News from Cass Business School

Cass hosts EI Comment Conference

Universities Minister calls for business schools to do more teaching and less research

Cass recently hosted the second annual Editorial Intelligence Comment Conference. The event took enterprise as its theme and featured contributions from academics, business leaders, journalists and policy makers.

The opening keynote address was delivered by Rt. Hon. David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, who caused a stir when he suggested that business schools place too much emphasis on peer-reviewed research over industry relevant studies.

Mr Willetts said: “We have created a system in which research has much greater incentives and rewards than teaching, which I think is very bad for our universities and could have a very damaging practical effect on the work of business schools.”

However, Cass’ Director and Deputy Dean, Professor Steven Haberman, who was speaking on the panel following Mr Willetts’ speech, rejected this view: “Teaching is absolutely vital to all leading business schools because it is the students’ fees that play a vital role in supporting both our industry relevant research and our academic research. It is vital for our survival that we constantly reach out to practitioners and policy makers”

His thoughts were echoed by Sir Paul Judge, major benefactor of Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, who said: “Only a small number of academics are involved with esoteric research. The rest are engaged in consultancy and teaching.”

Other contributors throughout the day included James Crabtree, Comment Editor, Financial Times; Mathew Gwyther, Editor, Management Today; Charlie Mayfield, Chairman John Lewis Partnership; Faisal Islam, Economics Editor, Channel 4 News; Sam Roddick, Founder, Coco de Mer.

Cass were the academic sponsors for the event which was also supported by BAE Systems, Lloyds Banking Group and Smithfield. The Financial Times were the chief media partner and covered the event in last Friday’s paper.

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