By Paul Losch
Stanford in NYC?Uploaded: Oct 17, 2011
Have you noticed how many universities based in other parts of the United States have planted flags here in Silicon Valley and the greater Bay Area? Too many to mention, but Carnegie-Mellon (Pittsburgh, PA) comes to mind.
I attended Harvard Business School more years ago than I care to admit. In the past few years it has extended its reach well beyond the Charles River, and has various operations worldwide for MBA and executive programs.
Interestingly to me as an alumni, it took a change of Deans for this to transpire. A former dean was of the opinion that there was a value to being on campus in Cambridge that could not be replicated elsewhere. His successor had a different point of view, and hence the development of satellite HBS campuses worldwide.
Stanford is in the hunt to open a campus on Roosevelt Island in the East River of New York, competing with Cornell. My understanding is that it will focus on graduate studies around technology and engineering. I think it's fantastic that more places are opening to foster this type of learning, and Silicon Valley is not threatened by such a development, any more than Pittsburgh is from establishing a "campus" in this locale.
Still, I wonder.
My professional experience is largely in product marketing, and I wonder about diluted brands here. "I went to Stanford at the New York City campus" does not resonate for me as a marketing guy.
More importantly, I think "branch campuses" do not provide the sort of culture and experience that attends being on the main campus.
The counterpoint to my contention is that we are increasingly global, and we need our students to reach elsewhere and accommodate those from other countries to be part of our education system. (I won't go there about the incredibly ignorant and hateful stuff going on around immigrants to this country.) I may not get the social networking aspect of things, although I at times consider that to be a blessing, not a curse.
Still, I wonder.
Stanford in NYC? Carnegie-Mellon in SV? Harvard Business School wherever?