Thursday, April 3, 2008

Harvard isn't THAT gr8...... enjoy.... :)

Hey ppl,
How Harvard achieved it's miraculous brand always remained a mystery to me. Resigning to it's awesome yield, I decided that it is really the school of the GODs...... until about 3 months back or so, I got this somewhere......

"A Flood of Crimson Ink", By Michael Steinberger
Another academic year is drawing to a close, another year in which Harvard has generated vastly more headlines than any other American university. Most of these, of late, have concerned Lawrence Summers, Harvard's president, who famously suggested that there may be a biological explanation for the paucity of female scholars in the hard sciences. (He hasn't stopped apologizing since). But a single controversy doesn't account for all the interest. Two recent books are decidedly unflattering to the school: Richard Bradley's "Harvard Rules" is, among other things, an assault on the entire three years of Mr. Summers's tenure, charging him with arrogance and bad manners, among much else. And in "Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class," Ross Douthat, class of 2002, describes his own Harvard education as a combination of vacuous classroom assignments, cruel social climbing and feverish networking.
Of course, a fervid interest in Harvard is nothing out of the ordinary: It is the country's most famous university, with a long claim on distinguished scholarship, political influence and high SAT scores. Most important, the media have long fawned over Harvard, treating its "brand" as pure gold. But while the school may have merited obsessive coverage in the past, it no longer does: Harvard is diminishing in importance as a factory for ideas and a breeding ground for future leaders. In all sorts of ways it is not nearly as pivotal to the life of the nation as it once was. You just wouldn't know that by reading the papers or browsing the bookstands.
Take politics. Harvard has long prided itself on being an incubator of political talent, and for good reason: It has educated seven US presidents, more than any other graduate university. But only two Harvard graduates have been elected president in the last 45 years, and one of them, the current occupant of the Oval Office, holds a Harvard MBA. By contrast, four of the six most recent presidents earned degrees from Yale, and two Yalies squared off in the past election. Moreover, for Democratic office-seekers at least, a Harvard education, with its suggestion of Eastern privilege and liberal elitism, is probably more of a liability than an asset these days.
Harvard also matters less in the business world. It is true that a few Harvard graduates (and one dropout, Bill Gates) have figures prominently in the digital revolution - unquestionably the biggest story in the past decade - but Stanford is a much more prolific supplier of its brainpower. Google, Yahoo!, Cicsco, Sun Microsystems and a raft of other marquee tech firms were partly or wholly incubated on the Stanford campus.
Meanwhile, there are fewer Harvard diplomas hanging in corporate boardrooms. According to the executive search firm Stuart Spencer, the percentage of large-company CEOs holding Harvard MBAs declined to 23% last year from 28% in 1998. Of the Fortune 1000 CEO's appointed so far this year, just one, Corning Wendell Weeks, earned a Harvard MBA. Asked about Harvard's declining presence in the executive suites, Mr. Weeks jokingly told USA Toady, "I've yet to see a study that Harvard creates value."
Quite the opposite, actually. Two years ago, famed hedge-fund manager Victor Niederhoffer (himself a Harvard alumnus) and Laurel Kenner did a study measuring the performance of Nasdaq 100 companies run by Harvard graduates, of which there happened to be an unusually large number at the time. The results were not pretty. Mr. Niederhoffer and Ms. Kenner looked at the nine Nasdaq 100 firms headed by Harvard grads and found that they had, over a five-year period, dramatically underperformed Nasdaq firms run by graduates of the other Ivy League schools, Ivy League equivalents (Stanford, MIT, Berkeley) and state schools.
Harvard is also a much less important intellectual hub than it once was. The University of Chicago, for one, has wielded much more influence in recent decades. It is not an exaggeration to say that Chicago laid the intellectual foundation for the conservative ascendancy and nurtured the ideas that now drive the debate over economic policy, legal theory and foreign affairs. The key ideas of the so-called Reagan Revolution, including monetarism and deregulation, trace their origins back to the free-market theorizing of Chicago's economics department. (One striking measure of the department's clout: Of the 55 economists awarded the Nobel Prize since 1969, when economics was added to the roster, 10 have taught at Chicago and an additional 13 either trained at Chicago or have had previously taught there. Harvard, by contract, has had 4 faculty winners.)
One of those Chicago Nobel laureates, Ronald Coase, is acknowledged to be the godfather of law and economics, unquestionably the most influential branch of legal theory in the past quarter-century. (It applies economic reasoning to legal questions). And while Harvard certainly has its superstars, when you look at the people who have taught at Chicago in the past 40 years or so - Milton Friedman, Richard Posner, Allan Bloom, Leo Strauss, Robert Lucas, Albert Wohlstetter, Richard Epstein, Leon Cass, Saul Bellow, Martha Nussbaum - it is pretty clear which school has been giving off more heat.
So why does Harvard continue to get so much more press than Chicago or any other American university? One possible explanation: Harvard graduates are disproportionately represented in the upper echelons of American journalism. Harvard far surpasses any other university when it comes to cultivating journalistic talent, and all those Harvard-trained reporters and editors do an excellent job of keeping their alma mater in the news.
Young Mr. Douthat is a case in point. In a recent profile of him published in the New York Observer, he explained that he landed his current job with the Atlantic when David Bradley, the magazine's owner, walked into the offices of the Harvard Crimson looking for a few recruits. As for the book, it was commissioned by an editor who had graduated from Harvard several years ahead of Mr. Douthat. Nice connections, if you can get them.

