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Saying No to Tobacco Money

How McCombs decided to put a halt to donations derived from the sale of a product that's dangerous to consumer health

In November of last year, the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin instituted a new policy regarding the school's relationship with tobacco companies: It would no longer accept money from them. This ban covers contributions to student organizations, career fairs, faculty research projects, and research centers.

Was this a difficult decision? We certainly knew it would be controversial as well as unprecedented for an American business school. However, after careful deliberation, it was a decision we believed was right for our school and our students. The school's leadership joined me in believing it is not ethical for us to continue to accept donations from tobacco companies, since those gifts come from revenue generated through the sale of a product that has damaging health consequences for its consumers.