KU News Release

September 27, 2012
Contact: Cody Howard, School of Engineering, 785-864-2936

Lecture to address ethics, courtesy, honesty in careers

The Tiberti family

More Information

LAWRENCE — Real-world lessons in honesty, ethics and professional courtesy will be the focus of a discussion from the former leader of one of the oldest construction companies in one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities. Tito Tiberti, retired president of J.A. Tiberti Construction in Las Vegas, will be at the University of Kansas School of Engineering to present the second annual J.A. Tiberti Lecture at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, in the Spahr Engineering Classroom of Eaton Hall.

Tiberti’s lecture — titled “What’s the Harm in Being Nice?” — will delve into unique approaches to problem solving, networking and the advantages of maintaining an agreeable demeanor.

“Just saying yes to somebody or being nice to somebody actually adds up to a lot of benefits that you might not realize at that moment,” Tiberti said. “You’re not saying yes to accomplish one thing in one moment. It’s a whole attitude. It networks you into things because you’re really doing things for the right reason, and they accumulate to you over time.”

Tiberti will also present students with examples of real-world ethical dilemmas to highlight the challenges engineers face.

“The truth creeps up on you. Perhaps you have a bloated resume, you have something from early in your career that’s added to make you a more attractive job candidate, and then as you advance in your career, you don’t correct it. It will eventually catch up to you and cost you. This happened to a close friend of mine, and I will share his story,” Tiberti said. “You have to be avoid those pitfalls and be truthful from the beginning.”

Tiberti said his goal is to provide students with knowledge that goes beyond the facts and figures presented in textbooks.

“It’s beneficial to talk with engineers about these types of situations where they don’t have any experience or proclivity for,” Tiberti said. “With the education students get at KU, they’ll be solid engineers. We have to make sure they don’t get in trouble with simple things that go back thousands of years with truth and ethics.”

The event is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited.

“It is a real honor to have a leader of this caliber visit the KU School of Engineering to speak on such a critical topic,” said Stan Rolfe, interim dean of the KU School of Engineering. “We are grateful to the Tiberti family for the investment they’ve made in establishing this lecture series. It helps ensure our students are provided opportunities to learn real-life lessons in ethics, truth and honesty.”

The Tiberti family established the J.A. Tiberti lecture series in conjunction with the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering in 2011 with a $100,000 gift to KU Endowment. The series honors Tito’s father, Jelindo Angelo Tiberti, who in 1950 founded J. A. Tiberti Construction Company in Las Vegas. Under his leadership, the firm became a major player in construction projects throughout Las Vegas and southern Nevada.

KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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