Here’s the short story: Stanford Graduate School of Business Dean Garth Saloner, who has been serving as dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business since 2009, will be leaving his post next summer. He was having an affair with GSB professor Deborah Gruenfeld (of Leanin.org fame) who is getting a divorce from former GSB professor Jim Phills. Phills is currently suing the business school for wrongful termination and now teaches at Apple University, where he had been teaching before being terminated and while on leave from Stanford.
But this isn’t just a story about an acrimonious divorce, an illicit affair, or even an angry, scorned husband wanting to get even. There are educational and financial elements to the tale as well. According to a lengthy Poets & Quants article, there are “allegations of professional and financial retribution against…Jim Phills, contempt for school rules and policies, and claims that the Graduate School of Business is a hostile workplace driven by personal agendas, favoritism, and fear.”
The GSB’s reputation has been shaken. In fact, GSB’s whole culture is now being scrutinized due to other troubling events that point to arrogance, poor social ethics, hedonism, and contempt for laws and policies.
Other claims now being made against the GSB include the accusation that the school is sexist and ageist: Of the 40 senior staff members who have left Stanford GSB in the last five years, most have been women over the age of 40, with the remainder almost all men over the age of 40, highlighting a “hostile work environment” for people in this demographic. (This is an assertion that was presented in a letter signed by 46 current and former staff members, the “Group of 46” – read more about this letter and the complaints on page 5 of the P&Q article.)
For more details, please see the P&Q article.