Is Bigger Necessarily Better?


ralph
Good article on the US News and World Report blog recently: "The Race for Bigger, Better Business Schools."

In the blog the author runs down the list of recent gifts to top business schools: $300 million to Chicago GSB, $105 million to Stanford from Phil Knight, $100 million to Columbia. Much of this money, it seems, is going to building bigger, ostensibly "better" campuses:

[Yale] received the largest gift in its history in December with a $50 million pledge from Yale College alumnus Edward (Ned) Evans, who died less than two weeks later. Construction of the SOM's new 4.25 acre, state-of-the-art campus will incorporate the latest in green construction materials and practices and will house high-tech classrooms, faculty offices, academic centers, and meeting spaces organized around a welcoming courtyard.


This article made me wonder - and I'm just thinking out loud here: could this kind of money be more effective elsewhere? I mean, I've been to Yale before, and believe me, that school did not need to upgrade its campus (at least compared to the state school I went to.) What if this money went to developing new, state-of-the-art e-learning curriculum?

Schools like ASU Carey, Warwick Business School, and even Thunderbird are making huge strides in developing distance learning programs that are close to like being in classrooms, and may even help students in more efficient ways. And those schools certainly are not getting $100 million gifts from alumni.

Or maybe the top business schools just want their campuses to look better than those of the peers.
Good article on the US News and World Report blog recently: "The Race for Bigger, Better Business Schools."

In the blog the author runs down the list of recent gifts to top business schools: $300 million to Chicago GSB, $105 million to Stanford from Phil Knight, $100 million to Columbia. Much of this money, it seems, is going to building bigger, ostensibly "better" campuses:

<blockquote>[Yale] received the largest gift in its history in December with a $50 million pledge from Yale College alumnus Edward (Ned) Evans, who died less than two weeks later. Construction of the SOM's new 4.25 acre, state-of-the-art campus will incorporate the latest in green construction materials and practices and will house high-tech classrooms, faculty offices, academic centers, and meeting spaces organized around a welcoming courtyard.</blockquote>

This article made me wonder - and I'm just thinking out loud here: could this kind of money be more effective elsewhere? I mean, I've been to Yale before, and believe me, that school did not need to upgrade its campus (at least compared to the state school I went to.) What if this money went to developing new, state-of-the-art e-learning curriculum?

Schools like ASU Carey, Warwick Business School, and even Thunderbird are making huge strides in developing distance learning programs that are close to like being in classrooms, and may even help students in more efficient ways. And those schools certainly are not getting $100 million gifts from alumni.

Or maybe the top business schools just want their campuses to look better than those of the peers.
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Mateo
Thanks for posting this, Ralph. I couldn't agree more with you, actually. But to be honest, I'm not surprised. It's a trend that the rich get richer, with more gifts attached. I think a lot of it has to do with being showy, and less to do with improving curriculum. To would be nice to see a re-distribution of wealth go to other MBA initiatives that require more attention, like e-learning, or more funding to send students aboard for global programs, or even scholarships for students!

But I guess it difficult to compete with the 'old boys' club.
Thanks for posting this, Ralph. I couldn't agree more with you, actually. But to be honest, I'm not surprised. It's a trend that the rich get richer, with more gifts attached. I think a lot of it has to do with being showy, and less to do with improving curriculum. To would be nice to see a re-distribution of wealth go to other MBA initiatives that require more attention, like e-learning, or more funding to send students aboard for global programs, or even scholarships for students!

But I guess it difficult to compete with the 'old boys' club.
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georgep
Inviting more audiance to related interesting chat ..
http://www.find-mba.com/board/20012
Inviting more audiance to related interesting chat ..
http://www.find-mba.com/board/20012
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ralph

But I guess it difficult to compete with the 'old boys' club.


That's exactly right - and the weight those old boys' programs carry around the world is hard to contend with. But I'm seeing an opening for a new model - where globally distributed campuses connect students and professors online. It might take a while for those programs to become reputable, but it's where things are headed.
<blockquote>
But I guess it difficult to compete with the 'old boys' club. </blockquote>

That's exactly right - and the weight those old boys' programs carry around the world is hard to contend with. But I'm seeing an opening for a new model - where globally distributed campuses connect students and professors online. It might take a while for those programs to become reputable, but it's where things are headed.
quote

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