From the new academic year, Professor Wim Van der Stede will be stepping down as Head of Department of Accounting to take up his appointment as the School's inaugual Dean of Extended Education. In this new role, Wim will provide overall academic and strategic leadership across the School to develop and expand LSE's Extended Education offer - ‘LSE Extend' - which covers a wide range of educational activities, including the Summer School, programmes delivered via the University of London International Programme, Online courses, Executive short courses and custom programmes, as well as Executive MSc programmes.
LSE Director Minouche Shafik said: “Wim has been a School leader for many years, having had a tremendous impact on the development and progress of our Department of Accounting. He is a fantastic person to help shape our Extended Education offering in this new role for LSE. There is so much potential to develop the way we provide access to lifelong learning, and his rich experience in both the education and the corporate sectors, as well as his creative thinking and passion for his work, will be an asset as he leads further expansion of our programmes.”
Yvonne Guthrie, Department Manager on Wim's contributions as Head of Department
My first meeting with Wim was in January 2012 when I came to LSE to be interviewed for the post of Accounting Department Manager. Wim was the incoming Head of Department and I was impressed by his sincerity, insightfulness and clarity of thinking, apparent even in such a short meeting. The HoD post is a management role and not necessarily easy to adapt to even by the most talented academic. However, it is a role in which Wim has excelled and made his own over the past decade.
The last 10 years have seen many changes to Accounting in terms of teaching and faculty development under Wim’s leadership, academic vision and prescience. He ensured that we were at the vanguard of change when it came to improving student satisfaction at LSE, recruiting careers consultants dedicated to the idiosyncratic needs of our Accounting students, and strengthening our programme leadership by recruiting colleagues with this focus and expertise to address issues relating to teaching and student experience. This was followed by the appointment of a Student Community and Operations Manager, Sandra Ma, to support our new Programme Directors, Pik Liew and Ken Lee, and to resolve student concerns from a professional services perspective. These initiatives have been highly successful and contributed to markedly improved student satisfaction scores in the NSS for our undergraduate BSc as well as in the student satisfaction scores for our three postgraduate degrees.
Wim also successfully introduced so-called sectionalized teaching for postgraduate courses early on in his HoD tenure, which we then also rolled out on our undergraduate courses. This involved moving away from the traditional large “lecture” and small “class” model to an approach where the lectures and classes are instead joined-up into two sessions of the same length and same size each week to promote active learning by adopting a more interactive approach throughout all the teaching and not just in the traditionally smaller classes. The sessions include case‐based learning, promoting active learning by utilizing real‐life case scenarios reflecting actual experiences that students will likely face during their careers. Such teaching has contributed significantly to the positive learning experiences that students have had.
All the achievements arising from these initiatives were recognised at School level at our quinquennial department review where it was acknowledged that Accounting had made significant inroads in responding to issues around teaching and student experience, including the continual focus on hiring faculty and supporting colleagues who were making strong contributions to teaching and research.
External factors have inevitably shaped the department during Wim’s leadership and he navigated us successfully through some exceptionally difficult times such as Brexit and the Covid pandemic, the latter being an unprecedented and especially tough time for everyone. Despite the lack of anything quite comparable to rely on for managing this, Wim always managed to remain optimistic, positive and focussed, helping to reassure and support our students whilst also looking to the future and better times.
On a personal level I have much to be grateful for in working closely with Wim for so long and my first impressions about him all those years ago have proved to be more than accurate! Although not a student or an academic I have learned so much from him in terms of decision making, evaluating situations and managing people. He has been both mentor and teacher and his wisdom, patience, and uncanny ability to make spot-on judgements are remarkable.
Wim is now tasked with taking on an exciting new role as Dean of Extended Education, for which we offer our hearty congratulations and best wishes. Fortunately for us, he will remain a Professor in the Department of Accounting. We thank Wim for his leadership and support over the last decade and we now welcome in a new era with Ane Tamayo taking over as HoD for the next three years.
Nishtha Chawla, MSc Accounting, Organisations and Institutions, class of 2022
We are so grateful for Wim’s cheerful spirit. It is said that teaching and knowledge create lasting impact in life, and this is something he unquestionably cultivated and also urged us, as students, to challenge ourselves. We are thankful for the wonderful time spent learning from him together with some wonderful memories at the Accounting Society dinner. We cannot imagine LSE without Wim and are glad that he chose a PhD over his consulting offer all those years ago. We all want to thank him for being more than just a professor to us. His kindness and inspirational words are forever etched in our hearts!