Global business leader Mark Hutchinson has donated $1 million to the University of Queensland’s Faculty of Business, Economics and Law to help boost the curriculum on ethics in the business world.
Mr Hutchinson, a former General Electric Europe CEO and President and UQ alumnus, donated the money to help establish a Professorial Chair in Ethics for UQ’s business faculty, in an effort to help the next generation of business professionals achieve their goals through integrity.
Mr Hutchinson will also share his time and expertise as the faculty’s executive-in-residence, helping students and staff understand how to navigate the complexities of ethical decision-making, training and leadership in business.
He said teaching students to understand and apply ethics in the workplace was a foundation stone for a good university education and a successful career.
“For me, learning how to act with integrity and do the right thing is as vital as learning how to read and write.
“When you talk to young professionals, they care about what an organisation values, how it behaves and if it has a good culture – it’s seen in equal measure now to the salary, which is fantastic,” he said.
“They want to do the right thing, but they don’t always know how, which is why it’s so important that we teach ethics in ways that are practical and relevant to our future leaders and the situations they will face in their careers.”
UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said Mr Hutchinson’s partnership would help transform teaching and learning in the faculty.
“We know from our Student Survey that 88 per cent of UQ students understand that learning skills and knowledge to help them create positive change in society is important to their education and their future.
“I hope our partnership with Mark inspires others in the business community to get involved to help ensure our next generation of business leaders are the best yet.”
Mr Hutchinson said Australia could not afford to follow a fragmented approach to ethics education.
“To truly prepare students to become ethical advocates in their future workplaces and communities, we need to engage them in an ongoing conversation as they encounter and resolve issues in real time.”