Bangkok to have institute
US business school Kellogg leads plan to open centre for global and social research
Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, one of the top US business schools, will co-found a Bangkok-based institute of research on global and social affairs, school dean Dipak Jain has announced.
"It is in line with our two missions to have knowledge creation through research and producing socially responsible leaders," said Jain.
The proposed institute will be tabled for approval to Kellogg's board of directors in Evanston, Illinois.
In conjunction with Chulalongkorn University and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, Kellogg has operated the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Management at Chulalongkorn for the past 24 years.
"We [Kellogg] want to take Thailand to a new level and have a global centre for 'thought' leadership," said Jain.
The institute will conduct quality research on global economic, education and social issues and their impacts on Asia and Thailand. It aims to attract the best talent around the world, with a physical base at Sasin.
Among the founding Thai members will be Somkid Jatusripitak, a former Thai deputy prime minister and commerce minister who has been nominated by the Kellogg School as a professor of global affairs.
Another will be Suvit Maesincee, a former vice minister for commerce who has also been nominated as a visiting professor at the Kellogg School. Suvit is currently professor of marketing at Sasin. He and Somkid are Kellogg alumni.
Apart from his academic work at Kellogg, Jain has also taught at Sasin for the past 18 years as a visiting professor.
He said the proposed institute in Bangkok was part of a bigger vision of Kellogg to set up centres of excellence throughout the world. These will be in India, China, Europe and near Chicago in Evanston, where Northwestern University is located.
Jain also named other prominent Thais of shared vision who will play a role in the founding of the new institute. They include former Stock Exchange of Thailand president Kittiratt na Ranong, former Siam Cement Group president Paron Israsena and Amata chairman Vikrom Kromadit.
"We have a network of people to draw upon here and around the world in creating a group of thought leaders," he said, adding that
Kellogg's presence in Thailand had now achieved a critical mass of scholars and experienced
Among the priority issues for Thailand, Jain included the need to create trust, credibility and consumer confidence.
Meanwhile, Jain disclosed that Kellogg's plan with Sasin to set up a global centre for executive education in Phuket was on track for opening in the 2008-09 academic year.
"We see the next 20 years belonging to Asia," he added. The Phuket centre will accommodate the busy schedules of Asian executives, who would not need to travel to the US.