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NYU'S Stern School of Business: A Centennial Retrospective

Abraham L. Gitlow
Copyright Date: 1995
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 324
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  • Book Info
    NYU'S Stern School of Business
    Book Description:

    American business schools from their inception in the 1880's, have grown dramatically both in quality and in numbers. Regarded as late as the 1950's as essentially vocational schools whose role in academia was still to be resolved, they are now among the most respected professional schools in the university community. In recent decades, this increase in prestige has been matched by the growth of both Bachelor's and MBA programs. The forces and events shaping this dramatic rise in importance have been recounted by Dean Emeritus of New York University's Stern School of Business, Abraham L. Gitlow. He brings his 45 years of experience as a faculty member at the Stern School to bear as he analyzes the educational and philosophical issues and tensions that marked the history of the school, and of American higher education in general, in the twentieth century.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-3347-9
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Dean George Daly

    What we now know as the Stern School of Business at New York University began in 1900 as the School of Commerce, Finance, and Accounts. Its avowed purpose was the provision of practical training for young people hoping to make their way in the then burgeoning financial marketplaces of New York City. One hundred years later, from these humble origins has risen an institution which has become one of this nation’s foremost institutions of management education, a School that has educated leaders of business enterprises across America and the world.

    Such an extraordinary transformation is a worthy subject for thoughtful...

  5. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
    Abraham L. Gitlow
  6. ONE The Undergraduate School: Shaping the Culture
    (pp. 1-20)

    The Stern School was born in 1900 as the School of Commerce, Accounts, and Finance, a two-year undergraduate entity in New York University. Located along with the Law School and the School of Pedagogy in a recently built and imposing multistoried structure at the corner of Manhattan’s Waverly Place and Washington Square East, it offered a two-year program of studies between the hours of 8 and 10 every evening, Monday through Friday. The timing of class schedules reflected the founders’ perception of the student body to be served.

    The purposes of the founders were twofold. The first was to offer...

  7. TWO The Undergraduate School: Transforming Trends in the First Half-Century
    (pp. 21-38)

    Dean Charles Waldo Haskins, along with Charles Ezra Sprague and a few others, set the School’s direction. But its nature was truly determined by the two deans who followed, and who between them accounted for 45 years of its history. They are Joseph French Johnson, 1903–1925, and John T. Madden, 1925–1948. The culture described in Chapter 1 emerged under their leadership.

    Evident pride was taken in the School’s size. Perhaps the best illustration of that pride was the Fiftieth Anniversary Dinner of the School, which was celebrated by a lavish dinner in 1950 in the great art deco...

  8. THREE The Undergraduate School: The Traumatic Fifties and Sixties
    (pp. 39-72)

    Decline, decay, demoralization, and despair came to characterize Commerce in the ten years from 1955 to 1965. The surface manifestation of this trauma was a devastating drop in enrollments. The peak enrollment of 1941–1942 was quickly recovered after World War II, as the veterans financed by the GI Bill flooded into the School. A temporary drop around 1949–1951 was overcome by the arrival of the Korean veterans. But as the mid-fifties arrived, a precipitous enrollment decline began.

    By the Fall semester of 1960–1961 the huge enrollments of 8,000–9,000 had fallen to 4,813, of which number 2,779...

  9. FOUR The Undergraduate College: Resurgence in the Seventies and Eighties
    (pp. 73-106)

    Perhaps one of America’s most extraordinary academic turnarounds occurred at NYU’S School of Commerce, known in the seventies and eighties as the College of Business and Public Administration. That turnaround became obvious in the seventies, but signals were already seen in the late sixties. They included the glowing AACSB accreditation report in 1969, remarkable increases in student admission credentials, significant improvement in faculty working conditions (office facilities, teaching loads, research assistance), salaries, academic credentials (doctorates), and research productivity, as well as approval to construct Tisch Hall as a new home for Commerce. Also, the curriculum was further revised and broadened....

  10. FIVE The Graduate School: Breaking Free and Broad Trends
    (pp. 107-128)

    The Graduate School of Business Administration was a creation of the School of Commerce, having begun its existence as the GraduateDivisionof Business Administration. It was in its initial few years an arm of Commerce, launched at the Wall Street Division location, and under the direction of Professor Willard C. Fisher. Archibald Wellington Taylor, director of the Commerce Wall Street Division, became dean and administrative head of the new graduate entity in 1921.

