From the Desk: Kelley associate dean shares how the school is helping during COVID-19

These are unprecedented times. Uncertain times. Yet these are times when I've seen the best of humanity emerge.

As associate dean of academic programs at the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI, I'm beyond grateful for the faculty, staff and students who have adapted to working, teaching and studying at home; who've worked tirelessly to put classes, exams and advising sessions online; and who've pivoted multiple times at a moment's notice.

Kelley School of Business at IUPUI associate dean Phil PowellView print quality image
Phil Powell. Photo courtesy of Kelley School of Business

Now is the time -- in uncertain situations -- when business education and leadership can help to right the ship, weathering the storm.

As we are anchored in the heart of the city, our mission at the Kelley School at IUPUI has always been to serve the Indianapolis community. And now is when our community needs us the most.

As I wrote in a column for the Indy Chamber: "In a time of great uncertainty, small-business owners must make good decisions based upon data and best practices in management and finance. ... At this moment, Indianapolis small-business owners must steady their emotions, understand the depth of economic shock, and shift priority to one of survival and a readiness to prosper when this crisis ends."

The Kelley School of Business at IUPUI is supporting the Indy Chamber's Rapid Response Hub, an online platform designed to answer questions from -- and provide guidance to -- Indianapolis small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our faculty, staff and alumni have been instrumental in responding to businesses seeking strategic and tactical advice. We've mobilized bilingual members of the Kelley School family to respond directly, in Spanish, to questions from Hispanic businesses. We're also offering advice through the Rapid Response Hub's weekly virtual town hall.

As I told our faculty when I asked them to offer their expertise, COVID-19 challenges regional businesses in an unprecedented way. Small businesses are the most vulnerable. As management educators, we can provide data, theory and frameworks that guide better decisions during uncertain times.

The Kelley School is also providing management and leadership advice to the health care community. Faculty and alumni of our Business of Medicine Physician MBA Program have teamed up to present a free COVID-19 management webinar series. The series offers expertise on topics such as leading through crisis, strategies and tools for care team collaboration and communication, process improvement, and economic modeling to prepare for health care in the future.

We are so grateful for our Physician MBA students and alumni, as well as all health care professionals, who are working on the front lines of this pandemic. We hope this series offers some guidance for those making difficult decisions right now.

Each week, the Kelley School's podcast, known as The ROI Podcast, presents management content to help organizations make better business decisions. During the COVID-19 crisis, it's more important than ever. That's why we've compiled our most relevant podcasts to help organizations through the health, economic and societal upheaval.

Our faculty have contributed to numerous blog posts providing expertise on six ways to lead through crisis, how to rethink your business model and how to host online meetings.

Throughout all of this, our faculty and staff have worked tirelessly, as the entire IUPUI community has, to convert classes for remote learning and to ensure students are progressing in their personal and professional development -- because their business education has become that much more important. I cannot say thank you enough to our faculty, staff and students for your resiliency and commitment. I couldn't be prouder of our Kelley and IUPUI families.

Onward and upward -- together, we continue the fight.