Monday, January 23, 2012

Two Incredible Developments in Business Education at Iowa State

Business School Proposes Course: 

 Finance 290X: Application of Biblical Insight into the Management of Business/Organization

[thanks to Paul Caron and his great Tax Prof Blog]

You cannot make this stuff up.  The School of Business at Iowa State University had proposed the following course.

Finance 290X: Application of Biblical Insight into the Management of Business/Organization, a one-credit class first proposed by finance professor Roger Stover last semester, was meant to teach students how biblical principles can be applied to managing a business.

This was truly one of the most incredible eventsever posted in the title of this Forum.  That a serious professor in a respected institution of higher education would propose to teach a management course based on principles of the bible is truly amazing.  Naturally there was opposition but the professor defended the course.

Stover argued that his proposed course was in fact an increasing trend among universities and defended his credentials to teach the class.

"I fully agree with Avalos that I have no formal training in biblical or religious studies. However, I do argue that I can be considered an expert in business with some knowledge of the Bible ... I would argue that I am uniquely qualified to teach this course," Stover said. "The method of using the Bible for insight into the management of business organizations is growing. We need to make our students critically aware of what this approach presents."

Stover went on to say that many respected universities such as Yale and Princeton "are actively examining the role of spirituality in business management." He also pointed to several companies such as Chik-fil-A and Hobby Lobby, which "openly display their use of spiritual and often Christian principles in their organization."

Now The Dismal Political Economist visits Chik-fil-A regularly and likes their food.  As a former Finance and Economics Professor he also likes to observe their business practices.  He has found absolutely no indication that biblical principles are involved in the making and selling of a chicken sandwich.  He also doubts that the management programs at Yale and Princeton teach courses where principles of management is based on Jonah and the Whale.

But the title of the Post said there were two incredible events associated with this absurdity.  The first, the absurdity itself.  The second.

Warren Blumenfeld, a professor in the department of curriculum and instruction, was one of the first to be notified back in October about the class and immediately — along with Hector Avalos, professor of philosophy and religious studies — sent a letter to Stover, Dark and Labh Hira, dean of the College of Business, raising their concerns about the class.

"This is a public institution where we can teach world religion, but we can't promote it. This class was promoting it and looking at it through one evangelical perspective," Blumenfeld said. "This was basically a Sunday school course where the students are getting university credit, and what that does is it lowers the standards of our university."

And lo and behold, a miracle

By late December, the course was officially canceled by Dark and the finance department, and it is no longer being offered by the university as a course.

Almost enough to make a true believer out of everyone isn’t it.

1 comment:

  1. Imagine that. Freedom under assault from religion. Seems to be a world wide trend.