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Business schools rethink their roles
The Emory Wheel, Emory U.
Perhaps fictional character Gordon
Gecko of "Wall Street" best summed up the
1980s by saying, "Greed is good." Business
schools used to churn out class after class of
Geckos, each with aspirations of private
parking spaces on Wall Street and a flashy
BMW parked in it.
But the 1990s have ushered in a new
philosophy in American business education.
More emphasis is being placed on practical
management and interpersonal skills in
addition to the staples of number-crunching
"Business schools, especially graduate
business schools, are being asked to do
more things than they've done before," said
Jim Schmotter, associate dean of Cornell
U.'sJohnson School of Management.
Schmotter pointed to the challenges of
the global marketplace, new technology and
the need for pragmatism as the reasons for
schools' changing curriculums.
By the end of the '80s, businesses began to
see MBA students as technical experts and
risk-averse managers, according to a widely
circulated report by business professors at
the U. of California-Irvine and the U. of
Oklahoma. The MBA was no longer the
"golden passport" to a successful career.
In the 1990s, "Student attitudes and
values have shifted," according to Andrea
Hershatter, assistant dean for students at
Emory U.'s Business School. "Banks aren't
hiring. Wall Street has cut way back, and the
service industry is growing," she said.
"People aren't thinking, 'How much money
can I make?' They are more willing to learn
through experience rather than to think
about the fast track into management."
At the U. of Michigan School of Business
Administration, for example, teams of first-
year MBA students will spend seven weeks as
I a a a a .
consultants to local businesses.
There is a new emphasis on getting people
working in teams to solve problems in
addition to tradiitional disciplines and work
in the classroom, said Paul Danos, associate
dean of Michigan's Business School.
"Businesses want people with the ability
not just to understand specific disciplines,
but work across them and solve problems as
total quality managers," he said.
Procter & Gamble has teamed up with the
business school at Emory U. to study the
relationship between business and the
customer. The company hired eight first-
year students as interns last summer to work
in teams. That experience formed the basis
of discussion and research for a marketing
class taught on campus last fall.
Business schools are faced with another
challenge in the '90s - competition with
each other. Armed with popular rankings,
such as those in U.S. News and World
Report, students must evaluate the schools
KEVIN THOMASON, UNIVERSITY JOURNAL, U. OF VIRGINIA
and decide which one offers the most for
them. "If anything positive can be said about
the rankings, which are very subjective and
unreliable, they have forced schools to pay
attention to what the market wants rather
than forcing a product on the market," said
Emory's Hershatter. Some students say they
like the rankings, though.
"The administration is much more willing
to listen to students," said David Ardis, an
MBA student at Michigan. This past year,
the school instituted mid-semester course
evaluations at the students' request.
A recent seminar at Emory dealt with
student understanding of ethics in business.
Said Emory senior David Weisberg, "The
cases we studied about business decisions
were the basis of discussion."
Schmotter countered, however, that
business schools cannot force ethics upon
students. "I think it is naive to think that
something taught in one course will make
student a more ethical person," she said.
Trying to get a
handle on this
1040 tax thing
The State News, Michigan State U.
Midterms, finals, summer jobs -just
when you thought your stress level had
peaked, the government put the icing
on the cake.
Tax time is here,
Taxes can be a frustrating experience,
but IRS officials say a little time and
preparation can make filing taxes easier.
Students must file tax returns if they
fall into one of two basic categories, said
Valetta Rose, office supervisor for the
H&R Block Executive Tax Service
Division in East Lansing, Mich.
"They would have to file if they have
unearned income over $550 and are
being claimed as a dependent by their
parents, or ifWthey have withholdings and
want to get it back," Rose said.
Unearned income is money received
from investments, interest or dividends,
and withholding is money taken from
Elcy Maccani, public affairs specialist
with the Internal Revenue Service said
students should file the easiest form
possible. Most students will file either a
1040EZ or a 1040A form. The long 1040
form is used when your itemized
deductions are greater than the
"The easier the form is for us to
process, the faster you get your refund,"
Forms were mailed out just after the
new year. Additional forms are available
at local IRS offices, most libraries or by
calling the IRS' Forms and Publications
hosine at 1-800-829-3676. Maccani said
most campuses have forms available and
many offer volunteer preparation
But she said most students shoulde h
ahle to filejust y using the instrctions
hooklet provided y the IRS.
What to have when filing:
A W-2 form from every place of
employment for 1991,
Interest statements from any savings
Income statements from all
mA correct filing form,
A copy of last year's form for
"And a calculator isn't a ad idea
either," Maccani said, adding math
errors are among the most common
mistakes made on tax returns.
This year's filing deadline is fast
Returns must be postmarked by
midnight, April 15, and many United
States Post Offices will remain open later
to accommodate late filers.
Maccani said the quicker someone
files, the better. It will take about four to
six weeks to get refunds from returns
filed April 15, she said.
RESERVE OFFICERS' TRAINING CORPS
Students get paid to evaluate professors
Rensselaer teachers think the faculty members to dectde when the
.s, jmeetings would take place. "I wanted to let
new method will inbrove z students and faculty set up thetr own ground
" rules," he said.
classes already znirogress The program began on an experimental
basis last fall.
By RICHARD WALLNER So far, Richtol said, all of the professors
TheRensselaerPolytechnic, RPI who are involved in the program have
If you're a freshman or sophomore with good
grades, apply now for a three-year or two-year
scholarship. From Army ROTC.
Army ROTC scholarships pay tuition, most
books and fees, plus $100 per school month. They
also pay off with leadership experience and officer
credentials impressive to future employers.
To apply, contact the Professor of Military
Science at your campus or one nearby.
THE SMARTEST COLLEGE
COURSE YOU CAN TAKE.
Many students dread them, some students
look forward to them, and some students
could care less about them. But teacher
evaluations are something every student will
have to fill out at one time or another during
At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a
chosen few will have the .privilege of
evaluating their professors over the course
of the semesterffor cash.
For their time and patience they get paid
The newlyfformed program, which was the
brainchild of Undergraduate Dean Herbert
Richtol and the faculty at RPI, was
established last fall after RPI professors told
him they wanted a program where students
could come to them with their suggestions
THANH NGUYEN, THE RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC, RPI
RPI has made evaluations a part-time job.
Two or three students in each of 10 classes
meet with their professors once a week to
discuss how the class is going and what can
be done to improve the course.
In return for their time, they receive $100.
Richttsl set up the program and allowed
reportedvery positive results.
He said they enjoy the opportunity to
improve their classes during the ongoing
"It's very helpful to provide a vehicle for
midterm corrections, because even if the
professor has taught the course before, each
class is different," Richtol said.
Harry McLaughlin, associate dean of
science and professor of mathematics, was
part of the program last fall.
He is also a believer in Rensselaer's new
program. He said students helped teachers
to adjust to problems in the courses as well
as point out things that were good in each
"We made some significant mid-course
corrections," McLaughlin said of the
student evaluations. "When things needed
changing, they told us."