at better world for us all,” Perry said.