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SSE professions and career paths : Laurent Batsch, President of the Dauphine Foundation

A graduate of the prestigious ENS Cachan higher education institution and holder of a PhD in management sciences, Laurent Batsch began his career as a secondary school teacher before becoming a lecturer at the Paris Dauphine University in 1993. He was appointed president in 2007 and then in 2008 founded the Paris Dauphine Foundation. After standing down from the University's presidency in 2016, he took over the Foundation's presidency in 2017. "I found it relatively natural to continue to serve, even more so within the framework of a unifying entity, which is what the Foundation is".

 

He gives his time on a completely voluntary basis, however he is not alone – he has a General Manager and two employees. "Fundraising is a fully-fledged job nowadays and we are lucky to have a major sector professional at the controls". The money raised is used, for example, to set up equal opportunities programmes: “we don't have quotas, but we help deserving schoolchildren to develop and gain in confidence". And Laurent Batsch has an inexhaustible supply of stories about these young people who "told themselves that it was possible and who are now real managerial material". A painting given to him by one of the students from the programme has pride of place in his office.

 

In addition to this programme, the Paris-Dauphine Foundation has funded the incubator's first steps, supported numerous research initiatives, provided students with affordable accommodation and funded international mobility grants. "Thanks to Carrefour's support, we have been able to send students abroad – which is particularly important in a university degree", says Laurent Batsch, before emphasising that "we go further, we incubate projects that are then taken up by the University".

TESTIMONY
"The Foundation is a fantastic organisational learning tool and a powerful vector of identity"

For this, the president goes to every possible effort: he chairs various bodies, is involved in implementing projects and campaigns, etc. "I'm a sort of sales rep working for a very small company that is both agile and frugal. When you’re president, you spend your time tightening bolts. So, I do what I know how to do”. Every day begins very early "with a breakfast with a partner or a prospective partner". After these morning meetings, he might attend "scientific committee meetings or make visits to the field, to see the projects being supported", he might pass by the office to sign "a letter of thanks and have a quick meeting with the Foundation's team", before attending alumni meetings "more often than not at the end of the day, to spread the good word and persuade them to join our ship".

 

Laurent Batsch sees himself as serving the University. "I'm giving back to Dauphine and it's fantastic to see that we are bringing the students with us". This is the case in particular with the Foulées de l’Immobilier, a 10km race organised every year by the Real Estate Management master's degree. This running event held near the campus raised €16,000 for the Foundation last year. This charity initiative is the first class gift of its type at Paris-Dauphine and the money raised will go to providing students from modest backgrounds with accommodation.

 

Although the Foundation already raises around €3.5 million per year, its president is looking more towards the future. "The University will be 50 years old in 2018/2019, so we have major fundraising projects and aims". Beyond this short-term goal, he is thinking first and foremost about his work in the long term. "The Foundation is a fantastic organisational learning tool and a powerful vector of identity”. Within this framework, Laurent Batsch wants to take this "energy and this intelligence for success" that he embodies still further.

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