A taste of Harvard in Shanghai

first_imgThis is part of a series about Harvard’s deep connections with Asia.SHANGHAI — Jeffrey R. Williams stood a tiered Harvard Business School (HBS) classroom, facing a semicircle of dark-paneled desks. His back was to the room’s multiple blackboards, mobile so they could be moved when full, letting faculty members continue writing on blank ones behind.The room had been organized to take advantage of the case method of teaching, spacious yet intimate, with clear sightlines to the instructor from any point.Williams nodded at two clocks on the back wall, one with the local time and another labeled “Boston.”“In Boston, you’re unlikely to have a clock with Shanghai time,” Williams said.Williams’ Harvard classroom was half a world away, in Shanghai, the biggest city in the world’s most populous country.Williams is executive director of Harvard Center Shanghai, a foothold designed to assist the University’s involvement in China by providing local knowhow, administrative support, and facilities like the facsimile classroom, which also features a booth for simultaneous translation and extra-wide blackboards so translators can duplicate instructors’ writings.The 90-seat classroom is used mostly by HBS’s Executive Education program, which Williams refers to as the center’s anchor tenant. But even though it was constructed with support from HBS and the Harvard China Fund, the center is intended as a University-wide facility, as welcoming to those interested in public health, education, or astronomy as to those interested in business.“We support student activities. We support training, like Harvard Business School’s executive training. We host symposia and conferences. We have staff here who support things like business publishing or delivering Law School programs,” Williams said. “I like to think of the center as a tool. We’re not creating new content ourselves, but we’re helping facilitate Harvard content and bringing it to China.”Williams points with pride to a planned 2013 conference on the Italian Renaissance because that illustrates the center’s usefulness to programs across the University and highlights the work of Chinese scholars in diverse fields, including European history.“It reminds people that there’s intellectual activity that goes way beyond the traditional China watcher and China specialist. In fact, the China specialists don’t need a center like this. They speak the language; they have local contacts,” Williams said. The center is really “important for the scholars who need to incorporate China in their research but they themselves don’t have contacts, don’t have the base [from which] to get things done — that’s where we come in.”The center opened in Shanghai’s Huangpu District in 2008 in much smaller quarters. Large events like HBS Executive Education sessions had to be held in hotel ballrooms or in facilities borrowed from local universities. The center christened its new home in 2010, with a symposium featuring Harvard President Drew Faust and 300 local scholars, alumni, and officials.The center now occupies the fifth floor of a tower in the International Financial Center, one of several new high-rise commercial complexes that have sprouted in the city’s Pudong section.William T. Kirby, Chang Professor of China Studies and Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration, together with Jay Light, then the dean of HBS, played a prominent role in getting the center off the ground. Kirby, who is also chairman of the Harvard China Fund and director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, said a University-wide center in China makes a lot of sense, not just because of the nation’s economic expansion and rising prominence on the world stage, but also because of the growth of its higher-education system.Higher education in China has grown rapidly, from 2 million college students in 1990 to 6 million in 2000 to 31 million today. Over the last decade, the country has gone from having half the number of college students in the United States to twice the enrollment.Kirby said the growth has been not only in quantity but in quality. For instance, top Chinese universities have a reputation for excellence that is increasingly attracting collaboration with Harvard faculty members and students.“For someone like me [a China specialist], China is the obvious choice, but it’s also the obvious choice if you look at where higher education in the world is going,” Kirby said.Kirby said Shanghai was chosen because of its geographic centrality, not only in China but for East Asia. Shanghai’s stature as the nation’s commercial center made it doubly attractive to Harvard Business School as a home for its activities.“I don’t think there’s a more dynamic city on earth today than Shanghai,” Kirby said. “It’s an extraordinary place: an international center of culture and commerce and a magnet for talent from across the globe.”The facility also has nine breakout rooms for smaller group discussions, a 90-seat dining area, a large, open, multipurpose space, as well as a suite of offices for local staff.HBS has the classroom booked for about nine weeks a year and represents approximately half of the utilization of the center, with the rest coming from other programs and schools at the University, Williams said. Early on, the decision was made not to rent the center out, but to focus on encouraging activity by Harvard faculty, students and alumni.Last fall, for example, students from Shanghai’s Fudan University were able to enroll in the global classroom of Bass Professor of Government Michael Sandel’s  popular “Justice” class.  About 20 students came to the center at midnight to participate remotely in the class, held at 11 a.m. Cambridge time in Harvard’s Sanders Theatre. Together with students in Paris, Tokyo, New Delhi, and São Paolo, they were able to see Sandel on the big screen in the center’s multifunction room, as well as students from the other locations in smaller images inset on the screen.Williams said Sandel could see the same thing, so he could say, “Shanghai, the student in the white shirt in the front row, what do you think about this?”Recently, professional schools including Harvard Medical School and Harvard Kennedy School have started planning continuing education programs in Shanghai, broadening the base of users beyond HBS.The center also provides administrative support for ongoing programs such as the Harvard Project on Disability, a Law School program that supports those seeking to improve the lives of disabled people around the world. The center supports the Harvard China Fund’s Harvard China Student Internship Program, which has brought 200 students to China over the last six years for nine-week summer internships with Chinese companies and nonprofits. The center provides orientation for students after they arrive in China, arranges a field trip before they begin work, and remains a resource during the course of their stay. This summer, students will be staying in seven cities across Greater China, Williams said.The center also is a gathering place in the Shanghai area for Harvard’s alumni community, which is some 500 strong, according to Kate McFarlin, president of the Harvard Club of Shanghai.“With the Harvard Center here, we have a much more serious focus for Harvard in Shanghai,” McFarlin said. “The center’s been a great boon for our community.”Harvard has concluded that opening degree-granting satellite campuses is the wrong approach for it to take in an increasingly globalized world, Kirby said. But it may make sense to have physical facilities, perhaps even research institutes, to support faculty work in key cities. If that’s the way the University decides to go, Kirby said, planners of the Shanghai center left open space that can be developed for future purposes.“It gives us enormous flexibility as our plans and aspirations change around the world,” Kirby said.last_img read more

