Unusually Good Replacing Usually Bad

Education precepts need upgrading for the 21st Century. Simply memorizing of 19th precepts of “greed is good” and “poor people are bad” needs upgrading with a small dose of intelligence.

 

The presumptions of 19th Century Industrialization as a good are in urgent need of repair.  Some reasons:

 

1 – Climate change via industrial processes and its energy presumptions,

2 – Trickle-down economics is more clearly being seen as simple “horse shit theory,”

3 – Mass marketing and consumption provides what we don’t want, don’t need and nature can’t accommodate,

and,

4 – Leadership from 21st Century operational networks to replace leadershit in industrial hierarchies.

Alternative models of business are essential to life as we know it. As such we need to try the unorthodox in business schools and practice.  Sitting through out of date cases and related subject is like watching the Harvard written Sears Case go out-of-business.  A waste of scarce resources in life and living.

2005 – Interim Dean’s Position Statement for those preparing for the challenges of 21st  Century Business: “It’s the fight against shit, that’s what it’s all about.”

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Many of Hawk’s NJIT students had similar intellects, and humor.  When they entered Hawk’s Dean’s office they would see the above poster, read the Clint Eastwood quotation, smile, then seek advice on their problem(s).

It’s the fight against shit. That’s what it’s all about.” During the 1980s David Hawk’s Ph.D advisees in the Stockholm School of Economics posted the quotation on their doors. At NJIT Hawk’s students had similar intellects and humor.  When they entered Hawk’s office they would see the above poster, smile then seek advice on their problems of interest.

Hawk’s Ph.D advisees in the Stockholm School of Economics, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Chalmers, Oxford and Tsinghua would self-identify via posting the above picture and quotation. One won best business dissertation in Europe then went on to write the best selling management book translated into 26 languages.

NJIT professors behaved differently to the poster. A third of them, those with nothing to profess and a demonstrated dislike of students, would withdraw from Hawk’s office after reading the caption on the photo. Four of these would later testify that Hawk lacked collegiality towards them and had too much collegiality towards students, as demonstrated in his official letters in their support.  The NJIT Board of Trustees in 2013 agreed with the priorities of these four professors, and turned from students representing public interests.  The Board did not see students, and their parents who paid for it all, as the public whose interests they swore to oversee.

Senior professors, with the Board’s approval, were allowed to decide on the pay raises, they could grant themselves. Thus the bulk of incentive monies were given by them to themselves thus leaving little for the junior professors they reviewed.  Senior professors would also grant themselves teaching awards  and could leave student input out, or if needed they could “edit” student comments.

A CBS news research project published in 2016 found NJIT’s faculty to be the worst in North American universities.  NJIT’s Board and its various lawyers made their decisions based on what seemed to be “alternative facts,” more consistent with leadership of a Trump-Type University.

Faculty like awarding themselves awards, without interference from those who might know.

Hindy the Queen

A second third of the professors demonstrated great love for the opportunity given them to access and help public university students and society.  They were widely accessible to students and eagerly embraced questions about a professor’s content in lectures and readings.  To be around curious students was seen as a privilege, not something to avoid while awaiting a paycheck.

The remaining third were somewhere between the first and second third. They seemed to be trying to figure out which third to join while also insuring that those granting tenure would look kindly on them as future allies.  Students could detect these in the classroom.

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The following is the Dean’s welcome to speculative students and faculty as posted on the NJIT website from 2005 until 2015. Three following deans chose to plagiarize this statement as their own “welcome” before alumni concerns about this practice were listened to by NJIT Administration.

“As Interim Dean I welcome your interest in NJIT’s School of Management for your business education needs. The students, faculty, staff and advisers of the School have invested the last six months in reconsidering what the School collectively represents, while redesigning the means to better deliver what it should be. We are in full operation while undergoing “reconstruction.” The rebuilding is driven by an urgent sense that the social systems of which we are a part have grown beyond traditional management capabilities. Business-as-usual responses, in the class room and at the workplace, are clearly insufficient to the emerging needs. New educational ideals, platforms, protocols and content are needed.

We find the opportunities inherent in current challenges exciting. With our students we are experimenting with a variety of ways to sense and respond to the changing needs of social, technical and natural systems, and the connections between them. Our short-term response it to offer greater flexibility via hybrid models of distance learning and shorter programs. In the longer term we are shifting our focus from instruction in the functional areas of industrial organizations towards systems management of network-formed organizations. Several SOM faculty members are leaders in this transformation.

