The business school for anti-MBAs

November 16, 2010: 11:33 AM ET

By John A. Byrne, contributor

(poetsandquants.com) -- In the fall of 2008, when Lehman Brothers went kaput and the economy plunged into a deep recession, Yash Gupta was scampering around the country trying to drum up support for a new business school at Johns Hopkins University.

It was not the best time to enlist believers in building yet another school that would pump out even more MBAs. After all, some critics were already starting to point fingers at business schools and their graduates for the collapse of the financial markets.

But Gupta, a life-long business educator who signed on as dean of the B-school start-up, says the crisis gave him unusual license to think up an MBA education from scratch.

"The meltdown helped us immensely because people were ready to question the orthodoxy," says Gupta. "We decided early on that we could not be a prominent business school by doing what every other school does. I don't think I could have done that in 2006."

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John A. Byrne
John A. Byrne
Contributor , Fortune

John A. Byrne is chairman and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media Inc., a digital media startup that is launching a network of websites for the global business community, including PoetsandQuants.com, a website for analysis, news, and features on prestige MBAs and the best business education in the world. Byrne was until recently executive editor and editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek.com. Byrne is the author or co-author of eight books on business, leadership, and management, including two national bestsellers.

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