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Show Me The Money!

Last week the school administration announced that the amount of financial support to students in non-profit internships would be drastically reduced. After an immediate outcry, the school announced that “some” more money had been found, and awards would be “closer” to the originally promised amount. HBS heavily promoted this program, with specific, promised dollar amounts. HBS Community Standards dictate “honesty and integrity in dealing with all members of the HBS community.” Should the school be brought up on disciplinary charges? You make the call.

Many do-gooders like to say “it’s not about the money.” Well, let’s get real. THIS IS ENTIRELY ABOUT THE MONEY. Nonprofits are out there every day, breaking their backs to improve the world we live in. They can offer 1/3 the salary of a consulting or I-banking internship. HBS had committed to matching that money. This money helps HBS students do good things. It’s that simple. (Stanford guarantees nonprofit interns the median summer salary of their classmates. Dare I dream for such a future at HBS?)

Is HBS breaking it’s promise out of financial necessity? Or was the promise a figment of my imagination?

“We never really promised that money.”

Come on! Like a child who claims immunity from truth-telling because his fingers were crossed, HBS cites some non-binding language in the initial proposal. Forget it! HBS promoted this program heavily to students, applicants, and businesses. In this community, we teach that actions must match words.

“We added some more money. Be happy, it’s the best we can do.”
Yes, HBS funds are limited and have restrictions. But in the end, when HBS wants to fund something, we fund it. As long as HBS subsidizes Shad memberships, provides free copies of every professor’s book in our mailboxes (regardless of course relevance), and hires staff to erase blackboards (erase blackboards!!!??), we’d better be able to support the minority of students who want to pursue social enterprise.

This is an easy one. Good deed. We’ve got the cash. Fits HBS mission. Now, show me the money.

April 22, 2002
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