Empty Lecture Halls

For the past ten years, the Hariri building was the MBA factory on campus – reaching out far beyond narrow business topics alone but helping many audiences to evaluate and understand the context and impact of change. 

And here we are, in spite of learning much, we now realize how woefully underprepared we are in the light of mega-shifts such as the Coronavirus. The learning truly never stops, but we surely also become jointly more capable of alerting and communicating with our audiences. 

New conditions make our thinking, researching and teaching more important now than even a few head-shaking moments ago. We shall deliver.

Battling the Virus Strengthens Education

The coronavirus is the firing pin for major innovations.  In many educational institutions, less than half of the customary study time is invested in this year’s academic spring semester. There is some distance learning, but in many instances, the faculty is very much dependent on technology which they learn from students rather than the traditional reverse flow. 

We give you here an article written by two Michael Czinkotas dealing with the same issue: one is Professor in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, the other is the nephew, a student with most experience gathered in Germany. Here we go: 

The virus brings rapid innovation to the education industry. Just consider that traditionally, the entire sector has not distinguished itself with high-speed change. A debate on the cost of tuition was strongly buttressed by the biblical anecdote of the young Jesus Christ ejecting the money changers from the temple. That event was two thousand years ago.

In the university sector, if one could implement time travel for professors and their students, they could be safely delivered to a university town and be rapidly functional in their work. There still remains the amphitheater seating of chairs. There is the black or white board to communicate information. There is the professor upfront moving from one room side to the other, while students take notes or raise their hand indicating readiness for comment. 

Any changes to this model require approval by at least four faculty committees, each one of which needs substantial time to investigate the potential repercussions of alterations. Then there are reviews by board members, insights from administrators, and the “Fingerspitzengefuehl” of financial liaison. Woe the planner of change who is likely to encounter a lead time of lead. The bottom line: change for education is very difficult and hard to achieve. 

How has the education system performed under virus conditions? We can attribute to its very high degrees of rapidity, focus, transparency, and adaptation which lead to significant changes. Students, by the tens of thousands, are shifting their main residence within a week. Faculty members have at the same time solidified new course materials and given major thought to content delivery under entirely new conditions. Administrators had to rapidly find ways to work with complaining and even incensed students and parents. 

How to conduct an international program under conditions of severely inhibited travel? How to interact with high mobility groups? How to adjust the delivery of an excellent classroom joke which now has no classroom audience? 

Long-term contemplations must now be considered and decided on with a new kind of time framework – we suggest 10 days for adaption of innovation. A textbook which was developed over 40 years now need a revision time measured in weeks. The virus has given us a way to cope with complexity using extraordinary speed. There are now innovations which are finally accepted and which pump new energy and strength into the body politic. The best infusion is yet to come. 

In Germany, educational changes have been seen as the end of the world. Even students at an airport on a school day were seen as a threat to society for missing out on their classes. Now, due to the virus, students must stay at home. Schools whose mission had gradually shifted from being institutions for learning to offering pressure against drugs, against cigarettes, for democracy, and for diversity. It appears that teachers are now beginning to teach again, and students can ask questions which actually are answered. Although in past events of national need, the ability to adapt resources appeared not to exist, this time, the resources, and the teachers are all here, all in support of insights and service of German youth. 

Also, remember, that once for whatever reason, the toothpaste has left the tube, it won’t go back in, which leads to totally different uses and expectations. Earlier societies and time periods had their own changes, some without much benefit such as bubonic plague and the great influenza epidemic. Other changes triggered much displacement but lead also to eventual improvement to society. Examples are the printing press of Gutenberg, electricity by Edison and planes by the Wright brothers. 

The coronavirus leads to adjustments which result in new approaches, unexpected adaptations and a much wider field of options. We will have new playing fields, new players and new rules. The post-viral times will not necessarily be convenient or tranquil, but there will be many more opportunities for innovation and creativity. Sometimes it takes a large hurdle to overcome obstacles but focus and collaboration achieve much progress. This may be a time for a new jointness of purpose. 

Professor Michael R. Czinkota teaches international marketing and business at Georgetown University. His most recent book is In Search for the Soul of International Business, 2019. He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Commerce in the Reagan and Bush Administrations. 

Michael L. Czinkota is a 9th grade student at the Bischof-Neumann-Schule of Germany. 

