Neverending story: the B-school admissions issue

Boston Globe: Divide grows on treatment of students in online breach. Pluses on the story: they bring most of the cogent points, including the “students have to take accountability” argument and the “that’s not really a hack, it’s editing a URL” argument. Plus they cite Philip, though they don’t link to his site or get into the comments thread. Minuses: no one asked how one could “accidentally” stumble across the URL in question; the story doesn’t make any new points that the extensive discussions on line didn’t already cover, plus it’s about two weeks late. We’ve already talked about all of this.

Interesting points:

  • There were 32 students at Sloan who were affected, compared to 119 at Harvard. That’s disproportionately high; HBS has about double the enrollment of Sloan, but I don’t think it has four times the applicant base. This could be because (a) Sloanies are more honest, or (b) more HBS students were inclined to look because Harvard actually had data on the server.
  • Corporate ethicist Robert A. G. Monks of Portland, Maine, says, “I wonder if you want 20-year-old kids traumatized for life over this.” I wonder how many business schools he’s seen recently. Most top tier schools aren’t accepting applicants straight out of undergrad. They want students with a few years’ experience under their belts. I think the youngest person in my class at Sloan was about 24, with most of the class in their late 20s. Someone who’s that old, who’s seen the business world, should understand that actions might have consequences and shouldn’t need to be coddled.
  • Total numbers of intrusions: total pool is “at least 211 applicants,” which includes 119 HBS, 32 Sloan, 17 Tuck, 41 Stanford, 1 CMU, and 1 Duke accounted for. While it’s not clear that each of the 211 only violated one file, or how students who applied to both Sloan and HBS and tried to peek at both files are counted, if you make the naïve assumption that the 211 counts intrusions rather than students, that means all the intrusions are accounted for.