Harvard Admissions Needs ‘Moneyball for Life’- Harvard admissions made a BIG mistake 45 years ago

very funny tongue in cheek post My Michael Lewis in todays NYT’s

“It’s been several painful weeks since Steve Schwarzman revealed that we denied him admission to the Harvard Class of 1969. As we now all know, the private equity billionaire (net worth: $13 billion and climbing) appeared on the Bloomberg channel and said that the dean of admissions at Harvard wrote to him a few years ago and said, “I guess we got that one wrong.” He also announced his $150 million gift to Yale, to erect a monument to our idiocy.”


Yeah, he notes that Harvard made the mistake of admitting a future Nobel chemist–Martin Chalfie, and John Adams–Pulitzer Prize composer, instead of Schwatzman that year.

Alas, lux et veritas…

I am curious if the dean of admission did write him and said that. If it’s true, he just shared a story of his life. Shouldn’t Harvard feel flattered that It was still the guy’s “top choice” he couldn’t get get over after so many years instead of being offended? What did Harvard lose anyway? Except the 150M, which they don’t need. Moreover they got further publicity by this story which shows Harvard is so selective that it “routinely” rejects even high achievers.

To be fair, he is also a graduate of HBS.

Brilliant op-ed. Needed to be said. Glad he said it.

Maybe, when he was 17, no one had the advantage of hindsight.

Well, I’m obviously dense because I didn’t get point of the op-ed at all. I thought it was a pretty cheap attempt at demagoguery disguised as not particularly well-done humor.

Schwarzman has obviously been very financially successful. I think people like that who give away lots of money to charity should be praised for their philanthropy - it’s certainly better than creating some fake charity like a certain politician has. I hope every dollar he gives away does a lot of good and helps many young people. If Michael Lewis wants to criticize Schwarzman for whatever else he’s done then he should go ahead and make that argument; personally, given the high cost of education I wish more wealthy people would be inspired to donate money to benefit kids who are getting an education.

As to what Harvard’s admissions office should do – I hope every admissions office is trying hard to identify people who will go on to be hugely successful. I think everyone knows that achievement can take many forms, such as being a successful entrepreneur, businessman, scientist, composer, teacher, non-profit volunteer, public servant … whatever. Look for kids who can make a contribution in any of these areas. And it’s certainly no surprise to me that people who are highly driven can have difficult personalities. People like Steve Jobs or Thomas Edison who are trying to accomplish the impossible aren’t going to be shrinking violets. Not sure what Michael Lewis wants – should schools use a dartboard to admit students or only admit milquetoasts?

Education is one of the surest ways to benefit society and individuals. I think it’s by far the best way to give opportunities to people born into modest circumstances. If you ask me, criticizing people who donate money to do things like fund scholarships is thoughtless and mean-spirited and reflects poorly on the author. That’s not to say people shouldn’t be criticized if they’ve done something to deserve it, but why criticize their charitable work?

Middle and lower class families are struggling enough to send their kids to college; anyone who helps deserves credit for helping; anyone who’s been successful should be praised for their success and not envied.

Hello?? :open_mouth:
ye Gods guys!
it was a cleverly penned farcical joke by a Princeton graduate , whose tongue was obviously firmly planted in his left cheek! !
lighten up for for gosh sakes!

I didn’t read that as a tongue in cheek thing I read it as a pretty harsh indictment of the money culture that has taken over our elite universities.

It’s a scathing takedown of Schwarzman (and his pomposity) by Lewis.

As for the money culture at American elites, @sm74, if you don’t like that, there are always European unis, which generally do not have a “money culture” (but are sink-or-swim, have huge class sizes & large student-faculty ratios, aren’t as competitive in the international faculty market, and don’t offer all that much in student support or services compared to even state schools in the US).

Its Lewis whining that people are able to make more money that he would permit, and do things with it that he would do differently.

Plus ca change…

That avenue (finance and more money than writing) was open to him, and he chose something different. He should get over it. :slight_smile:

Please bear in mind, when defending Mr. Schwarzmann, that he is the man who likened discussion of altering the tax code so that hedge fund managers would pay regular income tax rates instead of the preferential 15% capital gains rate to the Nazi invasion of Poland. He is fair game for mockery and derision, I’d say.

I think the question he is asking is should our elite Universities measure their success based on how much money their graduates make or should the measure of success be great cultural and scientific accomplishments and public service.
I think he believes in the past the focus was more on the latter and currently it is very much on the former.

Yes. And I agree.

He doesn’t nee to “get over it.” Michael Lewis left that industry because he thought it was corrupt the people were uncivil, and the work environment oppressive. He loves what he does now and is making boatloads of money at it, thank you very much.

@dadx, no, he’s taking down Schwarzman for saying that Harvard made a mistake in not taking him. That’s pretty pompous, frankly, for someone who won’t be remembered for his work a century from now (unlike giants in science & the arts).

No one’s deriding Buffett despite his billions because he isn’t as full of himself.

Could just as easily have been published in The Onion. Funny!

exactly! I have read every book that Michael Lewis has written and he does have a way with words! =D>

Ha ha. Right on the money! I like Michael Lewis.

Princeton sucks.

That is all.