    The graduate program was an offspring of Commerce, and was nurtured by its mother. It operated in the same facilities, with the same faculty and administration....

  11. SIX The Graduate School, 1960–1990: Three Transforming Decades
    (pp. 129-163)

    Two events at GBA marked the opening of the century’s seventh decade, and both were of major importance to the School. The first was the beginning of Joseph H. Taggart’s tenure as dean. Joe Taggart had been associate dean for several years, and succeeded George Rowland Collins as dean in 1959. But he was different from his two long-service predecessors, George Rowland Collins and Archibald Wellington Taylor. The latter had been dean of GBA from its inception in 1921 to 1946, while Collins, although dean only from 1946 to 1959, had served on the faculty and in administrative positions from...

  12. All photos
    (pp. None)
  13. SEVEN The Stern School: Union at the Square
    (pp. 164-179)

    There are defining moments in the lives of individuals and organizations, moments that are decisive in determining the future course of events. One such moment came in 1988 when Leonard N. Stern, chief executive of The Hartz Group Inc., and a trustee of New York University, agreed to donate $30 million to the university. His decision responded to a plan for the future development of nyu’s business schools that had been created under the leadership of Dean Richard West.

    Dick West, dean for nine years (1984–1993), had a major impact on the Stern School. While Leonard Stern’s gift was...

  14. EIGHT Institutes and Centers
    (pp. 180-198)

    The traditional units perceived as the building blocks of a university’s organizational structure are schools and their faculties (e.g., Arts and Sciences, Medicine, Law, Business, Education, etc.). These units, in turn, consist of departments that focus on some functional aspect of each school’s sphere of knowledge and research. But this perception is incomplete, for universities and their schools embrace a considerable group of additional units, variously designated as Institutes or Centers. Institutes or Centers are usually narrower in purpose and scope than schools, although in occasional instances this distinction is not self-evident. In such a case the name is not...

  15. NINE External Evaluation and Accreditation
    (pp. 199-221)

    An interesting and significant feature of twentieth-century American higher education is the development of external agencies and organizations that evaluate and accredit universities and colleges.¹ In the field of collegiate education for business, the external guardian of quality is the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

    AACSB is part of a large structure of evaluative and accrediting bodies. The United States Office of Education sits atop the structure. Beneath it is the Commission on Recognition of Post-Secondary Accreditation, which came into existence in 1994 and replaced the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation. The Council was preceded by another entity,...

  16. TEN Student Life
    (pp. 222-254)

    In student minds the central purpose of the university is teaching. The faculty are the teachers, and the critical point of contact is the classroom. The student’s aim is to complete successfully a program of study, following which a degree is obtained. That degree certifies to the world that the student has acquired a body of knowledge, and a set of skills and insights that enlarge his or her competence to think, to analyze, and to do. This perception is largely true, but not entirely so, for students have from the beginning to the present sought more from the traditional...

  17. ELEVEN The Alumni
    (pp. 255-269)

    The most cursory reading of any university bulletin will quickly reveal those aspects of the institution cited as evidences of strength and attractiveness, reasons buttressing an applicant’s desire to enroll. Prominent among the aspects put forward will be the quality of the faculty, the student body, the physical campus and plant (the academic and other facilities available), and the success and prominence of the alumni. The quality of the alumni will be a reason to boast.

    This heading may seem odd for a discussion of alumni. But it has direct relevance, because alumni are a major output or product of...

  18. TWELVE The Outlook
    (pp. 270-288)

    As we turn our gaze to the future, what do we see? We see a transformed business school at New York University, a school which has contributed greatly to the transformation of the university itself. The sources of its strength are great and evident. They embrace: (i) an excellent faculty; (2) an excellent student body; (3) strong programs of study; (4) a beautiful state-of-the-art physical plant; (5) location in one of the world’s leading cosmopolitan urban centers; (6) being part of a prestigious university; (7) the esteem of the university and important constituent communities (trustees, central administration, alumni, business, etc.);...

  19. Notes
    (pp. 289-298)
  20. Subject Index
    (pp. 299-304)
  21. Name Index
    (pp. 305-308)
  22. Back Matter
    (pp. 309-309)