New goods, services and institutions are needed to improve the economic exchange activities that serve humans. Some existing products and organizations are no longer needed, and/or stand in the way of improvement. It is time to look more deeply for the opportunities in our current challenges. While there may be a rationale for the continued strategic outsourcing the content of functional areas, as proposed in the 1980s and begun in the 1990s, there may be greater value in 2006 in innovatively reconnecting the functional parts that were disconnected.

We embrace development of information technology platforms in our work at SOM, but as a means to link actions to missions, not as an end in itself. Applications of IT are a limited set of the many means available to those working to improve our systems. We are skeptical of the traditions that bring reverence to any fixed means to solve all of an organization’s problems, including score cards, strategic thinking, sub-optimization and MIS.

The School of Management and its students are facing the same challenges as most organizations in today’s world. As such we are making efforts to establish links to those organizations in our region and world. We hope you will come help us to make this work successful.”

Following are some small images to show the inherent weakness in what needs entire courses in finance and human relations management in the traditional MBA.

Learning about Wall Street.jpg

The Essence of What Finance Means in an Economy

Within the MBA the subject of Finance via stock exchange manipulations is introduced at a somewhat superficial level. Why leading companies mostly avoid such is seldom introduced to MBA students. Then the MBA Coursework moves to human resource management (HRM) instruction as key to managing what you  know nothing about producing or servicing.  This HRM area is seen as something between common sense and intellectual garbage by most students in most MBA programs.

Attitude problem.....

History of the School in an Official Publication Consistent with Dean’s Welcome:

“The 1988 foundation of the School was to provide a standard business education to those well versed in technology design and control but somehow uncertain about the larger business value stream in which it is placed. In 2006 we continue with this mandate while also responding to the challenges of change. We are experimenting with delivery of special learning situations for those who design and manage cutting edge technologies, and have little patience for the security of the standard. As an example of what this means, part-time students were once considered a lesser market for business schools. Our School considers our students who daily work at the edge of change as one of our most valuable resources. They are our advanced warning system of the challenges that we have yet to prepare for, but for which we must prepare. We value them greatly. The School of Management has 26 faculty and many adjuncts to serve over 600 undergraduate and graduate students. We offer degree programs in the Bachelor of Science in Management, the Master of Science in Management, the MBA and the Executive MBA. And Executive MS. SOM was accredited by the AACSB International in 1995.

To see what this means please come visit us.”

Interim Dean, David L. Hawk, PhD

 

A PREAMBLE TO BUSINESS:

International Business operations offer an access point to the new, to the needed. Therein your will find alternatives to business as usual, especially to Angry Americans like Donald Trump who mostly rely on bankruptcy to survive.  Its easy to see the limitations of business as usual via a curriculum at places like the Harvard Business School. Harvard teaching exemplifies one American tradition developed in the 1950s when challenges were very soft due to the USA having the last industrial production sector left un-bombed. In addition to this post WWII advantage Harvard took ideas of military strategy from WWII and transposed them into business, ending with what we can now see as a world of unethical strategic nonsense.

In the world of business as usual marketing form and low level content in products are managed via the idea of hierarchy. How is CEO and how much they are compensated becomes more important than content or quality of output where an MBA does not need to know an industry’s content. MBA programs help graduates slide downhill via the growing influence and ignorance of those claiming to know Human Resource Management. HRM dissertations illustrate the downward trend from deceitful strategic management and marketing, both as sewage in business operations. We illustrate the alternative to this in my wife’s 150,000 employee firm.

Professors who profess the HRM crap mostly miss the humor of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, as they teach it, shun the role of critical thinking via discouraging questions, and talk of successes that teach nothing while avoiding the learning gold mine in mistakes.   The resulting smoke masks the shame of pushing  products unknown to the pusher upon those not needing them, and that are desperately not needed for a planet supporting life.

While learning to learn is of immense value it is seldom part of a business education. Much time is instead invested in “becoming educated.” This is often reduced to acquiring information on how to do the wrong thing but ever more efficiently.  Use of 19th Century ideas of industrialization and management provide stability for the exercise. This is unfortunate in light of the role of business in bringing about climate change.

