Phi Beta Cons

Re: Business School

David Glenn lobbed a grenade into business education with his article, stating something in public that many have uttered in private for years. 

The article contains points that echo the ones put forth by Arum and Roksa’s Academically Adrift — business students study much less than other majors. Mr. Glenn also questions the rigor of the soft business majors such as management or marketing, as opposed to the quantitative ones like accounting and finance. 

As a professor in one of the disciplines under attack, I agree with much of the article. But, unless the higher-education bubble bursts and schools have to reinvent themselves, wholesale changes are not coming anytime soon. 

So where does business education go from here? I’ve tried to make the best of the situation by teaching my management classes as writing classes about management. There are certainly other ways to enforce rigor through pedagogies, such as case-study analysis with high expectations — as Mr. Glenn notes in his article.

Perhaps business does not belong at the undergraduate level at all. In the end, regardless of your opinion of Mr. Glenn’s work, I applaud him for getting people talking.

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