Dear students, partners, colleagues and friends,
In your wildest dreams last year, could you have imagined the situation the world has been through this Spring? The delayed reaction of our societies pushed most governments worldwide to radical reductions of our human contacts, liberty of movement, greatly affecting the economic and social context.
Louvain School of Management changed with the rest of UCLouvain within a week to bring full continuous teaching using online platforms. The change was not easy and we deeply miss the full student interaction. Nevertheless, together we found creative ways of working in groups, presenting projects, finding literature and books online, interviewing for internships and progressing on Master's theses. At the end of the semester, although all of our courses have continuous evaluation, there was also the need to reinvent the modes of final exams. When weak spirits predicted chaos and generalized plagiarism, our faculty calmly implemented simple solutions based on the common trust we have built together with our students. Today, the feedback I get from fellow teachers in the School show that we were right in standing for our values: the results on the exams, unsupervised or take-home, show the same distributions as before the crisis.
The values we defend in LSM have never been more important than in the aftermath of this crisis. The demand for excellence is clear when noticing the lack of robustness of a large part of the public and private organizations facing disruptions or radical changes of needs. We need agility, innovation and sharp analysis to reconstruct the previous structures. But foremost, general confinement and time to think have led many to consider the true value and motivation for their work, triggering ideas about living and working differently. Some will have no job to return to, some will not want to return to their old position.
At LSM we have long focused at the concept of economic, social and environmental sustainability. Today, the concept is concretely showing its value in local businesses, in the social networks that create the nexus of a vivid society, in the pleasure of finding clean air and water next to our dwellings. Contrary to the old prejudice, sustainability is not a nice-to-have for a bored middle class in Western Europe. It is a global necessity for any economic growth and reconstruction from the deepest economic recession in the last 100 years.
LSM is ready to take on this challenge, mobilizing all our stakeholders; students, faculty members, corporate partners, advisory council and alumni. The School has made a radical decision to suppress and recreate 600 teaching hours and to launch two task forces working freely on new exciting pedagogical innovations for both our Master's and Bachelor's programmes. Rather than being cynical, the good forces around LSM unite to bring an even stronger contribution to a more sustainable and fair world.
Join the people using management as a force for good!
Per J. Agrell
Dean of the Faculty