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  • Sleaze-e-Demia

    Posted by David Foster on August 25th, 2011 (All posts by )

    On LinkedIn, there is a frequently-appearing ad that says “Learn Ivy League management at eCornell.” I finally clicked on it and got this page. Note especially the headline:

    “Add an Ivy League credential to your résumé” (right under the “save 15% this August” line)

    and, under “topics you will master”

    How to Strategize for Success
    Scenario Analysis
    Executive Decision Making
    Leading Through Creativity
    Unlocking Your Leadership Potential
    Motivating Members of Your Team

    I’d suggest that anyone who seriously believes they can “master” a single one of these topics, let alone all 6 of them, in an 8-week class requiring “just 3-6 hrs per week” of your time” shouldn’t be allowed near the management of anything or anybody. And I’d also suggest that a university which encourages this kind of thinking is not exactly doing itself proud.


    9 Responses to “Sleaze-e-Demia”

    1. Bill Brandt Says:

      What happens if 2 “eCornell” alumni are against each other?

    2. John Wolfsberger, Jr. Says:


      The add reads: “Add an Ivy League credential to your résumé”

      The point isn’t to learn anything, or master any skill. The point is to add buzzwords to the resume and a piece of paper on the wall. I figured out almost 30 years ago that an Ivy League degree was highly over rated – based on productivity and effectiveness of the graduates I observed by working with I concluded they were credentialed mediocrities. The only things that surprise me are that it took so long to become common knowledge, and that they no longer feel the need to even pretend otherwise.

    3. John Wolfsberger, Jr. Says:

      (Could you guys add an edit option one of these days? So, for example, I could go back and correct “add” to “ad”?)

    4. Mike Says:

      I just spent about 10 minutes at Cornell’s website and at the Johnson School’s website. Could not find anything on this program you linked. That makes it even sleazier in my mind. They appear to be letting somone else use their name.

    5. John Wolfsberger, Jr. Says:


      If you go to Cornell’s home page and use the site search, eCornell comes up. From the eCornell home page:

      “Copyright © 2000-2011 eCornell, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cornell University”

      And I agree with you about the sleaze.

    6. Bill Waddell Says:

      Mory Taylor, the guy who ran Titan Tire and was an obscure presidential candidate once, said “The biggest hoax in this country is that Harvard is going to make you smart. Harvard just gives you connections.”

      It seems to me that a degree from eCornell won’t make you smart, but it won’t give you the Ivy League connections either. What would be the point?

    7. David Foster Says:

      I doubt if many actual for-profit companies are going to be very impressed with a certificate from this program. There seem to be plenty of K-12 school systems and government agencies, though, for which any kind of “training” is assumed to automatically make you more valuable and get you a raise/promotion.

    8. david foster Says:

      Just as an indicator of how pervasive credentialism has become, see this post at Business Insider, a high-traffic finance/investing site. After citing a bunch of statistics demonstrating economic awfulness for “the American working man,” the author says:

      “As Bloomberg notes, the long-term solution is clearly getting more men to go to college.”

    9. Mike Says:


      I should have used the search bar! Thank you.

      But I work at a small private university in MBA admissions. The fact that this program is not readily found at the Johnson website shows the distance they are tying to put between the “real” school and this online program.

      David you are correct on the credentialing aspect of the program. Public employees get raise for completing nonsense like this.