2022 In Review: The Year In B-School Scandals & Tragedies

2022 In Review: The Year In B-School Scandals & Tragedies

Every year at this time we look back at the previous 12 months and assess the year’s biggest controversies. It’s never a dull task. The challenge, as it were, is in choosing the biggest scandal, the most sordid tale among a plethora of choices. In 2022, that choice was easy.

It was all about bad rankings.

What do we mean by bad? Faulty — even more than usual. So much so that in one notorious case, withering criticism led to the ranking being scrapped altogether.

Of course, there was other bad behavior last year worth noting, as well as one major tragedy. We’ve collected the stories here for easy reference.


2022 In Review: The Year In B-School Scandals & Tragedies

The Economist’s annual ranking of top MBA programs is no more

The Economist, publisher of one of five major rankings used by Poets&Quants for its annual aggregate list of the top U.S. MBA programs, has dropped out of the B-school rankings game altogether after the calamitous release of its 2022 list. But the 2022 rankings scandals didn’t end there. Forbes opted not to publish its biennial ranking at all, even though it was already a year late, because of a change in editorial leadership at the magazine. Unlike The Economist, however, Forbes is expected to return to the rankings game.

Another magazine that publishes an annual ranking, still smarting from the fallout from its disastrous 2021 list, touted its methodological adjustments in its 2022 rankingbut the changes were a fig leaf, and the underlying problems remained, according to Yale School of Management’s Anjani Jain. Writing for P&Q, Jain went on to vivisect Businessweek‘s 2022 ranking of international B-schools, as well.

There were other scandals in 2022 related to rankings. In April, P&Q learned that a human resources manager at Rutger Business School alleged that the school was creating bogus temporary jobs for graduating MBA students to improve its rankings. That same month, a professor who was fired by the University of Missouri-Kansas City Bloch School of Management in 2016 for, in his description, being a rankings whistleblower, settled the lawsuit he brought against his former employer — and received not only exoneration but a big payday, too. Earlier in the year, Columbia University was forced to defend itself from accusations by one of its own professors that it had made “inaccurate, dubious or highly misleading” disclosures over several metrics to boost its ranking by U.S. News. But the prof won the argument: In July the magazine quietly dropped Columbia from its Best Colleges ranking.

Rankings have long rankled B-schools. In May, USC Marshall School of Business Dean Geoff Garrett convened a gathering of his counterparts from other top schools to discuss creating an alternative to the current set of rankings. P&Q was there — and will continue to cover the story as it plays out in 2023 and beyond.

See below for more Poets&Quants stories of scandal and tragedy from 2022. 


2022 In Review: The Year In B-School Scandals & Tragedies

Former Temple Fox Dean Moshe Porat

Former Temple Fox Dean Moshe Porat Sentenced To 14 Months, Stays Free Pending Appeal

One major scandal that spilled over from 2021 was, again, related to the issue of rankings. On May 9 — the same day the 75-year-old former dean of Temple University’s Fox School of Business Moshe Porat was ordered to report to prison for his role in one of the biggest university rankings scandals in history — the Third Circuit Court of Appeals granted his request to stay both his 14-month prison sentence and payment of his $250,000 fine pending appeal of his conviction. As of mid-December, Porat’s appeal was still pending. See P&Q’s extensive coverage of Porat’s trial and conviction here.

2022 In Review: The Year In B-School Scandals & Tragedies

Students and faculty of Stanford GSB wrote messages of support for Black students in response to a racial slur written outside two students’ dorm rooms

Stanford GSB Investigates Racial Slurs Written Outside 2 Student Dorm Rooms

In February, Stanford Graduate School of Business investigated a hate incident in which the N-word was written on the whiteboards outside two GSB dorm rooms. The outrage that resulted led to a student walk-out — and impacted the release of a major school report on diversity, equity and inclusion at a time when emotions were still raw from the previous summer’s nationwide unrest stemming from the murder of George Floyd. In April, P&Q reported on a new initiative by Black Stanford students launched in response to the February incident:
Dream Big, Lead Boldly, a student-led initiative featuring Black students, alumni, and professionals working with undergrads and young professionals considering an MBA, for which hundreds registered from universities and colleges around the United States.

