Brandeis International Business School

Fall 2020 Dean's Letter

Dear Students, Alumni and Friends,

A semester like no other in the history of the Brandeis International Business School is now underway. I would like to begin by commending the faculty, staff and administrators at Brandeis University for bringing undergraduate students back to campus in a safe manner. The COVID-19 testing program is running smoothly and the Brandeis COVID-19 Dashboard is the envy of many top-tier universities. At the International Business School, the start of the Fall semester has been a success thanks to countless hours of hard work put in over the summer by our dedicated faculty and staff.

Faculty participated in a university-sponsored hybrid teaching institute and engaged in lively discussion groups in preparation for their online courses. Two of our Accounting professors, Hagit Weihs and Rob Angel, received commendations from the university for their online teaching techniques last spring. Our Information Technology department deserves immense credit for their ongoing training and support. In conjunction with faculty, our IT team has also assembled supplemental training for Python, R, Excel, Stata and MATLAB that is now being used by students and faculty across the university.

Staff in our student services and careers offices have adapted well to the new reality of virtual programming and support services. In addition to a successful online orientation for our incoming class, student services organized a popular seminar series over the summer that allowed new students to meet and learn from select faculty. Our careers office is planning a wide range of virtual programs this semester — including three online career fairs, the Alumni Speaker Series, networking events and online Industry Treks with top U.S. employers. Our field projects program also continues to grow. Field projects offer students a chance to work in small groups and solve real-world problems on behalf of firms under the guidance of a faculty advisor.

We welcomed a smaller incoming class this Fall semester, but we have a strong intake of students for Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 based on deferrals. Although we have seen a decrease in international students given the various issues associated with COVID-19 and the issuing of VISAs, this fall we are excited to welcome a much larger group of students from the United States as well as students from more than 20 countries spanning the globe.

Strong demand remains for our undergraduate Business major. As with our graduate courses, we are scheduling many undergraduate courses at times convenient for students in China and India. Thank you to our many alumni who have agreed to serve on alumni panels for our students. We have also received praise from several undergraduate Economics students who cite their graduate course work at the International Business School as a major driver of their success at Brandeis University.

Finally, I would like to thank our generous alumni and friends who helped make 2019-2020 a successful fundraising year. Of special note is the Student Success Fund, which was created amid the pandemic to ensure that International Business School students are able to navigate unanticipated hardships and continue their studies. Our goal is to raise $250,000 for this important fund.

Above all, this unique semester reminds me of the strength of our community. It is through the hard work, dedication and generosity of many that we remain in a position of strength. I wish you all a pleasant and successful fall. Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,Katy SignatureKathryn Graddy
Fred and Rita Richman Distinguished Professor in Economics