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Bentley University Establishes Harold S. Geneen Institute of Corporate Governance

December 11, 2008

The doctoral program at Bentley University recently received a $400,000 grant to create the Harold S. Geneen Institute of Corporate Governance, an institute dedicated to researching social, comparative and reformative approaches to governance.  The grant will fund research conducted by four Geneen Doctoral Fellows who will objectively explore issues related to corporate governance including regulation and compliance, ethics and corporate boards, and executive compensation, all of which directly impact business and the stakeholder environment.

The goal of the Fellowship is to bridge the gap between academic research and practical business application. Through this program, the Fellows will be prepared to educate future business students and leaders about the importance of responsible corporate and social practices and how to implement successful corporate governance in the marketplace.

“In today’s economic climate, introducing a research-driven institute that focuses on best practices in corporate governance is essential for tomorrow’s leaders to better understand and address the significant crises facing the global corporate world,” says Robert D. Galliers, Bentley Provost. “As our global economy shrinks, there is an imminent need for accessible doctoral business research to help uncover solutions to countless management problems businesses are now facing.”

“The Geneen Institute of Corporate Governance will bring a much-needed critical eye to the study and practice of corporate governance so the broader social and environmental impacts of corporate activity are considered,” says Cynthia Williams, director of the Geneen Institute and assistant professor of Management at Bentley. “This program is designed to encourage PhD candidates to deeply analyze which factors lead to successful governance versus failed governance on both a local and global level, and how successful practices can be replicated in real-world settings.”

Prior to the launch of the Bentley University PhD program in 2006, a survey of business deans at the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) member schools showed an increasingly competitive marketplace and a lack of business PhD programs producing qualified candidates for business school faculty positions. Since its launch, Bentley’s PhD program has answered this demand for doctoral business students, specifically within Bentley’s core areas of expertise: Business and Society (incorporating a broad focus on corporate social responsibility and corporate governance) Accountancy, and Business and IT.

The quality and integrity of the Bentley PhD program has been validated by several grants from high-profile foundations and organizations including:

•    State Street Corporation – A recent grant from State Street Corporation funds a doctoral fellowship in corporate social responsibility.  The research focuses on CSR issues in financial markets and is designed to create a unique relationship between the participating fellow and State Street Corporation, allowing for joint problem sharing and solving, as well as access to qualitative and quantitative information in both directions.

•    National Science Foundation (NSF) – Three recent NSF grants have funded PhD students working in the area of Business and IT. The projects have focused on design and evaluation methodologies for improving enterprise resource planning (ERP) system usability; the diffusion of industry-specific business-to-business electronic communication standards; and Public Safety Networks.

•    Accounting Doctoral Scholars (ADS) – Bentley was selected to participate in this prestigious funding program created by 70 of the largest accounting firms and 10 state CPA societies to address the need for academically qualified university accounting faculty members.  The program assists participants with recent public accounting experience in auditing or tax in earning their doctorates.

•    Henry E. Rauch Doctoral Fellows Endowment – Ongoing funding from the Rauch Endowment provides two doctoral students with stipends for living expenses and grants to pursue research, conference and seminar participation, and similar activities for doctoral study.

For more information about the Harold S. Geneen Institute of Corporate Governance, go to

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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