A Boston Magazine article has taken aim at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the results aren't exactly flattering. Here's how the Chronicle of Higher Education captured it:
Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government faces serious problems, says Richard Blow, former executive editor of "George" magazine.
"It is intellectually lackluster. It is chronically strapped for money," he writes. And "it is so liberal it Borders on irrelevance when a Republican administration is in the White House."
All of the school's problems have a common source, he says: "Americans' reluctance to believe that public service requires a graduate degree from Harvard."
Convincing the American public that leadership can be taught would be a challenge daunting enough, but the task is made all the more difficult, Mr. Blow says, because the school doubts its own mission.
"The school has always suffered from a fundamental flaw," he writes. "It wants to be taken seriously as an academic enterprise but can't quite convince itself that training bureaucrats—school officials prefer the term 'leaders'—is a distinct and serious field of study. Nor can it convince anyone else."And here's another graph from the article continuing the damning commentary on the Kennedy School:
If the education is so spotty, why would anyone want to attend the Kennedy School? That sense of idealism, sure, but also the practical side. "This is an easy way for someone to get Harvard on their r–sum–," Holden says. Other students point to the nexus of diverse peers, well-connected professors, and visiting VIPs as fertile ground for job-hunting. "Networking—that's what it's about," says one student who asks not to be identified. "I'm getting a master's in schmoozing"Getting the Harvard name on your resume. For some, that's enough. I've seen plenty of resumes featuring "Harvard" front and center even when the extent of that person's Harvard experience was a one-week seminar. Shameless.
Nonetheless, we'll see if Harvard responds to this public criticism.