Generous Endowment in Perpetuity Creates New Institute

In an increasingly connected world, questions of global ethics demand attention.

The Harry Susilo Institute for Ethics in a Global Economy at the Questrom School of Business, established in 2014 through an endowment in perpetuity by Indonesian businessman Harry Susilo, will promote dialogue and debate through scholarly work in global ethics and by teaching cross-cultural business practices that focus on ethics in both Western and Eastern cultures. It is Questrom’s first permanently endowed institute.

“We couldn’t be more pleased about this wonderful vote of confidence from Harry Susilo,” says President Robert A. Brown, who announced the gift at a dinner gathering at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 29. “What began as a conversation about shared values between Questrom Dean Ken Freeman and Harry Susilo has blossomed into a powerful tool for understanding and promoting ethical behavior in business.”

The Institute ultimately aims to be a positive influence on the global economy. “If we want a sustainable business environment, then we must establish a virtuous cycle in business ethics,” says Susilo.

Mr. Susilo’s gift comes more than 100 years after a man with a strikingly similar background helped found Boston University. Mr. Isaac Rich and Mr. Susilo both came from humble backgrounds, then worked in the fishing industry where they both achieved great success that enabled them to support a common goal – thriving, inclusive higher education that lasts the test of time.

With the goal of being a role model and a focal point for conversations around global ethics, the institute will develop teaching cases conveying lessons from both Western and Eastern ethical frameworks, according to SMG. Carrying out this mission calls for collaboration between Questrom faculty and faculty from research centers at universities across Asia, which Susilo and his advisors will help facilitate. In addition to providing research funding, the Susilo endowment will support the director—a world-class scholar in business ethics, to be named when the institute is formally established—and an annual Harry Susilo Institute Symposium for the Study of Ethics. It is anticipated that this symposium will be held in Boston and Asia in alternating years.

This article originally appeared on BU Today.

View all posts