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Interview with Vladimir G. Biruk, Research Engineer, Ph.D., CMC. Professor LIGS University.

What are the principles of the teaching of Dr.Vladimir Biruk? How does he support his students and help them build a professional network? Read the full interview with Dr. Biruk to find out. 

I appreciate your interest in my teaching principles for creating student-tutor relationships within University programs' activity in knowledge and skills transformation. That is not a unique method, not a law or educational standard, just a flexible set of functional roles from a long working record and permanent scientific investigation. 

Each of our University tutors and professors has a particular practical methodology to transform educational values to our student's needs. 

Teaching at LIGS - What do you enjoy the most about teaching? Is online learning a barrier or an opportunity, according to you? What do you appreciate the most about online learning?  

 

In short, answer Yes, enjoy very much! I am very thankful that Alexandra Ovrascova involved me in this more intellectual than a commercial project. It is easier to understand LIGS value now when remote learning methods become a core world society. However, when LIGS University started its initiatives in long-distance education, it was not clear for many of us. What advantage can issue from such innovations for direct stakeholders: students, teachers, and owners? Because at that time, since 90th and 00th, many Business Schools are offering MBA, EMBA, Sloan, and other masters of administration programs, classical education was on the top of popularity. 

My Scientific and Academic carrier is not a solid line of success, but within several decades there are significant satisfactions in research and teaching practice achieved. I passed the way from the researcher of the exact mathematical and technological sciences to the economic and social sciences. Most of the time was recruiting as a part-time teacher in the education sphere. Because the initial profession was Management and engineering, I accumulated multi-disciplinary knowledge and skills for various industries enterprises.

I gained valuable experience while working on technical assistance to Newly Independent States (TACIS), which the European Union Commission of finance from 1996 to 2001. Its contractor was London Business School and other International Institutes. It entailed highly intensive research of statistics, tendencies, and facts of history. 

Also, I fulfill several cross-disciplinary educational courses, teaching students of different generations on multicultural audiences at home and abroad. Honestly speaking, that is a very productive exchange.  

With the frame of such a prestigious interview, I would like to mention three critical components of using methodology: 

 

  1. Firstly, we pay attention to working with a student's goal and objectives and how the courses correlate with the research subject.
  2. The second central principle is establishing information and communication turnover and process within an academic and industrial society where our students are working.
  3. Task number three is to organize the transformation from the Teacher-Student cooperative process to the scientific and practical use product.

Also, I will mention the story of how LIGS University invited and involved me in the progressive online education process. 

Answering the first question is essential, highlighting how teaching principles and educational methodology cooperate. At the very beginning, both of us, teacher and student, agree that we are professional; however, for the practical education and research process to start from the ZERO position. It helps us not miss important things and does not confuse us to teach or correct each other. In all cases, the core subject of our educational collaboration is Management. That is our passion and profession for many of us!

However, we assume and declare that the theory of Management remains the same for too long, without any changes or innovative theoretical revolution. Despite so repeatedly industrial processes changing from third to fourth and to the fifth industrial revolution, the theory for a linear, senior, or even top board executive’s corporation management uses the same roles and approaches. Even marketing makes more progressive steps than management did latest decades.   

I was always interested in the evolution of Management to see the practical concept for crisis resolution. Joint knew that classical fundamental and strategic Management could hardly help within an "ideal storming" circumstances in today's corporate or financial sector. Moreover, most fathers and mothers of Management', such as Peter Druker, Igor Ansoff, Robert Grant, Henry Mintzberg, and many others, were gone. 

Also, currently well-known theorists in Management and competitiveness as Michal Porter, who changed the field of research direction to medicine and social-political trends. As a benchmark for market makers on Wall Street, Even Dow Jones Index is 80% forming, not by industrial corporations, as traditionally required by the global industry, but by High-Tech service companies. 

The other Management's guru still cannot offer a new theory or concepts for harmonizing governing according to the progressive industrial technologies and new generations of managers. There are not all enterprises can jump to the digitization execution with its high cost and risks. And not all managers can compete with artificial intelligence power and unpredictability.

 

In any case, seeing how rapidly business and life are changing to the digital era and post-industrial world, most practitioners are waiting for a new revolution in management theory and practice. 

There is no doubt that the last two decades' management principles, whether operational or educational directions, should be different from those offered fifty or seventy years ago.

That is why our international students and teachers of the LIGS community can effectively use online mechanisms for learning and designing to transform ICT achievements to contemporary education and scientific process?

