NYT Article on Gender and Class at Havard Business School Inspires Admissions Rule Suggestion

On Sunday the New York Times ran an article that was both inspiring and chilling.  Bottom line — energetic intervention by the administration almost completely eliminated the prior huge grade gap between men and women.  The chilling context, however, is a very depressing of a money soaked, class divided, status oriented and ambition-to-the-point-of-nihilism environment.  Not a place I would ever want my grandchildren to go — although they are of course free to make their own bad decisions.

Tonight the Times is running a follow up article on the follow up, suggesting that many think that class rather than gender is the real issue, and showing the huge gap between the rich and the rest there.   I blog, therefore, to pass on this wonderful suggestion from the new piece, one that law schools should surely adopt.

To help bring the school’s culture back down to earth, Thomas J. Peters, a co-author of “In Search of Excellence” who has spoken at the Harvard Business School and has been a frequent critic of business education, suggested that the school apply a simple admissions rule: anyone from an ultraprivileged background needs to have done something of significant social value to be admitted.

“If you’re 27 years old and you’ve been given a lot of money, that’s plenty of time to have done something,” he said, adding that he and many of his friends at Stanford Business School in the 1970s were veterans. “Why can’t that be in the admissions criteria flat out?”

And, making a donation after deciding to go to law school does not count.

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About richardzorza

I am deeply involved in access to justice and the patient voice movement.
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One Response to NYT Article on Gender and Class at Havard Business School Inspires Admissions Rule Suggestion

  1. Mary Ryan says:

    The NYT’s suggestion “that many think that class rather than gender is the real issue, and showing the huge gap between the rich and the rest there.” is on point. Clearly this is a age-old issue – one that Professor Conant attempted to address:
    “In 1933, James Bryant Conant, on becoming president of Harvard, decided to start a new scholarship program for academically gifted boys who did not come from the Eastern boarding schools that were the regular suppliers of Harvard’s students. He gave Henry Chauncey, an assistant dean at Harvard, the task of finding a test to evaluate candidates for these scholarships. Chauncey met Carl Brigham, and came back to Conant with the recommendation that he use the SAT. Conant liked the test because he thought it measured pure intelligence, regardless of the quality of the taker’s high school education.”
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/sats/where/history.html .
    Perhaps in some form Professor Conant’s efforts were successful in that it allowed young men to enter Harvard despite their economic status. With the continued unapologetic efforts of many in addition to Mr. Peter’s suggestion, things might change,
    Additional information
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/sats/where/history.html

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