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DU’s New Beard Institute Focuses on Ethics, Sustainability and Responsible Financial Management

The newly created Beard Institute, as part of Duquesne’s Palumbo-Donahue School of Business, will encompass the disciplines of business ethics, sustainability and responsible financial management in discussions and events that involve faculty, students and the business community.The focus and scope of the institute, named for benefactor and Duquesne alumnus Eugene P. Beard, has grown from The Beard Center for Leadership in Ethics at Duquesne University to The Beard Institute, just as business ethics, finance and sustainability challenges have grown in the global marketplace.

“The Beard Institute is advancing the philosophy of ‘management as a profession.’ The world has changed; business education must change to reflect the knowledge today’s graduates need to create winning relationships for their companies and their communities,” said Dean Alan R. Miciak. “Successful companies are building sustainability into their strategy in ways that serve their shareholders, at the same time benefiting communities where they operate and responsibly managing the environment.”

These issues repeatedly surface not only in visionary projects, but in everyday decisions, according to James J. Byrne, executive director of The Beard Institute and executive professor in residence.

“Organizations face competing priorities, and managers must make ethical decisions on a daily basis,” Byrne said. “The sustainability movement has gained strength while responsible financial management has increasingly been emphasized. As these concerns continue to evolve, so must the management profession. The Beard Institute intends to serve as a resource in these three areas to businesses in the Pittsburgh area and beyond.”

Also serving the institute are Dr. Virginia Gerde, director of business ethics; Thomas J. Nist, director of responsible financial management; and Dr. Robert P. Sroufe, director of applied sustainability.

Some activities falling under the umbrella of The Beard Institute include:

  • The annual November sustainability symposium for executive officers, board members and other top managers, encompassing all three disciplines.
  • Regulatory compliance and best-practices symposia in partnership with the Greater Pittsburgh Compliance Roundtable and Pittsburgh Ethics and Business Conduct Network.
  • The semi-annual Distinguished Ethics Speaker Series for students, faculty and guests.
  • Service-learning projects in the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business that engage in community-based approaches to issues.
  • Financial literacy training of local high school students, provided by a team of business school upperclassmen in partnership with the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute.
  • Programs such as the April 20-22 Emerging Women’s Leadership Conference, which is designed to develop skills in young, high-potential women.

“We intend to use our resources to bring strategic solutions to the marketplace through the collaboration of academics and business,” Byrne said.

More information on The Beard Institute is available at www.business.duq.edu/beard.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.