Stanford Confidential: Sex, Lies And Loathing At The World’s No. 1 B-School

Stanford Graduate School of Business Dean Garth Saloner on campus

Stanford Graduate School of Business Dean Garth Saloner on campus

“Knife. Penis. Town square. Got it.”

Those six words don’t yet mean anything to the 400 MBAs-to-be of storied Stanford Graduate School of Business’s incoming class who rightly believe they have grasped a platinum ticket to the top. But that will change fast as they struggle to understand why Garth Saloner stepped down today as dean of what is widely regarded as the best business school in the world.

In a statement Saloner said: “As many of you know, the university and I have been vigorously defending a baseless and protracted lawsuit related to a contentious divorce between a current and former member of our faculty.  I have become increasingly concerned that the ongoing litigation and growing media interest will distract all of you from the important work that you are doing and unfairly impact this stellar school’s deserved reputation.”

He was referring to a wrongful termination suit filed by a fired B-school professor who is in the process of getting divorced from another B-school professor with whom Saloner has been having an affair.

Poets&Quants had asked Saloner on Wednesday of last week for an interview about the allegations, and followed up with a detailed list of questions to the university about the case on Thursday, Sept. 10. Saloner apparently made his decision to resign after declining a request for an interview and viewing the questions related to claims in the lawsuit. Stanford says Saloner will leave the deanship next summer, then resume teaching and research duties as a professor at the Graduate School of Business (GSB).


Court records in the lawsuit, a letter from staffers to the university, and police investigations suggest that beneath the gilded image of America’s top-ranked business school lies a troubled culture, possible discrimination against women and older employees and a staff revolt over Saloner’s “increasingly brazen” behavior – all happening as Stanford has turned a blind eye. 

Stanford GSB Dean Garth Saloner and professor Deborah Gruenfeld - Daily Mail photo

Stanford GSB Dean Garth Saloner and professor Deborah Gruenfeld – Daily Mail photo

The professor with whom Saloner embarked on an affair, Deborah Gruenfeld, is a board member of, the group started by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to offer women “inspiration and support.” In an email exchange revealed in the lawsuit, Saloner advises the professor not to approach her divorce “too much” as a woman.

The professor’s husband, also a professor at the B-school when the affair began, has been fired and now teaches full-time at Apple University, the tech giant’s internal training facility.


Details of the court dispute could be especially damaging to Stanford’s business school since they include allegations of professional and financial retribution against Gruenfeld’s husband, Jim Phills, contempt for school rules and policies, and claims that the Graduate School of Business (GSB) is a hostile workplace riven by “personal agendas, favoritism, and fear.”

The lawsuit is only the latest in a series of scandals to besmirch the rise of what is now widely considered to be the world’s top business school. This year, Stanford nudged aside Harvard Business School and Wharton for the undisputed No. 1 spot in the U.S. News rankings.  And just last week, Forbes proclaimed Stanford No. 1 for the second consecutive time.

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  • Gem

    What a joke, and when I was there they talk about the integrity of the gsb program. Typical nothing special.

  • Ori

    The program is cursed

  • Howie

    Get some women and minorities in to run the gsb, give them a chance. You might be surprised.

  • SW

    2015 was a great year, lets make 2016 better!!! The integrity of the program woohoooo!!!!

  • AA

    Saloner’s wife dies.
    Grunfeld files for separation in order to get help to raise her children, but ends up with Saloner (due to Saloner’s abuse of authority and Grunfeld letting herself to be manipulated by Saloner).
    At the end, the husband Phills almost got ruined (thanks to a competent company Apple he survives), certainly the children that Grunfeld wanted to help got impacted severely instead (sincerely hope they become resilient and overcome all this as Mr Phills).

  • Broz Tito

    Another point I might add… Who hasn’t fumbled their first four or five threesome attempts?

  • Broz Tito

    Ah yes budding “Masters of the Universe” having a good ole hedonistic time. Get it out of your systems because you won’t be able to afford your divorces…

  • Ethan Baron

    Assuming you mean “stolen” and aren’t talking about a traditional German fruit bread: the communications have been made public by the courts, and if you think the courts shouldn’t be allowing the public to see what’s going on in court cases you’re welcome to your opinion. And of course you can keep thinking Phills (note the second ‘l’) handed us the article, even though it’s made evident throughout the article that it was based almost entirely on court records.

  • Matt

    Reputation, leadership, and integrity is everything in business, challenging to repair.

  • Matt

    Related enough for wall st journal and all major newspapers online.

  • Matt

    Can’t extort unle$$ they have leverage, they have lots of that from the stupidity and lack of integrity. The market is very efficient.

  • Matt

    Hbs, Wharton, Michigan, Columbia, …? Perhaps, but it’s not all over the Internet.

  • James

    You’re an idiot. Our dean is a loser, they broke the story and all the major news outlets are carrying the story.

  • James

    We’ll see when the rankings come out. Any idiot can see the damage except the losers who are like one of them. Typical white boys mentality.

  • James

    Someone not naive. The old white boys are exposed and in every news outlet now. Lame losers.

  • James

    Who didn’t see a settlement coming? Rocky year alright, they need to clean up the GSH FOAM Vegas Boom Boom study trip pass fail nonsense private equity consulting and VC/CEO kiss up house. You got kids trying to learn something and get a respectable degree, do your damn job and keep your zipper up at work so it doesn’t get published in every major news outlet. Google the other top bschools, exactly.

  • Paul Lanzillotti

    Needless to say, this a sad story that doesn’t appear to be getting happier anytime soon. And for applicants, it certainly leaves a bad taste in your mouth and invites all sorts of questions about GSB. But what should you actually worry about here? That’s what Adam Hoff has tackled in our latest to tackle.

  • Classpresident

    Nice legacy, out of touch or just screw anyone, ethics included.

  • Stanford will be settling soon; but get ready for a rocky year ahead…

  • southgate

    fidel305= sociopathic degenerate

  • southgate

    biggest lowlife on the net

  • john rich

    hello guys..need hacker for hire ? need to recover lost email and account passwords , hacking into a cheating wife ,,,,upgrade school grades and many more

  • Twinkie

    Trying not to admit guilt bc of litigation until end of school year but it’s happening sooner bc the provost will turn on him to save his own butt. $$$$$ coming

  • Twinkie

    Sketchy, lame, manipulative, unethical, bad role models, selfish, immature, racist, sexist, tarnished, typical, karma, abuse of power, no self control, no leadership skills, bad judgment, humiliating, integrity of the program questionable……

  • Stowe

    Your comebacks, although we can appreciate your intentions, makes the gsb admissions, faculty, and alumnus cringe. Keep up the hard work young man, just try to tarnish the rest of us or the gsb more.