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International business teaching offers an ideal platform from which to question much of traditional MBA teaching from the 1950s. Traditional teachers and employers become nervous about international business teaching and research. NJIT was noted by its accrediting body in 2008 for being the most improved school based on its move into international business in 2005.  This was corrected by NJIT leadership in 2009 by bringing two FBI agents to lecture faculty on the evils of the international.

At the Stockholm School of Economics in 1976 Hedlund and Hawk addressed the need for change in business education via an Institute of International Business (IIB). They started it and gained sponsorship by Swedish business leaders. The Institute soon came to be a richly funded PhD research program able to critique business as usual teaching in the larger Stockholm School of Economics. It quickly came to attract unusual students, many whose intellect would normally lead them to study medicine, mathematics or the sciences. They produced some of the best PhD dissertations in Europe, if not the world, prior to the demise of the Institute in 1996. One graduate, according the the London Times, became one of the top four corporate lecturers in the world. He also wrote two of the best selling business books published in non-English languages.

Special people were attracted to the Stockholm IIB PhD program. Its graduates were offered professorships at leading business programs around the world, including Harvard. During the 21st Century similar programs emerged in Europe, Asia and North America. The program attracted attractive students.

Photos of one of our foreign study classes. Upper left is Wall of China. Upper right is lecture by Professor Yu of Tsinghua University to the NJIT class. Professor Yu is responsible for leadership education in China’s leading university, where China’s current president graduated from. Below that is an image of the CEO of the world’s largest construction company giving a lecture to the group. Bottom photo is of an NJIT class in Hong Kong.

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Lecture to NJIT students by President of one of the world’s largest companies

 

 

To take advantage of what was learned at IIB in Stockholm NJIT in Newark initiated a track in International Business in 1992 within the MS in Management Degree. It prepared students for new kinds of jobs in international firms in the New York Region. The MS in IIB quickly grew to several hundred students with international business interests. The dean of 1996, who held a PhD in marketing, then moved international business to a sub component of marketing. The program quickly was reduced to several dozen students. Students with international interests moved to other programs or left school. Due to lack of student interest the dean closed most of the MS in Management down and shifted emphasis towards a traditional MBA. Student population was further reduced. Studies had been interested in the why and how things were done unusually in the emerging Silicon Valley firms. In 2005 NJIT returned to an international business BS and MS emphasis until a new dean left.

Via the leadership mentality of places like NJIT and Trump University international business learning was frowned upon and mostly discontinued.  Neither organization understood that the world was moving towards a position where the international qualifier would be dropped as all business would necessarily be part of an international fabric.  This is part of a larger call to order and hankering after the good old days that never were.  NJIT leadership was very concerned, like the larger society, in the emergence of globalization. Such people see much that has not worked out well in their lives and they blame most what they understand least. This gives us members of Congress, mostly trained as lawyers, where more than two-thirds do not hold passports. They truly represent the downside of human interactions, especially of business. They act to mostly encourage 20th Century business to make us of 19th Century principles to “recapture” the 21st Century. This is their call to return to and remake “business as usual,” and make it great again. Most such dreams of history never occurred and those that did were expensive to life. Change is needed.  Just now the “return to what was not” is based on a call for nationalism as a means for the few to have power over the small; i.e., .5% controlling the isolated United States to their selfish wills.

The anti-international is restricted to some angry white males and their intimidated and captive wives. They spend their spare time, which they have much of, in watching Fox News, or black athletic performing sports in colleges, and/or cartoons. Sometimes they dabble in low exercise golf.  Mortality is solving life’s problems from this group but such can take decades. The consequences of the results of this group are becoming ominous. Greater intelligence is urgently required in the species. Via intelligence or very rude experience the white male Trumpery will subside and rehabilitation can begin. Chances are growing that the second will be the initiator of change.  It’s called climate change.

More need to be like the very smart EMBA students that were attracted to a reconstituted NJIJT leadership program that grew from 12 in 2005 to 75 in 2007 and had 200 scheduled for entry in Fall, 2008, including groups from IBM, Nokia and a major Chinese firm. NJIT Administration removed the dean organizing this group of 200 in 2008 and installed a new dean who in this “first hundred days” canceling its leadership, enterprise-development and international degree programs. The EMBA returned to its quietly irrelevant agenda that attracted 10 students/year.

