1 May 2020
I am grateful that these regular messages provide an opportunity to share with you the action being taken by LSE’s leadership. I hope that you feel well informed about our focus on continuing to deliver an excellent student experience, the role our faculty and their research are playing at this crucial time, and ways in which you can keep connected.
Ensuring a sustainable LSE
COVID-19, and the steps governments and policymakers around the world are undertaking in response, will have a significant impact on all sectors. Careful planning is needed to secure LSE’s financial sustainability and I am reassured that, due to the work of David Webb, our Pro-Director of Planning and Resources, and Mike Ferguson, our Director of Finance, the School’s finances were in a healthy position entering this challenging period.
We will need to be prudent and cut our cloth accordingly to keep serving our LSE community well and to deliver our founding mission, which is more relevant now than ever before. We have taken steps to manage our resources effectively during this period. We have stopped new capital spending and non-essential maintenance work, paused additional hiring and reduced our operating budget. I have taken a 20% cut in salary and my senior team have taken a 10% cut. Other staff have generously responded by donating to support our hardship fund for students and faculty.
Of course, our investment in technology is vitally important, as is our ability to care for our student community and respond to the ever-increasing demand for student support in light of coronavirus. Thank you to so many of you for helping to support our students through our associated hardship, scholarship and wellbeing funds. Your generosity is already having a significant impact.
Support LSE students during the COVID-19 pandemic
Connecting with and utilising LSE’s intellectual capital
In my last message I referenced how we are drawing upon our faculty’s expertise in our response to COVID-19. Faculty across the School are contributing through direct policy advice to governments around the world as well as cutting edge research to inform debate.
Leading the social science response to COVID-19
We have also moved our world leading public events programme online. Over 1,000 people tuned in for the first lecture online, ‘COVID-19: The Policy Response’, which is fantastic, and we will be adding further virtual events in the coming weeks.
Explore LSE's public events
Continuing the theme of LSE’s research and education output, and bearing in mind that this may present a good time to advance skills, we have a range of opportunities for learning. Please do take a look at our taster videos for our online courses to see how we can support you in this area.
Watch our online course taster videos
Unquestionably the months ahead will be demanding and challenging. But I am confident that as a community we will support one another and identify ways of innovating and finding solutions. In due course we will be sharing with you further opportunities and content to keep you engaged with LSE life. In the meantime, be safe, be well and be connected.
Thank you for your continued friendship and support at this crucial time.
With warm wishes,
Dame Minouche Shafik