Message from Dean Ali Dastmalchian, SFU Beedie School of Business

Apr 24, 2020

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Ali Dastmalchian, Dean of SFU’s Beedie School of Business


After the initial period of uncertainty, upheaval and rapid changes forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are now adjusting to the ‘new normal’ in which we find ourselves. In this context, I have been reflecting on how the SFU Beedie community has responded to this unexpected situation and what lessons we can take from this period as we move forward.

I have been deeply heartened by the way so many in our community have adapted and supported one another through the challenges we have faced.

From an operational perspective, our faculty and staff succeeded in moving all SFU Beedie programs to remote delivery in a remarkably short timeframe and I want to acknowledge the innovative thinking and hard work that went into making that possible. We are fortunate to be in a position where we can continue to deliver our programs. Indeed, it is critical that we do so, and we are committed to supporting our community and the economy through business education as we rebuild.

It has become clear in recent weeks that SFU Beedie’s strategic pillars of innovation, social responsibility, and a global outlook have never been more pertinent.

In the coming weeks and months, our collective response to COVID-19 will depend on innovation from our high-tech companies as we develop treatments and medical equipment. Individuals and businesses will need to work together in common cause as we seek solutions to the challenges we are facing. And this global issue will only be overcome through international cooperation and cross-cultural understanding.

We have already seen the crucial role that business is playing during this crisis. Not only healthcare companies, but businesses from many other sectors have retooled production facilities to manufacture vital equipment and supplies.

At a more personal level, these are the times when we rely on our networks and connections more than ever, and we will continue working to support the wider SFU Beedie community—from students, alumni and donors to employers and volunteers—in new and innovative ways.

We recognize the challenges our students are facing as we quickly adapt to the changing situation. Many of them have been financially impacted through this crisis, and the university has set up the Student Urgent Response Fund so that students can quickly access funds for day-to-day living expenses, flights to reunite with their families, access to technology to complete their work and more.

Already this fund has raised close to $250,000, a testament to the generosity of our community. But demand is high; and each week sees new applications from students in need. If you are in a position to support our students in these difficult times, I encourage you to consider donating.

We are committed to supporting the SFU Beedie community as a whole: students, alumni, faculty and staff, and the greater community at large by developing augmented offerings including online programming to give alumni access to faculty expertise, career support and networking opportunities. You can learn more at our website.

We remain in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and many of us continue to face uncertainty and challenges. However, as we look ahead to better times, all of us at SFU Beedie are committed to staying true to our mission, doing our part to support our community, and helping one another to come through this together. Until we meet again, please stay safe.

Yours sincerely,

Ali Dastmalchian,
Dean, Beedie School of Business