On-Campus Member of Georgetown Community Confirmed with COVID-19

Dr. Vince WinklerPrins, Chief Public Health Officer at Georgetown University, provides us here with the latest information on COVID-19. For your information:

Dear Members of the Georgetown Community,

I write today to share the news that a member of the Georgetown community who teaches on the Main Campus has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual has not been on our campus since March 2 and presented symptoms after our transition to a virtual learning environment. The individual is now at their permanent residence and is receiving needed care and treatment.

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services is working with this individual and will reach out to anyone they identify as being at risk due to their exposure. Out of an abundance of caution, we are informing all Georgetown community members. In addition, this individual’s classroom and nearby areas are being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. 

In line with the national trajectory, we anticipate there will be other members of the Georgetown community who are diagnosed with COVID-19 in the days ahead. Georgetown has convened regular leadership meetings since the emergence of COVID-19, activated an Emergency Response Team and has coordinated closely with local health departments and higher education partners. 

Georgetown’s Health Information site is available as a resource if you are feeling sick, have been in contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, or need best practices for self-quarantine and social distancing.

Moving forward, all subsequent confirmed cases will be posted on Georgetown’s COVID-19 Resource Center, which is updated daily. If you would like to receive a daily update listing all new COVID-19 communications sent by Georgetown, subscribe to our daily digest. Should you have additional questions, please contact our university call center at (202) 784-3510, Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 

We remind our community to take the necessary precautions and practice social distancing, ideally maintaining at least six feet between you and others at all times. By remaining calm, following procedures and working together, the spread of illness should be significantly reduced.

The health and well-being of our community is our paramount concern. We thank you for your patience and ongoing support as we respond to this rapidly changing public health emergency.

Sincerely,

Vince WinklerPrins, MD, FAAFP

Chief Public Health Officer

COVID-19 Update: Public Health Alert Regarding Travel from Europe

To help clarify misunderstandings, here is a new policy position paper dealing with Covid-19 from our chief public health officer.  Yes, there have been significant losses attributable to this health care threat, but it pays off in understanding when one compares the losses in lives, property, and steadiness of soul from, say, the bubonic plague or the great influenza epidemic.

We must reorient ourselves and our outlooks and let us pray that we do so in a spirit of future prosperity, which links us together under new conditions of social distancing. There will be changes, new playbooks, playing fields and even new games and rules, but we can expect to help us and others in achieving renewed success. May God bless you and all of our partners.

Please check this message below from Dr. Vince WinklerPrins, Georgetown University Chief Public Health Officer:

Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community,

I am writing today to provide an update regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

Following the release of new federal guidance for those who have recently traveled to the United States from Europe,“Travelers returning from the specified countries in Europe must stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.” No one returning from any of these countries—including student, faculty, staff or visitor —should come to campus before completing at least a 14-day self quarantine in an off-campus residence.

This guidance applies to all countries designated as Level 3 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention due to COVID-19. Newly designated countries now include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City.

As a reminder, all university-sponsored travel has been suspended for faculty, staff and students until further notice, and beginning Monday, March 16, the university is moving to a virtual learning environment and, as a consequence, is also moving to an operating status of a telework flexible environment. 

Please refer to Georgetown’s travel guidance on our website

We know that we have many members of our community with friends and family members who may be impacted by the virus. We encourage anyone who might need support to reach out to university resources, including the Office of Campus Ministry, Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) and Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP).

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work through this evolving public health emergency. You can find all university updates, answers to frequently asked questions and other resources related to coronavirus on the Georgetown University website.

Sincerely,

Vince WinklerPrins, MD, FAAFP

Chief Public Health Officer

Professor Michael Czinkota’s Blog is One of the 25 Most Influential Entrepreneur Websites of 2020

Every year, Sparpedia runs campaigns that honor the most outstanding blogs in its specialized field. This year, the platform carefully selected the websites that offer the most insightful discussions, coverages, and features that help businesses become better. I am honored to have my blog chosen by Sparpedia as one of the 25 most influential entrepreneur websites of 2020.


Sparpedia is a platform that makes it as easy for merchants as possible to get great savings, as they understand that those who do not have as much experience with e-commerce may find it difficult. 

You can find the full list of other entrepreneur websites here: https://sparpedia.dk/toplists/25-most-influential-entrepreneur-websites-of-2020/