Sacred Heart University Luxembourg recently welcomed some of its Fairfield, Connecticut (US) DBA students, who visited a number of local institutions and professionals. Michael Herley writes about his experience on the trip.
Even though the EU is a nonfederated political and economic union, it felt more like an undiscovered country as I read more than 30 scholarly articles on the union in preparation for a weeklong doctoral seminar on European financial stability in Brussels and Luxembourg. I thought perhaps this was because it was my first trip to Europe.
The doctoral seminar kicked off at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce with a presentation that focused on Luxembourg’s geographic advantage in close proximity to major European markets and the government’s agility in attracting business. No doubt these features contribute to Luxembourg’s per capita GDP of approximately $104,000, which is roughly 75% higher than the GDP per capita in the US as of 2017—a fact I suspect would surprise many back home.
Another shining aspect of the doctoral seminar was being immersed in the rich history of Europe, Luxembourg, and Brussels, including visits to cultural centers and historic sites, and dining on exquisite cuisine. It was equally impressive to see how environmentally conscious European society is and how clean the air was in both cities. I particularly enjoyed the biodegradable wooden comb my hotel provided, which is not something typically found at US hotels.
This commitment to the environment was further brought to bear during our meeting with European Investment Bank’s civil society officer, who explained how this organization was the largest lender for actionable climate investments in the world and the largest issuer of green bonds.
Coming out of a presentation at the Banque centrale du Luxembourg a couple of days later, I certainly felt like a million euros. Senior representatives from the central bank focused on the importance of financial stability and emphasized the benefits of having a more unified macroprudential policy stance across the 19 EU countries that have adopted the euro, including placing more financial tools under the purview of the European Central Bank. It certainly will be interesting to watch how these policies evolve as unforeseen economic challenges undoubtedly arise.
Throughout our discussion with representatives from the European Stability Mechanism, I struggled a bit, however, to grasp the willingness of the EU to bail out Greece and other countries during the sovereign debt crisis of 2010. Despite the federal deficits in the US, most states are in reasonably good financial shape, and it’s hard to imagine our federal government bailing out one that was on the brink of insolvency.
Now, notwithstanding the fact that the EU is not a “United States of Europe,” its economic integration has modeled certain aspects of the US system—though I surmise it was easier to bring together the 13 original American colonies in pursuit of a more perfect union than the current members of the EU, all of which are long-standing, independent countries with distinct cultures and political and economic systems. We Americans still like to talk about the “Spirit of 1776” and the success of the American experiment. History, too, will to be the judge of the European experiment currently underway.
Unfortunately my terrific week in Luxembourg and Brussels had to come to an end, but not without a capstone presentation at the European Commission (EC) headquarters led by Dr. Vinhas de Souza, head of the economics team of the European Policy Strategy Centre at the EC; Jan Vandenberghe, policy coordinator and trade negotiator for EU-US trade relations at the EC; and Christophe Manet, deputy head of division for China, Hong Kong and Taiwan at European External Action Service. I will admit that I did not fully agree with their perspectives on trade negotiations with the US, but it was an incredible opportunity to hear the European perspective, and I was equally impressed by both the passion and conviction of the presenters. In many ways it felt as if I were living in history as these negotiations continue to play out in the global arena.
During my visit I learned much about the EU’s structure, international finance, and what the EU hopes to achieve in the years ahead, and, despite any shortcomings in the EU structure or early blind spots, it has provided for the longest period of peace among EU members, which alone is history.
I soon headed home, recognizing that I was now a much richer person than when I first arrived in Europe.
Martha J. Crawford will be the new dean of the Jack Welch College of Business (WCOB) at Sacred Heart University, effective August 5. She has both a business and academic background, having served as senior vice president of Research & Development for several multinational companies (Air Liquide, Areva and L’Oréal) based in France. In those roles, she fostered technological innovation, sponsoring internal innovators, coaching and helping to develop tech startups with VC partners and creating new startups with innovation partners.
In 2016, after living and working in France for 20 years, Crawford repatriated to the United States to accept a teaching position at the Harvard Business School. Since 2016, she has taught the MBA core-curriculum course, “Leadership and Corporate Accountability,” which covers legal and ethical aspects of corporate responsibility. In addition, she developed a course—“21st-Century Energy”—that was nominated in 2019 for a national prize by the Harvard Business and Environment Initiative.