Students dreams and they providing an additional $10 million/year in revenue for the university seemed to not be noticed nor matter to NJIT leadership. Getting rid of David Hawk was a high priority. Resources taken from tax payers and students tuition, running in the millions of dollars and thousands of hours was deemed as unlimited to attain his removal at any cost. There much anger, perhaps from fear of being dispensed with as irrelevant by the growing voice of student customers?   Yes, Dean Hawk was sometimes rude to NJIT’s President and his VPs. He was clearly blunt about their wrong doing but only to their faces, never behind their backs.

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This is one of Hawk EMBA classes on a course trip to Washington, D.C. to meet elected leaders and lobbyist to see why the latter were the smartest and most evil people running the Government, although seldom in the public interest.  This Washington, D.C. trip and the international studies trip each class would be taken on was to illustrate the difference between education via “Harvard Case Studies” and learning via meeting then raising questions to actual decision-makers.  CEOs, such as the President of Ikea and Medco would often visit Hawk’s lectures. The above group is asking some tough questions of a New Jersey Congressman after he presented his political presumptions on business.

The above group is asking some tough questions of a New Jersey Congressman after he presented his five well rehearsed political presumptions on business, but could not remember the second one.

(During legal case hearings on Hawk’s Deanship in 2012 NJIT Leadership testified that Hawk’s EMBA classes were usually 15 students and only once 33. This picture showing a typical group of 30, where there were multiple classes each year, was seen as a doctored photo, typical of Hawk’s forgeries?  Truth to power is expensive. The alternative is more expensive.  The New Jersey State Mandated Hearing was a comedy, not a tragedy, except for the students who paid in excess of $5 million for it from tuition money and the acts of Interim Dean English that knew nothing of business, education and perhaps life.  The Hearing Office was a nice and good man, but probably needed the $500/hour paid him during 18 months of Hearing.  NJIT’s outside counsel, affectionately called “Trish and Trevor” were fine as well, but also seemed to need the $500/hour each received for what it was they were doing for NJIT leadership.)

No particular disrespect is intended for NJIT in this storyline. Due to its leadership it is sort of like many other mainstream institutions of higher learning in the world. The low aspirations and mentality of the leadership and those who find and select such leaders for public institutions is common.  The following outlines how and why Hawk was such a problem for NJIT, and become the only professor who had his professors tenure removed, for what he did as dean, in the 130 history of this Newark trade school.

Timetable of a Deanship:

July 2005: I was contacted by the incoming NJIT Provost, Priscilla Nelson. She asked me to serve as interim dean for a year, based on what she said was her review of my resume and website. We had never met. She had worked at the National Science Foundation whre I had given lectures and had represented them on National Academy of Sciences Committees.  I asume if she had met me she would have hesitated in endangering her job by asking me to work with her as an academic administrator. As an Associate Dean of the School of Architecture it has changed much; more than NJIT could accept. I had started the Honors Program and worked hard to keep it from ever becoming a college, but eventually lost so Joel Bloom could have a deanship.  I turned down Priscilla’s offer initially. When we met and we discussed the deanship further she argued how the survival of the business school might just depend on me taking over its leadership. (This was later substantiated by two CEO members of the NJIT Board, that were replaced by President Altenkirch for their disagreeing with him.)

I eventually accepted the role with a warning that I would change many things to emphasize better ways to serve students and the families supporting them. I hoped she would be with me. (I liked her and continue to respect her, even though in the NJIT Hearings she was reluctant to speak openly for fear of losing her job like all others did that supported me.) This decision cost me. I was to be at China’s leading university that Fall to lead a “leadership center development.”  I thus needed to drop that opportunity to deal with the unsolveable problems of NJIT.

Late July 2005: I was told by students that their professor, a Cheicha Sylla, missed the first three weeks of a summer course. I asked the Associate Dean Barbara Tedesco why this Sylla person had been allowed to teach summer courses, as he missed classes. I was told he begged for the summer job in order to get money.  When I found Sylla to ask why he had missed so many classes he didn’t explan. I then asked him to apologize profusely to the students that had paid for him.  In apparent frustration to my request he sent a message to students saying:  “I had something more important to do.”  Hmmm……not good sign of a good professor….

