Should the policies at the Ross School of Business be changed? Are they unfair to other students? Should they be extended to the entire University? According to the reasons presented in a recent editorial in The Michigan Daily, (“Bad Business,” 3/14/13) the Business Schools’ policies are overwhelmingly negative. The article criticizes its grade inflation and lack of Friday classes. However, understanding why the Business School holds these policies proves the belief that it’s essential that the administration change the inequities that exist between colleges is misguided.

Grade Inflation at Ross
Grade inflation at Ross is no secret. The average Ross student’s grade point average is about 3.6 while the University’s average rests at about 3.3. There’s a large discrepancy, but this entire argument is moot as GPAs are mostly compared relative to which school a student is enrolled in. Every program at this University has completely different grade distributions, so comparing GPAs in absolution is known to be impractical. Insisting that inflated grades will fool employers is insulting to those employers’ intelligences.

But this begs the question, what good comes from Ross inflating its grades? Ross believes its program will be strong if it devalues the importance of GPA. Basically, Ross wants its students to prove themselves outside the classroom. This, in turn, causes students to focus on achieving more in other extracurricular activities. As for the matter that grade inflation ill-prepares Ross students for the real world, recruiters ranked Ross students fifth overall in Business Week’s 2012 Bachelor’s of Business Administration rankings, and they continue to come to Ross every year. The grade inflation at Ross does work well, as students continue to land top jobs year in and year out — the main goal for business schools.

Other top business schools might not have the same grade inflation, but that is their own concern. Ross should not change its grading policy because it’s not the same as others — it should have policies that align with its goal of preparing its students for the business world. In the end, the quality of Ross is not dictated by nominal GPAs, but by the quality of students the program creates.

‘No Friday Class’ Policy
The article then moves on to the Ross policy that no business classes are scheduled on Fridays. The author does an excellent job explaining why the Business School has Fridays off, only missing the point that second-round interviews are usually held on Fridays.

Ross also has a number of unique policies outside of grading that contribute to the Bachelor in Business Administration program’s high rankings in publications like U.S. News and World’s. For example, Business juniors and seniors have an extra week added to their winter break in order to seek out internships and job offers. In addition, Ross avoids scheduling Friday classes so their students can compete in case competitions, attend special events at Ross and work on group projects. It’s not that Business students don’t deserve these perks, but if they’re offered to them, they should be offered to undergraduates across the University.

However, the author fails to mention why offering this to the rest of the school is a good idea.

So should these policies be extended to the rest of the University?
These policies should not be extended just because of the sole fact that Ross has them. If the author believes Fridays should be off for all students, he or she should prove how cramming a five-day school week into four days for 24,000 undergraduates is beneficial. This would make for a much stronger argument than, “others have this perk that helps their program, so I want it also.” If I want Ross to lower its tuition by $900 per semester to match LSA, I would need to prove how this is beneficial to the program. The burden of proof is on me.

In the end, every college here has unique goals, so these “entitlements” will always exist. Therefore, it makes no sense to force superficial equality on our diverse programs. It would be disadvantageous for everyone if the actions taken by one college to improve itself were misapplied to others with different priorities or diluted in a misguided effort to share everything. This isn’t about equality — it’s about doing what is best for each program. Each college should adopt policies that provide its students with the best curriculum. By taking this approach, rather than forcing each college to have the same policies, students at the University will receive a top-notch education tailored to the ideals of each program.

Ankur Shah is a Business senior.

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