Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Higher Learning Bows at PEU Feet

Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute President Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson wrote on HuffPo:

During the course of this month, millions of American students will graduate from institutions of higher learning, only to enter a world beset by challenges that threaten the stability of societies around the globe: new geopolitical tensions and the rise of radical non-state actors; new forms of cyber-aggression; a changing climate; health-related challenges that include infectious diseases such as Ebola; the global competition for natural resources; and growing income inequality in developed economies, as well as inequalities between nations.

Tackling these interconnected global challenges requires a new type of leader who themselves embody a new type of resilience.

This vision of preparing and challenging the next generation of leaders lies at the core of our mission, and annual Commencement exercises present an ideal opportunity to both assess our progress and - more importantly - continue the conversation with our community. In that spirit, each year at Commencement we invite a group of leaders such as Admiral Howard to join us and help our students and faculty think through the hard problems of the day in a lively panel conversation we call the President's Colloquy. This year, Adm. Howard will be joined by three other leaders who have also demonstrated remarkable resilience in their own careers and lives: Award-winning filmmaker and scholar Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.; cybersecurity and technology policy visionary Craig Mundie, the former chief strategy officer at Microsoft; and financial industry pioneer and Carlyle Group co-founder David M. Rubenstein. 
Five years ago an ex-financial reporter wrote:

The Carlyle Group scares me more than anything I've ever seen on Wall Street. It seems to exist to corrupt politicians and it's hard to know who they even represent.
I watched a video interview of (David) Rubenstein and his arrogance is really beyond tolerance. He was going on about the debt ceiling problem and how there would need to be cuts in services and higher taxes. When the reporter asked him about tax on carried interest he turned really disdainful and said that this "only" amounted to $22 billion over some number of years and this was not serious money. Boy, nothing like everybody doing their small part to save the country from oblivion!
Dr. Jackson, you've invited the cause of growing income disparity in our country, mean and greedy leadership.  But that is the fishbowl you swim in:

Board of Directors -- Marathon Oil, FedEx Corporation, International Business Machines Corporation, Medtronic, Inc.and Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated
Former Chairman of NYSE Group, Inc.
Former Director of AT&T, U.S. Steel, KeyCorp and NYSE Euronext 

Ms. Jackson has by far the most corporate board positions and director income (on President Obama;s Intelligence Oversight Board).  Also, four of the five public companies are global.  
She knows well the drive to the lowest global common denominator on worker pay/benefits, taxes and regulations.  That what Rubenstein and American branded corporations inflicted on the world the last two decades.  Resilience is a trait displayed by workers in far more instances than unbalanced management with its obsession on ever growing profits, massively better metrics, and compliance, the absurd legalization of every aspect of business.

Our new type of leader is rooted in our past and will be based on fairness, balance, ethics and an understanding of management theory, specifically the teachings of Dr. W. Edwards Deming.  He's not alive to attend, but many of disciples remain.  They should be at the table counterbalancing The Carlyle Group's meanness, greed and numerous ethics abuses.

The ex-financial reported commented on the impact of Carlyle and private equity underwriters (PEU):

I have seen so many people -- particularly those in their 50s - 70s -- taken apart by what has happened in their industry as greed has hollowed out the economy. These are people took pride in their jobs and held themselves to this invisible standard that we all just took for granted, but is being wiped out.
Resilient workers should also be represented.  Rubenstein is not the tonic our world needs from leaders.  His management theory and methods are toxic.

Update 5-29-15:  Rubenstein is getting an honorary degree from RPI.  His ilk continues to do quite well relative to everyone else.