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Trump says may block stricter FDA guidelines for COVID-19 vaccine

first_imgTopics : US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he may or may not approve any new, more stringent FDA standards for an emergency authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine, saying such a proposal would appear political.Trump has repeatedly said a vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, could be ready for distribution ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.The Washington Post reported on Tuesday the US Food and Drug Administration would issue the guidance to boost transparency and public trust as health experts have become increasingly concerned the Trump administration might be interfering in the approval process to rush out a vaccine. Few vaccine developers were expected to have definitive trial results before the presidential election. Pfizer Inc had been the exception, although its timetable could slip with new guidance.Moderna Inc has said it is unlikely to have data in October. AstraZeneca Plc’s trial in the United States is halted while investigators try to determine whether a serious neurological problem suffered by one participant in the company’s U.K. trial was caused by the vaccine.US Food and Drug Administration head Stephen Hahn did not directly address the Washington Post report when testifying before the Senate earlier on Wednesday.But he did say regulators would likely provide additional information on the emergency use authorization process.At the same hearing, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Robert Redfield said he expects there to be about 700 million doses of vaccines available by late March or April, enough for 350 million people.”I think that’s going to take us April, May, June, you know, possibly July, to get the entire American public completely vaccinated,” Redfield told the US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.center_img Trump, however, questioned why a vaccine would need to be delayed and said such a proposal by the FDA would appear to be politically-driven.”We’re looking at that and that has to be approved by the White House. We may or may not approve it,” Trump told a White House news conference, when asked about the Post report.”That sounds like a political move. Because when you have Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, these great companies, coming up with the vaccines, and they’ve done testing and everything else, I’m saying why would they have to be adding great length to the process.”Trump added he had “tremendous trust” in those companies.last_img read more

