Campus - 13.04.2020 - 00:00 

HSG and the Corona crisis: an interim report

Switzerland too has been in the grip of the Corona pandemic for weeks. Like countless other businesses and organisations, the University of St.Gallen has reacted to this unusual situation with a range of measures, not least digital ones. Alongside internal measures to guarantee the continuation of studies, the university sets great store on making its own contribution to overcoming the crisis. Below you can find a brief overview of the offers available at any time to a wide audience, as well as some additional information on measures taken by HSG for its students and staff.

13 April 2020. In close cooperation with the Executive School of Management, Technology and Law (ES-HSG), the University of St.Gallen has launched a multi-week webinar series that is free for anyone to watch. This involves providing HSG's knowledge on questions related to Corona via online further education. The webinars tackle a wide range of current topics, ranging from legal and political questions, to financial and entrepreneurial adjustments and economic effects, to management responsibility.

This week's HSG webinars:

You can always find the current overview of the upcoming and completed webinars (they can be viewed after recording via the replay function) on the website of the ES-HSG. The HSG Insights playlist (Youtube) likewise lists all the previous recordings.

Meanwhile, the Institute of Retail Management (IRM-HSG) of the University of St.Gallen has developed a website with resources, which is intended to support the Swiss retail trade in these difficult times: How companies in general can react to the Corona crisis is explained by the entrepreneurship professor Dietmar Grichnik in a podcast.

The HSG alumni organisation in turn has various digital offers for their over 28,000 members, as well as a podcast series for a wide audience that will be continuously updated over the coming days. You can find the latest contribution here with HSG alumnus Stefan Fraude from Digitec Galaxus. You can find the entire podcast series here: "HSG Alumni Entrepreneurs".

Corona dossier on the website

On its website, HSG has set up a Covid-19 thematic focus, where researchers and regular teaching staff can make various contributions to the crisis. For example:

You can always find any text and video contributions in the online thematic focus on Covid-19

on the HSG website. In addition, researchers and regular teaching staff of the University of St.Gallen have launched and promoted numerous further initiatives at an individual level related to the Corona crisis.

In the meantime, the HSG Communication Institute is also continuing its efforts to connect experts with media professionals for discussion of issues linked to Corona (and naturally also other questions) – whether this is digitalisation, questions of labour or constitutional law, world trade, challenges for the global financial sector, leadership in a home office era, tourism in the domestic and foreign markets, aviation or HSG expertise in numerous other subject fields. Availability: kommunikation(at), 071 224 22 25, Monday to Friday, 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (excluding public holidays)

Measures for and actions by students

All of the lectures of the University of St.Gallen have been taking place digitally since mid-March. This rapid conversion was possible because in previous years, as part of HSG's response to the digital era, the necessary systems had been provided in the background and reviewed both on a technical and legal level. To enable the academic work to continue, the library of the University of St.Gallen is allowing HSG members to order books to be sent to them.

Currently, HSG is working on the assumption that it will be possible to hold the central semester exams in May-June-July as normal. At the same time, the university is preparing scenarios in case conducting exams is not possible in this time frame. Flexible completion of exams will be facilitated for students who have been called up for mandatory service (military, civil protection, community service) and students who belong to a risk group.

Measures for employees

HSG employees are for the most part currently working from home. The current situation is also confronting many employees of the University of St.Gallen with challenges when it comes to the care of children and other relatives. To better facilitate the balancing act between work and care, HSG has granted its employees three additional, freely selectable family care days on top of the statutory two days for family care up to 19 April. Supervisors and employees have been briefed on the importance of finding supportive solutions that help to navigate the various challenges present at this time – especially with regard to the annual work time models or in the terms of reducing overtime.

Immediately after the so-called "lockdown" the university also provided a platform for its staff via MS Teams, which offers various channels for the informal exchange of information and know-how among all employees. It is important to HSG to stay consistently connected to all of its employees throughout this extraordinary situation. Virtual meetings, video chats and digital coffee breaks are examples of this.

No applications for short time

The effects of the crisis, especially in addition to the lower revenue from further education activities of the University of St.Gallen, will be considerable. The institutes and Executive School will attempt to compensate for this downturn from self-generated resources without endangering the core activities of the university. Applications for short time will not be made by the HSG or its institutes as public law institutions.

Picture: Adobe Stock / Gajus

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