Dean Of Elite Russian B-School: Ukraine War ‘Very Personal To Me’

Yuri Levin, rector of MSM Skolkovo, says he feels a “responsibility to do everything in my power to prepare a new generation of leaders who would not allow anything like this to ever happen again”

The war in Ukraine has raged for a week. Ukrainian MBA students and MBAs around the world have weighed in, launched fundraisers, and initiated other efforts to secure support for their homeland. Now the dean of one of Russia’s premier businesses schools is speaking out against the conflict that has already claimed thousands of lives and threatens to claim many thousands more.

Yuri Levin, rector of Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, posted a statement Wednesday (March 2) on LinkedIn, saying, “I believe that any war is against human reason and human nature, especially when this war is between neighbors. With this message, I share my deepest concerns and condolences to all the people involved in this horrible conflict.

“Nothing can justify the violence and death of innocent people.”

LEVIN HAS DEEP TIES TO U.S., CANADA, RUSSIA & UKRAINE

Yuri Levin during his professorship at Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada

Levin has deep connections not only in Russia and Ukraine but also in Belarus, where he was born; the United States, where he was raised; and Canada, where he was an award-winning business school professor. He earned his Ph.D. in Operations Research from Rutgers University in 2001 and was named to Poets&Quants40-under-40 list in 2016 when he was a professor at Queen’s University in Ontario.

Those deep ties — which include family and friends in Ukraine — prompted Levin to speak out.

“It is hard to think of anything more painful and horrific than war,” Levin writes on LinkedIn. “Being born in Belarus and having spent most of my adult life in North America, this tragedy is very personal to me, as I have family and friends in Russia, Ukraine, the U.S., and Canada.”

ONE OF RUSSIA’S LEADING B-SCHOOLS

Levin became Moscow SKOLKOVO’s dean in 2020. The B-school is a joint project of Russian and international business. Founded in 2006 and financed by private investors, SKOLKOVO offers management education programs and leads research projects aimed at fostering “better understanding between Russia and the world.”

The school has more than 3,300 graduates of its degree programs — MBA, EMBA, and HKUST-SKOLKOVO EMBA for Eurasia — and entrepreneurial programs: Practicum, Global SHIFT, and Startup Academy. Those numbers are dwarfed, however, by more than 34,000 graduates of its executive education programs for public and private sectors. In the Financial Times’ 2021 EMBA ranking, the school ranked 58th in the world and second in Russia after IBS Moscow-Ranepa.

See SKOLKOVO’s rector’s full statement on the war in Ukraine below.

YURI LEVIN’S STATEMENT ON THE WAR IN UKRAINE 

My personal statement on the situation in Ukraine.

It is hard to think of anything more painful and horrific than war. Being born in Belarus and having spent most of my adult life in North America, this tragedy is very personal to me, as I have family and friends in Russia, Ukraine, the U.S., and Canada.

I believe that any war is against human reason and human nature, especially when this war is between neighbours. With this message, I share my deepest concerns and condolences to all the people involved in this horrible conflict. Nothing can justify the violence and death of innocent people.

I hope that this conflict ends as soon as possible, and both Russian and Ukrainian people go back to their families in peace.

As an educator, I feel that it is my responsibility to do everything in my power to prepare a new generation of leaders who would not allow anything like this to ever happen again. 

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