CBS Follies: Bad Food, Email Overload & Lots Of S&M

Columbia Business School. Courtesy photo


Another gem? How about Chef’s Table: Uris Deli”? This mockumentary compares the Uris Deli to the greatest dining establishments in New York City: Keens Steakhouse, Peter Luger, Tavern on the Green, Junior’s (OK, just kidding on the last one). Think of it as a living case study of how this culinary hot spot has been able to achieve something that has eluded the great Manhattan restaurants: offering the same exact food and service while increasing the price by 100 times.

Meet Chef Toni – a true visionary who has brought together a team of lost souls (and a Stern grad) to create category-defining dining fare like the peanut butter and jelly sandwich or the deli’s signature dish…the $8 tin foil wrapped burger. “Food isn’t about taste and texture,” says the faux Toni. “For me, Uris Deli is not about taking something average and transforming it into something great. No! No, No, No. It is about taking the deli and preserving its glorious mediocrity.”

Yes, the Uris Deli carries a certain old world charm, replete with plastic table cloths, TV dinner grade platters, and tables on their last legs (literally). Perhaps that’s why one satisfied patron called it, “An experience unlike any other.” In fact, the school is in the process of changing the deli’s name to “Ooris Deleye,” a nod to its growing prestige.  Most telling, the maître d’ describes the deli as “a place fit for a dean.”

Such acclaim may also explain why CBS has yet to reel in a replacement for Dean Hubbard.


That first email is glorious – an acceptance into the school of your dreams. The next few are welcome introductions to the coming two years. The career center and student affairs follow ups are perfunctory, necessary even. Come Octoer, most first-years just want the email to stop.

Yes, everyone is looking to connect in business school, until their inboxes get inundated. That’s the subject of “Back to Slack”, a take on Drake’s “Back to Back.” In days filled with phone pings, our erstwhile students are now receiving more spam from classmates and administrators “than the recruiting team up at Bain.” Wow! That’s saying something.

No, this isn’t your mother’s business school. Now, technology makes it easy to get tangled up in various threads and channels. In an always-on world where constituencies are trading elbows and “clamoring for attention” – “Back to Slack” is a plea to return to a simpler time…or at least dump GroupMe.

“Who am I kidding, I’m an addict to Slack.

Don’t get a thumbs up or a heart, I’ll have a panic attack.

Dopamine through the screen, man Slack is crack.

Two iPads and a Mac stacked back to back.”


“If you’re not first, you’re last.”

That nugget of wisdom, courtesy of Talladega Nights’ Ricky Bobby, is the mantra for every business school dean. Unless you’re #1, your alumni thinks you should be better. Just ask Dean Hubbard – the MBA answer to a piñata (or a Rorschach).

In “The Bad Rank”, Hubby again takes one for the team. Here, he shares his true feelings about being #9 – and falling behind Michigan Ross in U.S. News, no less.  Set to “The Bad Touch” – think “You and me baby ain’t nothin’ but mammals” – Hubbard sets to rectify this miscarriage of justice, all while maintaining the worst comb-over…ever.

His solution, of course, is the usual academic prescriptions: assembling a task force and conducting another round of surveys. Alas, the student responses – “Make Uris less gross” and “More free s**t and no undergrads” aren’t particularly helpful. Worse yet, more applicants are choosing the GRE, further diluting another of the school’s traditional advantages.

So what’s left? Venting, of course. Few do it with more flair than this incarnation of Dean Hubbard. Look no further than his refrain:

“U.S. News raters ain’t nothin’ but haters,

With methodology created by some grumpy dictators.

U.S. News raters ain’t nothin’ but haters,

They’re less competent than most Democratic legislators.

U.S. News raters ain’t nothin’ but haters,

They weigh their findings based on 19th century indicators.

U.S. News raters ain’t nothin’ but haters,

I’m gonna take us to the top, say ‘kiss my a** to naysayers.”


CBS is famous for its tagline, “At the very center of business.” What if the program could be “At the very center of the solar system”?

Meet the new dean…Elon Musk

Forget the new Manhattenville campus. Musk has more ambitious plans: “Moonhattanville” – a kitschy take on low budget sci-fi that’s normally relegated to late, late night television. The premise: Fresh off toking a joint, Dean Musk launches an MBA program on the moon for his Adderall-addicted students.

Think of it as a lunar promised land. Here, Spacebook recruits technicians for their “Moonlo Park” campus – unless your space VISA has expired, of course. Alas, Musk’s moon is much like Footloose’s Bormont, where the powers-that-be tuck away the forbidden fruit. Struggling to develop technical skills, a group of Moonhattanvilel students – arts majors all – stumble upon a gig too good to be true. It is a job requiring only soft skills, where you simply need to “make suggestions to the least innovative companies in the world.”

That’s right, these students have discovered (gasp!) management consulting. On that day, the resistance was born on Moonhattanville.

“I found out that there’s this thing MBAs would do when they couldn’t think of anything else to do,” explains one student. ‘It was called con-sul-ting. It’s basically when you put a bunch of pictures in a computer slideshow and then charge millions of dollars for it.”

Ah, if it were only that easy.


Dating isn’t easy in business school. Who has the time? The energy? The money? Well, Columbia Business School offers a solution – in the most antiseptic way possible.

Introducing “Module 7: Dating”. Admitting that many MBA candidates have “neglected their romantic lives for the better part of [their] adulthood,” CBS administration has introduced a module to bring students up to speed. One feature: students can petition the Office of Student Affiars to boost “their credit limit to two [partners]…with three possible in extreme circumstances.”

Sound a lot like the process for picking classes? Strangely, the module includes an add/drop period, where students are encouraged to sit in on prospective dates; mid-term reviews where students can deliver “actionable feedback” to partners; and even a cross-registry, giving students the flexibility to find dates (for credit, I assume) outside the business school. The DMC (Dating Management Center) even provides resources ranging from dinner date and coffee chat preparation to executives-in-residence.

No wonder CBS’ trademark is now, “At the very center of dating.”


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