Crawford is a resident of Cambridge, Mass. She earned her master’s degree in business administration from the Collège des Ingénieurs in Paris in 1998. Prior to that, she received her MS and doctorate degrees in environmental and chemical engineering from Harvard University (School of Engineering and Applied Sciences) in 1994 and 1997 respectively.
Crawford is excited to lead the growing College of Business at Sacred Heart,
I look forward to helping transform West Campus into a regional center of excellence for teaching entrepreneurship and innovation with state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities, co-working space, start-up accelerator and incubator space and joint innovation programs with industrial partners. I also look forward to building or reinforcing academic bridges and degree program with other SHU colleges. This will help prepare students to thrive in an increasingly complex world that requires interdisciplinary knowledge and skills.
Crawford said the creativity and boldness of the SHU senior leaders enticed her away from the Harvard Business School where she has been very happy.
I was impressed with their putting the School of Computer Science and Engineering within the College of Business and acquiring the former GE headquarters to build out an innovation campus that will become an important platform for business growth in the region. During my interviews, I was excited by the sense of mission, energy and the capacity to embrace change. I look forward to working with the team at SHU, and I believe my former C-suite experience managing R&D, intellectual property and innovation partnerships for multi-national companies has given me the skills and network necessary to help the WCOB achieve its goals.
SHU’s mission is also important to Crawford.
My parents taught us that we had to give back to society in proportion to our capacities—that we need to use our resources to create value, reinforce our communities and help make the world a better place. A tour of campus with my daughter (a rising high school junior) and interaction with several students convinced me that SHU is teaching that same philosophy and equipping students to make a positive difference. That resonated with me.
“We are excited to welcome Martha to the SHU community. We believe she is the right person to actualize our vision of integrating business and technology education—something that began with the move of the School of Computer Science & Engineering into the College of Business,” said Rupendra Paliwal, Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Her expertise in creating value through technical innovation will be critical as we continue to develop an innovation center at West Campus. She is dedicated to providing a transformational learning experience for our students and also contributing to the regional economy.
Rupendra Paliwal, Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs
The Jack Welch College of Business is named after the legendary former CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch. Its goal is to develop the next generation of leaders, and all activities and programs focus on enhancing student learning. Students work with a dedicated community of scholars and practitioners rooted in the Catholic intellectual traditions, ethics and values with learning taking place both inside and outside of the classroom. Business students participate in learning communities, in-service experience with area non-profits and international exposure through courses at SHU’s Luxembourg and Dingle campuses. The curriculum of the WCOB is to prepare students to achieve their goals, give back to their community and make a difference in global society.
Adjunct Instructor of Leadership
Jack Welch College of Business, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg
Imagine you are a financial services firm entitled to charge your clients a certain commission specified in formal bank-client contractual documentation. However, no one in your financial services market charges that commission to clients. Clients can easily leave you for a competitor that charges 0 commissions on all transactions. Hence, it’s just not done or wise to do. However, quarterly commission targets need to be met. As a manager of your financial services firm meeting commission targets implies a substantial bonus in variable pay. Thus the manager applies the commission and gets the bonus. Has this manager led with integrity or acted on the desire to benefit personally?
As an Adjunct Instructor of Leadership at the Jack Welch College of Business in Luxembourg, I teach an MBA course titled “Leading and Influencing with Integrity.” It is our mission to embed integrity onto leaders. Integrity is a personal quality that encompasses behaviors demonstrative of strong ethics, moral principles, and values. As Donald Cressey suggested in 1951, for embezzlement to occur, the following three precursors must be present simultaneously: Perceived pressure from a non-shareable problem, perceived opportunity for trust violation, and finally rationalization which is the justification an individual may use to commit fraud. In its simplest form, if how you rationalize and make decisions is unethical due to your very personal view of what is right, wrong, and acceptable to do, then there is a chance you will exercise fraud or embezzlement leading to lack of leadership integrity. Maybe Carlos Ghosn can tell us how come he thought the Château de Versailles was making a gift of €50,000 to him on his wedding. The Château de Versailles of course had no intention to hand over such a gift and charged Renault directly Mr. Ghosn’s wedding expense. This went unnoticed until Renault investigated.
