How did the Econ Department react when the federal government banned face-to-face classes and recommended social distancing?
The safety of our students and staff is of course our top priority. That is why we virtually switched 'overnight' to digital teaching and sent all of our employees into home office. This worked amazingly well and I would like to thank everyone involved for the excellent cooperation.
In research, the exchange with other researchers is very important. Conferences and seminars were canceled, but also e.g. the social lunch, which should strengthens the informal exchange. How does the department handle this and are there alternatives to the physical meetings?
Of course, physical meetings are very important, especially in our profession. However, many of us are pleasantly surprised by the digital alternatives. Now we even hold our social lunch virtually. It actually works very well.
What lessons can be learned from the current crisis?
There's this bon mot "Who has done the most for the digitization of your organization in the last few years: your CEO, your CIO or Corona?" Of course, this question also applies to us: I hope that the corona crisis will trigger a digitalization boost across the university.
Will the corona crisis change everyday university life in the long term? Which new offers could you imagine replacing former processes?
I very much expect events to combine traditional and digital formats. Probably some of our students will still attend the classic lecture, but some will participate digitally in the same course. I can imagine the same for all kinds of meetings - that alone would make it much easier to coordinate an appointment.
And finally, what is the biggest daily challenge for you personally?
Of course, I have had a lot to do with crisis management in the past few weeks. Otherwise, I am very lucky that my new everyday life does not pose any extraordinary challenges. On the contrary, I really enjoy slowing down.