High Praise For Harvard's Dean Mc Arthur

I am chairman of the Committee to Visit the Graduate School of Business Administration at Harvard. The unanimous sense of our committee is that your writers utterly failed to grasp the enormous and positive impact that the retiring dean, John H. McArthur, has had--not only on his school but on Harvard and higher education in general ("Goodbye, Mr. Chips it ain't," News: Analysis & Commentary, Mar. 20). We simply do not recognize the man and the institution described in your pages.

Thomas S. Murphy


Capital Cities/ABC Inc.

New York

The article on retiring Dean John McArthur omitted some important achievements. He has led the successful effort to assemble a stellar faculty, whose research and teaching have increasing influence in business and in management education. Harvard business school under his leadership has expanded its commitment to producing first-class management teaching materials in the form of cases and has made them freely available to every other business school in the world. This essential support and the generosity behind it are not acknowledged by the anonymously quoted critics, former deans of the schools, who are the beneficiaries.

A. Michael Spence, Dean

Graduate School of Business

Stanford University

Palo Alto, Calif.

Your appraisal of John McArthur's tenure is inaccurate and unfair. As one who served six years as dean of Columbia Business School, I had the pleasure and the challenge of competing with John.

He took a faculty widely viewed as obsolete and inbred and rebuilt it by recruiting senior faculty from outside the university and by focusing junior hiring on high-potential PhDs from other leading institutions. He pushed the faculty in the direction of major MBA curriculum change while accepting the frustrations of delay in order to achieve necessary consensus. He is one of those rare creatures: an effective leader of academics.

John C. Burton, Professor

Graduate School of Business

Columbia University

New York

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