In light of national corporate accounting scandals, a mix of campus and community experts will participate in the panel discussion "Ethics Crisis in Business and Beyond" on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. at Hope College in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The session is designed to provide a forum for learning more about the role of ethics in the business world and the media outlets that swoop down on hot topics as they arise.

Special attention will be given to the current focus on corporate accounting practices and how such emerging stories have been handled by the media and perceived by the public along the way. Considerations will include how the Enron story was handled, and whether or not its development into an "Arthur Andersen" story was fair to the thousands of the accounting firm's employees who were soon out of work.

The panelists will be Nancy Crawley, business editor of "The Grand Rapids Press"; Dr. Christina Ritsema, assistant professor of accounting at Hope; Patrick Thompson, founder and owner of Holland-based Trans-Matic Manufacturing; and Arthur J. Buys, CIMA, Senior Vice President and Senior Consultant at Morgan Stanley in Holland.

Moderator will be Dr. James Herrick, who is the Guy Vander Jagt Professor of Communication and chair of the department at Hope.

Crawley was business editor at "The Lansing State Journal" prior to joining "The Grand Rapids Press." She has also served as an assistant professor of journalism at Ferris State University and an adjunct teacher at Grand Valley State University.

Ritsema teaches a variety of business courses at Hope, including accounting ethics. Now in her second year on the Hope faculty, she previously worked for Arthur Andersen accounting.

Thompson is a long-time area businessman who is a past Michigan Small Business Owner of the Year. He has participated in numerous community and educational/training programs over the years, and brings to the event perspective on how ethics plays out in the daily life of running a company and being an employer.

Buys is a 1983 graduate of Hope College and received his Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation through a program with the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He continues a tradition as a professional financial advisor that his grandfather, Ekdal J. Buys, began in 1939 and he is active in church and charitable organizations.

Herrick has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1984, and specializes in courses in argumentation and rhetoric. His publications include the books "The History and Theory of Rhetoric: An Introduction"; "The Radical Rhetoric of the English Deists: The Discourse of Skepticism, 1680-1750"; "Argumentation: Understanding and Shaping Arguments"; and, forthcoming from InterVarsity Press, "The New Religious Synthesis."

Graves Hall is located on College Avenue south of 10th Street.