  • Stowe

    Yeah, shows the hypocrisy and integrity of the program. All the way to the provost who should have stopped the bs. He never thought the 46 or Phills has the courage to expose their thing. They messed with the wrong black guy, who could care less about his estranged wife. Perhaps Phills and the wife set up the fool.

    To the supporters please point out to me where a Dean of another program is dinning on his subordinate who is married to one who calls the black guy a seal. While half of the staff is willing to put there name in a letter alerting his boss?

    The only thing that reeks is this guy’s intentions who is spewing FOAM all over the integrity of the program and his subordinates.

  • Sandeep

    Well said my friend. Rots from the head down, and it has reached the tail, Fidel.

    Women and blacks beware, it’s kind of stinky.

    Ironically they have a black admissions guy. I am sure they will bring in a female and or black dean.

  • Sandeep

    They be proud of him to have the courage. Obviously he was a great asset from what they pay him, 1.5+M. It was apples way of saying come with us, we’re not losers who make a 250k loan a big deal. I am sure the emails will be made public by the judge and more dirt will be out.

  • Sandeep

    He is a fake, looks it too, like his buddy. Show some leadership skills, after all you’re teaching people how be successful leaders and the faces of a top school. The truth comes out for the world to see who you really are.

  • Sandeep

    Yep get rid of stupid selfish people who have no integrity or compassion and their supporters. They may have to replace a lot of faculty, can’t with tenure. Spence seemed decent but the other ones including Mr FO”AM” are a joke. Drop in rankings is nothing, judgment day will come with karma.

  • integrity

    WSJ, Bloomberg, CNBC, World News, etc would not carry P&Q report if there was no merit to the content. Writing seemed fine to me. Content was presented for debate and news which is their job. Perhaps you can apply for a job there to improve it?

  • integrity

    Fidel305 makes some okay points but weak considering overall case. I am guessing he’s a loyal Saloner prodigy who can’t imagine his idol is being accused of all this. Maybe he’s right but attacking all the news reporting without data to share himself/herself is amateurish. He’s not Saloner, has to be too painful to be on a thread like this and definitely not recommended by legal or PR team.

  • integrity

    Poor wives of these “powerful” men put up with a lot. Some want the glamour of being with a popular guy for pride. Many are like you say are miserable until their death bed and deserved a better life.

    Don’t know the Dean’s wife but more mourning period than 2 months to show respect for her death would have been respectable and harder to paint a picture of a heartless person in the courts deposition. God will judge but may she rest in peace.

  • integrity

    Stanford is suing to keep the texts and emails out of court for obvious reasons.

    On one hand the people who stood up to the GSB (Phills included) should be applauded for their courage because they are risking a lot to go up against the powerful untouchables.

    The Dean and his gf blundered and perhaps Phills didn’t come back from Apple timely (who would for lower pay and daily reminders of how his boss is hooking with your estranged wife). That’s life you sleep in the bed you make.

    How about the couples kids and Dean’s grandkids? The families are never mentioned but the embarrassment they have to deal with going forward is awful. Also the poor wife of decades, who had to have deal with a lot.

    Yes it’s hard to screen for integrity and ethical candidates with mental toughness or control a group of buddies with personal agendas, but that’s why there are core values (not a core group of buddies dictating) to live by AND checks and balances. The GSB is definitely broken and need real changes to make real differences. Time will tell how rankings, donations, new leadership, and reputation evolves.

    There’s an interview if 5 gsb deans on YouTube talking about how much hard work was put into make it a great program, and Saloner rave about the people side of the school. Perhaps it’s sincere, but his personal agenda was clearly #1.

  • USNews

    Nice break on this soap opera scandal, amazing that all the major news outlets in the US and overseas have carried it. The readers and outlets appreciate your work to report what you know. Keep it coming.

  • Whoa

    Respect your opinion. You see this type of behavior often when someone feels they are invincible and above the spiritual and man made laws, organizations, and people. The click or old boys network is prevalent at all organizations. Tough problem already, and without a role model or leader, the next generation of leaders repeat the cycle. Admissions people can’t screen that easily for success potential let alone ethical candidates when the guy at the top can’t set an example. Hopefully the school takes the right action after the settlement to help discourage this again, because it took decades to build up the “integrity of the program” as their leadership constantly repeat when they need to justify their actions. Well, they need to focus on the integrity of their business school because the global market is very competitive and efficient. Reputation health and integrity cannot be bought, you have to take care of them or loose them for good.

  • Apple

    Well, don’t put yourself in that position and your enemy or competitors won’t be able to take you down, even with their bias. That’s what bschools try to teach: learn from others mistakes/experiences (case studies), calculate your risk (D & D, modeling) and lead by example with vision (General Mgt) and integrity (OB). Regardless of bias and usabilty of text as evidence/46 letter/claims by Phills, the GSB and Stanford will need to clean house and put in checks and balances. All the major press is exposing this story (yes, even if it’s bias) and the school will be under a microscope and more dirt will be coming soon.

  • yaburnt

    hit piece journalism at it’s finest! well done, p & q!

  • Carebear

    Perhaps all the major new papers (WSj, Bloomberg, NYweekly, Businessweek, SJmercury, YahooFinance, etc.) who wrote about this also went to Cal or Harvard or Wharton. Maybe they were black, women, and right conservatives too. Who knows, time will tell but I doubt this will go to court because the judge/jury might be one of the above….

  • Don

    Bloomberg, Forbes, and BusinessInsider are carrying the story and may all be biased but one thing is for sure. Someone is getting a major settlement because someone got horny had bad judgement. Self control is important for a leader. At least wait more than 2 months after your wife dies and look outside of your backyard. Wow, texting on Facebook is what kids do to hookup.

  • Don

    Stanford will have to pay, they are in the lawsuit and have the money to settle. If you go look at other lawsuits involving faculty, the Schools ends up paying one way or another. The 3 parties don’t have enough to pay the legal fees which is just started and over 2M let alone a settlement to sweep the dirt under the carpet. But your point is dead on.

  • Don

    Well put. Sounds like a circus at the GSB, when I was there it was already starting to look like one, but at lease the top guy didn’t eat in his own kitchen (or not get caught). The classes were a joke and the people they let in were definitely admitted for reasons other than academics. Big family or interesting names, royalty for overseas, trust fund kids, faculty kids, and than they sprinkle in the 4.0 GPA/800 GMAT’ers, blacks, and women to get the medians up. It was about who had the most potential to donate. All the money Dean raised from Nike for the campus made him the hero and everyone was intimidated. At the end of the day, money talks and everyone one else just follow like herds of sheep. Wonder how they will handle Etchemendy. Boomberg has a report out which is why he feels he needs a PR firm, but that money should be spent on a good lawyer.