Looking deeper I found other student comments consistent with thoes unhappy with his performance in the summer course. One student’s comment about his teaching was: “Awful. Stay away from his classes. You won’t learn anything but at the end you are expected to learn from his bad pre-recorded classes.  He missed a lot of the scheduled meetings.”  (ratemyprofessor.com)

I related this to the faculty in our first faculty meeting without using his name.  He left the meeting in anger thus devoted much of his life thereafter to creating and presenting “alternative facts” to NJIT administration about David Hawk.  He is now the Associate Dean for the School of Management. He is pretty typical of NJIT Associate Deans and Chairs, in that they had difficulties in teaching.  As long deans and associate deans treat students badly they are trusted by the faculty that dislike teaching and students.

September 2005: I was told that the NJIT Board of Trustees wanted an outside review of the School of Management, to act on its future prospects. I asked to have a meeting with the NJIT Board or Trustees.

December 2005: I made a presentation on the Schools possible future to the Board of Trustees.  It is available on one of three NJITBS websites.

March 2006: I composed a committee of local business representatives, a sort of academic opposed to accreditation that the president wanted on the committee, a leader in international entrepreneurship, and Russell Ackoff, lead professor from the Wharton School of Business. I asked the Chief of Staff of IBM Headquarters to act as the committee’s chair.  Their conclusion was I should turn the school into a place that concentrated on preparing future business leaders, and continue with my bringing of international business to the school. The NJIT Board endorsed the report. The NJIT President did not.

April 2006: President Altenkirch sent out a memo to committee members on the agenda of their three days at NJIT. An hour later Professor Ackoff sent back an email damning the president for being an idiot and wasting his time. A day later Professor Ackoff contacted me by phone and offered to help with the final report writing, but coming to spend time with NJIT leadership was simply a waste of his time.

April 30, 2006: The report was submitted. It emphasized the need for leadership and international business in the schools agenda for students.  They also recommended I stay one more year as actual not interim dean to see the school changed.

May 25, 2006:  The School of Management Faculty voted via 75% wanting me to stay on as the actual dean, no longer an interim dean. I accepted as long as my salary would only increase by adding three months for the summer and I was allowed to continue to teach my full course load as a faculty member.

June 20, 2006: A proposal was presented to a Foundation to name the School for them for $50 million in construction money for a new building.  They offered a $2 million chair instead in order to keep an eye on how the school would make use of their money.

July 1, 2006: The School entered its formal accreditation process with AACSB.

Learning is Intrinsically Opposed to Education

Education deals in acquisition of assumptions in and about life. Learning is different. Learning is about questioning assumptions. Learning situations are far different from classrooms, although perhaps assumptions need to be raised prior to their being questioned?  Business as usual has brought us results that are bringing us the consequences such as a war against nature via environmental deterioration resulting in destruction of the stability needed for systems of life. While the old rely on what they learned to make industrialization ever more efficient the young question those presumptions and seek non-industrialized business as unusual.  The process offers optimism for humans, but time is short.

Yes, in Institutions trying to maintain a stable state and resist change, there is a clear sign of they being Not Just In Time. Its worth questioning if schools like NJIT are a force for not just in time. Students taking out large loans to pay for  college athletics to entertain their elders are skeptical of how this relates to learning for a new future. The CBS report on the state of NJIT students in this dilemma was informative.  The later study by Princeton Review that found NJIT faculty to be some of the worst in North America did not ease student discomfort.  Improvement in leadership is in order but may be too late. Signs are not good.

“Not Just In Time” marketing is one more indication of leadership in need of improvement, or change.

An Example: Reorganization of Truth, or Just Another Faustian Bargain?

In mid-April, 2017 news.njit.edu announced “NJIT’s Computer Science Program Ranked #2 in the World”   They and others that don’t believe in qualifiers and/or are very unfamiliar with computer science subject matters cobbled together a good news bandwagon. One of the roles of good leadership is to show institutional character by keeping such from happening via showing healthy skepticism of lawyers and press people.

My skepticism comes from watching NJIT leadership for three decades and seeing its limited ability to build institutional character in service to its students and alum. From this I see how NJIT students clearly have character while its faculty and administration largely come up short.  The NJIT press release seems to fall clearly into the 2005 Princeton University Press best selling book: “On Bullshit.”  For those with interest in where American society is now at you might look at this as a guide book for Trump leadership.   Following is a more factual basis for the NJIT approach to a news release.

