Dean Francisco Speaking at Event

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A message from the Dean

Dear all, 

I wanted to send you a message of solidarity and support during these extraordinary times. Extraordinary for our students, many of whom are moving to a new way of learning; extraordinary for our faculty and staff, implementing a new operating model in a few days; extraordinary for the researchers and clinicians across Imperial, working to combat and mitigate this unparalleled health and economic threat. I am deeply proud and grateful to be a member of a community that has responded to this incredible challenge with such speed, flexibility and generosity. 
 
To ensure the safety and continued learning of our students – and the health of our faculty and staff – we quickly transitioned to remote learning and working from home. All our degree programmes are now being delivered remotely, and we will be making increased use of our online modules across the programme portfolio. Our current Executive Education programmes will be delivered remotely using a virtual instructor-led training approach. We are also accelerating our programme development to add to our existing online portfolio. Faculty continue their research projects from home, connecting remotely to data, and working with local and far away collaborators using digital tools.  
 
We are uniquely equipped to deal with this situation. We are home to the award-winning Edtech Lab and were already offering two fully online degree programmes and 180 online courses this year, while a host of new-generation online elements are blended into our face-to-face teaching. We have put a special taskforce in place to ensure a smooth transition to remote learning for the remainder of our programmes, while our IT team are supporting our staff and faculty. 
 
The shift to digital engagement with our community is also key. Thus, our annual conferenceBeyond Sustainability, which was planned to take place on campus on the 26 of March, will now be a completely virtual event and our speakers and delegates remain actively engaged. Let me take the opportunity to invite you to connect and follow it via the livestream. We will also be launching our #WhatTheFuture campaign at the end of the month, promoting the intellectual leadership of our faculty and alumni on several current business topics, including reflections on COVID-19. 
 
At the same time, Imperial is playing a vital role in the global response to the coronavirus pandemic. This week, both the UK and US governments updated their guidance off the back of research from Professor Neil Ferguson’s team in the School of Public Health, and our academics are being sought out by the media. We’ll be making further commentary and insight available on IB Knowledge from next week. Those working to combat this threat – both in the labs and on the front line – have my utmost admiration and thanks. 
 
Imperial College Business School remains committed to delivering the highest quality education regardless of the format of delivery and will continue to offer cutting edge research developed in physical and virtual contexts, while supporting the safety and wellbeing of our community.  
 
The coming weeks will continue to bring new challenges, including real health consequences to some we know and love, and we will need care and resilience to traverse this difficult period. The latest guidance we are giving to our staff and students is available publicly here and we encourage you to follow it.  
 
Thank you all for your hard work and support in this extraordinary time. Please stay in touch and remember that the most important thing is you stay safe and healthy. 
 
Best wishes, 
Francisco Veloso 
Dean, Imperial College Business School

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