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The COVID-19 situation has evolved further and we are dealing with a significant global challenge.
The World Health Organization has declared this outbreak a pandemic. Many governments around the world have taken stricter and more impactful measures to ensure the safety of their citizens.
In addition to the immediate and grave health concerns, we are seeing a much wider impact on all of our lives as well as the global economy.
Understandably, there is a great sense of unease everywhere.
It is in this context that I would like to address you on behalf of our entire School Board, our Acdemic Senate and myself.
First and foremost, we would like to thank you for what you have done already to weather this crisis and to get our school prepared to cope with this situation. Your commitment makes all the difference.
We would also like to reassure you that as a school we are resilient. Over the course of over 20 years, we have seen – and mastered – many challenging moments. We are convinced that we will overcome this one too.
And we would like to remind you of the special responsibility that a school like ours has at this time. Education is essential to peoples’ lives. In moments like these our purpose and values matter a lot to students and our academic partners we collaborate.
It is in times of crisis that heroes are born. In all modesty, we want SSM’s values to shine at this difficult hour. We earnestly and humbly request all of you to contribute to this. This is the moment for extra effort, for going the extra mile. I fully recognize we are asking a lot because all of us are also busy managing challenging personal and family situations at this moment. Your effort will make a huge difference to our school and to our society.
We would like to recognize in particular our frontline staff in all SSM Learning Centers and our faculty members – your commitment and your discipline are critical at this time to maintain quality education continuity. It is our priority to support you in this important endeavor.
To overcome this unique challenge, we request all of you to stay focused on the three priorities we have outlined.
First, the safety of all of us is paramount. We can only make positive contributions and live our purpose and values if we stay healthy and avoid spreading the virus.
Second, quality education continuity is key. We need to focus our efforts on securing quality education, flexibility and reachability for our local and even more our international students. Please get ready for the storm to hit – because hit it will.
And third – to the extent you can – please provide a helping hand to our students around us and our learning centers around the globe. This is the moment to demonstrate grace under pressure. Many partner colleges and institutions of higher education are much harder hit than the Swiss School of Management and will have to cope with graver challenges as a result of this crisis. Please help them to get through this – it is part of our values and people will remember. This will be a time when we can be a true force for good.
This mindset also applies to all of us as teaching and staff colleagues. Due to our unique culture, we often refer to SSM as a family. A challenging moment like this is the time to live family values. Unprecedented travel restrictions have led to difficult personal and family situations for many of our colleagues. Your personal caring and help can make a lot of difference to our colleagues and their families – it will also make us a stronger and even more united team. Please live and breathe the SSM family spirit.
While the virus threat is global in nature, the situation is different in each country and changing fast. Please follow the guidance from your Center Director and health department. They are working closely with local authorities.
I am proud and inspired by the way our school has risen to this challenge – with flexibility, resilience, courage – and a caring heart. Thank you for your enormous contributions. Let’s work together – across all learning centers – to keep going. Let’s make this one of our finest hours.
Let me add a personal note. Along with everyone else at Swiss School of Management I am working hard to cope with this crisis. We – and I – will be with you every step of the way. Like most of you I also have a family to worry about. I am an SSM colleague, but also a father, a husband and a son. At times like these, the worry list can be long for all of us, there are no exceptions. But I am also convinced that we will get through this, if we do not lose our self-confidence and our energy. It is literally in our hands.
Please, do look after yourselves and your families.
And stay safe.
Massimiliano Bracalé, President
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