A blog like this one, which features a much-used category titled Beware the B-School Boys, welcomes a bunch of new books with titles like Nothing Succeeds like Failure: The Sad History of American Business Schools and Leadership BS. Also a bunch of new opinion pieces with titles like We Should Bulldoze the Business School. Very nice.

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UPDATE: Right on cue. A perfectly timed news item on the subject just broke, and it’s being widely covered for all the wrong reasons. Everyone’s hyperventilating about a photogenic go-getter abundantly and shamelessly lying her way into a high-profile job in the current… troubled federal government. Said she went to schools she didn’t go to. Bought her degree from a diploma mill. (Read this page while you can.)

But as you know if you read this blog in its infant days, diploma mills (see that UD category) are a permanent structural reality of all countries. It’s a quirk of the United States that when people here find out you bought your college or graduate degree they actually get upset and do something about it. Most countries don’t care. This is why you want to wait til you get back to the States for that surgery.

So the fact that Mina Chang is a diploma mill grad who claims on her cv to have graduated from Harvard is a ho-hum revelation. Generous chunks of the military, fire departments, and public education are all milled up. Why those locations in particular? Because if you demand an advanced degree for job advancement, people will, er, advance them.

No: The real story lies here:

According to her educational history on LinkedIn, Chang writes that she took part in an “Executive Nonprofit Leadership” program at Southern Methodist University in Texas.

The Non Profit Leadership Certificate Program is a six-day program with a $900 fee.

That’s right, kiddies: Leadership BS at nine hundred (with travel, etc. let’s make it an even thousand) for SIX DAYS. Can you imagine the amazing leadership bs you’re getting for that moolah? Reminds ol’ UD of this 2011 six day New Zealand bs leadership seminar (run by a diploma mill grad – beginning to see the synergy?) that cost around $13,000 dollars in American currency. Or, closer to home, there’s this (quoting meself in a 2010 post about leadership bs seminars paid for by the federal government):

The Center for Creative Leadership doesn’t just have a great name.  It’s located on ONE LEADERSHIP PLACE, Greensboro, North Carolina.  Its street is a leader. This alone perhaps warrants a certain premium for leadership trainees who, even as their rented cars pull up to CCL headquarters, can sense that the very ground upon which they motor is imbued with leadership.

A five-day leadership course at the CCL will cost you between $6200 and $10,600.

And that’s not all, folks! Here’s another example of your tax dollars at work, again from a 2010 post:

[Let’s see what] the Kennedy School is charging these days for their Senior Executive whatever — all of it paid by the government.  The school has just raised the tuition.  It now costs almost $20,000 for four weeks… The costs for this and similar four-week courses offered by other outfits the Office of Personnel Management uses are 460% higher than all costs for one month at an average private American university.

As Michael Kinsley once wrote, the scandal isn’t what’s illegal; the scandal is what’s legal. That a hyper-ambitious young person would survey Trump University World and come to certain conclusions is no scandal. That the federal government enables, and schools like Harvard exploit, the leadership racket is, if you ask UD, scandalous.

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Oh, whoops. Forgot the big shocking news item about Chang and that leadership program. Shockingly, she didn’t really attend it. Shockingly, she listed it on her resume but actually did not attend.

UD finds this admirable. I ain’t saying I’d hire the woman! But she definitely shows good sense here.

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6 Responses to ““B-schools offer [ethics courses] as electives, which is always just window dressing. Ethics has never gained any traction at business schools. I doubt that you would see evidence of them teaching about how income inequality is created.””

  1. Ravi Narasimhan Says:

    The CCL as told by a graduate: “The Unendurable Horrors of Leadership Camp”

    https://www.currentaffairs.org/2016/06/the-unendurable-horrors-of-leadership-camp

  2. UD Says:

    Hadn’t seen that, Ravi. Going right to the link – thanks.

  3. Ravi Narasimhan Says:

    MBA-lite is quite the racket. Makes me wonder how the execs got that way without having these skills. In any case, I’ve been told by a few actual MBAs that the rank and position of one’s classmates is the biggest draw with tuition priced accordingly. Who wants to network with deadbeats who can’t advance your career?

  4. theprofessor Says:

    $900–come on, these are pikers. Only the most desperate deanlet would bite. The real shit is more like the $5K ones, preferably paid for by institutional money.

  5. Margaret Soltan Says:

    tp: True. I thought I’d start somewhat small and then wow the reader with the bigger stuff…

  6. University Diaries » From a “Women That Soar!” to a Page 404. Says:

    […] It’s been an awfully sudden fall for Senior Trump official Mina Chang, whose State Department page has just crashed and burned. (Background here.) […]

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