At Poets&Quants, we’re dog lovers. When we did have our office before the pandemic, there was rarely a day when one (or more) of our canine family members wasn’t right there along with us. So this past August, when former Boston College MBA graduate Jeffrey Previte, 46, was caught on a security camera repeatedly beating his four-month-old dog Bici in a condominium building in Santa Monica, California, it hit us particularly hard.
In the August 22nd video, Previte can be seen grabbing the whimpering dog by the throat, choking, and slapping the dog. At one point, he slammed the animal against a wall. Only two days earlier, Previte was named co-CEO of EBI Consulting, a company founded in 1989 by his father, Frank, who is a vice-chairman of the trustees of Boston College. The privately-owned firm is in the environmental risk and compliance management services business and headquartered in Burlington, MA.
Ironically, Previte is an MBA graduate of Boston College, a Jesuit school that requires that its MBA students complete 20 hours of community service, in part, to further the Jesuit tradition of service.
Months after UCLA Anderson experienced a long-term professor in the middle of a racially-charged controversy, fellow Los Angeles-based top-25 business school, the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business found itself in the same position. Greg Patton, a professor of clinical business communication, was removed from a course after Black students complained he used a word in Mandarin that sounded very similar to the N-word in English. Patton was given a “pause” and replaced by another professor while the school investigated.
Eventually — after a few weeks — the internal investigation concluded that while the students’ concerns were valid and sincere, the professor did not violate the school’s policies. Patton continued to teach in the EMBA program this semester and will be reinstated into his normal teaching next semester.
In the age of #MeToo, the University of Michigan-Flint’s Mark Perry believes he’s fighting his own “social justice” war. The 67-year-old professor of economics, is at war against any educational program, club or initiative, including scholarship support, that is exclusive for women if there are no equivalent offerings for men. In the past four years, he has filed nearly 250 complaints alleging civil rights violations for organizations that support everything from coding camps for girls and scholarship awards for women to women’s only lounges on campus and faculty awards to encourage and support female professors.
His latest target: Business schools that offer programs for women. Since August, Perry says he has filed about 20 complaints with government agencies against a large number of business schools, from Harvard and Stanford to UC-Berkeley Haas and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
“There is a lot of female privilege and payback in higher education,” Perry told us in October. “They like the fact that they are given a disproportionate share of resources at universities.”
The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business was not the only top-ranked business school that had to make changes because of Coronavirus infections this fall (see below). Fellow Chicago-based school Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management also had to close and move classes online for similar purposes. But an off-campus party of Booth MBA students on Chicago’s North Side, led to one of the biggest changes. The gathering resulted in several full-time MBA students testing positive for the coronavirus with more than 100 MBA students required to quarantine for 14 days.
The shift to online learning from a hybrid format was announced in an email sent to the school community on Wednesday, Oct. 14 from Michele Rasmussen, the university’s dean of students, and Eric Heath, associate vice president for safety and security.
“Since the start of the Autumn Quarter, the vast majority of University community members have adopted the UChicago Health Pact and have made its requirements part of their daily routines,” the pair wrote in the email. “However, the Booth School of Business has learned that within the last week a large group of full-time MBA students congregated off-campus on Chicago’s North Side, many without wearing face coverings. Some individuals from that group have since tested positive for COVID-19.”
Continuing the trend of mainly white and male business school professors and leaders to say something dumb, offensive, or both in a public setting is Paul Ewell, a Virginia Wesleyan University professor of management, director of the school’s MBA program, and dean of the VWU’s Global Campus for online learners.
A passionate Trump supporter, Ewell created a firestorm of protest on both the school’s campus and the Internet after his private Facebook post went public in the week following the U.S. presidential election in November. In that post (see above), the professor and dean demanded that all Biden voters unfriend him. To be fair, in an increasingly politically-polarized climate and country, we’ve all probably wanted to unfriend someone on social media because of their extreme political stances.
But Ewell went off the rails. He denounced everyone who voted for the President-elect as “ignorant, anti-American and anti-Christian.” Ewell then accused them of corrupting not only the election but “our youth … our country.”
When we originally published the article, it was unclear if he’d face any sort of job consequences to go along with the immense amount of pushback. Less than a week later, we got our answer as Ewell announced his resignation.
In one of our most hotly-debated articles of the year, Columbia Business School disciplined 70 MBA students for violations of the university’s travel restrictions during COVID. For three weeks in November, the students were banned from campus and had to attend their classes online after traveling to the Turks and Caicos Islands during the fall break in violation of the school’s policies to protect the community from a coronavirus outbreak.
CBS used IP addresses to trace the students after receiving a formal complaint which led to an investigation and the disciplinary action. Columbia MBA students have been divided over the restrictions, though the vast majority of them have complied with the university’s compact to prevent a coronavirus outbreak on campus. A school official equated the disciplinary action to a “yellow card,” effectively a warning to behave. A second violation would result in a “red card” and a full suspension from the school.