Exeter University has been endowed with a new prize for graduating students, the Hutton Prize for Excellence.
The award of the gold medal will recognise and encourage the next generation of young professionals to put ethical conduct at the forefront of business, government and the professions. The Hutton Prize for Excellence will be awarded on an annual basis to an undergraduate or postgraduate who is able to demonstrate, propose and promote high standards of ethical conduct for the tangible benefit of society or individuals.
The recent banking crisis has suggested that ethical behaviour, competence, integrity, trust and respect has not been at the forefront of some banks and businesses. William Hutton, a retired banker and businessman, now living in Guernsey, has agreed to support students in making a clear commitment to transparency and ethical practice. A gold medal containing one Troy ounce of gold will be given for the best dissertation or best PhD that accords with the aim of promoting good governance. William has already endowed a similar award via the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland.
William, who is also a certified fraud examiner, is passionate about the need to teach, train, encourage and applaud those who seek to detect, deter, disrupt and discipline corporate wrongdoers at all levels. He explained why he believes it is important to reward ethical practice.
“The basis of good business and good government is to ensure there is transparently fair behaviour. People need to be rewarded on merit and business needs markets that are not skewed by corrupt or unfair practices,” he said.
Politics, Law and Business students and recent graduates from Exeter University’s College of Social Sciences and International Studies and the Business School will be eligible to apply. The prize will be awarded annually in June following a rigorous assessment by a committee who will determine which dissertation best meets the ethics and good governance criteria. Andrew Massey, Professor of Politics at the Exeter University will chair the first awards committee.
Professor Massey travelled to Guernsey on behalf of the Exeter University to meet William and formalise the donation of 25 gold medals and the terms of the award which spans a 25 year period.
Professor Massey said: “I am delighted to accept this generous offer to the University of Exeter by Mr Hutton. In donating this exquisite medal Mr Hutton has been clear that its award should cross the disciplinary boundaries of business and government.
“In looking at who to bestow with the medal we will seek to reward individuals who demonstrate a clear understanding of and commitment to ethical behaviour and good governance in all its forms.”