Kudos to Campus life for taking the time to look past IE´s employees visiting cards to find out a bit more about their lives and interests!
I should start by explaining why I decided to join IE, over four years ago. When I was first contacted about a new opening at the law school, I was working at University College London and did not know much about IE. Nor was I thinking in leaving the UK, as I had already changed countries a few times within a short time span (UK, Belgium, The Netherlands and back to the UK), was married to a wonderful Belgian woman, and had three kids. But the fact that I have been born and raised in Madrid, and that most of my family still lived there, were two additional reasons to take the possibility very seriously.
So, I decided to undertake some research. I was quite surprised and impressed by what I found. Here´s why. I found an institution of higher education that was trying, quite simply and nonchalantly, to reinvent higher education by applying to it a globally oriented, entrepreneurially minded, tech-enabled, humanistic, approach. Ok, I grant that was not the language used at that point in time, but the vision and mission were there nonetheless. Moreover, IE had something to back up its mission, particularly—but not only—its leading positions in international business school rankings.
This was intriguing to say the least, as those adjectives do not generally match my experience at a good number of internationally oriented universities. Indeed, the entire idea of a university having an integrated strategy to achieve some well determined goals beyond promoting excellence in teaching and research is a rather novel, and not yet very widespread, idea.
After some time at IE I became convinced that it has what it takes to achieve its mission. This is a young, dynamic, creative, open, diverse, and forward looking institution. A place to grow and help others grow, while making a well-considered contribution to one of the great challenges throughout history: how to better educate citizens so that they may reach their full potential and fulfil their own mission. At IE Law School, we take this as a starting point to develop a range of programmes and activities that can achieve that in the legal professions. Not a bad place to be at all…
Bio: Javier de Cendra is the Dean of IE Law School. He is also President of the Law Schools Global League, member of the governing board of the International Association of Law Schools, Honorary Senior Research fellow at University College London Faculty of Law, Honorary Senior Lecturer at UCL Energy Institute, legal expert at Sustainability College Brugge, and member of the boards of several reserach centres and think tanks.