When we have examples of senior leaders exercising lack of integrity, this may have a direct impact on the behaviors and existence of the entire organization. How do we therefore prepare existing and future leaders to act with more integrity? Lack of leadership integrity leads to lack of trust amongst all stakeholder groups including investors, clients, and employees.
According to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, the US dropped from the “Truster” category of nations in 2017 to the “Distruster” category in 2018 with a 23 point drop. Across NGOs, Business, Government, and Media sectors, trust isn’t being recovered. Out of these four sectors, the Government sector saw the largest decline in trust with a 14 point loss when compared to 2017 results. To make matters worse, the report highlights how 7 in 10 people worry about fake news being used as a weapon. To put it in other terms: “Who you’re going to trust?” Well, good news, the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer mentions that CEOs are regaining credibility. Why are CEOs faring better in credibility?
Boards of directors, institutional investors, governments and the media are holding chief executive officers to a far higher level of accountability for ethical lapses than in the past. Globally, CEO dismissals for ethical lapses increased from 3.9% of all successions in 2007-2011 to 5.3% in 2012-2016—a 36% increase.
This higher level of dismissals is not as a result of more unethical conduct but directly related to more accountability and oversight. Thus at this stage I ask, what is the future of leadership trust and integrity?
The Future of Trust and Integrity Report from the World Economic Forum clearly lays out a framework to act on the need to enhance trust and integrity. The report details actions to follow at the institutional, behavioral, and technological dimensions.
While new legal requirements at the institutional level can reinforce integrity, knowledge and institutional capacity to implement compliance changes will be important.
At the behavioral level, it is as important to reward compliant behavior as it is to call out bad practices. Think of this one in a country where bribery is normal and you don’t get things done unless you reward the corrupt ecosystem. How do you break this habit? Corporations, regulators, and educators such as universities should clearly lay out what is and isn’t acceptable and the respective consequences. It is as important to highlight cases of leaders following and complying with the rules as it is to call out cases where rules are not being followed. I find this to be a brilliant effort to change behaviors and to break icecaps of corruption.
Finally, e-governance, blockchain, open data, and big data analytics can certainly help with corruption and transparency. By making technology a trusted source of relevant data, corruption will have less of a chance to emerge due to the availability of the same information for all relevant stakeholders.
Leading with integrity is paramount to address the challenges society faces with financial crises, the political landscape, climate change, and societal movements led by younger generations. Jack Welch School of Business in Luxembourg has organized a “Leading with Integrity” conference and panel on March 13 in Luxembourg to discuss how we can lead with integrity in various settings. We are welcoming industry leaders from the private sector, from government, European institutions, international financial institutions, human resources directors, MBA alumni and the larger public to attend.
The candidates for degrees have been assembled; the Faculty members are in their places; Members of the Luxembourg Board of Regents, and other officials of the University are present. The 26th Graduation Ceremony of the Sacred Heart University, Jack Welch College of Business in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg are now officially in session.
41 students from over 20 different countries walked across stage on Friday, December 15, 2017, and embarked upon a new journey as MBA graduates after receiving diplomas and words of advice and motivation from scholars, alumni and classmates.
The evening was a celebration of the achievements of the graduates and an expression of gratitude to their spouses, significant others, and families who helped them through the rigorous MBA and graduate professional certificate programs.
2017 was an eventful year for Sacred Heart University Luxembourg. In addition to celebrating its 25th Anniversary in June, SHU was proud to award Master of Business Administration diplomas and Graduate Professional Certificates to the largest graduating class in the University’s Luxembourg history.
The Ceremony opened with a wonderfully welcoming speech given by John Chalykoff Ph.D., Dean of the Jack Welch College of Business. Dr. Chalykoff kicked the evening off by welcoming loved ones as well as the numerous supporters of the program—private companies and governmental representatives—all of whom help to build relations and networking possibilities for the SHU student and alumni community. The Dean highlighted the rigorous requirements of the MBA program and the dedication of the University faculty and staff to every student’s success.