  • WoodsideGuy

    Nike and Knight is like, oops we donated all that money to this settlement. Can’t fix reputation and integrity with any amount of money. Wait until more dirt comes out unless Standord settles soon. Ouch

  • JoeMBA

    I was at the school during his tenure, it’s the ole boys operation using power to intimidate and kick people out. Not a former employee just an unbias former student sharing insight. That’s why there so many people signing the letter to the provost. Nothing to do with race and sexism some say, but hate to admit this but it does. Only the white male students are taken seriously, many worshipped the dean and paid thousands to just to kiss butt. I felt sorry for the others, but they knew that once they got on campus. Tokens filling quotas and hyper overachiever Meg Whitman wannabe’s.

  • GoSharks

    “No effect on saloner’s ability to do his job” after this scandal? I am an alumni and enjoyed FOAM, but what are you smoking? The texts will make his wife rollover in her grave and 40 current and former employees who will testify against inability to lead will tarnish his reputation and the GSB, not to mention the jokes on late night and saturday night live. Watch how the rankings and donations go down, HBS and Wharton has to be smiling. Not sure if hiring a fancy PR firm will help. Phills going to be as richer as an NFL player while the other two will be seen as the ones who took the GSB down from #1. This really sucks, a lot of kids looked up to this former Dean.

  • Allah

    Karma, we need to pray for these old horny people, “Penis?…”

  • Though now we will be spared all future sex-facebooking, even by subpoena!

  • now THAT is a fantastic idea

  • fidel305

    if true so what?
    take a look at HBS’s section X and tell me how many of those trust fund babies and foreign sheik-lets managed a 600 on their GMATs

  • fidel305

    another one who argues based on his own concocted facts
    1. 46 past and former employees is a statistically irrelevant sample that includes those who were terminated, disciplined or refused tenure or promotions. it happens everywhere
    2. each of these people were contacted for whatever evidence they had which was investigated and found to be insubstantial.
    3. saloner is responsible for raising the numbers of female faculty and students. if 40 “staffers” left during his long tenure that’s not unusual

  • fidel305


  • fidel305

    I don’t feed moronic trolls. peddle your drivel somewhere else

  • fidel305

    or perhaps you should learn the difference between facts and this tabloid bs

  • fidel305

    byrne removes comments questioning him on the “facts” and his bias and allows this. says it all

  • fidel305

    what evidence?
    be specific or go away

  • Tuk Tran

    i am more miffed by this drinking culture accusation– this excessive drinking to get drunk is part of the culture of EVERY bschool, and every bank that recruits…drinking is how people do anything in every bschool…ask any trader, when you go out with clients, what do you do? get dr__n_…….buy a vowel? this has nothing to do with Stanford alone…the problem with Stanford is that their whole market bulls&* is that we are different…we want to change the world, blah blah…so they set themselves up…HIRE TRUMP as dean and he will make sure it is all FANTASTIC

  • Loogie

    First World problems

  • grace

    Professor is having trouble with their wife .
    Because the professor with business woman as one on one meeting and travel together—(company pay) and professor’s conference meeting in resort hotel ( school pay) without paying hotel bill.
    you don’t know the inside story. professors are looks like gentleman.
    but Professor wives are very sick and tired — depression,suicide, divorce———
    Wives need lot’s of patience for a pride only. What a life

  • grace

    ugly couple

  • grace

    Garth just step down

  • Jtaza

    Thats every hour of every day mate..even when I sleep. Can’t complain.

  • JohnAByrne

    Not at all. I see this quite differently. This is a profile of a highly accomplished professor, well admired and well liked by peers, who finds herself caught in the middle of the storm.

  • Chooey B.

    I’m confused why Gruenfeld is the motif here – it makes it seem like she’s the heart of everything bad in this story when it’s mainly the Dean Saloner around which the controversy lies. The marriage failure seems more likely to be Phills’ fault if you read the evidence, even if the author slants it the opposite way. The marriage isn’t related to the GSB except for losing Phills from staff; again Saloner is at fault.

  • Arisisanidiot

    shara, you’re thinking and comments are an amateur piece of work.

  • Arisisanidiot

    Jtaza and Veritas…honestly…you two come off as fucking idiots in your responses.

  • Arisisanidiot

    i agree with you….fidel305, i don’t know who you are, but you seem to be the ideal syncophant type that has a hard time looking at reality….please grow up…it’s not too late to do so 🙂

  • Arisisanidiot

    Shara, you make it sound as if getting divorced from the one you love and who happens to be the mother of your kids while living with the possibility that she cheated on you is a “pathetic display”. God, i hope you don’t have to go through what the poor chap (Prof Phills) went through. If you ever go through such a heartbreak yourself, I hope you don’t find some people to look at you and say “stop being a bitter ex-wife/gf…it’s a pathetic display…”

  • Arisisanidiot

    Marcus…who fucking cares about that?

  • Arisisanidiot

    Fidel305…let me guess…you went to GSB, right? Getting a little too sensitive about all the criticism levied at your school? Just wondering.

  • Middle-Eastern

    True. But they should not sell us the idea of “fine selection of our students”, “high achievers”, “business leaders”..etc etc ..they should tell us, get me a contact, be a kid of rich, and I’ll accept you. It is a complete shame when you see the quality of the graduates of top MBA programs from Middle East region. One of them is a complete load of stupidity and none of them achieve any thing significant. you can easily see their profiles in lkdn..

  • huh

    Well, after reading all the comments, all I really learned is that Fidel305 is a troll. Everything else is debatable.

  • Sex What Sex

    Who says this is about sex? this is about abuse of power.

  • ha

    It would have been okay if they just divorced. But this is more than that. They tried to run him out of town, because it was inconvenient.

  • F

    He managed to f*** the husband too, figuratively speaking.

    Now its his turn to get f*****

  • Ethics

    whoah! This is gold!

    The guy who gave the go signal to Saloner to abuse his position is an Ethics expert?

    No wonder, Stanford is soulless.

  • Jesus

    omg stop it. You are just making people think that Stanford is filled with idiots like you

  • Maroon

    Moron, the word is moron.

    But you would not know, because it describes you 😉

  • lol

    Yeah Garth!

    Rock out with your cock out!

  • lol

    Psh. Egotistic much?

    I thought Stanford people are supposed to be smart and down to earth.

    You are neither

  • poor guy

    you only make $54 an hour?

    Poor guy.

  • Stanford Bully

    Ah, so you are a Stanford Alum trying to defend the school. Understandable. But your opinion is biased. And based on the multiple postings you have done, you clearly are buying the Admin’s excuses hook line and sinker when in fact it is obvious that Saloner squeezed the poor husband after he squeezed his tiny pathetic peen into the poor guy’s wife

    Makes you wonder what kinds of “save the world” kind of people Stanford churns when they cant even judge this scandal objectively.