Answer for a second question: There is no more universal model for transforming experience 

Figure 1: Title: Contemporary scale of ICT service providers [1] 

knowledge as the educational methodologies: through teaching, training, exchange, and mentoring. This convergence takes place best in the framework of postgraduate education, where students are professionals. Before explaining some details of professional orientation, I would like to demonstrate to picture where we are in the digitalization field? That vision I gained from my colleagues at the webinar of the Canadian Institute of Management Consultants. 

It is very well known, the content of the courses within the postgraduate programs such: MS, MBA, EMBA, DMBA, or Ph.D. have to be under standardization requirements. Despite existing different accreditation centers in the USA, Europe, Asia, or Australia, students who graduate will have equal levels of qualification. 

Whether in a top-ranking business school or a particular university college, the differentiation of studying is contained in the communication and exchange process. As alumni and students noted, the best practical value they gain is from the students, who jealously wanted to secure, but share innovative ideas. 

Undoubtedly, the online system could not allow getting benefits and approves as being in a traditional audience, where students gain lectures and internships in the room together. Many practical issues appear from the requirements of students and the needs of students for mutual communication and exchange. That is why I and hope our colleagues emphasize eliminating the gap in inter-student communication and cooperation.  

The primary reason to achieving trusty and benefits for online are:

 

  • Exchange and discuss my and student approach as a researcher in fundamental and academic science;
  • Exchange in lecturing practice, rising and share skills within concepts industrial 4.0 requirements and university 3.0; 
  • Exchange of skills on understanding the transformation methodology for X, Y, Z generation standing within transforming the world. 
  • Exchange with changing the human philosophy of consumption to the groundbreaking, nature-like technologies in business and harmony life being.

Perhaps generation Z will be able to build a new model of international partnership and make historical changes in the paradigm of democracy and contemporary education technologies.

Thus working within the remote education system, we are trying to compensate losses instead of such productive communication gaps. My role as a professor should be to evaluate students' knowledge gathering from the courses, coordinate the right direction on his research, and organize a productive exchange with potential colleagues worldwide.

The already existing LIGS University, not mature network yet, but allows doing it with reasonable enough scientific and practical advice satisfaction. I hope our colleagues are doing the same exchange support for our students, who are good practitioners and enthusiastic about cooperative initiatives.   

Answer for question number three how to organize the transformation from the Teacher-Student cooperative process to the scientific and practical use product can be as follows. 

It's important to use previous own and other professional practices and forward vision. 

Being an experienced manager, I went through 53 years of unbroken working records within 69 years. 

As a qualified researcher, I was thirsty for unknown sciences, starting from engineering and nuclear power plant. However, I spent a decade studying mathematical calculation and accurate construction testing Nuclear Power Plant for strengthening and defense for inventions and their effectiveness. Then the end of the 80th, I was involved in the information and communication technologies within the USA-USSR cooperative program covering the space investigation, nuclear disarmament, and environmental monitoring projects. 

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But at the beginning of the 90th, after the Soviet Union's unexpected collapse, we were enthusiastic about building a New Independent States (NIS) in creating legislation, banks, and financial markets infrastructure. Thus, destiny and political leaders changed my activity at those turbulent times from one sphere to another because the NIS met so many challenges and crises in its developing way. Figure 2: Going through motivation in technological and digital transformation  

Simultaneously with going through the MBA program at the Open University, UK, I won a six-month research grant at the IREX in the USA gained contemporary risk and crisis management skills. Such education was used as a professional crisis manager for several dozens of enterprises and financial institutions at home country and internationally.

Nevertheless, I am active now in cross continents' academic duties: in the USA at LIGS University - "Crisis Management Strategies course"; in Russia, HSMF RANEPA - «Risk Management,» «Cost and Management Accounting,» «Asset Liability management + Securitization»; and my native country Belarus State Economic University with Courses "Project Management," Managerial accounting" "Financial Engineering and Modeling" "Strategic Management" for MS and MBA program in English. 

To convert theory power to practice, I have kept professional certification and IMC USA since 2009, American Bankruptcy Institute, and other professional societies helping establish business and cultural ties between America and Eurasia. 

Might be someone can ask me, why and what for are gaining such disciplinary rainbow? Most Professors keep one or two core subjects for professional teaching. It is tough to fulfill competence in such a wide range of managerial functions and educational disciplines. Still, it is necessary to manage a highly complicated firm or project within a painful crisis.    

 

Question: What is your history and relationship with LIGS?

