Mission & History


The Richard Richards Institute for Ethics teaches and inspires ethical leadership in students, our community, state and nation.


To promote and recognize ethical leadership in all levels of government and private industry.


The Richards Institute for Ethics seeks to fulfill its mission and vision through the following informational and educational activities:

  • Ethics Day - the Weber State campus focuses on ethics in a variety of disciplines through classroom discussion, lectures, workshops and events.
  • Ethics Scholarship Program - high school seniors committed to Weber State University submit 500-word essays on the value of ethics in our society for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship.
  • Ethics Scholarship Banquet - an annual banquet is held with a keynote address on ethics and recognition of all Ethics Scholarship recipients.  
  • Ethical Leadership Awards - 2 annual awards nominated by the public to highlight and celebrate the positive impact of an ethical leader, company or organization (one in Weber County and one in Davis County).
  • Richard Richards Scholarship - supports a current Weber State student majoring in Political Science.


Weber State University established The Institute for Politics, Decency and Ethical Conduct in May 2007 through a generous lead gift from Richard and Annette Richards and many other generous contributors. With this support, the Institute was organized and held its first symposium on ethics and politics in December 2007 at Weber State University. 

On April 3, 2009, Weber State University officially named the Institute for Politics, Decency & Ethical Conduct after Richard Richards in honor and recognition of his outstanding political accomplishments, generous contributions, and energetic commitment to prepare and educate students to become ethical leaders. At this time a volunteer advisory board was established to support the mission of the Richards Institute. 

In 2014, the Richards Institute Advisory Board and Weber State University officially changed the name to the Richard Richards Institute for Ethics to broaden its scope in teaching and inspiring ethical leadership in all areas of discipline. Since being established, multiple lectures and workshops have taken place and more than $70,000 in Ethics Scholarships have been awarded to incoming high school students.