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Yale Has a Retro Plan to Push a Tenth of its MBAs to the Bottom of the Class

Jack Welch during his tenure as CEO of General Electric
Jack Welch during his tenure as CEO of General ElectricPhotograph by Shawn Baldwin/Bloomberg

When Yale University’s School of Management announced it would update the grading standards for its incoming class, students sent up an alarm. Current MBAs criticized the school for not seeking their feedback and for judging students in a way that they say conflicts with SOM’s mission to create competent leaders.

Yale SOM’s policy revives the bell curve—long outmoded as a corporate evaluation guideline—as the grading golden standard: Ten percent of any class can be top performers, and 10 percent must be at the bottom, according to Senior Associate Dean Anajani Jain, who announced the new system.