Chair's Blog: Summer Term 2022

Susan Liautaud, Interim Chair of Council
As ever, I am grateful to the whole School community for all your efforts to support and advance the work of our School over the past year.


As the Summer Term draws to a close, it has been a joy to see a lively and thriving campus where students have been able to sit their examinations and socialise, and we are all able to attend in-person events and meetings again. There is a renewed sense of energy and community, with staff and students making the most of our wonderful buildings and the uniquely LSE chance encounters around our School.

As ever, I am grateful to the whole School community for all your efforts to support and advance the work of our School over the past year. I have so appreciated the excellent partnership between the School and LSESU, as well as the esteemed leadership of our Director and Senior Management Committee. This has been a year of recovery as we have worked hard to bounce back from the worst impacts of COVID-19 to provide a first-in-class student experience and influential leading research, both supported by a sustainable financial base. The political and regulatory context remains challenging, and extraordinary efforts have been made to support and assist members of our School community in response to a range of testing circumstances.

Update from Council

Council has met twice since the start of the year, on 22 February and 10 May when we convened in person for the first time in more than two years. We were delighted to hear of the School’s great success in the Research Excellence Framework. It was wonderful to see the superb and innovative work of colleagues across disciplines receiving well-deserved recognition. It is testimony to the intellectual rigour and dedication of our world-class faculty that LSE ranked first out of all universities for percentage of world leading research outputs, and joint second overall across all categories (research outputs, impact and environment) on weighted GPA.

Our School also received long-awaited confirmation of its university title from the Office for Students in May; this development accords LSE the same legal and regulatory status as other universities without changing its name or renouncing its membership of the federal University of London. This change has been included in the update to the Articles of Association, the School’s governing document, which will be considered for approval at the July Council meeting.

The ‘levelling up’ agenda, free speech, and the challenges faced by universities in relation to equity, diversity and inclusion are front and centre in all Council discussions and decision-making. We are committed to on-going review of broader contexts in addition to our regular updates on the implementation of LSE2030 and emerging issues.

At the July meeting, we shall bid farewell to several long-standing members of Council, including Alastair da Costa who has served as Chair of both Remuneration and Ethics Committees. We wish him well as he takes up the Chair of Council role at the University of Leeds. Professor Martin Anthony, Dr Claudine Provencher, and Professor Terhi Rantanen have all served on Council with distinction and commitment. I am grateful to them all for sharing their expertise and giving their time to the School.

We have appointed Dr Angela Spatharou to join Council from August; she is a Senior Partner and Industry Leader for EMEA Healthcare and Life Sciences for IBM Consulting and was previously a Partner with McKinsey & Company, where she led healthcare teams in EMEA, North America and LATAM and also led the Advanced Analytics global team for chronic disease patient data and the McKinsey Center for Health Improvement in Europe. She serves on the Supervisory Board of the EU's EIT Health (European Institute of Innovation and Technology), brings extensive experience in working with health systems and digital innovators, and is a former member of the LSE Audit Committee. Tim Frost, a former member of Council and a great longstanding friend of the School, has been appointed as the Chair of the Investments Sub-Committee. He is chair of Cairn Capital which he co-founded after a long career at JP Morgan. He was a Director of the Bank of England from 2012-2018. I look forward to working with them both.  

Summer Holidays

As we all look forward to a full programme of graduation ceremonies for the first time in three years, I would like to congratulate all our graduates of the Class of 2022 on their success and to welcome you into our global alumni community.

I continue to be grateful to all members of Council for their wisdom and unstinting commitment to our School throughout the past year.

I hope everyone at LSE finds some time for a well-deserved healthy and relaxing break over the summer, and I look forward to meeting many more of you in person next term.

With gratitude and best wishes,

Susan Liautaud
Chair of Council