Brian Mueller, Grand Canyon University

Business Beyond Business
from Brian Mueller

Corporate social responsibility is rooted in a basic biblical and societal principle — to love our neighbor as ourselves.

But before there can be charity, there must be prosperity. Free-market principles have brought more people out of poverty than any other economic idea in history. It creates the opportunity to form companies that generate jobs that can turn deteriorating inner cities into thriving communities.

At Grand Canyon University, serving the community has been part of our DNA since 1949, and it remains a cornerstone of our mission today. It emanates from our Christian heritage and is carried out because our staff, faculty and students share a common belief: that by working together, we can lift up our neighbors in ways that we cannot do alone. That means using business as a force for good (we call it conscious capitalism) and forming partnerships with like-minded organizations. Together, we have increased home values in our neighborhood 30 percent in the past year in part because of our partnership with Habitat for Humanity; we have seen a 30 percent decrease in crime as a result of a partnership with Phoenix Police; and students from more than 50 inner-city K-12 schools are taking advantage of free tutoring and mentoring from a team of more than 1,200 GCU students.

Corporate social responsibility manifests in a multitude of ways. In this month’s cover story, you will meet leaders who have made corporate social responsibility an integral part of their business operations. With practices that range from charitable contributions to mentoring startups, their work undoubtedly will offer inspiration to help you advance your firm’s CSR programs.

As the Internet shrinks our world, global commerce has been expanding for businesses of every size. With a lot of attention focused lately on cross-border trade with Mexico, this issue’s By the Numbers feature looks at the metrics associated with such trade and our state’s economy.

An HR feature examines limitations of the traditional annual performance review and explores a trending new approach. Leadership is the topic for this issue’s Roundtable feature, with tips culled from the examples of some of our nation’s most revered leaders — the Founding Fathers — and set into an historical context that adds to understanding the person and the time as well as the specific leadership trait. And with flu season upon us, businesses will find useful suggestions for minimizing flu’s impact on their workforce in the article on this issue’s Healthcare page.

The annual Arizona Gives Day, a concerted fundraising push in support of nonprofits statewide, will be April 4th. As businesses and individuals marshal their efforts to effect change in the Valley and beyond, In Business Magazine provides a list of all participating organizations in its annual Giving Guide in partnership with Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits.

As an organization for which giving back is a top priority, I am pleased to help bring you this “Corporate Social Responsibility” issue of In Business Magazine. I hope you enjoy its instructive and relevant content.

Sincerely,

Brian Mueller
President and CEO
Grand Canyon University

Brian Mueller joined Grand Canyon University in July 2008 to usher in a new era for the institution — from an entrepreneurial venture to a market-supported private university. He has transformed GCU from a financially troubled university into a nearly $3 billion institution that has become a driving force in higher education today.

As the university’s president and CEO, Mueller is progressive and anticipatory in an industry that is slow in adapting to change. Mueller’s vision for Christian education draws from his own experiences as a student, teacher and coach in Christian schools. His passion is also seen in his inspiring Chapel service addresses, which draw standing-room only crowds at GCU Arena. 

Mueller began his higher education career as a professor at Concordia University, where he earned his Master of Arts in Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Education.

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