"BizDeansTalk" is a new blog run by two business school deans. This newcomer is interesting on many accounts. First, the two deans, Paul Danos and Santiago Iñiguez, are "deaning" praised b-school, namely Tuck School of Business and Instituto de Empresa. Second, the two deans are somehow paving the way for their faculties. Indeed, blogs by b-schools professors are more the exception than the rule. Frankly one wonders why. Third, the two deans have decided to co-write a blog instead of running their own respective blogs. This is by the way what University of Chicago Posner and Becker have done too. Fourth, the idea of co-writing is a well-taken one as one dean is American and the other Spanish. They'll share their views on Europe and the US, on b-schools on both sides of the ocean, on the future of business education and so on and so forth... Fifth, they invite some renowned journalists to debate with them. This is a smart idea as the relationships between b-schools and the press have not always been that good. Currently Della Bradshaw from the FT is steering the wheel.
In his last post, Paul Danos observes that while US b-schools are privately endowed with high tuition fees their European counterparts are more often than not state (or Chamber of Commerce) subsidized. This is indeed true (with some notable exceptions though like INSEAD, IMD, IESE etc...) and it has interesting implications in my view. I used to have the same job as the two deans when I was deaning the MBA program at HEC . MBA students tend to view themselves as clients/consumers and less so as shareholders. My take is that this is more the case in Europe than in the US. This attitude may have some unfortunate results with students taking the myopic tuition fee view: "I pay hence I want my rights to be enforced". Nobody denies that the one who pays has rights. However, taking a longer term view is far more productive for the students and their institution. After all, each student is investing in an educational asset from which he or she expects a good return (this is the Beckerian note of this post!). This is what I kept telling my students. They are the shareholders, the deans are the managers and corporations are the clients. The good news with that view as Paul Danos surely knows is that as a manager the Dean can raise new equity from alumni and grow the endowment of the school. A lot more difficult in Europe where schools suffer from the wealkness of their networks of alumni who don't view themselves as "debtor" to their school but as "creditor". Hopefully this will change!