Official EDUNIVERSAL Reporter

First name: Chausseray & Jiang
Last name: Marion & Meiyu Hélène

# 6 LFC Contest | Meet Françoise Dany, the Dean of the EM Lyon Faculty (by Marion)

25/08/2013 21:25:13

# 6 LFC Contest | Meet Françoise Dany, the Dean of the EM Lyon Faculty (by Marion)


Ms Françoise Dany is the new elected dean of the EMLYON faculty. She has an academic background in management - mostly oriented in HR. Besides, she's been teaching at EMLYON since 1990.


First, I'd like you to comment this Malcolm Forbes' quote: 'Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one'. Do you think that it corresponds to the EMLYON's mission?


I agree that developing an open mind is important. Yet, the top business schools' students in France do not enter our Grandes Ecoles  with an empty mind. They have learned a lot in order to pass selective tests which assess their general culture and skills. Actually, our mission is to confront them with additional experiences and ideas in order to foster their creativity. Besides, we need to help our students to transform theoretical knowledge into concrete skills and capabilities that will enable them to develop initiatives that serve all the society


According to my recent information, you're the Faculty’s Dean. What new responsibilities does it bring to you in addition of your current professor tasks?


The dean of the faculty is the vice president in charge of developing the Faculty qualitatively and quantitatively. The dean is elected by his peers, i.e. the other EMLYON faculty members. My priority, as dean,  is to bring the best worldwide expertise to our students. Also my mission is to introduce changes in teaching practice to meet with the changing needs of organisations. Likewise we need to adapt our teaching to aspirations and hindrances of the coming generations.


I've noticed that you have an impressing academic background. According to you personal experience, between the social sciences Lyon universities and EM Lyon, is any comparison possible and relevant?


The French business schools were known to be close to businesses. For the time being, they are also appreciated because they have shown that they can carry out challenging research projects. On the other hand, the cooperations between schools and universities are ever more numerous. EMLYON students are offered several double degrees and many of its students choose to carry out a part of their school education in universities – very often abroad. Another change in EMLYON's education is to propose diverse paths that are composed of usual management sciences and also other courses dealing with a wide range of subjects useful to be able to invent new businesses and/or to cope with social and political realities. Thus, our students can obtain a Centrale Lyon engineering degree or they can specialize themselves in the design field thanks to our IDEA master.


My internship manager usually says that I'll learn more from my practical internships than from the theoretical curses of EM Lyon? Many people really think this, what is your stance regarding this assumption?


Practice is important – it's true. This is what can turn qualifications into skills. Yet, our students need to be able to go beyond practices that are influenced by history and "local knowledge". Numerous business practices need to be improved or changed in order to meet new challenges. Recent news show this – innovation'needs in the management's field are high. One of the most important goal of education is to help people to understand limits of current practices and to give them
lines in order to invent again the existing organisation and business models. The object of theory is to report reality and also to give a broader awareness to managers. Theory and practice complement each other. Theory aims at sharpening learners sensitiveness and give them new understanding of the “reality”.

Also, regarding the EM Lyon education, what are the basic requirements you expect from your students?


Organizations  face many different challenges. Most of them have to reinvent them and their business models to cope with new expectations, the growing scarcity of numerous resources but new technological opportunities and to better serve our societies.  Thus, many different profiles and competences are necessary. Actually students need commitment and empathy to express their talent and creativity.
To put it differently, we 'd like to have students that will be able to be good professionals and also they should be individuals sensible to their environment. They should be able to work out how to preseve and develop it through their activities.


I know from my short experience that EMLYON integrates what I consider as entrepreneurship courses in its education path? What is the reason of this choice?


The notion of entrepreneurship means more than firm creation. It refers to innovation and enterprising more generally. Thus, it concerns every leader. The abilities to overcome concrete difficulties and cognitive limits to create new products or services – even management practices – are crucial to develop business.


I've learnt that you'd like to foster the initiatives of the faculty. Also, as this body is focused on search an innovation, how students can really draw benefit from this?


Faculty members' innovations are numerous. They can deal with courses's content. The goal here is to make our students aware of most recent thoughts which concern management and business. This is also about making changes in teaching practices.
Regarding this, a teaching innovation award has been created this year. The projects that were competing show the power of new technologies to innovate and embrace new subjects. Also, innovation came from new partnerships with organizations    that volunteer to support some teaching projects. Last but not least,  the development of transdisciplinarity that offers a different analysis of issues also played its  part.


As the faculty is an international body, how do you imagine the international future of EMLYON? New partnerships? More international students?


The cultural diversity of the faculty composed of 18 nationalites, data used in courses that come from different countries, the debates between french and foreigners students prove that EMLYON is an international institution. Moreover, the opportunity for students to do a part of their education at EMLYON Shangaï campus or in one of the foreign universities that have signed partnerships with EMLYON also contributes to a truly international education


Do you think that there are some issues that could prevent the school from its growing success in the future?


EMLYON draws benefit from the second economic region in the 6th economic power. Also, the environment of the school is attracting. It has a good reputation. As long as careers in management & business are still viewed as attractive, EMLYON should be able to attract good students and continue to develop.


How would you describe the school in one word or one sentence?


EMLYON is a business school that is fully aware of its responsibility -  being a trainer for future leaders. Its research and education's aim is to prepare entrepreneurs that will be able to invent a future world thanks to their capabilities to build on new resources -like technologies. Being both research oriented and close to business and social communities is key to succeed.

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