Business bosses increase pressure on university presidents

Business bosses increase pressure on university presidents

Leaders at Harvard, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania are facing growing pressure after their disastrous testimony before Congress this week regarding anti-Semitism on college campuses. At issue: their legalistic responses to whether students calling for the genocide of Jews should be disciplined. (Liz Magill of Penn and Claudine Gay of Harvard later apologized for their testimony.)

Magill appeared the most vulnerable of the three as school administrators debated her future — while the influential advisory board of Wharton, the university’s business school, called for her to resign.

The storm surrounding the testimonies is intensifying in Washington and beyond. House Republicans announced an investigation into the “learning environments” at the three schools, with the possibility of subpoenas. Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, said the administrators’ “lack of moral clarity is simply unacceptable.”

Business leaders also expressed outrage. Ross Stevens, a hedge fund manager who has previously criticized Penn’s resume, said he would do so. withdraw a $100 million gift at school. Billionaire investor Bill Ackman, who publicly condemned Harvard students who he said accused Israel of being responsible for the October 7 Hamas attacks, called on presidents of all countries to three universities will be made redundant.

And David Wolpea prominent rabbi, resigned from Harvard’s advisory committee on anti-Semitism, saying anti-Jewish ideology was so entrenched that he didn’t think he could make the difference he had hoped.

Penn ‘needs new leadership effective immediately’ Wharton’s advisory board wrote in a letter to Magill this week. Although the board can only make recommendations, its voice is influential: Its chairman, Marc Rowan of Apollo Global Management, has called on alumni to hold back their donations to Penn. Furthermore, three Wharton Board Members — David Blitzer of Blackstone, Jamie Dinan of York Capital Management and Alberto Duran of Mundivox Communications — are also Penn Trustees.

It’s unclear what Penn administrators will do with Magill. In an emergency call Thursday, they did not vote on whether to oust him, but urged him and other school leaders to express the university’s values ​​more clarity.

But someone on Penn’s board of trustees suggested additional action was needed: the governor. Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania, a non-voting member, urged other trustees to decide whether Magill’s testimony reflected the school’s values. “I expect they will meet again in the coming days and I hope they will think carefully about this issue,” he told reporters.

The backlash against the presidents of Harvard and MIT did not go that far. Wolpe said Harvard’s Gay was a “kind, caring person” and didn’t go so far as to ask him to resign. And the MIT executive committee said that Sally Kornbluth, the school’s president, had “our total and unreserved support.”

  • In related news: Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, wrote on He added: “I still don’t really understand. or I don’t know what to do.

Britain’s antitrust watchdog will examine Microsoft’s relationship with OpenAI. The Competition and Markets Authority said it would begin examining whether actions including Microsoft’s $10 billion investment in Chat maker GPT, which gave it a 49 percent stake in the company, represented a “take over» This amounted to a de facto merger. (Brad SmithMicrosoft’s president, said his company’s relationship with OpenAI was “very different” from, say, Google’s takeover of AI lab DeepMind.) The review is the most significant effort yet to examine the partnership between two leading AI developers.

Hunter Biden faces new tax evasion charges. A federal grand jury indicted President Biden’s son Thursday, accusing him of schemes to avoid paying federal taxes on millions in income from foreign businesses. This latest set of charges against Hunter Biden carries a maximum sentence of 17 years in prison if convicted.

Binance founder ordered to stay in US before sentencing. A federal judge has ruled that Changpeng Zhao poses a flight risk, overturning a district judge’s ruling that the crypto tycoon could return to Dubai, where his family lives. Zhao pleaded guilty last month to money laundering charges as part of a wide-ranging settlement involving Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.

Bankrupt trucking giant rejects takeover bid. Yellow, which filed for Chapter 11 protection this summer, said a proposal from a trucking industry executive to revive the company was “not viable.” Yellow added that the offer did not appear to have the support of creditors, including the Treasury Department, which provided a $700 million loan during the pandemic.

Nikki Haley continues to raise money from business leaders. The directors of Bain Capital and Solamere Capital organize a fundraiser for the former South Carolina governor next week, according to Bloomberg, in the latest sign of Haley’s rise in the Republican presidential primary. Meanwhile, a super PAC supports Ron DeSantis canceled donor event this week, apparently due to a lack of interest.

One of the central figures in OpenAI’s short-lived coup last month was Helen Toner, an artificial intelligence researcher and then-board member who clashed with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. ‘business.

A recap: Altman was fired and briefly hired by Microsoft; OpenAI employees – including the chief scientist who initially supported the CEO’s firing – threatened to resign en masse; Altman was reinstated; and most of the board members, including Toner, resigned. All this happened in five days.

In a interview with the Wall Street JournalToner did not go into detail, but said the board’s loss of confidence in Altman meant his dismissal would further the organization’s goal of developing AI responsibly:

At one point during the heated negotiations, an OpenAI lawyer said the board’s decision to fire Altman could lead to the company’s collapse. “That would actually be consistent with the mission,” Toner responded, throwing some executives into the room.

In the interview, Toner said the comment was a response to what she viewed as an “intimidation tactic” by the lawyer. She said she was trying to make the point that OpenAI’s continued existence is not, by definition, necessary to the nonprofit’s broader mission of creating artificial general intelligence that benefits people. humanity as a whole. A concurrent concern among researchers is that AGI, an AI system capable of performing tasks better than most humans, could also cause harm. We would love to receive your feedback! Please email your thoughts and suggestions to

Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, on LinkedIn. The two governors. Florida’s Ron DeSantis and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy used the financial management giant and its embrace of environmental, social and corporate governance concerns in investing, known as ESG, as a political punching bag during Wednesday’s Republican primary debate.

Consumer rights advocate Ralph Nader has made a career criticizing corporations, CEOs and advance the laws to make food, water, work and travel safer. Today, the 89-year-old lawyer is moving up a gear: he sings the praises of exceptional business leaders.

Nader’s latest book, “The Rebel CEO: 12 Leaders Who Did Things Rightexamines the work of executives he believes did a good job while running their companies, including Anita Roddick of The Body Shop, Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia and John Bogle of Vanguard.

The book itself is an example of Nader’s rebellious streak: he told DealBook’s Ephrat Livni that publishers encouraged him to write about corporate malfeasance, but he instead wanted to spotlight corporate executives. company that has principles.

“Young people think that CEOs are simply judged by their ability to meet market demand,” Nader said in an interview. “This book raises the bar of expectations.”

The CEOs he has drawn up, he said, meet five criteria.

They focused on the workers. “Herb Kelleher, the former CEO of Southwest Airlines, always called workers “my people” and put them first, even over consumers, but the result was a cordiality and a culture of “yes” among staff that consumers could really feel. »

They expressed their opinion in public. “Often CEOs sound like they are speaking from a script and have marbles in their mouth. But the actors in the book did not hesitate to express their positions. Roddick from Body Shop was wasting away in the beauty industry.

They admitted their mistakes. “They did this to stop the corrective process. “After saying they were wrong, they were quicker to resolve the issues.”

They weren’t too secretive. “They all shared their so-called trade secrets and ways of doing business. They rebelled against the proprietary secrecy syndrome that can often mask wrongdoing.

They showed restraint. “Everyone was attentive to profits and knew that without them they could not be bold or take risks. But they didn’t put profits above all else and they didn’t overpay themselves.”



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