Citing the fun variety of virtual backgrounds and the quality of a Zoom interface that has functioned with “zero technical problems whatsoever,” the NYU Stern School of Business announced Thursday that it would transition permanently to a 100% online program beginning with the Fall 2021 Semester.
“It’s been going great!” Dean Raghu Sundaram said in a statement. “Major events in the history of mankind have always prompted significant societal change. While the Covid-19 Pandemic has been a test for all of us, the overwhelming lesson has been that human contact is a meaningless drag on educational progress.
“And not for nothing, but our IT team has really developed a lust for power.”
Stern first transitioned temporarily to an online program during the Spring 2020 semester, as New York was in the grips of a frightening first wave of Covid cases. By Fall 2020, some Stern courses had begun to meet in person or in blended formats. However, over the past year, Stern officials have determined that students and professors prefer the convenience of teaching and learning from remote locations. A recent survey of the Stern community revealed many find the distraction of pets and children randomly entering the room, unmuted mics from participants who are not speaking, and visuals of their classmates casually lying in bed as if posing for a centerfold shoot, are all challenges that force a greater degree of focus, heightening their retention of key course concepts.
“I definitely feel like I’m getting my $140,000 worth,” one student told The Oppy after the announcement.
Other members of the student community indicated a preference for the online format due to the ability to text message during class or watch sporting events on second screens, which they felt improved their enjoyment of the experience and that their “professors totally don’t notice that they don’t have 100% of everyone’s attention.”
The transition will also enable Stern to wind down operations at the Kaufman Management Center, which contains thousands of square feet of classroom and administrative space that is now superfluous.
“We all know Stern’s reputation has been built on years of quality faculty and a robust alumni network,” Vice Dean of MBA and Graduate Programs J.P. Eggers said Thursday. “However, it’s become clear that our focus on in-person interaction as the basis for strengthening that network has been premised on a misconception that people actually want to talk to other people. In reality, we’ve seen that bonds between our students have grown much stronger when we replace lively post-class happy hours and Stern Socials with blank stares in video thumbnails and one virtual block game per semester. It has been truly eye-opening to know that laughter and camaraderie are irrelevant to establishing lifelong professional relationships.”
“Besides,” Eggers added. “Have you seen the rents in this neighborhood? It’s f*cking nuts.”
Due to the short timeframe between the April 1 announcement and the start of Stern’s Summer Semester, Summer courses and intensives will remain with their current in-person or blended designations. By Fall, however, faculty and administration are fully confident that no two members of the Stern community will ever need to share physical space again.
“Look,” Dean Sundaram said. “We all know the inevitable future of mankind is a static society with no human interaction where machines take over and we’re all plugged into the matrix that governs a cold Wachowskian dystopia. As humans grow more and more distant from one another, Stern is honored to play a role in bringing us to the future.”
Disclaimer: This article is part of our April Fool’s issue and does not have any truth to it. Its purpose is not to cause offense but to bring some laughs,or at least an eyeroll, during these weird times.
Photo credit: https://menlocoaching.com/top-mba-programs/nyu-stern-part-time/