From the Dean
Building Connections More Important Than Ever
“No [person] is an island.” English poet John Donne’s 17th-century words remain true. In a world where nearly everything has changed, our need to interact with each other has not. In fact, building connections is more important than ever before.
Staying connected today is easier, but building or sustaining relationships via a screen is difficult. I have a new appreciation for the in-person experience of meeting one another: non-verbal cues are obvious, there are no frustrating technology glitches, and you’re not constantly watching yourself in a box. But we must not let those minor annoyances stop us from interacting.
At the Carlson School, I’m so proud of how our community has put in the dedication and effort to build connections, no matter how hard it is. Faculty members holding additional office hours to meet student needs. Students collaborating around the world to work on projects. Classes engaging virtually with business leaders. Staff coordinating logistics to keep us moving forward. Businesses helping each other solve complex issues.
Our last magazine explored the world and our place in it. The themes remain, but we’ve seen immense change these last six months. Here in Minnesota and across the United States, addressing systemic racism is finally at the forefront. It shouldn’t have taken George Floyd’s murder to do so, but now there is an urgency I have not seen before. You’ll learn more about a current student who is leading the push for social justice on our campus as well as about a business using its resources in a new way to be a force for good in its neighborhood. Also, learn how COVID-19 has forced changes in research agendas, teaching, medical technology, and healthcare in our community. Finally, with a general election closing in, discover an alumnus who is at the intersection of business intelligence, an uncertain and uneven economy, and political polling.
It is safe to say that this is the most interesting time of our lives. Despite all its challenges, it is inspiring innovation and needed change. It is also anxiety-inducing and can be utterly exhausting. I encourage each of you to step away from the screen, from the headlines, and from the daily grind. Take time to recharge and refocus on ways you can be a force for good in a world that I am convinced is changing for the better.
Dean, Carlson School of Management