Luxembourg remains among the very best of Jack Welch College of Business graduates.
-John Chalykoff Ph.D., Dean of the Jack Welch College of Business, SHU
Following the ceremonial tradition of the singing for the National Anthem of the United States of America, performed by Ms. Kelsey Hopper, our very own published Academic Director, Professor of Economics and Finance Dr. Alfred Steinherr, Ph.D. made his way to the podium to deliver his speech as Academic Director.
The instructors at SHU Luxembourg come from many different backgrounds including the main University campus in Fairfield, CT, U.S.A, and the European Investment Bank of Luxembourg.
In honor of the achievements celebrated throughout the evening and to inspire confidence in each of the graduates, captivating musical performances were given by Ms. Lucia Colombo, Soprano accompanied by Ms. Kelsey Hopper on piano.
The commencement address included speeches given by two of Sacred Heart’s own MBA alumnus. Ms. Laura Falletta, HR Initiatives Manager at RBC Investor Services Bank and Valedictorian of the MBA Class of 2007, was the first keynote speaker to address the graduates.
Ms. Falletta gave an intriguing speech where she discussed the many obstacles that one faces before during and after achieving and MBA, but that determination is the key to success. Six years ago she returned to the work force after a three-year break and felt that the hostility of a changed environment branded her as obsolete and she began to underestimate her capabilities. But she persevered; remembering what her MBA studies had taught her
How to face and handle complicated issues, how to obtain results in spite of tough time constraints, how to react in a timely and agile manner
-Laura Falletta, MBA Class of 2007
and in those difficult moments she rediscovered her determination and that the qualities she gained during her MBA ten years ago will never be obsolete. Ms. Falletta turned to address the graduating class stating that despite the rapidly evolving environment one should remain inquisitive and eager to learn, to step out of their comfort zone and view all experience wanted or not as welcome ones that will only enrich ones skill set. That one should value negative feedback and seek out constructive critism as this will allow each individual to assess their areas for improvement constructively. Ms. Falletta stated that, “According to the World Economic’s forum, creativity will become one of the top three skills in 2020, together with complex problem solving and critical thinking. Ms. Falletta closed her speech with
Be determined, believe in yourself, be open to accept some risks and learn from your mistakes. You’ll shine brightly.
-Laura Falletta, MBA Class of 2007
Mr. Georges Muller, MBA graduate of the Class of 2004 was the second alumni keynote speaker to address the graduates. Mr. Muller is currently the Director of Artelis, Vice President of the Luxembourg Trade Confederation (Confédération Luxembourgeoise du Commerce), and Vice President of OPAL (Fédération des Opérateurs Alternatifs du Luxembourg). Mr. Muller spoke of perseverance and dedication, how it took him several years after completing his MBA to be promoted and that one should not expect a raise or professional development straight away after completing their studies.
One still has to prove themselves within the working environment and to earn the necessary respect to move onward and upward in their career.
-Georges Muller, MBA Class of 2004
Mr. Muller made it clear that hard work got him where he was and that he had enjoyed his time at SHU and all the benefits that his MBA brought him throughout the years.
If the work is done throughout the program then the understanding needed to manage and oversee a company are acquired.
-Georges Muller, MBA Class of 2004
Ms. Lucia Colombo returned to the stage accompanied by Ms. Kelsey Hopper on the piano to perform “Xiao He Tang Shui”, this beautiful performance reminds the audience of the diverse culture that Luxembourg and SHU nurture and thrive off.
Once finished it was time for the graduates to receive their diplomas and awards. As part of the audience, one cannot help but catch the contagious feeling of pride, joy, accomplishment and satisfaction that seem to sweep through the room, infecting all in its wake leaving them with a sense of purposeful optimism. Each student makes their way across stage to shake hands with Dr. Chalykoff and receive their diploma and with each name called there is uproar of cheers from the crowd as proud relatives and friends are delighted to be part of the ceremony and share in the accomplishments of their loved ones.
