Edward A. Snyder, George Pratt Schultz Professor of Economics and Dean of the U. of Chicago Business School, replies sharply to those who advocate the "students are our customers" model:
Plus, as we competed for students, we redefined our position and portrayed our schools as being ready to meet and even anticipate their needs. Finally, as many MBA programs―executive as well as full-time―moved toward profiles of more experienced and talented individuals, referring to these individuals as something other than students became comfortable and natural. Thus, the customer model came to represent good practice and fostered student-school rapport.Link via E. Frank Stephenson at Division of Labour.
One problem. The model is corrupt and corrupting. Treating students as customers doesn’t help them develop. Do we really want to tell them that they are customers―and that they are always right―when we are in the last, best position to influence their overall academic, ethical, and professional development?
Of course we shouldn’t. What other responsibilities should we abdicate?