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News & Events

May 13, 2014

As faculty members of the Department of Economics at Smith College, we are very disappointed that Christine Lagarde has decided to withdraw as this year’s commencement speaker. Many of our students share in this disappointment. There was a great deal of excitement on campus at the prospect of hearing from Madame Lagarde, who has achieved the rare distinction of becoming a female leader of a global economic institution. We acknowledge the controversy that surrounds International Monetary Fund (IMF) policies and, as individual economists, hold a range of views on these policies and the complex, difficult problems they seek to address. We also recognize the evolving nature of the IMF as an institution and in that context, looked forward to hearing Madame Lagarde’s remarks. The withdrawal of Madame Lagarde as our commencement speaker represents a lost opportunity to hear directly from the leader of this influential global institution and to use that address as a valuable input into a well-informed, multi-faceted, and nuanced discourse on our campus about crucial issues facing the world.

Randall Bartlett

Thomas Bernardin, Jr. (Five College Post Doctoral Fellow)

Robert Buchele

Deborah Haas-Wilson

Simon Halliday

Roger Kaufman

Mahnaz Mahdavi

James Miller

Roisin O’Sullivan

Elizabeth Savoca

Susan Stratton Sayre

Charles Staelin

Vis Taraz

Andrew Zimbalist