Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Biotech Startup To PE
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. PE/VC Hopeful
GMAT 740, GPA 3.85
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indian MBA Aspirant
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Emory Goizueta | Mr. FA Captain
GRE 316, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Ms. Stray Cat Savior
GRE 338, GPA 3.92
Harvard | Ms. VC Hopeful
GMAT 730 (Target), GPA 3.3
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Future Trusted Advisor
GMAT To be taken, GPA 3.1
Columbia | Mr. Indian Software Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Harvard | Mr. Half Poet, Half Quant
GRE 324, GPA 3.01
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Tech Innovator
GRE 317, GPA 3.65
MIT Sloan | Mr. Independent Tutor
GMAT 750, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Techie Turning Tides
Wharton | Ms. Traveling Banker
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Biz Tech
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Tech Lawyer
GMAT 690, GPA 3.7
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Project Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.21
Foster School of Business | Mr. Mediocre Scores, Great WE
GRE 309, GPA 2.7
Columbia | Mr. Government Shipyard
GMAT 660, GPA 3.85
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Global Technological Solutions
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Tepper | Mr. Midwest Or Bust
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Yale | Mr. Whizzy
GMAT 720, GPA 4.22
Tepper | Mr. Technology & Community
GMAT 650 Practice Test, GPA 3.05
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Corporate Finance Leadership
GMAT 660, GPA 4.0
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Harvard | Mr. Berkeley Boy
GRE 329, GPA 3.67

Harvard ‘Supportive’ of Spicy Chicken Prof

This second reported restaurant dispute also generated contemptuous commentary from the public, but it had been the first spat, over the $4, that prompted three HBS students to fight back against potential damage to the school’s reputation.

HBS student Jon Staff

First-year student Jon Staff said he took action for two reasons. His parents, he said, are small business owners, who operated a bar for years and now run a small shipping and distribution company.

“I just kind of put myself in their shoes and thought how it would feel to receive those emails,” Staff said.


Also, Staff said he’s well aware of a widespread perception “that people at HBS are overly motivated by money and only care about their career, that they don’t care about other people.”

He’s discovered since enrolling that this view is false, but he worried Edelman’s behavior “casts us in a pretty negative light,” Staff said.

On Wednesday, Dec. 10, he and section-mates Lisa Marrone and Amanda Grobler put up an online campaign on “Negative stereotypes of Harvard and HBS were reinforced by an article in about a $4 dispute between an HBS professor and a small business owner,” the campaign’s home page said. “In accordance with our community values, we are calling on all Harvard students to flip the script by donating $4 to provide food for those in need.”

By mid-day Thursday, in less than 24 hours, the campaign had raised more than $5,000, from 352 contributors, for The Greater Boston Food Bank. The food bank has told Staff that an anonymous donor will match all the funds the campaign raises.


“It’s the holidays, and it was a food related issue,” Staff said of the decision to support the food bank. “What better thing to do than try to provide some meals to people in need during the holidays to try to make a little good come of this.”

It appears the majority of the donated funds came from within the Harvard University community, Staff said.

Staff said he’s satisfied with Edelman’s response to the controversy that gave birth to the fundraising campaign.

“He was on solid ground I think with the point he was making, he just made it in a very poor manner,” Staff said. “He’s apologized now and I think that was appropriate.”

However, it appears one of the many, many people who disagreed with Edelman’s approach with Sichuan Garden decided to take action. on Thursday published an email, purportedly from Edelman, to Duan, in which a racist comment was made. Soon after publishing, the website took down the article containing the email, saying it couldn’t verify that Edelman had sent it. Because the email was sent via the restaurant’s website, unlike Edelman’s messages directly to Duan’s email address, it appears likely that a hoaxer impersonated the professor.

“The email you saw is a counterfeit, not sent by me,” Edelman wrote in an email to Poets&Quants. “I don’t know what, if anything, did to confirm its authenticity before publishing it.”

Asked by Poets&Quants whether he’s considering any action against, Edelman said, “I haven’t thought about action against, but I do think they’re out of line.”

After publicly defending his behavior with Duan, Edelman had on Wednesday abruptly and abjectly gone into a full grovel:

“Many people have seen my emails with Ran Duan of Sichuan Garden restaurant in Brookline,” Edelman wrote in a statement. “Having reflected on my interaction with Ran, including what I said and how I said it, it’s clear that I was very much out of line. I aspire to act with great respect and humility in dealing with others, no matter what the situation. Clearly I failed to do so. I am sorry, and I intend to do better in the future. I have reached out to Ran and will apologize to him personally as well.”


On Thursday, Edelman responded to Poets&Quants in an email, reiterating his apology but standing firm on the deceptive pricing allegation. “There are important questions left open, like what happens in the event that (the restaurant’s online pricing) is out of date and who should get refunds when and how.”

Edelman seems to have realized that his manner of dealing with people during the restaurant disputes left a great deal to be desired. But it’s reassuring to see him continuing to defend the grounds for his Sichuan Garden complaint. The man is a crusader. He’s taken on Google, Bing, and major airlines over alleged deceptive advertising. He’s investigated racist discrimination in the use of accommodations website Airbnb; he’s probed fraud in the realm of online affiliate advertising. And Edelman crusades on behalf of us, the American public. In the “Wild West” of the internet, Nobel laureate economist Alvin Roth told Bloomberg News in February, Edelman is the “sheriff.”

However, the good professor appears to have no “off” switch. He’s obviously obsessive about the need for companies of any size to honor the prices and special offers they present to the public, and to compensate people who pay an improper price.

As American consumers, we should be grateful to have a principled, smart guy like Edelman on our side. He should keep fighting the good fight, whatever the scale. He just shouldn’t be a jerk about it.


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