SUNY Oneonta Welcomes Jack Abramoff for Ethics Talk

March 19th, 2014 | Categories: College-wide, Uncategorized

ONEONTA, New York — Jack Abramoff, the former lobbyist, businessman and movie producer who was indicted on charges of fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion after an extensive corruption investigation, will give a talk on ethics and current events and host a public Q&A session at SUNY Oneonta on March 24. “You Don’t Know JACK: The Man Who Bought Washington” will be held at the Hunt Union from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The event is free for SUNY Oneonta students and $2 to the general public.

Abramoff, who served four years in federal prison after pleading guilty, will discuss the importance of ethics in government, as well as personal ethics as they relate to his own experiences, and how they can relate to students and professionals today. He will describe the pitfalls he didn’t see, what he didn’t do, how he came to the point of making only bad choices and how he came to realize his mistakes and work through them.

“It is not often that such a public figure makes the unfortunate conversion from Washington powerhouse to national punching bag,” said Dr. Lisa Flynn of Binghamton, professor of governmental ethics and accounting at the recently AACSB-accredited SUNY Oneonta School of Economics and Business. “Any reasonably intelligent person — and Jack Abramoff is more than reasonably intelligent — who has traveled that route must have insights to share with the rest of us about how we can avoid making similar mistakes.”

The event will conclude Abramoff’s short visit to Oneonta, where he will be engaging in several classroom lectures, and meeting with SUNY Oneonta administration and faculty. Project Director Joseph Diamond, of Brooklyn, explained: “our goal is to increase awareness of systemic ethical issues and provide instructors a platform for fostering meaningful discussions in the classroom.” During the visit, Abramoff will be speaking to students from the School of Economics and Business and the School of Social Sciences about the ethical dilemmas posed by the intersection of government and business.

Diamond added: “Abramoff’s message has never been more relevant than today, and we are privileged to offer Oneonta this opportunity.”

Hosted by the College Republicans and Pi Sigma Alpha honor society, Abramoff’s visit will be funded by donations from across SUNY Oneonta, and area businesses. Operations Director Ian Kenyon, of Cooperstown, explained: “we’ve witnessed a groundswell of support for this evening, and it will be one of those events that elevates Oneonta on the map.”

“You Don’t Know JACK” is sponsored by the SUNY Oneonta Fund for Student Development and Campus Enrichment, the Student Association Activities Council, the Resident Student Organization, College Republicans, Pi Sigma Alpha and various academic departments and student organizations.

Tickets are available beginning March 1 at or in the Hunt Union at SUNY Oneonta.

For more information, contact: Margaret Monaco, SUNY Oneonta School of Economics and Business, (607) 436-3458.