The Dean’s Leadership Award was presented to SHU’s very own Marketing Manager Charlene Schuessler, the Silver Medal of Excellence was awarded to Valentina Maestroni and finally, the Gold Medal of Excellence and honor of Valedictorian was awarded to, Oscar Chow Lipchak, the first MBA with internship student to be named Valedictorian and recipient of the Gold Medal of Excellence since the MBA with internship program was launched in 2012.
Mr. Lipchak gave a heartfelt Valedictorian speech stating that he had almost lost his confidence in his work ability until he was challenged with the MBA program at Sacred Heart University which renewed his confidence, spirit and determination. Following the lead of the speakers before him, he stated that,
Determination is a key factor in obtaining the MBA.
The 26th Graduation Ceremony of SHU Luxembourg was also an opportunity to honor this year’s CAPSTONE COURSE client organizations for their commitment to SHU and its students with a Thank You Award for making a difference to SHU and the students.
Keasy, represented by Benjamin de Seille
AirFrame, Inspections represented by Dr. Jose-Luis Sanchez-Lopez
Ampacet, represented by Philippe Hugele
LuxAI, represented by Dr. Pouyan Ziafati
Luxinnovation EcoInnovation Cluster, represented by Charles-Albert Florentin
Luxinnovation Wood Cluster, represented by Philippe Genot
Luxembourg Ministry of Culture, represented by Regis Moes (Benedicte Keith, MBA student, standing in for Mr. Moes.)
SHU says thank you to you all for your help and support in providing and delivering Excellence in Business Education. Your commitment is an important and unique pillar in our students’ learning experience.
The ceremony concluded with a private cocktail dinner enjoyed by all graduates, SHU Alumni, family members and guests.
Presenting the Graduates of the SHU Jack Welch College of Business, Class of 2017
Master of Business Administration
Raju Ratnakar Akulwar
Ana Rita Barros
Abdelhakim Ben Fakir
Fabio Rocha Bezerra
André Luiz Santos De Brito
Pierre Charles Marie de Marneffe
Adam Yomba Kourouma
Ralph Armand Léon Krips
Oscar Chow Lipchak
Tsun Hei Eric Man
Niranjan Mysore Vishwamurthy
Kevin Edward Nolan
Gabriel Ristow Cidral
Caio Gomes Strutz
Lucca Martins Dela Santina Torres
Graduate Professional Certificate
Ahmed Benssouna – Corporate Finance
Serkan Ekici – Modern Business Management
Paola Miccoli – Modern Business Management
Anna Lisa Sigurjonsdottir – Modern Business Management (not in attendance)
FAIRFIELD, Conn.—Sacred Heart University was ranked one of the most innovative universities as well as one of the best universities in the North, according to U.S. News & World Report’s newly released guidebook, Best Colleges 2018.
“As one of the fastest growing Catholic universities in the nation, we are pleased to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review and many others for the educational excellence we provide,” said SHU President John J. Petillo.
Besides being named one of the best universities in the North, SHU also was one of four schools in the North to be recognized as an innovative school. For the past three years, U.S. News asks academics participating in its peer assessment survey to name institutions they think are the most innovative for its Most Innovative Schools listing. According to U.S. News, college presidents, provosts and admissions deans nominate 10 colleges they think are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities. U.S. News said the ranking is based on the responses to the question.
“Being considered one of the most innovative universities is a result of our mission and careful strategic planning,” Petillo said.
This year, SHU enrolled 1,420 first-year students. The new class constitutes the largest and most academically talented group in SHU history, surpassing records set by the previous four freshman classes. Chosen from a pool of nearly 10,000 applicants, the new freshmen distinguish themselves according to several factors:
The class has an average high school GPA of 3.5
More than 200 freshmen are National Honor Society members
They come from 10 countries and 24 states, ranging from California to Maine
Four hundred freshmen intend to participate in service learning programs this year
More than 200 freshmen plan to participate in performing arts programs
Nearly 92 percent of the freshmen live on campus.
The University also welcomed 145 transfer students and 47 part-time students in August, an 88 percent increase in part-time enrollment over last year.
Sacred Heart has earned recognition as well from the Princeton Review, which recently ranked the University one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education and included SHU in its Best 382 Colleges guidebook. It also placed SHU on its lists for “Best College Theater” and “Most Engaged in Community Service,” each of which comprises only 20 schools from around the country.