The president of the Business School's Black students' group said yesterday that Harvard and nine other leading business schools are attempting to dissolve an association they jointly created to recruit minorities to the school.
George Ellis, president of the B-School's Afro-American Student Union (AASU), said the deans of the ten schools--which include Wharton, Stanford and the University of Chicago--are trying to disband the Council for Opportunity in Graduate Management Education (COGME) in an apparent violation of the organization's bylaws.
"We believe it is not the intention of the member schools to simply reorganize COGME but to dissolve COGME," Ellis, a first-year MBA student, said last night.
John C. Burton, dean of Columbia's School of Business Administration and head of COGME's standing committee, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
COGME's board of trustees--composed solely of representatives of the ten schools--proposed a resolution at its October meeting calling for the dissolution of the group in three years.
Officials have not disclosed whether the resolution was approved, but Ellis said that many of the recommendations have been instituted since a follow-up meeting on December 29.
Ellis added that the schools plan to divide COGME's $1.2 million financial base among themselves after the dissolution. Quoting from the October resolution, he said that the proposal stated "that three years from the date of the adoption of this resolution. COGME be dissolved and that any remaining funds be distributed by the boards for use in ways that serve the objective of COGME."
He added that this action violates COGME's bylaws, which he said state that in the event of the organization's dissolution, its funds be donated to a charitable group.
B-School Communications Director William Hokanson said Friday that COGME was not being dissolved, but only restructured.
The reason for the trustees current evaluation is a belief that COGME may have outlasted its function, said Richard R. West dean of Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business.
"Times change, we have to see what's effective in the Eighties," West said. He added that "COGME has been more effective in raising funds [for financial aid] than recruiting students" and that schools feel better suited to do their own recruiting.
COGME was created in 1970 with an initial grant from the Sloan Foundation. It is currently funded by donations from corporations and receives some assistance from the federal government. According to a letter circulated at the AASU's recent career conference, the organization has recruited and given financial assistance to approximately 1700 minority students in the ten schools.