    This was abuse of power, plain and simple. Abuse done by the most powerful man on the B School campus and the poster child of Stanford’s classes on use of power.

    You are trying to bully people from pointing out that the business school’s excuse is just full of shite by attacking the messenger. Well guess what? This is the interwebs and your bullying doesn’t mean anything.

  • marcus

    it’s generally known that Stanford wins the dual admit battle with every biz school in the nation (with a 3 to 1 advantage over Harvard) too.. as far as HBS being more rigorous.. that’s your biased opinion.

  • Shara

    “It is generally known that Stanford’s MBA program is not nearly as rigorous as several other leading programs”

    ‘Generally known’ among which circles? The P&Q staff?

  • Shara

    Completely agree with the last paragraph. No doubt it’s a terrible thing when your partner leaves you for someone else, but spending this much time and energy seeking revenge through a lawsuit isn’t worth it. Especially considering that he has two kids in the picture.

  • zeromein

    You reek of bias.

  • Shara

    I agree. It all just smacks of a bitter ex-husband who would rather drag his ex-wife & ex-employer through the mud instead of just moving on with his life. It’s a pathetic display. Not really understanding the point of calling attention to student incidents. This entire article just seems so sloppy and haphazard.

  • Shara

    This entire article is such an amateur piece of work.

  • Dubai_eye

    I know personally one man got into Stanford with 590 gmat. reason, personal relation between his father and saloner. he was rejected by hbs, mit , and Georgetown. if you meet him you would be ashamed on how could thia happen at stanford. he could not make it into any good consulting firm and now he works in his father ministry. class of 2013. after seeing his case , i lost respect for saloner and his administration ethics.

  • foglight

    John Etchemendy taught ethics in a past incarnation at Stanford. Like many men of extreme wealth & privilege, he clearly didn’t think ethics applied to him or his friends.

  • foglight

    Ironically, Etchemendy taught my ethics class at Stanford in the late 1970s. He could talk the talk….

  • Abu Dhabi Management Consultan

    Hey Dubai, every year Stanford admits GMATs in the 550 range. Who cares.

    If you really are a consultant in UAE then you know how many of your fellow consultants are kids of clients.

    One got into Stanford. Two got into Wharton. Three got into Harvard. It’s the same everywhere. Get over it. You need them in your network to fund your business.

    And you work with them at your firm, if it’s M/B/B or even S&.

  • styron

    This is the craziest website. What other “journalistic” endeavour has its own employees openly posting in comments in support of its pieces? Yikes!

  • styron

    Absolutely outstanding post.

  • styron

    “I also worked at the GSB, and it’s better than the cooking I can do on my own and it’s the best restaurant in the land,” said a third anonymous comment.

  • The Lone Gunman

    Do you think the professor is cute? She is kind of fat and ugly in my opinion

  • The Lone Gunman

    just curious, are you related to John Doggett?

  • Linda B.

    Agreed. I fail to understand why the students needed to be dragged into this at all. As unfortunate as the situations with the date rape and DUI were, I wouldn’t say they are indicative of the culture at Stanford. This entire article just reeks of sloppy journalism.

  • Pedant

    The word you want is “reeks.”

  • Tommy

    “and,” Prof. Saloner added, “This is especially true when this subordinate’s husband also reports to you. Quite a complicated situation. I mean, the best solution may be to remove the husband. But let me tell you, this can be tricky, and needs to be handled with extreme delicacy. “

  • Jack

    Bravo! Kfir Gavrieli!

    If we cannot win by evidence and fairness – let’s just Kill The Messenger!

    How shameful.

  • Tommy

    Cal should be ashamed by you. Why? You are heartless and all you care is politically “right”. Truth, fairness, evidence, human feeling – they all mean nothing to you.

    Disclaimer – I am not from Stanford nor Cal.

  • Milo

    Seems you missed the part where 46 staffers signed a letter of no confidence that essentially forced Saloner out. The affair is the unsightly, messy details and the tip of the ice berg to all the troubles. 40 female faculty/staffers left during Saloner’s tenure. And this is the best b-school in the country? It can’t even control its own house. Methinks those defending Saloners are Stanfurd b-schoolers. Any who, Saloner should have hooked up with Brazil, the Stanford Law School Hooker.

  • Tommy

    Prof. Saloner is teaching his MBA class.

    “First rule – do not f*** your subordinate. It will not end well. For instance, when I f***ed Prof. Gruenfeld, …”

  • Jack

    Well, fidel305 – would you return to a workplace supervised by a guy who is ****ing your wife?

    Have a heart, please. We are all human, after all.

    – An outsider

  • JohnAByrne

    The university’s position, including the quotes you lifted from Forbes, is in our story. We also had the benefit of spending several days examining all the documents in two courtrooms which puts some of these points made by the university in dispute.

  • fidel305

    “Stanford said in an emailed statement shared with FORBES that Phills was not a victim of discriminatory treatment.

    “Several months after the couple’s separation, Dr. Phills’ estranged wife and Dean Saloner, who was widowed, began a relationship,” Stanford said in an emailed statement. “The dean informed Stanford leadership at the very beginning of the relationship, and others in the university took responsibility for final decision-making about matters involving Dr. Phills and his wife. At all times Dr. Phills was treated fairly and equitably.”

    Stanford said Phills’ teaching position was terminated in 2015 when he chose not to return to his role at the business school after the university had granted him multiple leaves of absence for employment opportunities in Silicon Valley, including leaves to work at Apple.”

    Apparently journalism isn’t an entirely lost art. just here

  • fidel305

    Lol, accurate reporting on the “career” , such as it is, of the author of this hit piece, taken from his own LinkedIn page, gets removed from the comments section, but his baseless slander on GSB’s entire faculty, its alums and students remains

    Here’s hoping c-change media has a short runway because it’s not getting financing in the bay area.

  • Reaping more of what’$ $own down on the Farm?
    At $tanford Law and G$B, gue$$ what’$ now apparently become the #1 con$ideration?

    D. Deitch ’71, ’74Law
    ED/Monterey Bay Conservancy
    Santa Cruz, California

  • George C.

    I also worked at the GSB and I disagree, said a second anonymous comment.

  • Jason H.

    “It is generally known that Stanford’s MBA program is not nearly as rigorous”

    That’s a pretty bold claim which you back up by pointing out that HBS has a forced curve. Two seconds of research would should that Stanford also has a forced curve grading system for MBAs. This comment alone demonstrates the P&Q slant. You sensationalize the story and make false claims in the comments.

    P&Q should stick to rankings. Journalism is hard.

