There is growing international awareness of how important ethical considerations are for the viability of regional and international trade, research collaboration, and business partnerships. It is critical for professionals to understand the psychological and cultural processes involved in ethical decision making to avoid costly litigation, sanctions, and damage to business relationships. USM has established MeRTEC, the Maine Regulatory Training and Ethics Center, to facilitate regional entrepreneurship and international trade through research and an educational curriculum aimed at facilitating understanding of regulatory compliance and policy, and the cross-cultural ethics underlying them. To date we have designed and launched an undergraduate Regulatory Ethics minor and certificate, with courses in Regulation 101 and Human Factors in Regulatory Compliance and Policy, as well as Study Abroad: Experiential Cross-Cultural Ethics in Iceland, a program in which USM and Reykjavik University students joined for a day-long workshop to work collaboratively in case analyses involving cultural differences in ethical perspectives. We are currently collaborating with faculty and administrators at Reykjavik University to extend the reach of the new curriculum. Plans for the future include students from the RU Business School taking USM Regulatory Ethics coursework and a follow up Study Abroad course.
Through our MeRTEC project, coursework, internships, and academic partnerships with Reykjavik University and other institutions, we hope to expand opportunities for collaborative learning experiences, including student and faculty exchange opportunities.
Reykjavik University (School of Business, Bio-Innovation, Dept. of Psychology)
Iceland Ocean Cluster House
New England Ocean Cluster House
Robert Bruce ThompsonDepartment of Psychology
Dr. R. Bruce Thompson is a research psychologist and Professor of Psychology in human development in the Department of Psychology at USM. He is also the Chair of the USM Institutional Review Board and Director of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). His research and teaching focuses on child and adult language and metacognitive reasoning, specifically emergent ability for critical thinking and scientific thought. Thompson is a principal within the Maine Regulatory Training and Ethics Center (MeRTEC); and in collaboration with Dr. Carol Nemeroff and MeRTEC Director Ross Hickey, has developed courses in ethical decision-making and regulatory compliance that will form international teaching collaborations in the North Atlantic.