The Biggest B-School Scandals Of 2019

Kelley School of Business Professor Eric Rasmusen and one of his controversial tweets


It’s never been cool to use your platform to spew racist, sexist, and homophobic ideas. In 2019, in the U.S., on a college campus, it’s not only not cool, but just odd. But that’s exactly what Indiana University Kelley School of Business professor Eric Rasmusen did last November. Early in the month, Rasmusen tweeted an article titled “Are Women Destroying Academia? Probably.” Rasmusen highlighted a line from the article positing that “geniuses are overwhelmingly male because they combine outlier high IQ with moderately low Agreeableness and moderately low Conscientiousness.”

According to Indiana University Executive Vice President and Provost Lauren Robel, it was just the latest of a long line of states that go beyond controversial and enter the realm of repugnant. In a statement to IU Kelley business students, Robel called Rasmusen’s series of statements racist, sexist, and homophobic.

Robel went on in her scathing letter to accuse Rasmusen of perpetuating “pernicious and false stereotypes,” pointing out that he “believes that women do not belong in the workplace, particularly not in academia, and that he believes most women would prefer to have a boss than be one,” and that he “has used slurs in his posts about women.” Additionally, Rasmussen believes “that gay men should not be permitted in academia either, because he believes they are promiscuous and unable to avoid abusing students,” and that “black students are generally unqualified for attendance at elite institutions, and are generally inferior academically to white students.”

Why does IU Kelley put up with this and not just fire Rasmusen? Tenure.

Harvard remains the gold standard for business schools in many ways, not least of which is the huge number of living alumni, more than 84,000, and alumni clubs around the globe:


Our Editor-in-Chief John A. Byrne thought so and wrote about it last August stirring up quite the debate in the comments thread. In 2018, Guillaume Delepine was accepted into two of the best graduate schools in the world: Harvard Business School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Public Policy. In three years, Delepine would hold a coveted MBA and masters’ in Public Policy from Harvard. Delepine, a senior associate in the strategy practice at KPMG who did his undergrad studies at Princeton University, considered it “the ultimate door-opener of all.”

Until he didn’t and he dropped out to work at a Silicon Valley-based drone startup. After his first year in the Kennedy School, Delepine went to work for Skydio and then decided to not go back to Cambridge. To be sure, Delepine made the decision based on some altruistic and noble purposes. He hooked up with Skydio after he and a friend hatched an idea to pair drones with shot detection systems, which triangulate gunshot sounds to give police officers a waypoint on a map whenever there’s a shooting. If it can be done, it would allow a drone to get to the site of a shooting first so that an officer could react more intelligently to whatever scene was unfolding.

“As I neared the end of the summer, I had a decision to make: go back to Harvard and set myself up for another job, or stay at Skydio and make sure that our drones have the impact I know they can,” he wrote in a LinkedIn essay yesterday entitled Why I left Harvard Business School. “In the end, the decision was easier than it sounds: if you told me I could save one person’s life by leaving Harvard, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Skydio 2 will save hundreds.”

On the other hand, a degree from the Kennedy School could’ve led to a job writing policies potentially positively impacting the lives of millions of Americans. But to each their own.

Liu Qiangdong, also known as Richard Liu, the founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office


In a disturbing case that raised eyebrows around the country and world, Richard Liu, the founder of, which is essentially an Amazon equivalent in China was accused of rape by a 21-year-old student at the University of Minnesota. After four months, the local police decided not to charge him and released him back to China. At the time, Liu Qiangdong (his full Chinese name) was participating in an executive education program for Chinese executives at the Carlson School of Management.

According to reports at the time that have been corroborated and confirmed by the newly released police files, the Minnesota student was invited to dinner with Liu and 15 others. There were only four women at the party, according to Liu’s statement in the audio interview: his secretary, an assistant, a classmate in the Carlson execs program, and the young woman. After a night of drinking, “She invited me to go to her apartment,” Liu said in the deposition.

Surveillance cameras at the woman’s apartment building show she and Liu walking arm-in-arm, entering the elevator, and going to her room. She would later tell police that Liu undressed before attempting to rip off her clothes, then forcing her to have sex.

Later, according to both local reports and the police files, the woman texted a friend as Liu slept, saying she was forced to sleep with him. She later told officers that she was afraid of what he might do to her family back in China. And then Liu was released to return to China.

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