By Meghan Hendrickson
After years of being nestled in the corners of the Hankamer School of Business, The Wall Street Journal has left the building.
Baylor business students will receive Bloomberg Businessweek directly in their mailbox instead of picking up The Wall Street Journal between classes. The first weekly edition of Businessweek is expected to reach students’ homes this week.
According to Dr. Terry Maness, Dean of the Hankamer School of Business, several years ago the business school instituted an educational partnership program with The Wall Street Journal to receive a daily shipment of the periodical for business students.
“At the time, the only publication available for a broad business student enrollment was The Wall Street Journal,” Maness said.
Discussion about the possibility of making the switch from The Wall Street Journal to Businessweek began stirring last summer amongst department chairs, program directors and executives. During the fall semester the Executive Council made the final decision to switch educational partnership programs.
“Our goal was and is to institute a major business periodical for the students to easily access as part of our educational program, and both The Wall Street Journal and Businessweek fit this purpose,” Maness said.
Students and faculty are curious why the switch was made. Some wonder if the decision-makers think Businessweek is better than The Wall Street Journal, while others wonder if the decision was made simply to cut costs.
While there are some cost savings associated with the new program, Maness was primarily concerned about three things: first, the clutter of leftover papers in the business school at the end of the day; second, The Wall Street Journal’s student enrollment program does not provide the option of mailing subscriptions directly to individual students’ addresses; and third, The Wall Street Journal’s iPad application is not available through their student enrollment program.
“The Businessweek program allows individual copies to be mailed directly to student campus addresses reducing the clutter left at the end of each day, and the Businessweek program includes an iPad app for the students to use,” Maness said.
Burleson junior Nick Berrios is not excited about the switch. As a marketing and real estate student, Berrios enjoyed reading The Wall Street Journal in between his classes and he felt it was a convenient way to catch up on recent events.
“I haven’t read the Bloomberg magazine, so I’m not too sure of what it offers, but I am really sad that they got rid of The Wall Street Journal because that’s what I’ve been brought up with,” Berrios said.
Students are not the only ones who have established a comfortable relationship with The Wall Street Journal, but some professors are embracing the change.
“The journal was kind of a comfortable little glove that I had worn for several semesters and I knew it pretty well, so it’s some starting over, but it’s not impossible,” Blaine McCormick, associate professor of management, said.
McCormick has taught BUS 1301, an introductory course required for each business student, for the past 10 semesters.
Although he has been known to have daily quizzes over four or five articles from The Wall Street Journal, McCormick did play a supporting role in the decision making process. This semester’s BUS 1301 students are already being quizzed over Businessweek articles.
McCormick is concerned the financial analysis of Businessweek will be weaker in comparison to The Wall Street Journal, but he believes there will be stronger managerial and strategic analyses in Businessweek.
Bradley Norris, senior lecturer of management, has used The Wall Street Journal in all of his classes and personally enjoyed the reference.
“I think The Wall Street Journal is a business education simply in reading it critically, of course,” Norris said. “I’m disappointed that we’ve lost access to it, but that’s on one hand and on the other is I don’t know how high-quality Bloomberg’s Businessweek is going to be … I’m most concerned we’ll lose the depth and breadth of the reporting from The Wall Street Journal.”
Once students and faculty have had the time to adapt to the change, Maness plans to conduct surveys to discover the impact the change has made.
McCormick stopped opening the print version of the The Wall Street Journal three years ago and has been reading it entirely online.
“If you learn how to read these publications online you don’t have to be in the room with it – it can be anywhere you are,” McCormick said. “If this 45-year-old professor can figure that out, then for the digital generation it shouldn’t be that hard.”