 

Primarily, nine years ago, when Alexandra Ovrascova found me on the "Global Net" and suggested preparing a course in Management at LIGS University, I decided that I could hardly do it. There were a couple of reasons, mentioned above, why that pure academic course in Management was out of my soul and competence as a practitioner in Anti-crisis Management. Moreover, being worming up with a profound crisis management system requires excellent leadership skills, but you also have to cover cross-disciplinary learning and multi-functional competence.

These are skills in psychology to recognize people's behavior within stress and disaster, fulfill legal competence to defense business and human rights at working place. You have to be profound in financial and marketing knowledge for the company's rehabilitation when clients and funds are gone from the enterprise as a potential bankrupt. For doing this demanding and discriminated job, should very enthusiastic and qualified professionals. Moreover, as the practice has shown, we need such professionals more and more in each industry and country today and tomorrow. 

Thus my response to Alexandra was: to consider an offer in the more challenging course as the "Crisis Management Strategies."

From the beginning, students interested in such a course did not understand what Anti-crisis management means? Unfortunately, ten years ago, there were very few sources of literature students could find. Nevertheless, the class "Crisis Management Strategies" quickly gained popularity among Online LIGS University students.

At the same time, students, being professionals in industries, seeing the attractiveness of the new course, felt dissatisfied with a lack of understanding of the latest definitions. How to understand and study this? Did they ask where to find literature? What does the exchange of the roles of lecturer and researcher, initiator of an idea, and performer mean? 

For the conversion of knowledge and skills, converted and generated in the cooperation of a professor and a student, it is most effective to use the delegation model. 

I am proud to provide examples of LIGS University students who are specialists in industries from different countries who can transform the knowledge and skills collected into changing people's behavior and business models in conditions of uncertainty, ambiguity, and lack of information. 

Furthermore, we provide evidence using the acquired skills of crisis management, requiring good cross-disciplinary understanding and communication in a cross-cultural society. It shows how cooperation between students and teachers on the dissertation or seminar paper research process can lead to scientific and practical solutions in the global industrial and digital era. The exact time is gaining practice on the convergence of industrial and educational-scientific technologies during crises. We are going through the analysis of international trends in the implementation of the Industry 4.0 and 5.0 concepts and related problems as:

  • Exponential growth on Information and Communication Technologies;
  • Uncovered demand in new Management and Education methods;
  • Unpredictable Economic and Political behavior in the processes of transformation for corporates and society.

Such education methodology demonstrates the simplicity and availability of cross-disciplinary knowledge in the digital economy, which is a reasonable basis for Crisis Management to be attractive and easily adapted for individuals or organizations' operational, tactical, and strategic activities.

Most LIGS students performing conceptual thesis are the effectiveness of research achievement and the need for scientific and practical significance. Ideas must demonstrate the public importance and awareness through publishing individual articles or even books when the cooperation goes profoundly and long-term. 

As a privilege of cooperation, teachers and students can make joint publications, developing their weight by the depth of research and knowledge. The teacher and the student are usually represented by different generations from the fields of expertise and activity.

I can tell you about good cooperation with my former students, as now Dr. Tan Kian Hua, Singapore, who is working with cybersecurity, cloud technologies, and the Internet of Things for the social and industrial sphere, invited me to write a book as coauthor. 

 

Figure 3: Information has always been a core value in achieving competitive advantages, and value in developing communication technologies has become an ever-evolving phenomenon in the cyber world. [2]

I mainly want to note striking and many examples of how Singapore formed strategies within the industry 4.0 and 5.0 trends framework. Kian Tan is on the top of ICT modern skills and my knowledge and competence are based on even fifty years of history and evolution when the information communication technology aroused. Thus our synergy was born a good product, the book "Cybersecurity As a Fishing Game". Undoubtedly, the post-industrial world and the digital era will require a fundamentally new management system associated with changes in products and services by introducing digital twins, artificial intelligence, 5G, and cloud technologies.

Student Network Project - Your role with LIGS University is much bigger than limited to "only" being a lecturer. Can you explain to our audience how you participate in connecting students throughout the continents?

 

Answering such a good question will be not enough with limiting our University scale. LIGS University is expanding internationally its quality and quantity measures via our Rector, Board, Administrative office, and students' emphasis. Being lucky to have visited more than a hundred countries on five continents, I discovered not only the uniqueness of nature and nations' cultures. I withdrew so many innovative ideas for projects created in home countries and abroad. Thus executing professional Management consulting or academic duties, I am very flexible to restore or find samples or contacts from any industry or government if my students are looking for something special for their ambitious purpose.   

