2021 Mid-Summer Director's Note

By Rebecca L. Spang

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Dear LAMP students,

Hello! If you’re like me, you are both excited and horrified to discover it is already the middle of July. So much has happened since the start of the last academic year, and now another one is only five weeks away! Yikes. Isn’t there some provision somewhere for inserting a “leap month” between June and July?

Of course, a “leap month” sounds good to me because I have a secure, professional career in which I am largely in control of my own time. I probably wouldn’t like the idea if I were working a summer service or retail job. Even as a professor I don’t really want an extra month of summer if it would extend the draught, heatwave, and hurricane seasons. Or if it would give the COVID-19 virus more time to mutate as it spreads among unvaccinated people. One perspective is never enough.

Have you been following campus and business news? IU has a new president, the campus has a new Interim Provost, and LAMP House has a new mini library filled with prize-winning books about business and society. Calls for global sharing of vaccine technology, rapidly rising prices for real estate and used cars, a general shortage of computer chips—everywhere we see the economic effects of the on-going pandemic. Let me highlight two business-of-food stories I found especially interesting, one about the Small Business Administration’s restaurant relief program and another showing just how little competition there really is in American food markets. Concerned about inflation? I wrote about it for the Washington Post.

As you know, LAMP has always stood for looking at problems from multiple positions and we have never embraced “business as usual.” We recently posted a statement of our values and we look forward to seeing all of you at our “Working for a Better World” series with alumni this fall. If you have any questions or concerns before then, please send us a note! We’re never far from the e-mail.

Sincere best wishes,


Rebecca Spang
Professor of History and Director, Liberal Arts + Management Program