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  Dean Dipak C. Jain
  Dean Dipak C. Jain addresses Kellogg friends and alumni Feb. 20 at the Centennial Signature Event in Chicago.  Photo © Dan Dry

Letter from the Dean

Dear Kellogg School Alumni and Friends,

Crisis. The word is on everyone's lips, which may be why a recent Google search for the term generated some 200 million results in a fraction of a second.

By now, it is perhaps an unwelcome truism that with crisis comes opportunity. But given the current U.S. recession and the resulting global economic downturn that has demanded the attention of leaders everywhere, it is critical to examine this crisis to learn how we can emerge stronger and better equipped to respond to these new challenges.

Crisis is inevitable. Sooner or later, events force us to stop, reassess and adapt to conditions that prove unexpected or unpleasant. However, I believe that what's most important is how we respond to crisis. The word's origin denotes a "turning point," but this turn can either take us toward fresh understanding, or else push us even further along an unproductive path, deepening the problem. The choice is ours.

As you will read in this edition of Kellogg World, our faculty members have been among those forging a new way out of the crisis, explaining the root causes and implications of the meltdown and defining strategies to help lead a recovery.

They've done this not only through research, such as that conducted by Paola Sapienza on financial trust, or Camelia Kuhnen on risky financial behavior, or Adam Galinsky on the psychology of power. These and other Kellogg professors also have partnered with our senior alumni from the banking world to advance the discourse around today's troubled economy. Through panel discussions, lectures and Q&A sessions, these experts have shed light on the financial instruments and practices central to the crisis and are helping redefine our models for managing risk.

Equally important, our global Centennial Celebration events have convened Kellogg experts to disseminate knowledge around a range of critical leadership issues, including those affecting the financial sector.

One key point, I believe, is that we must use this crisis as a chance to reflect and renew. (See "A catalyst for 'reflection and renewal'" for more of my thoughts on this, and on how Kellogg, as an institution, is responding to the recession in ways that better prepare our graduates for leadership roles in the global economy.) Only by understanding how and why this downturn occurred can we take action to minimize such events in the future.

The international nature of this crisis has made it clear that the Kellogg School's approach to management education is attuned to these daunting challenges. As you will read in this edition, the global focus of our MBA programs offers Kellogg students the structured thinking and experiential learning that they need to thrive in today's world. Among our founding principles is a commitment to delivering an unparalleled curriculum that looks beyond the U.S. — and even beyond traditional notions of what management education can offer the world.

Make no mistake: Crisis is an opportunity, but my colleagues and I appreciate how the severity of this downturn is affecting millions of people, including members of the Kellogg community. What we pledge is our continued commitment to providing the tools that enable our alumni and students to adapt successfully in uncertain times. You will see evidence of our efforts in these pages and on our Web site, where we invite you to reconnect and renew with the global Kellogg network.

Warmest personal regards,

Dipak C. Jain

Dipak C. Jain

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