A beloved course at Babson College called The Ultimate Entrepreneurship Challenge has been put to an end and its instructor, adjunct professor Len Green, has been terminated. According to a petition on Change.org, students and alumni alike are coming together in the hopes of overturning the Babson administration’s decision.
The Ultimate Entrepreneurship Challenge was a coveted class where undergraduates would be faced with real-life entrepreneurship challenges. Students would be placed into teams of three to six, a CEO would be appointed for each one and they’d be subjected to tasks intended to develop vital skills like grit, innovation and business strategy. Throughout the duration of the course, students could be fired, promoted or asked to leave the class entirely.
However, students will have the chance to take this course. I spoke on the phone with Chris Jacobs, founder of Honest Discounts and a Babson alumnus, and he confirmed Green has been fired.
“Len logged into his Workday account and it said he was terminated.”
Jacobs, who remains close with Green and would go back to Babson to speak to his class, received an email from the administration, stating, “all of the decisions made in our offerings were made in order to update course offerings and to comply with division demands and constraints around accreditation and teaching loads for fulltime faculty.”
“From what I understand and what I know, Len logged into his Workday account and it said he was terminated,” Jacobs said.
Green, who founded publicly traded company Blue Buffalo, was involved in Babson and the entrepreneurship community on campus. According to the school’s website, he has been a Babson Trustee since 2013, in addition to serving as a faculty advisor for eTower, the college’s entrepreneur dorm.
Babson’s site also references The Ultimate Entrepreneurship Challenge, reading, “In the past 15 years, Len has taught two of the most highly rated entrepreneurial courses at Babson College – one structured similar to Donald Trump’s Apprentice TV series, and the other a family business/social entrepreneurship business course. His classes have been featured on CNBC Squawk Box and ABC TV.”
“I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for that class,” Jacobs explained. “To see something that was so dear to me stripped away – not just for me…but to not offer it to the kids still there, it’s so wrong.”
Update: The petition on Change.org received more than 550 supporters in its first day. For perspective, Babson’s Class of 2016 has 470 students in it, according to data released by the college.
In response to a request for comment, Babson forwarded a public statement from acting provost Gordon Prichett, which read:
As part of our commitment to continuously refresh and renew our curriculum, we have made the difficult decision to sunset a long-running course taught by Professor Len Green…We are incredibly grateful to Professor Green for all he has contributed and we look forward to exploring new ways to share his unique insights with the Babson community.
Image via Kevin Tostado, (CC BY 2.0).