Sunday, May 30, 2010

Iacocca's Prophetic Letters in 1986!

From Lee Iacocca's 1988 berst-seller, Talking Straight:
On November 6, 1986, I got two letters in the mail from the presidents of two universities_Lehigh and M.I.T. When I read them I thought to myself that maybe they'll be historic documents someday, because both presidents had come to an identical conclusion.It had dawned on them that their schools had taught many of this country's professors. M.I.T. alone turns out 11 percent of all the engineering professors in the United States...
Now these schools suddenly realized that those professors have been teaching students the wrong stuff.
Basically, the message they've given our kids is to go out into the world and make a quick buck for themselves. Nobody was stupid enough to advise a kid to go out and get his hands dirty by making something and helping this country become productive. Only uneducated fools would do that. If you've got the business smarts, they say, go to Wall Street and make a killing; if you're a technical whiz, they send you to a Southern California defense contractor to work on black boxes for the military-neither of which has anything to do with productivity....
Just try to recruit a graduate from the Harvard Business School or M.I.T. to come work in a car company. He typically tells us: "Go work for Chrysler as a financial analyst? You mut be out of your mind. I'm going to Wall Street."...
The schools are having the mea culpa of their lives. They're finally coming to the realization that they've created a monster. They've figured out that we have our priorities screwed up: We have to train people to do every job, not just the ones in the financial district. (p.244-246)

We all know what has happened since those letters were written and sent!
Too bad so few were listening, in the land where only money talks!

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