Fun with Ethically Challenged Business Schools

Business schools just do not make things easy for themselves. Two developments today:

First, the University of San Diego’s dean of business is facing charges in Ohio for meeting a drug trafficker in a hotel there. Why is he even in Ohio as school is starting at USD? Great question. Researching an ethics case study, no doubt.

Second, the Chronicle of Higher Education has the goods on an explosive new study on cheating at MBA schools. The upshot:

The survey found that 56 percent of graduate business students — most of whom are pursuing M.B.A.’s — had cheated, compared with 47 percent of graduate students in nonbusiness programs.

You have to love this stuff, especially a decade after ethics classes became compulsory at many biz schools.


  1. you build an educational program on the sole basis of making money and you are surprised that people cheat? all they have to do is look at frank quattrone or any of the others and see that -most- of the time, they very rich can commit “victimless” crimes and stay rich even after capture.
    survey these students – ask them confidentially how many of them would like to be in frank quattrone’s position right now – namely, a very rich man who nonetheless has been shamed out of his profession for cheating. my bet is such a survey would yield 90%+. these ethics classes are surely just seen as a mandatory joke.
    the only way to stop cheating is decimation. by that i mean, split students into groups of five. let them know if any member of the group is caught cheating in a way that the other members could have prevented (excluding exams etc), then all of them will be thrown out. now you are precluding their own greed. cheating would drop to almost zero, or get so sophisticated that it would be worthy of genuine praise.

  2. Warren Buffett says:

    I just finished at a cased based MBA school and our gold medalist cheated by using a previous year’s student’s notes. He had a summer internship at Monitor; however, they gave him the boot (go figure). He ended up at an IB.

  3. I’ve had two Harvard MBAs work for me. One was/is fantastic and is a friend. The other…. well let’s just say I understand those statistics a little better now. I’m not casting aspersions on a particular type of Ivy, I’m just pointing out that the other guy was dumber than a box of hammers. I really don’t know how he found his car in the evening. The fact that he actually had a driver’s license (I checked that didn’t I?) was enough to relocate your office to the extra bedroom.
    I heard he was in venture capital now…. JUST JOKING! I couldn’t resist….