  • cam

    As a fellow Cal grad, I am ashamed that we share the same Alma Mater.

  • It is. Oh the irony…

  • Damiana

    Try again because that was lame.

  • David

    Kill the messenger!!

  • bk

    Not exactly. But I do think that he may have been influenced by coming from a school, and thus a network of contacts, that has an inferiority complex to Stanford.

  • Dave Wilson

    What a strange article. The actual facts here seem to be:

    – There was an affair, a messy divorce, and a contested firing. Okay–not unusual in a university, but worth noting, I guess.
    – There was opposition to a dean’s reappointment. Okay.
    – Stanford business-school students have happy hours on Tuesday and Friday, and sometimes they go on trips.

    The rest of the article (“dark undercurrents”) is basically free association on these themes.

    There is a legitimate discussion to be had as to whether business school is rigorous enough, and what its place is in society, and whether Stanford is too commercial in its mindset, but this article doesn’t do any of that.

  • T

    Well, shame on you, Stanford.

  • fidel305

    And you “know” this how exactly?

    Talk about making things up from the comfort of your couch

  • fidel305

    Self serving piffle.

    Stringing together unrelated events and unsubstantiated (if not refuted) allegations to concoct an overarching slanderous portait tarring the culture and ethics of an entire institution, its students and alums, for personal gain is the definition of a hatchet job. And, as chief, you are responsible.

  • Kaz

    Such interesting dynamics: unhappily married subordinate, whose career work focuses on power dynamics, seduces/is seduced by powerful boss. Powerful boss loses moral compass due to temptations of power (as described in subordinate’s writings) and lust. Powerful boss to become shamed co-employee.

    Will former subordinate still think lover ex-boss is sexy and powerful when he gives up his position because of their relationship? Will former boss still find it thrilling and worth everything when he’s endured the losses associated with his immoral behavior? He loses power, both their reputations are blackened, she gets slut-shamed.

    He might get a good-ole-boy congratulatory slap on the back when another B-school lures him away from Stanford due to his fundraising ability. But she will not get a wink and a nod: her career achievements will henceforth be viewed through a sexist lens (did she sleep her way to her position?) Her ex, apparently not quite yet divorced, will delay the possibility that she and former boss will marry. If he goes to another institution and has married her, they’ll both get jobs. But if he leaves Stanford without her, she is stuck with a loss of her own power and her power-by-association, with doubts cast on her achievements, and with her internal doubts about lover boy’s fidelity in a new situation.

    I hope she leaves Stanford before he does, having realized he’s a turd, and gets another chance to show her merit. Even though he’s lost his dream job, she’ll be more likely to have the largest negative impact on her career and life.

    Can ex-husband regain power and self-confidence by pulling her and her lover down? He might think so, but the sooner he changes his focus to the future instead of the past, the better off he and the kids will be. Revenge is a powerful motivator but pays poor dividends.

  • Karen

    Maybe the will make Ethics 101 mandatory at GSB.

  • Maru

    I worked at the GSB for years, and let me tell you. When you’ve worked in the kitchen, you would never want to eat at that restaurant.

  • Shakespeare’s ghost

    Nobody’s shooting the messenger. I just think you got the message wrong. And you did determine the message, didn’t you?

    Unless I misread something, I don’t see that Saloner has been convicted of the things you list. Yet you treat allegations as facts. Are you working off the press sheet from the accuser? That’s how it reads to me. Maybe you’re idealistic, maybe you’re naive, maybe you’re complicit. You’re certainly don’t come across as objective, unless you truly are judge and jury.

    The bridge too far here is that you tied one man’s personal relationship to two unrelated student incidents from years ago and you further make unfounded assertions about an entire culture. Based on these actions, I question your impartiality and judgment. That’s my right. It’s your right to write the story you choose. But you can’t claim that we’re blaming the messenger. We’re questioning the message. You can’t deny my responsibility to look critically at what you’ve written and to draw conclusions about you and your motives based on it. And please don’t assert that I’m a Stanford defender or denier or whatever. It has nothing to do with that. This is a pattern on your site (other than for Harvard).

    For example, I look at your responses, and even your answers on Quora, and you say things like “generally known” and “widely regarded” and such frequently. Now you say it’s “generally known” that Stanford is not rigorous? Not in the communities I interact in. It’s the case method-only programs that aren’t rigorous; just BSing your way through class by talking a big game, CPAs taking basic accounting courses. It’s more entertaining but definitely not more rigorous. Chicago, MIT, Stanford are the programs that are rigorous. Rigor is driven by the faculty. You claim the forced grading curve brings rigor to Harvard. Stanford also has a forced grading curve. Did you even know that? And you see all the rankings. Wouldn’t a program that lacks rigor be rated lower by recruiters or fellow academics? The data belie your “generally know” commentary.

    In addition, you keep citing one faculty quote from two years ago. Have you talked to another Stanford faculty member since then? Does Pfeffer represent the views of every Stanford faculty member? Have his views changed since that quote? I thought that was the journalist’s responsibility – to address both sides. But I have decided, especially based on this piece, your site is more about entertainment than journalism, so I guess that standard doesn’t apply.

    It seems to be a big success in terms of viewership, so I look forward to the next story in your series.

  • cam

    So you think he wrote this just because he went to schools who are sports rivals with Stanford…?

  • Lou Sander

    Mr. Phills is feeling the irresistible power of White Privilege. The rest of us can see it, if we choose to.

  • George H. Baldwin

    It’s always painful when someone’s spouse leave for another; especially someone at their job. But no one is worth ruining your life over. Mr. Phills ought to get over Ms. Gruenfeld and go find someone new to love, someone who knows how to keep her knickers on in the face of workplace temptation.

  • DrunkenRant

    Mr. Saloner, that’s enough internet for you today.

  • DrunkenRant

    Pretty sure that is to be expected in the tech industry. Tim is probably upset that he didn’t sell the data to Apple so they can sell it to 3rd parties.

  • alum

    Out of scope comment, whatever you may think of the story.

  • This is how it is possible to make sixty-five dollars /an hour… After being without work for six months , I started freelancing over this web-site and now I could not~ be happier . 3 months have passed since being on my new job and my income is around 5000 dollarsmonth -Check Link on MY~DISQUS~PROFILE for more information

  • Bach Nguyen

    Excellent story. Stanford continues to play its role in the world: preserving and promoting white privilege.

