I thought I had written enough about the shameless and stupid renaming of the University of the Philippines’ College of Business Administration after Marcos’ top technocrat Cesar Virata.
But then the college’s Dean, Ben Paul Guiterrez, who spearheaded the move for the renaming, had his letter published in the internet edition of this newspaper, which reveals another serious problem with our national university. (Editor’s note: The letter also came out in our print edition.)
How can UP have a college dean who clearly demonstrates either his utter academic incompetence or his complete subservience to Virata that he distorts facts?
In the academe, facts are sacred. Ph.D. dissertations are peppered with footnotes just for the author to prove that what he is asserting is an established fact. An academic’s training is basically one of learning the discipline of establishing facts. The cardinal sin of an academic is not plagiarism but claiming fallacies as facts.
As one of this justifications for asking the UP Regents to rename the college, Gutierrez claimed that even Harvard University’s business school is named after “a distinguished person”, that its official name is “George Baker Graduate School of Business of Harvard.”
When I wrote in my column (June 6, 2013) that there is no such thing as “George Baker School of Business”, Gutierrez sent a letter to our newspaper’s president to insist that the official name of the school is “Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, George F. Baker Foundation”. Note that he changed a bit the alleged name of the school.
Where did Gutierrez get that idea? Solely from a caption (posted in the school’s web archives ) of a photograph on the 1927 dedication ceremonies for the Harvard Business School’s new buildings which financial tycoon George F. Baker funded with a grant of $5 million. (Contrast that to Virata who donated nothing to the UP business college which was renamed after him.)
The caption read: “The eighty-seven-year-old George F. Baker presented Harvard President A. Lawrence Lowell with the keys to the School—officially named the ‘Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, George F. Baker Foundation’”
Gutierrez’ incompetence as an academic is that he took at face value a claim, that caption — which was erroneous. The keys were not to the business school, but to the building! No other Harvard document or report says that that was the official name of Harvard’s business school.
Gutierrez could just have looked up original documents, such as President Lawrence’s 1927 letter thanking Baker for his donation, which noted that “the buildings will be identified as the George F. Baker Foundation.” Not the school itself but only the buildings, which Baker funded to build, will carry his name. I guess double-checking of purported information was not taught at Victoria University of Technology where Gutierrez got his Ph.D.
Only one building actually carries Baker’s name, and this houses the business school’s main library which was officially named George F. Baker Library. (The other Baker building “Baker Hall” is named after a former dean.)
How much waste of time and effort really to convince an incompetent academic that he didn’t do his research properly!
It is as if somebody came up to you and insisted that the Philippines official name is Las Islas de la Filipinas or that the Ateneo University’s official name is Ateneo Municipal de Manila because he read captions on paintings in a museum saying so.
Only UP Dean Gutierrez in this entire planet insists that Harvard’s school of business is named after Baker.
I called a friend who is a Harvard professor (I had been in Harvard as a Nieman Foundation Fellow in 1988) to ask him about this, and he sounded so irritated: “Why don’t you just go to their website and its official name obviously would be there, won’t it? ” Indeed, the website doesn’t have any “George Baker Graduate School of Business of Harvard,” but only Harvard Business School.
The official name will be in its diploma, or it would be a fake diploma, right? Good thing model Tyra Banks boasted of her going through an HBS course (see photo) There it says plainly “Harvard Business School”. No George Baker.
But maybe, a full MBA diploma names the school differently? I looked for one and it
Identifies its Dean as Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration. But no George F. Baker written anywhere there.
HBS diploma: No “George F. Baker” also.
But what does common sense requires for a simple fact-checking? Ask the institution itself what its name is!
Which I did, by emailing Harvard Business School Nitin Nohria, to ask him that question, even if I felt stupid doing so. HBS’ Chief Communications Officer Brian Kenny responded, both in an email message and an attached document using the school’s official stationery:
“Per your query, we would like to inform you that ‘Harvard Business School’ is the official name of this institution and not ‘Graduate School of Business Administration, George F. Baker Foundation.’”
Email or call him, Dean Gutierrez, which you should have done in the first place, if you weren’t such an incompetent academic, or didn’t twist facts in order to honor Marcos’ sham “Prime Minister”. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 617-495-6336 and fax 617-496- 8180.
I can’t believe I had to go through all this just to prove to this [expletive deleted] what is an established fact, that everyone in the world academic community knows.
I can’t believe how [expletive deleted] this fellow is, and UP made him a dean of a college? Didn’t UP notice anything in this guy whose highest post in the private sector, achieved after six years, was “Product Specialist” of Colgate Palmolive?
In his letter, he insists that I was wrong to question his claim that the naming of business schools after a distinguished person is not widespread in US universities, and claimed that in his Internet search 54 percent are named after such persons.
This dean can’t even read right! What I wrote is that US business schools — except for one exception — are named not just after “distinguished” persons but after such persons whodonated huge sums of money to these schools or to their universities, as Baker did.
What’s wrong with UP? Is it full of [expletives deleted] now?