As posted on LinkedIn.com from news.njit.edu

“NJIT’s Computer Science Program Ranked #2 in the World”

Likes

  • Yvel Clovis
  • Parth Shah
  • Dean R Catlett Jr.
  • Oranis Pimentel
  • Kihyun Kim
  • Jamar K Davis
  • Tony Farthing, Jr.
  • Edward Ovalles
  • Rimsha Warda Syeda
  • Arif Arifi
1d
Christopher Sam

Christopher Sam

Woo Hoo! That is awesome!!!

Afolawemi Afolabi

Tony Howell

And, we didn’t pay for it !! Lol !!

David L. Hawk

David L. Hawk

As prior comments certified, this has nothing to do with reality. Did you pay LinkedIn to erase the more informative comments on why this ranking has nothing to do with IT rankings on this planet? Tonjgi is not number one in China, let alone the world as we know it? Maybe NJIT is number one in Newark?

Jamar K Davis

Jamar K Davis

David does this ranking affect you personally? If I had to guess, I’d say NO! Let’s not rain on anyone’s parade. NJIT did not create the algorithm used to yield these rankings. If you have any issues with the results reach out to the source not the recipients. Have a good day Sir and Salute to the many IT professionals representing NJIT!

Joshua Adegboye
David L. Hawk

David L. Hawk

Jamar, yes, if it impacts NJIT students it gets to me, just as Trump University marketing scams got to me until the New York AG finally looked into my comments. This item is bad but not as bad. Since I spent some time at NJIT and now spend some time at Tongji but mostly Tsinghua they laugh a bit much about NJIT. If nothing else please qualify the “ad” to let it be known that the ranking was not Computer Science per se, but in only one of seven sub categories of computer science. It, cybernetics, is the one mostly eliminated by the better schools. NJIT has no showing in the six mainstream CIS categories, or so the director of the CWUR head told me. He also mentioned that NJIT as a university is not to be found on their listing of 1,000 best universities in the world. I can send Joel a copy of the letter I received today when I sent your notice to CWUR. Tsinghua is clearly the world’s leading program in computer science in three of the CIS categories that matter. In 2006-2007 NJIT had an MOU with Tsinghua, until NJIT dropped it from never having heard of the place. Tongji will soon drop the cybernetics group, and its three people, per one of my CIS Ph.D students now there. Of course if accuracy doesn’t matter continue…. For those interested here are the contents of the evaluation as sent to me from CWUR, “Center for World University Rankings”Categories used by CWUR to evaluate Computer Science Programs. There were seven categories as subsets of the field. They and the leaders in each are:

  1. Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Number One: Nanyang Technical University
  2. Computer Science, Cybernetics, Number One: Tongji University, Number Two: NJIT
  3. Computer Science, Hardware and Architecture, Number One: Tsinghua University
  4. Computer Science, Information Systems, Number One: Tsinghua University, Two:Nanyang Tech, Three:Stanford, Four:MIT
  5. Computer Science, Interdisciplinary Applications,  Number One:Harvard, Two:Stanford, 3:University of Michigan
  6. Computer Science, Software Engineering, Number One:Stanford, Two:MIT, Three:Tsinghua
  7. Computer Science, Theory and Methods, Number One:Tsinghua, Two:MIT, Three:Nanyang

Obviously Tsinghua University, according to this study, which is only one of many you might look at, has a lead role in the subject area, not Tongji or the American Schools.  One troubling issue was how CWUR was unable to evaluate “Computer Science Security systems” and “Open Source systems”.   KTH of Stockholm has become the leader in the first area but was not evaluated via the criterion used. No programs in China address open source systems that are hard for governments to control, but all governments in the world make use due to their better security.   If interested in where computer science is moving you need to look outside CWUR’s evaluation.  A David Ing forthcoming dissertation done in conjunction with IBM will be a good source.For most this may not matter, as much in education does not matter for many involved in teaching its untested presumptions. Learning Institutions are different, they not only allow questions but encourage, sometimes even demand them of their students. The best schools have the best students, where the best faculty get out of the way of learning, not detour it.  NJIT has very good students.

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