Economist Vicente Salas explained how political economy has contributed to debating “what the company should be like to contribute to the social goals of prosperity, sustainability and inclusion” in his master class as a new doctor honoris causa at the UAB . Salas received the award this morning at a ceremony at the Rector's Office in which the rector, Javier Lafuente, praised both his "valuable and fruitful legacy" and his "personal commitment" to the UAB.
Salas, who is Professor Emeritus of Business Organization at the University of Zaragoza and has been a member of the Governing Council and the Executive Committee of the Bank of Spain, was also a Professor at the UAB between 1990 and 1995 and has collaborated · Worked closely with the Faculty of Economics and Business, the center that proposed him for the honorary doctorate. His godfather, retired professor and former rector of the UAB Antoni Serra Ramoneda, has presented him as "a university model, an exemplary citizen and a great collaborator".
The economist began his speech by evoking his first contacts with the UAB and with Professor Serra Ramoneda to delve into teaching economics in business and thanked the University for the role it has played in his career. : "Thanks to the Autonomous for everything you have given me." The economist then talks about what the social goals of companies should be and what incentives they have to achieve them.
He reflected on how a “sustainable” and “inclusive” company should be that takes into account the most vulnerable people in the functioning of the markets and praised the concept of “corporate philanthropy”, which he considers a “qualitative leap” because it involves that social preferences are assumed by the legal person. A field where, however, he has acknowledged that much remains to be done.
Finally, Salas recalled that, although the majority is the capitalist type of company, there are other cooperative models or those with co-management systems and trilateral government. And he said that, from an academic point of view, "we have to ask ourselves why, in the world of business, capital companies predominate", and whether it would be easier in another scenario for companies to take on more social preferences.
"Commitment to students and colleagues"
At the end of the event, Rector Lafuente praised the work done by Salas throughout his career in both teaching and research, emphasizing his "commitment to students and fellow researchers." . He also wanted to highlight, from his personal career, the fact of achieving a brilliant academic career after being born "in an unfavorable environment to devote himself to study", to then reflect on the difficulties are still well present in certain social contexts ”despite progress in equal opportunities in higher education.
Lafuente also praised the "multidisciplinary approach to the study of organizations and management" that characterizes Salas' academic contribution to claim the "flexibility" necessary for universities to be more permeable to approaches. innovators that respond to social challenges ”and at the same time warn“ against standardizing approaches that neutralize the innovative capacity of our institutions ”.
The investiture ceremony was held in the rectory's auditorium and was broadcast live on the UAB's YouTube channel. The University Chamber Choir performed songs by Joan Manuel Serrat and Billie Eilish, as well as the university song Gaudeamus igitur, which, as is traditional, closed the event. The figure of Salas is also the subject of an exhibition in the Library of Social Sciences that exhibits, on the ground floor, copies of his works and other documentation on his professional career.
More information in the UAB press room.