  • Flel

    While this was a long read it was worth it. Saloner should have been released or at least not renewed based on the relationship with a subordinate. I suspect there is a lot of hijinks at most high level business schools, but that doesn’t reduce the good that goes on within the institutions. I know that if Stanford BS came knocking on my door tomorrow to go there for an MBA I would be there in a heartbeat. For the opportunity to bump into Thomas Sowell at the Hoover Institution would be worth it. I don’t see the piece as a hit piece. It seems fairly even handed and wants to expose a possibly seedier underbelly in place at not just Stanford but a host of other business schools. There were clearly HR violations that should have been addressed and the 46 signers are a good indication that something was amiss. I guess I’m lucky to not have had the academic success or financial wherewithal to ever even consider being a part of Stanford BS.

  • InTheKnow

    You hit the nail right on the head. An accurate appraisal. It’s amazing to see the denial and defense among this readership. No questioning, no critical analytical thinking, no weighing of the data and the facts. Perhaps these responses precisely illustrate the point that Pfeffer was making; Knowledge and learning are being trumped by sensationalism and hubris. Why waste time looking at the facts when you can just deny and make stuff up from the comfort of your couch. For anyone who actually looks at the facts, reviews the evidence, talks to faculty and staff, it’s an easy analysis. But it would take some real research and … work. But, of course, it’s easier to just sit around, guess and pontificate. Not exactly the Hallmark of a future business leader — at least not a successful one.

  • DUBAI-Management-Consultant

    I have been always skeptical about the administration ethics at Stanford GSB, many times I met admission officials, directors, and constantly surprised by some nationalities from middle east, how did they get in there, I know one sponsored rich naive kid from the gulf area, scored 590 on the gmat and got into stanford in 2011! It is complete shame.

  • Tom

    Would suggest that commentators see the Woody Allen film Irrational Man. Fact is, as the film portrays, academics behave like adolescents and you can make excuses for adolescent behavior, but it is still bad behavior. As Dean, couldn’t he find a social companion not on his faculty??? Wouldn’t he think that this relationship would end up causing trouble and involve various embarrassing little fibs and coverups? I would fire him for stupidity. Would also have fired previous Stanford B School Dean Jaedicke (an accounting professor) as he was chair of the Enron Audit Committee as he showed himself to also be an idiot. PS:
    I am a Stanford B School grad.

  • Taylor barrett

    Is that YOU Jim Phills?

  • lmao

    HBS people be happy….with such an earth-shattering scandal rocking Stanford to its core you might be able to reclaim your number 1 spot….lol not really…#hatchet

  • styron

    Poor Ethan Baron. He could have used a good editor. There’s some relevant stuff in this piece, but unfortunately it’s bracketed by, and buried within, a whole lot of irrelevant drivel.

  • JP

    Is that YOU Jeni Gee?

  • Hosni

    “After receiving the letter, Etchemendy met with representatives from the 46 signatories, he says. However, during Etchemendy’s deposition, a lawyer for Saloner and Stanford prevented him from answering any questions about what Etchemendy had discussed with the signatories’ representatives … Etchemendy says in his deposition that he shared the letter with Stanford president John Hennessy, but the lawyer stopped Etchemendy from answering when Etchemendy was asked if Hennessy gave any instructions or guidance in the matter.”

    It appears that Saloner abused his power and created a hostile work environment, in the course of which he enjoyed a sexcapade that brought everything to light. Damn the bad luck! I wonder how many other administrators besides Etch will sacrifice their careers to save Saloner.

  • Bob

    You should check out the b school at Michigan. Stanford is nothing in comparison.

  • Lord Stark

    Being commonplace doesn’t make it right 🙂

  • Veritas

    Dear Mr. Byrne, Editor-in-Chief of Poets & Quants,

    It’s hard to blame you for stepping in to defend Mr. Baron, despite this odiferous garbage he wrote for the first web site under the umbrella of your new and biggest venture to date. By defending him, you are, in fact, defending your own integrity and financial interest in the success of C-Change Media, which is no doubt very important to you. Again, hard to blame you for stepping in. However, when you take the high ground and declare “don’t shoot the messenger!”, to what type of messenger do you refer?

    Yel·low jour·nal·ism (noun)
    Journalism that is based upon sensationalism and crude exaggeration.

    As you well know, this type of reporting may bring readers to C-Change, and perhaps short-term financial gain, but certainly don’t expect it to buy you or your venture either respect or integrity. What, in fact, does the “C” in C-Change stand for? It’s probably better that I not speculate. While there are certainly many possible answers, you’re steering this ship so please do let us know.

  • c1ue

    Way to not read to article past page 3.
    The overall reporting is, in fact, very well balanced as there are both positive and negative facts complementing the many subjects covered, just not side by side.

  • SciLaw

    But you came back, so poets and quants is thanking you for your boycott. Kudos for being so bright!

  • Hoover

    I think you meant “reeks.” Cal State East Bay offers ESL courses.

  • The Messenger

    Dragging in*

  • The Messenger

    What does a picture from 2009 have to do with Saloner? He wasn’t even dean. I believe that dragging students who were not even associated with this current regime is why some commenters are disregarding the finer points of the article.

  • Wait, I’m IN this piece. Ethan, fact-checking is your friend.

  • JohnAByrne

    Shakespeare must be laughing from his grave, even though his age-old advice “Don’t Shoot The Messenger,” is being so blithely ignored by many of our commenters here. The article is only a “hatchet job” to those who have a vested interest in sheltering Stanford with little to no regard for the facts. Any stakeholder with a clear view of all this would be appalled by the fact that 46 current and former members of the GSB urged the university provost not to re-appoint the dean. It takes tremendous courage to sign your name to such an extraordinary document. They would be shocked by the poor judgment of a dean who has an affair with a subordinate who also happens to be married to another subordinate and then fails to recuse himself from personnel decisions that would impact his lover’s husband.

    The dean also has declined to take a hard line on a student culture that, in the words of one of its own faculty members, has put “booze, cars and houses” above education. It is generally known that Stanford’s MBA program is not nearly as rigorous as several other leading programs, including Harvard Business School, where a forced grading curve places pressure on students to take their studies more seriously. With a demonstrated need to address student culture issues, the school needs a leader who sets a positive example.

    Don’t shoot the messenger. Place accountability on those who allowed these unethical breaches to occur in the first place.

  • banative

    Fidel305, perhaps you should take Saloner’s advice and not react so emotionally or “too much as a woman, spewing the anger you feel, even if it makes you a less predictable and rational adversary”.

  • fidel305

    Libby arse describes you better

  • fidel305

    Nope dope. It’s pedantic twaddle because it’s pedantic twaddle; almost as bad as yours.

    Yep, calling for a boycott is inconsistent with a boycott. what a maroon.

  • SciLaw

    The irony of talking about twaddle. Reread your post, it’s the very definition of twaddle. Not pedantic because who could read your BS if you wrote longer posts.

    BTW, are you refusing to do business with this website? If so, stop posting.

