The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) will host former Enron Corporation vice president and key whistleblower Sherron Watkins as a guest speaker.
Watkins will be giving the Andrew R. Cecil Lecture to discuss how
important it is to speak out against organizational practices that are
“You have very few opportunities to see the window into
someone’s soul,” Watkins said. “And issues always appear rather minor. Part of
the lesson is that you can’t rationalize bad behavior, and you’re not supposed
to blow off those minor things.”
The Enron scandal, which occurred in 2001, completely
wiped out $74 billion worth of investments by shareholders and also led to the
bankruptcy of the Houston energy company. Watkins was the one who told Ken
Lay, former Enron CEO, about the financial report irregularities.
“They’re really kicking themselves for the moral stance they
took in speaking truth to power,” Watkins said. “The problem is they are
comparing their current situation with their life before the ethical challenge
landed on their desk. They compare the two as if the ethical challenge never
happened — which is a false comparison.”
Watkins was named among the 2002 Persons of the Year by Time, with two other whistleblowers.
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