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Child Molester convicted in Ripley County

first_imgVersailles, IN—Dustin Crabtree, age 32 of Milan, was convicted by a jury of  Level 1 felony Child Molesting on July 31st.  The jury deliberated for three hours following a two day trial in Ripley County.  He faces a possible sentence of 20-50 years on his sentencing date, August 23rd.  Prosecuting Attorney, Ric Hertel, represented the State throughout the trial.Hertel noted the child victim from this case had just turned 5 about a week before she testified at a pre-trial hearing, saying it was a very difficult undertaking for her.  At times she answered while hidden below the witness stand.A key factor in this trial was for the jury to see a video of her interview at the Child Advocacy Center by a trained forensic interviewer vs. the courtroom with the perpetrator present.  Hertel noted those were key rulings that the State won to help sway the outcome of this case.  Without physical evidence, the jury had to base its decision on what the child said and statements made by the perpetrator to State Police Detectives.  Hertel commented that the two State Police Detectives involved were outstanding throughout the case, from the initial involvement obtaining key statements from the perpetrator and their testimony at the trial.last_img read more

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BetRegal diary: Realigning the product to match long-term vision

first_img Share StumbleUpon Seven Up for Aspire Global through Irish sportsbook licence November 30, 2018 Related Articles BetRegal diary: Passing the tipping point between repair and replace November 22, 2018 BetRegal revamps affiliate program with Income Access for crucial 2019 January 25, 2019 Share Submit Aly Lalani, Head of Marketing at BetRegal, discusses executing a strategic roadmap for 2018 that had to be ‘realigned considerably’, undertaking a periodic review of performance, and why this practice allows a business to properly facilitate large-scale change.The holiday season. A time of family and friends, fun and celebration and general merriment. Inevitably, the holiday season invokes a sense of reflection of the past year.  Things that went right, things that went wrong, successes and failures, and most importantly lessons learned. You know the drill. Although, it’s particularly those lessons learned that form the basis for future strategic planning, both in the short term and the long term. After all, what good is reflection if it doesn’t create some sort of action? And what good is learning from past triumphs and defeats, if those learnings aren’t applied to the future?Last year around this time, we published a diary entitled “A Christmas List of Lessons to Drive 2018 Success”. As I read through it again, it’s interesting how one small point I made reference to turned out to be the defining characteristic of the entire year for BetRegal.com. At the time it was just a passing thought, a small hurdle that we needed to jump over. I can honestly say that I had no idea at the time how much of an impact it would have.The statement in question was this: “We were forced to reign in expectations over early marketing spend because of some fundamental UX issues.” Unfortunately, we never really got to the point where we felt like we were offering the type of experience that we felt the brand deserved. That was the primary reason that we even began the discussions around the possibility of having to look elsewhere in terms of service providers to allow us to deliver the product we envisioned. Those discussions turned into an evaluation period, a vendor selection process, a contract negotiation period, and ultimately a migration. You guessed it, none of those things were on the agenda set out in January 2018. So, yes the strategic roadmap had to be ‘realigned considerably’ by the time we got to Q2. However, I don’t consider that a bad thing. In fact, I think re-visiting strategic priorities quarterly is probably really good practice. If change needs to be made, and the appropriate discussions and analysis have taken place, having those periodic reviews of strategic priorities allow a (new) business to properly facilitate large-scale change. As I touched on last time, one of the benefits of being a fairly new and lean brand is the ability to facilitate change efficiently.The downside of a major change in strategic priorities mid-year? The expectations that were set out at the beginning of the year become almost impossible. In fact, taking a new direction almost always ushers in a new set of strategic goals for a business.For BetRegal.com, the end result of all this directional change turned out to be extremely positive. Towards the end of the year, we were able to complete our migration and are now in a position where our product is much more aligned with our vision.With the positive feedback received from affiliates and partners, along with the initial data that has come in post-migration, we feel much more comfortable executing on the marketing strategies that were defined to help us achieve our initial growth expectations.We expect 2019 to be a year of significant progress for BetRegal.com as we grow into emerging markets and look to offer new and exciting products. I wanted to take this time to wish everyone a very safe and happy holiday season.last_img read more

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