  • Shawdi Peters

    I wonder how Tim Cook and the rest of the Apple folks view Jim Phils hacking into his ex-wife’s private communication. Someone who disrespects other people’s online privacy seems like a liability at a technology company…

  • Libby Artz

    Talk about twaddle, look who’s talking. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and you seem to have absolutely no understanding of how damaging it is to a whole organization when a leader dates a subordinate–nor do you have any notion of the countless acts that led 40 employees to file a letter of grievance entirely unrelated to this stupid affair. Your Belushi avatar pretty much sums it up, I guess.

  • fidel305

    It’s academe. So many ugly people having so much sex. Who cares?

    If you think Stanford is unique in this you’re kidding yourself, or deceiving others

  • fidel305

    What pedantic twaddle. There is no relationship between this scorned loser’s baseless suit (He didn’t return when he was required. He loses.) and a DUI of a new admit and social events that exist at every b school (and which pale in comparison with HBS’).

    This attempt to draw connections where none exist in order to smear a great school and its students and alums, is unethical and repugnant and all who allowed it, support it or condone it should be shunned.

    Refuse to do business with these people and encourage others to do the same.

  • Libby Artz

    I am amazed at the naiveté of many of the responses here,
    slamming the author and dismissing the whole story outright. As one commenter
    notes, the story seems credible and well reported to those “in the know” and
    even to those who work elsewhere at Stanford and have heard rumors about the
    GSB “culture” for several years. Phills’ claims may turn out to be
    baseless—Stanford has clear policies about the length of time faculty can take
    a leave to work at companies (i.e., Phills had likely exhausted it and probably
    wasn’t really fired), and also regarding housing assistance for faculty and
    high-level staff (including when they depart university employ)—but there are
    so many things here that contributed to the appearance of transgressions, and
    appearance matters in leadership, folks. Even though Stanford does not forbid
    consensual relationships among faculty, and per policy Saloner reported his to
    his supervisor, the case illustrates why it is NEVER a good idea to engage in
    such a relationship, as it clouds the truth and undermines neutrality, integrity,
    and fairness. But in this particular case, given the unequal status of the
    faculty couple involved, it was particularly stupid. Additionally, it
    unfortunate that despite this affair and the “no confidence” memo from GSB
    faculty and staff and the investigation it prompted, that the Provost and
    President ultimately renewed Saloner as dean. Now the last year of their
    otherwise sterling tenure will be tarnished by this tawdry affair—not to
    mention the damage to the morale of scores of faculty, staff, students, and
    alumni. (Really nice for the freshmen arriving today to see this, I might add,
    nice timing.) I had hoped Stanford could continue to be immune from the tabloid
    headlines that daily pepper The Chronicle of Higher Education, but I guess not.
    PS: The connection to the extravagant party culture of biz student entitlement
    is not—as some comment here—irrelevant, just as Prof. Pfeffer had the guts to
    point out. A fish rots from the head, and it’s no wonder that business and our
    society at large are rife with so much bad behavior when this is the
    “education” that future titans receive. Integrity is invaluable, priceless, and
    a pity when destroyed. As to the faculty with their fat pay checks, multi-million-dollar
    houses, etc., I don’t really feel too sorry for them. They always end up
    smelling like roses. But boy, they sure left a stinking wake of destruction
    behind them for the rest of us.

  • Vini

    Very weak article. Seems like a read from one of the British tabloids. Ironically Stanford GSB is one of the most tame schools in terms of parties and drinking. People go to bed early, do a lot of sports and community service activities. FOAM, for example, is pretty much a night out at a bar, colleagues drinking 1 or 2 beers, and then heading home.

  • HankEssay


  • Jtaza

    Wrong – I wasted 10 minutes of my work day. Working backwards from my annual compensation (Post MBA) that means my opportunity cost was ~ $9 dollars. Not worth it.

  • David Theil

    You don’t have a relationship with a subordinate. Ever. Regardless of how fair and careful you try to be you can never be sure you are unbiased. Regardless of that, it sows doubt regarding favortism in the entire school and looks bad to the outside world as we see here. Those two outcomes both damage the organization and this is therefore poor leadership. When the relationship began he should have immediately stepped down as Dean, not just recused himself from personnel decisions regarding his lover and her soon to be ex husband.

    I hope Saloner keeps his job in academe because no private company will ever risk placing him in a leadership position and frankly it sets poor example for students from the school. This conduct is as unprofessional as it can be without clear criminal activity.

    If you are dubious of how serious this is, look up Chris Kubasik and find out why he is not the CEO of Lockheed Martin, a position he was groomed for for years. In his case there was not even any hint of wrongdoing around the subordinate relationship he had, still he was forced to resign only months before becoming CEO. In the business world, this is very serious misbehavior.

  • fidel305

    All what exactly?

  • fidel305


  • fidel305

    Yet the facts on donations put the lie to your phony comment

    If you are a Stanford affiliate reveal yourself , if not …..

  • fidel305

    Rejected ya huh. Suxx

  • Trevor


  • Wayne

    Party on, Garth.

  • 2cents

    Agreed on this being roughshod and I have no idea why the author pulled the students into it, and just about the only good judgment used by the author was refraining from discussing his wife if she was truly dying (complete outsider who could care less about personal trysts). It would seem that this would certainly affect his ability to do his job though, and should he enjoy spending time with Gruenfeld ultimately stepping down is the right choice.

  • Stanford Cheaters

    The surprising this is that he is still employed! He should have been fired by now. But I suppose an old white guy cheating on his dying wife with a married subordinate is commonplace. Only they were all in Congress, not academia.

  • C Shrodinger

    But the rest of this is accurate? Did Mr. Phils just hand you an article to publish? Anyone remotely close to the GSB or to the dean’s work understands this to be a ridiculous attempt to string together unrelated issues to paint an unfair depiction of the school and the man leading it. The only reason to write this article is to further the ex-professor’s attempt to extort money from the university. And, the fact that you chose to publish private communication that is allegedly stollen is disgusting.

  • Horny dean cheat on dying wife

    Not a hatchet job, The dean is horny because his wife is dying and does not put up so he used his position to cheat on his dying wife and start a sexual relationship with a subordinate, breaking up the latter’s family all so that he can have sex. This horny toad clearly he has zero ethics, and it shows in how he runs the school, giving high tolerance to others with low moral fiber just like he does.

  • GGGth

    the society became so hypocritical, what is wrong with sex? all like it. it is not a crime. it is human need.

  • bwanamia

    Not a story because this sordid stuff is a commonplace both throughout American life and in all the universities, elite and non-elite.

  • bk

    Ah yes, verified. Berkeley guy.