I will note several works by our students who have developed conversion models into the educational process within the course and concepts "Crisis Management Strategies." 

Darrell Wine Fernandez, Doha, Qatar Oil, and Gas Corporation ORYX GTL, conducted a unique study of risk and crisis assessment in oilfields within the DBA program. [1]

Ph. D. student Taha Ezzeddin Ghorbel, whom I consider a classical scientist and teacher, has combined operational technology, health, and safety, spending special efforts years of research and educational process to identify communication gaps. Also, he merged PCA (Principal Component Analysis) method to factorize variables into two primary factors and classify all data into a correlation matrix table, classification based on stakeholder satisfaction that can influence decisions. He spent several years on the research and thesis designing in addition to multi-year professional practice. Taha is bringing to the defending session a very high-quality Ph.D. dissertation, just a week from now. 

Kenneth A. Shay's seminar paper "AN INDISPENSABLE REQUISITE FOR MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES AND NGOs IN JAMAICA" considers Anti-crisis management within world globalization consequences.

A unique example is the scientific work of Dr. Youssouf Doukoure, France, associated with the development of international telecommunications in the context of cooperation between economies in transition and developed countries. [2]

Nowadays, students, in their research, go much further and explore the crises of recent years, such as COVID and the technological explosion that led to the system of online communications, which also undoubtedly influenced the educational process. [3]

I will give just a couple of such examples of students from Canada. 

Elias T. Enoaku is adopting with research theme: Investigation of the causes of megaprojects crisis of international development cooperation and sustainability projects leading to failures. Adient Lock considers Crisis management in British Columbia: A strategy for recovery within the reasons and people behavior during the COVID and beyond. 

The principles of the professor-students cooperation for researching and this designing expand and distributed on an international scale. More than a hundred students from China, Russia, and other Eurasia countries went through the MS and MBA programs under my teaching and supervising within the latest years.  

Most of them demonstrate unique abilities to study using ICT facilities rather than gaining knowledge from literature or classical lecturing. Especially would like to note that young researchers can gather information on the subject of investigation using the global Net and ICT resources. However, when the supervisor asks the meaning of such information, they can explain little or even nothing. Thus that is an excellent chance for teachers to accelerate students’ competence.

There was always a problem of transformation through generations, especially with offering look down and crisis circumstances. However, in the modern digital world, when a child, long before pronouncing the first words, can easily find a way to turn on the desired program on a smartphone, this is especially noticeable. It is not surprising that Generation Y and Z, who grew up in the rapidly evolving ecosystem involving the Internet and social networks, can interact with the virtual world and influence behavior and thinking. 

No doubt that such an approach will give new tools for the formation new system of student-teacher cooperation. The synergy mechanisms will convert economic, financial, social, and political knowledge into a new post-industrial professional and ethical code.

However, offering such a wide range of models and concepts to develop skills in English, through writing and verbal practice for doing cooperation internationally, I cannot promise to students raise their grammar considerably. That is one of my weaknesses, and I use the licensed Grammarly program as a good supporter in test preparation. Explaining such disadvantages, I use supportive motivation from my scientific supervisor at Ohio State University. I was overworking on this program during my six-month studying and research in the United States in 2000. I became acquainted with the project "Unification of educational programs for the US and the EU Colleges", performed by the Wright State University and led by Dr. Robert Shearer, and achieved considerable practical skills.  

When he offered me lecturing at the University within the research program, on reacting for such a prestigious offer, I argued to Dr. Robert Shearer how my poor English makes lecturing? He earnestly told me: Vladimir, English is not your profession; you are a professional in Finance Management. Please speak to students about how to make it less risky and internationally. People will understand! So, most of us are nonnative speakers, but only deep love for the subject of research and language as a tool can help us cooperate without barriers and effectively.    

The final part is encouraging students to study at LIGS University.

Saying great thank our students and colleagues in all cases, I would appreciate your interest in cooperation within the University programs development. And if you are interested in LIGS University MBA, DBA, or Ph. D. programs or would like to cooperate with me, please be sure we undoubtedly reach the best achievements within a short period. We will be grateful for a reader's feedback and suggestions, preserving our cooperation and contributing to the successful development of a mutual value teacher-student partnership.

[1]  https://www.cmc-canada.ca/Events 5-Strategies-to-Digitize-your-Business

[2]https://www.amazon.com/Cybers.../dp/1543765238/ref=sr_1_2?fbclid=IwAR0iqwkcOdZ1wxGMx_uPbTW8mnj7uoUSEK12nhhwuEByfEn-LxhGg_SW08k 

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