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Dig Deeper


Jay Light

Harvard Business School
Bachelors – Cornell; PhD – Harvard Business School

Light was the dean of the Harvard Business School from 2006 – 2010.  He was appointed Dean by Lawrence Summers (#45) when Summers was Harvard’s president.  As dean of the Harvard Business School, Light could hardly remain silent in the aftermath of the financial crisis, fueled as it was by so many Ivy League graduates. Amazingly, and in spite of the huge numbers of Ivy League graduates at the core of the crisis, Light refused to even tacitly acknowledge any complicity in all the damage wrought by so many Harvard and Harvard Business School graduates.  Here is Light at the peak of the crisis in October 2008 celebrating the 100th anniversary of Harvard Business School’s founding;

“What we have witnessed is a stunning and sobering failure of financial safeguards, of financial markets, of financial institutions and mostly of leadership at many levels.  We will leave the talk of fixing the blame to others.  That is not very interesting.  But we must be involved in fact in fixing the problem.”

In spite of the fact that Light cites the leading role lousy leadership played in the crisis, nowhere in the quote above does he cite the role of the schools that so many of these lousy leaders graduated from.  To the extent that “elite” graduate business schools like Harvard’s or Ivy League undergraduate colleges generally merit a role in fixing a problem they clearly helped to cause – a proposition almost completely devoid of merit by the way – a necessary prerequisite would be for these business schools and undergraduate colleges to recognize their role in creating the problem they know propose to solve.  In Luke’s gospel is the advice, “Physician, cure yourself.” (Luke 4:23)  Harvard and all the other elite graduate schools of business would be well to take it.  

Additional Information:

See Steve Kaplan (#30) for another shill for the education establishment at one of the country’s supposedly “top” business schools.