2022 In Review: The Year In B-School Scandals & Tragedies

Yuri Levin, rector of Moscow Skolkovo

As Ukraine Is Invaded, Russian B-School Is Sanctioned — And Its Dean Resigns

While MBAs and other students at U.S. and European B-schools fundraised, launched petitions, and more in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a leading global group of graduate business schools made a move with perhaps less economic than educational and cultural significance, suspending one of its own members. The Global Network for Advanced Management condemned the Russian invasion and announced the suspension of the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo from GNAM programming, temporarily dropping its membership rolls to 31 schools. The Russian school, which had been a GNAM member since December 2019, was restored in December 2022. Of much greater impact was the subsequent resignation of Skolkovo’s rector, Yuri Levin, who wrote publicly of his personal connections to Ukrainians and disaffection with the war before resigning a month later.

2022 In Review: The Year In B-School Scandals & Tragedies

Former Rochester Simon Dean Andrew Ainslie

Former Dean Of Rochester Simon Andrew Ainslie Dies In Cave Diving Accident 

Tragedy struck the business education community in April when Andrew Ainslie, the former dean of the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester and associate dean at UCLA Anderson, died during a cave diving accident. An avid adventurer who flew planes and gliders and spent a decade diving in caves for up to 12 hours, Ainslie, 62, had left Simon at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. Ainslie, one of the few deans who truly understood the business of business education as a keen strategist and an astute marketer,  was an avid and passionate supporter of the MBA, writing an essay in defense of its value when applications were on the decline (see Making The Case For Business School, Right Now or Why The MBA Remains An Awesome Investment).

2022 In Review: The Year In B-School Scandals & Tragedies

Richard Liu, the founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com, was accused of sexually assaulting a Minnesota student in 2018

Minnesota Carlson Associate Dean Accused Of Misconduct In High-Profile Sex Assault Case

An associate dean and long-time professor at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management was accused of helping a Chinese billionaire who was accused of raping a Carlson undergraduate student in 2018. Haitao (Tony) Cui, deputy associate dean for the Global DBA Program and the Ecolab-Pierson M. Grieve chair in international marketing at the Carlson School, was accused in June by the student’s attorneys of actively working to undermine the student after she was sexually assaulted. The student, Jingyao Liu, alleged that Liu Qiandong, known as Richard Liu, the founder of China’s equivalent to Amazon, JD.com, coerced her into drinking alcohol at a school event, then raped her in her apartment after giving her a ride home in his limousine. She was 21 at the time; he was 46. The case was settled in October just before going to trial, though details of the settlement are unclear; the student had been seeking $50,000 and punitive damages.

2022 In Review: The Year In B-School Scandals & Tragedies

Michigan State Broad College of Business Dean Sanjay Gupta resigned in August 2022

Questions Persist About Michigan State B-School Dean’s Ouster

Michigan State knows, like few other universities, the perils of failure to report sexual misconduct. The Lansing, Michigan public school was rocked by scandal and shame in 2015 and 2016 amid shocking revelations involving Larry Nassar, who served as team doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State athletics for nearly two decades who pleaded guilty in 2017 to sexually assaulting hundreds of women and girl gymnasts and other athletes. The Nassar scandal got a painful re-airing in August last year when Michigan State’s Broad College of Business Dean Sanjay Gupta abruptly left the school for reasons related to “concerns over his leadership” and “an alleged failure to report an allegation of sexual misconduct that was made against one of his subordinates,” according to Michigan media. Subsequent reports revealed that Gupta had not resigned, as was first reported, but was forced out by the university’s provost. As of mid-December, A report on the matter by an independent law firm had not been released publicly by the school’s Board of Trustees.

2022 In Review: The Year In B-School Scandals & Tragedies‘This Is All Bullsh*t’: Investment Bankers Sound Off On Lousy Hours, Bad Pay & Ruined Relationships

Wall Street Oasis, an online community, news site, and career center for people working and aspiring to work in finance related fields, wanted to find out about work conditions at investment banks — and wound up with a doozy of a report. WSO published its survey in April of 2021 and completed a second survey in May 2022. Some highlights: “M&A turns people into sociopaths,” a first-year analyst from a boutique investment bank wrote. “Rough hours due to small team and a ton of deal flow,” added a Piper Sandler analyst. “No free coffee. Feel like that would solve a solid amount,” opined an associate at Credit Suisse. And an associate from Citigroup sums up the job in just four words: “This is all bullshit,” he said simply. WSO also published a report on work conditions at bulge-bracket banks — with plenty of similarly juicy details.


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