Dean’s Letter, April 2022
Dear colleagues, dear students,
welcome back to the summer semester! And, even more importantly, welcome back on campus! I take, most of you have experienced by now their first post-pandemic lectures and seminars – and I am sure, you cherished it! Let me assure all students who sorely missed on-site teaching that the teaching faculty missed the classroom experience at least as much as you did!
Now, as I’ve been waiting to use a Helmut Dietl quote for the last two years, let me quote Tscharlie, a figure from Dietl’s 70’s television show “Münchner Geschichten”: “Ois Chikago!”, meaning all is well, at least on the on-site teaching side.
Still, I urge you to stay responsible. While I foresee much reduced incidence numbers and essentially a quasi-pre-pandemic summer term, let us not be lured into a sense of false comfort. We are still in a pandemic situation and population wide vaccination rates are not nearly high enough (and still no mandate in place…). Thus, circumstances require a particularly cautious and responsible course of action. So, while formal rules on this may change in the foreseeable future, prudence still mandates to be circumspect, keep distance and wear masks in confined badly ventilated places.
Unfortunately, for many/most of us, the pandemic is no longer our most pressing worry. The clouds of war in Europe weigh heavily on well-nigh all of us and we have many colleagues and friends here that are immediately affected by the conflict in Ukraine. In the summer term we will see, as part of LMU’s and the entire academic system’s efforts to support those affected by the war, visiting students and visiting scholars that participate in our lectures and seminars and in academic life more broadly. Welcome them, help them navigate an environment that is novel for them, and be compassionate about their sorrows.
I confide that we will continue to exhibit the attitude and behaviour that helped us to weather the storms of the last two years together. Let’s show our strong will to cooperate and our appreciation of each other's efforts and challenges.
With that in mind, embrace normal academic life: enjoy lectures and seminars, learning sessions in the library, and animated discussions in university hallways and in beergardens.
Do so in particular given the looming threat of reversals of the situation in the fall and in the winter (remember the low vaccination rate and the risk of new mutations). So while I urge you to be prudent, make the best of this summer.
Next to our lecture and seminar program, there are in particular two events that will give us opportunities to come together as a department: On May 16 we will bestow an honorary doctorate on Oriana Bandiera from the LSE. Register and join us in the Große Aula to celebrate a stellar scholar. And on July 25 my colleagues Lisandra Flach and Andreas Peichl will deliver their inaugural lectures, another not to be missed opportunity to come together!
For now, let me stop here. Stay safe, be responsible – but, importantly, cherish the long missed university life!
Florian Englmaier, Professor for Organizational Economics & Head of Department