Local governments hire HKS alumni expecting that the MPP credential holds a certain merit. In reality, from my experience, most students come from dissimilar academic backgrounds compared to adjacent graduate programs, complete AP-level coursework, and get rubber-stamped as policy leaders for completing a program where anything below a B- is failing — and, to my knowledge, almost nobody fails. As we experience a global leadership crisis, it’s important the public not rely on Harvard’s MPP program until the school commits to higher standards of vetting and rigor.
In my experience, as someone who has spent half a decade in such programs, those pursuing a professional degree program consider their degree, at least in part, through a return-on-investment lens. If a graduate degree is an asset, intuitively, you don’t devalue your own asset. In a world where brand names matter, it behooves students and alumni to ensure their school remains in high regard. Spilling dirty little secrets will not serve professional graduates in the long-run. It signals to future employers that you might do the same to them — if they hire you. Even your classmates and future colleagues may take offense to you criticizing the program they’ve just invested in.
Harvard’s silence on graduates as recent as 2016 using their Harvard degrees to wage a full-fledged assault on the truth is unworthy of the University’s own “Veritas” motto.
In a pandemic of loneliness as the safeguards of our democracy fail, my Biden mask, like the MAGA hat, reveals that I too am in a cult.
We are adults, in our twenties, at an elite graduate school program, paying for education — it’s our time. To be regulated on our access to technology, including to the outside world, is reductive and juvenile.