  • bk

    My guess is that this was written by either a) jealous Berkeley grad or b) jealous Harvard grad. Yes, Saloner made many mistakes, probably compounded by the loss to cancer of his wife. Yes, there are some idiots at the GSB (and every great institution). But why does this writer have to do a smear piece? Sorry you didn’t get admitted, bud.

  • Ethan Baron

    The situation has some personal details that were not included in the article. A negative conclusion about Saloner’s character based on his affair with Gruenfeld vis a vis his wife’s dying of cancer would likely be inaccurate.

  • DistrictDogger

    While some allege that this is a hit piece, it appears to me to be an extremely well documented article. One of the basic ethics of business and the workplace is don’t get into a relationship with a subordinate – it’s an abuse of position and experience shows that it always, always leads to trouble. You don’t have to be a Stanford MBA to understand those ethics or principles. The fact that the Dean resigned from his extremely powerful position is also quite telling.

    Fundamentally, this is yet another story of hubris. So unnecessary – and so stupid all the way around.

  • InTheKnow

    Sadly, this piece is almost entirely accurate. Several of us have watched this unfold over the last 5 years. For the 46 staff who signed the letter opposing Saloner’s reappointment, there are 50+ others who were afraid to and sent thanks to those who did. Many students are sick of the bad rap that they’re getting because partying has become an expected part of the culture. Alumni in the area have become increasingly disturbed and many refuse to give money to the School until Saloner’s out of the role. Saloner is infamous for making people (including the student below, I’m sure) feel like they’re his best friend, then completely turning on them when he no longer needs them. He keeps the students happy and placated because when the students get unhappy, they get in the way. Hence the reasons for “caving” when they pushed back on the curricular changes — changes that he initiated. Many on the faculty and staff view him as unethical, narcissistic, and lacking moral fiber. Watching him over the years, the patterns become clear, which is why many alumni close to the school have begun to have questions. Yes, there are those who haven’t figured it out yet. And those who may never see the “dark” side of Saloner. But make no mistake, it’s there and these allegations are, for the most part, true. Very much wish it wasn’t so. Stanford GSB will not suffer — students are rational, they come for the education and comp bump. But, it’s completely amazing and disappointing that the School is letting him stay on as a dean and faculty member. It’s a defining moment. The School is caving too. This is also what you learn in business school – doing the right thing doesn’t always make business sense.

  • Guest

    I think most people are referring to the intra-faculty dating here.

    But what cavalier treatment are you referring to? On the student couple that was dating, the article says that the district attorney declined to prosecute, after looking objectively at the evidence. That’s telling, isn’t it? An independent arbiter whose job is assessing this stuff says “nothing to do.” Then Stanford, using a much lower standard (for evidence) and apparently a higher standard (for community), suspended the student. Where’s the slap on the wrist? Who is excusing anything?

  • pb

    Agreed. This is a hatchet job, not an article and not even an editorial. There’s nothing balanced or fair about this post.

    But with 80k views, who cares about standards? We just want hits on our site.

  • juno

    This Cal grad has something against Stanford.

  • Veritas

    Mr. Baron, the article’s author, was a Cal graduate (both undergrad and masters in “Journalism”.) Would you expect him to write anything balanced? He not only jumped at the opportunity to use his privileged position to write an extensive, uniformly scathing, lopsided article, but he also chose not to disclose his bias, to at least show he has a sense of humor about his lack of professional ethics. “Journalism” from Ethan Baron, worth the price you paid to read the article, and not a penny more.

  • P

    This article seems intent on linking together unrelated events to paint a wholly unrealistic scandalous culture at Stanford. The student who killed someone while DUI had been a student for 2 weeks. The student who was a victim of date rape had been dating her attacker before they started Stanford. The pre-MBA party in Colombia was unsanctioned by the GSB. Jim Phils had left Stanford and was working at Apple full time for 2 years when he was terminated. He Never had tenure and was kept on at Stanford because he was married to a star academic. women have made more advanced under Saloners tenure than any other dean. Phils seems To be doing his best to lash out at his wife and Stanford for his personal disappointments. It’s a shame Saloner felt the need to resign because of gossip mongering.

  • Kfir Gavrieli

    This wreaks of a hit piece and a journalist trying to smear a great institution to make a name for himself. It’s overly sensationalized, from the title to the misguided attack on the students and culture. The traditions mentioned, like FOAM and pre-business school trips, have been around for many years. They weren’t a problem then and they aren’t a problem now. In fact, they’re the opposite and a great asset to fostering the kind of community and collaboration that is unique at the GSB. This site should remove the pics the author pulled from random student/alum Facebook pages. That’s inappropriate. As for the personal matter between Saloner, Gruenfeld and Phills, that’s something many in the community already knew about and it had no effect on Saloner’s ability to perform his job (clearly, judging by the school’s performance) or the high regard students, faculty and alums hold him in (I’m an alum and speak for many others I know). The Dean and a faculty member started up a relationship after the faculty member was divorced. Nobody cheated on anyone. A disgruntled ex-husband and former employee is filing a lawsuit and seeking media attention to gain leverage over his ex-wife. Get over it.

  • Jon Castor

    The big news is Stanford is going to get a new GSB Dean. As to the core of the article, possible employment discrimination by the current Dean with allegations that will be settled in a pending lawsuit one way or another, a divorce that in and of itself likely has nothing to do with the University, and a love affair between a man and a separated woman that shockingly presumably includes sex (and provocative texts and posts!) that will be settled in the courts, or between the parties. It will be about money: whether the University has to pay any, and how the assets are split between the divorcing couple. If the University has to pay, that may highlight the need for additional changes beyond a new Dean. I’ll wait and see how that turns out. How the couple split their assets may provide some fodder for a soap, but is of no interest to me.

  • Jtaza

    Extremely amateur writing. Reads like a hit piece. Stop letting interns write your articles.

  • Guest

    So the cavalier treatment of violence and rape with slaps on the wrist are ‘no big thing’? Wouldn’t you think the most prestigious university in the world would hold themselves to a higher standard? If this is what happens in all of MBA academia perhaps is time to make a bit of a thing of it. Because it may happen elsewhere certainly doesn’t excuse it.

  • guest

    Interesting this article doesn’t mention the Garth’s wife dying from cancer while this was going on…

  • NC

    Thank you for this article and for bringing all of this to light!

  • fidel305

    Yep. Pure craap

  • guest

    Now wondering what matters most to him and why

  • esa

    No big thing. Just what goes on in all of academia.

  • meh

    attacking the students at the beginning is a little much (posting a facebook pic of people having fun, really?). first few pages read like a biased hit piece against stanford. you shouldve just made it the piece on saloner.

  • fidel305

    Yawn. Show me one institution where there isnt a little hanky panky.

    And what are you anyway? A businesss / MBA site or a gawker / tmz wannabe?