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Update: UO MBA’s and Kees de Kluyver

1/7/2013: If you believe the WSJ on these things, de Kluyver’s decision to increase UO’s MBA tuition by 50% may not have been totally prescient.

9/4/2012: Diane Dietz of the RG has a comprehensive story on UO’s MBA programs, with many interesting quotes from LCB Dean Kees de Kluyver, here:

They [University of Washington, the University of Arizona and the major California universities] were at tuition levels north of $65,000 or $70,000 (for two year degrees). We were lagging at levels half or less than that,” he said. “If you want to be taken seriously, you can not be priced half somebody else’s offering, because you simply will not be considered.” At half price, it’s impossible to sell the program as a Mercedes, he said. …

Meanwhile, the UO is planning to shift its Portland-based Executive MBA program out of stall. The Executive MBA program was ripe for a revamp last fall after de Kluyver hired a new director, Wes Balda, an academic with experience in creating graduate-level business education programs, including at the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. … But after seven months, Balda resigned.

As of June, Balda was still on the payroll for $150K. de Kluyver gets $315K plus a $30K “overload”, but no beemer. Provost Bean has failed to deliver with the Portland programs, as with most everything else he’s touched. Lorraine Davis’s efforts to mop this one up are here.


  1. Anonymous 09/04/2012

    Interesting comparison with the law school, which is apparently *decreasing* class size to improve quality and value to students. I don’t see how *increasing* class size, given a decreasing applicant pool, helps to improve quality and value. It does however help pay those B-school salaries.

  2. Anonymous 09/04/2012

    This stuff is priceless. This is the “strategy” developed by the guy who writes books on strategy. I love the “Mercedes” quote. Problem with that approach – the UO MBA is no Mercedes. I’m no economist, but what happens when you price a Volkswagen like a Mercedes, especially in a market where demand is already down? Or put lipstick on a pig? There have been no other substantive changes to the program to justify a higher price tag. You’ll notice only admins, with the exception of one anonymous faculty quote, were the only ones talking this up. There was effectively no faculty discussion or oversight on this approach.

    de Kluyver is a perfect example of why faculty need more input into admin hires. His first visit as a candidate was a disaster (he was offensive to women and ignored undergraduate education in his presentation) and so Bean, in all his wisdom, coached him up and brought him back…telling faculty to give him another chance. It was clear this was the choice, no matter what faculty thought.

    The higher price tag and increased class size is needed to help pay for B-school administrative bloat – a Dean and 2 Associate Deans who collectively rake in $750,000 a year. I honestly have no idea what one of those Associate Deans does.

    Side note: Word on the streets is that de Kluyver brought in Balda despite having already fired him once before when they worked together at another school. Fool me once…

  3. Anonymous 09/04/2012

    “most everything else he’s touched”? You are too kind. I can’t think of a single thing Bean has not screwed up. Can anyone?

  4. Anonymous 09/04/2012

    Dog says

    Bean has definitely not screwed up getting a 300K+ salary and surviving, quite well, – I wish I could screw up this like that …

  5. Anonymous 09/04/2012

    An MBA program run for itself. For Oregonian students and others, not so much.

    “If you want to be taken seriously, you can not be priced half somebody else’s offering, because you simply will not be considered.”

    I think de Kluyver is speaking of his own future employment opportunities.

  6. Anonymous 09/04/2012

    I’m no MBA, but US News ranks the program at #91, and the tuition for the other programs in that range average about $25K per year, much less for in-state.

  7. Anonymous 01/08/2013

    Key quote in WSJ article:

    “The pressures are greatest for those attending less prestigious schools, says Stanford Business School professor Paul Oyer, who studies personnel trends.”

    I’m going to go out on a limb and submit that we are one of those less prestigious schools. But hey, its all good because we’ll just call it a Mercedes.

    Now, what color suspenders should I wear today…

  8. Anonymous 01/08/2013

    On the Balda experience at Claremont, My understanding is that the ‘aggressive’ new program ran up millions in debt, which other schools and colleges were asked to help pay off. Perfect for UO Portland initiative, right?

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