Proposal Urges B-School To Cut Part of 2nd Year

About one-sixth of the second-year students at the Business School have endorsed a proposal to make the last week of classes and finals optional for each second-year business student, but the plan's chief proponent does not expect an early vacation.

The proposal was drafted in mid-April by Alvin C. Frost, a second-year business student, and states that the second semester of the second year is used chiefly for job hunting and not for academic pursuits. Because of this, the last weeks of the second year are "superfluous," the proposal concludes.

Of the 133 students who responded to the proposal, 125, or 94 per cent, were in favor of it. Although Frost hoped to obtain about 350 responses, the number that did respond "is a large enough percentage of the second-year MBA class to make the views presented that much more valid," he wrote in a letter to Lawrence E. Fouraker, Baker Professor of Administration and dean of the faculty of Business Administration.

Frost attributed the lower response to student apprehension.

"Some people thought it was a joke," Frost said yesterday, "and some thought it was serious and were afraid to sign it."


When asked whether he thought the proposal would be accepted by the administration, Frost answered "not really." "The administration is ignoring it and the students aren't pushing it. This is not a very political place," he explained.

Gordon Donaldson, Smith Professor of Corporate Finance and chairman of a student-faculty committee which deals with all aspects of the second-year business program, said he was disturbed at the large number that did respond.

"I'm disturbed that it's so large," Donaldson said yesterday about the response. "It raises some questions in my mind as to how carefully they've thought about it [Frost's proposal]."

The proposal should not be adopted because it does not account for the effects it may have in subsequent years, Donaldson said.

"This provides a solution to their particular problem but not those who follow," Donaldson said. "If the school year becomes shorter, then next year students may want to have it truncated even further and so on."

"This is not a solution but an emotional release for those who drafted it," Donaldson continued.

Donaldson did say, however, that the claims made by the proposal have an "element of truth" in them. "They are emotionally drained and beset by career decisions," he said of second-year students. "Of course these are very distractive to educational activities," he said.

Fouraker was not available for comment yesterday