The Lighter Side of HBS – Popular Professor Dismissed for Failure to Include Irrelevant Meteorological Information in Case

Professor Bob Reynolds was stripped of tenure and terminated last week for what some in the Faculty Lounge have referred to as “heresy”: he wrote an entire case without one mention of the weather. His 11-page case regarding the financing of a new pharmaceutical opened with the CFO of the company in a board meeting, discussing forecasted sales for the product. Faculty colleagues were aghast. “How will students know whether this decision was made on a cold and rainy night or a warm sunny afternoon; how will they know whether the CFO made his forecasts watching the sun rise over Philadelphia or watching a storm blow in to Boston? Students will be confused,” said a spokesman for the HBS Finance Department.

Since the discovery of Reynolds’ omission yesterday, Dean Light has ordered HBS Publishing (HBSP) to destroy all copies of the case. As she loaded cases into the HBSP incinerator, longtime employee Veronica Louisiana said, “This reminds me of what we had to do with hundreds of copies of ‘Entrepreneurial Innovation at Enron’ cases in 2001.”

Reynolds’ neighbor in Morgan Hall, Professor Neil Butler, was shocked. “I never saw this coming for Bob. I mean, every morning he walks in here and greets me with a comment like, ‘Another breezy day with lots of sunshine’ or ‘Boy, did my hands get chilly on the walk across the frozen river.’ This is a guy who loves the weather.”

Reynolds could not be reached for comment, but he did issue this statement: “Packing up his desk, Bob Reynolds looked out his window into the approaching storm, and he knew his nerves would need to be as cool as the winter winds.”

March 9, 2009
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