Dear Babson Community:
The core values of a community are tested when “normal” life is disrupted. We have been steadfast in our focus on safety and academic continuity, and our entire community has undertaken heroic efforts to support those goals and transition to learning, teaching, and working virtually. We are continuously adapting to new conditions, connecting and collaborating in new ways, and supporting one another while we are physically apart. The uncertainty that remains as COVID-19 continues to disrupt lives and economies requires agility, problem solving, and collaboration across our organization. This is the essence of entrepreneurial leadership.
We have also learned a great deal about the power of the strategic initiatives our community is developing. In fact, the last three weeks have proven to be a real-time market test of the strategy. The current global health crisis validates what we have identified as our strengths - specifically our initiatives around delivering education where and when learners demand it, radically recreating our organization, and owning entrepreneurial leadership. Now is the time to accelerate implementation for the greatest impact on Babson’s future.
- We will deliver education to learners where and when they need it. It is essential at this moment and, if we are to thrive in the future, we must continue to innovate our educational models to reach learners – anywhere – and empower them to lead in a robust ecosystem.
- We will build on great strength as we seek to become a more nimble, collaborative, and inclusive organization. Across our community, individuals and teams have come together in new and intensive ways during this crisis to problem-solve, innovate, and address the immediate and evolving needs of our students and community.
- We are witnessing the global community’s need for and recognition of the power of thinking and acting entrepreneurially to produce scalable solutions that can benefit individuals, communities, and the world. Babson is expanding our view of entrepreneurship to focus on the human condition, and building leaders with empathy, morality, compassion, and drive. Our unique ability to define, own, and propagate the core competencies of problem solving, values-based leadership, and collaboration will be more relevant and necessary than ever before as individuals and organizations around the globe look to emerge stronger and more resilient.
Earlier today, Provost Rice and Dean Matsuno announced an important step in support of our initiative to own entrepreneurial leadership: the launch of a national search for the Arthur M. Blank Endowed Chair for Values-Based Leadership. This role is critical to achieving the vision of the Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership, and while we work to alleviate the financial impacts of COVID-19 through hiring freezes and other measures, we are grateful to have received dedicated funding from the Blank Foundation to recruit for this position.
Accelerating the implementation of our strategy as we continue to plan and pivot is key to surviving these historic circumstances and positioning Babson to thrive. We will need to continue to work in a dynamic fashion; simultaneously implementing and further developing our strategic initiatives over the coming weeks and months.
As we do this important work, we are mindful of three converging forces informing our decision making: the acute need to mitigate significant FY20 financial losses; our responsibility to prepare for greater impact in FY21 given what remains unknown regarding student enrollment and financial aid needs; and the mandate of the strategic planning process to radically evolve the organization, including addressing redundancies and inefficiencies.
Our community has shown great agility, resiliency, and creativity – hallmarks of entrepreneurial leadership and the Babson way – throughout this unprecedented situation. I am confident that, if we continue to work together and align around our shared vision, we can address our financial needs and advance our strategic intents. In the process, we will make Babson stronger and more impactful than ever.