After reading the above.......I get a sense of why HBS ranked so low in the WSJ rankings..... maybe the skool is not so gr8........ I feel that maybe humans like me can also get into THE skool........ oh no....... wait........ I DON'T want to get into Harvard....... I want you to join me in shunning HBS completely so that they stop playing this black game........*wicked grin*...........(A miserable attempt to mislead the competition) ........ lol....... So lets start this movement guys.........*evil everywhere*......
Enjoy life....... peace.


JulyDream said...

Very intriguing read, although I wouldn't say it's time to blacklist HBS. I have a good friend there, who loves the experience. The experience and perception I received wasn't for me, so I didn't apply. But this is the reason there are so many options for business school... some people fit and some don't.

theincarnated said...

No..... NOW is the time to blacklist Harvard.......since I will be applying this year and can use less competition....:)....*an evil smug*..... and since you have already applied and accepted my call doesnt concern you..... hope you understand.........peace.....

Adam Markus said...

Dear theincarnated,
First, thank you for the link. I am glad you like my site.

Second, my alter ego, Mada Sukram, took over my blog for the day on April 1st and noted some new trends at HBS that I think will be of interest to your readers:

"April 01, 2008
Changes at HBS for Fall 2009
I have heard through an exclusive source that earlier this week, Harvard Business School has made the following changes to its requirements for Fall 2009 admission:

1. HBS will no longer admit applicants with any substantial work experience beyond part-time jobs. While not stating anything specifically about age requirements, it is pretty clear that HBS will no longer be admitting applicants over age 23. Of course, older applicants can continue to apply, but they will be rejected.

2. HBS will begin its "10 plus Zero Program," targeting promising 12 year olds. If accepted by HBS, they will be offered a personal mentoring system guaranteeing admission into the MBA program after completion of their bachelors degree. (I have heard a vague unsubstantiated rumor that Stanford GSB will begin a prenatal admissions program, but only for legacy applicants.)

3. HBS will require that all applicants make full use of application re-writing services to insure that applicants provide essays of uniform quality so that differences in applicant background can be used as the basis for admission.

4. Those with GMATs over 740 need not apply because HBS has determined that leaders should not be brilliant.

For those of you who are over 12 years old and college graduates with work experience, you can still buy the Harvard Business Review or better yet, read most of it for free online. While there is a rumor that HBR will be launching a new animated cartoon in partnership with Marvel Comics, I could not get anyone to comment on it.

Other exciting news from HBS: Upon his retirement from the Office of the President of United States of America, George Bush (HBS, Class of 1975), will become HBS's first Honorary Professor of Leadership Failure. Also a Financial Failure Institute will be established with former Bear Stearns CEO James Cayne serving as its Executive Director and Bridge Master."

-Adam Markus
PS: Mada Sukram has proved to be a highly unreliable source.

theincarnated said...

lol.... ya exactly...... at first when i read that post, i was totally convinced that hbs has made these changes so that it can take the gr8 ME into their class..... but then again...... alas i saw the date...... 1 apr.... and the silly grin on my face faded as always :( .... hehehe

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