The Latest Posts

I don’t know how much extra money the College spent to print an image of Baker Tower on the scaffold cover that is protecting the workers doing the renovation, but the sight of the Tower that is not the Tower can’t help but bring a smile to a viewer’s face. We ran a picture of the view from the Green the other day; here is the Tower as seen from Tuck Mall:

Baker Renovation2.jpg

René Magritte painted Ceci n’est pas une pomme — but what if there really had been an apple behind his painting? Should we call the Tower reproduction Ceci n’est pas une tour, except that it is.

Addendum: A College video provides a rough-and-ready appreciation of the fine craftsmanship that went into the bell tower back in 1928:

Dartmouth has a wealth of experienced professors who lead their respective research fields, while also working closely with students — inspiring them in the classroom and leading them in laboratory environments. And while at Dartblog we talk frequently about problems that need to be fixed at the College, there are still many bright spots. Our professors deserve more recognition for their achievements. As such, this is one of a series of posts that shines a spotlight on the best professors in Hanover:

Tom Cormen1.jpgTom Cormen is a Professor of Computer Science as well as one of the most well-rounded leaders at the College. He is a distinguished researcher on topics like parallel computing, the author of the definitive textbook on algorithms, the former Director of the Dartmouth Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, and he currently serves as chair of the Committee on Instruction.

That list sounds like a lot, but Cormen’s career path was much simpler to begin with. As a senior in high school, he took a programming class and was allowed to code on his school’s only computer: an IBM 1130 with just 8k of core memory. Cormen continued to pursue computer science in college at Princeton, where he graduated summa cum laude. He didn’t go straight to graduate school though; he spent six years near Silicon Valley working for a couple of startups that didn’t make it (and working next door to Seagate Technologies, which did). Cormen then came back east to earn his Ph.D. at MIT.

Cormen studied at MIT under Charles Leiserson, who would be a pivotal player in his career. First, the two earned a patent for a computer switch design. They also researched parallel computing, the concept of multiple computer processors working together at the same time while not stepping on each other’s virtual toes. Those concepts power nearly all of our modern devices, and Cormen continues to research them, along with other computer science topics like latency.

But soon he had a different project. After Cormen spent a semester serving as a teaching assistant for Leiserson’s course on algorithms, the two of them (along with Ron Rivest) coauthored Introduction to Algorithms, a 1,050-page textbook published by the MIT Press in 1990. As a result, Cormen wouldn’t finish his Ph.D. for eight years, but the book became a huge hit. It has since come out in more than fourteen languages and two more editions. The book alone has more than 42,000 individual citations, according to Google Scholar.

Cormen joined Dartmouth in 1992, and he has since taught sixteen different computer science courses, including COSC 1 (formerly 5): Introduction to Programming and Computation in all but two years. Cormen says he enjoys seeing students who never considered computer science engaging with the subject and often deciding to take it further. He currently teaches a course on algorithms (since he literally wrote the book) and another on parallel computing.

His life at the College has been busy outside of the classroom as well. From 2009 until last year Cormen was the chair of the computer science department. Before that, he was the director of the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric (previously known as the Writing Program), serving from 2004 to 2008. A programmer might seem like an odd choice for head of the writing program, but Cormen always emphasizes writing and presentation skills with his undergraduate and graduate students. He says professional success, even for comp sci grads, comes down to communication.

Cormen has also been active in College committees, most recently serving on the Committee on Grading Practices with Mark McPeek, and he carries on the battle against grade inflation with the Committee on Instruction. While he doesn’t want to take any drastic action, like limiting the number of A’s given out, Cormen hopes to help students and faculty come around to enforcing the College’s existing grading standards. In his most recent courses, he has experimented with different grading policies to see what standard elicits the best work from his students.

In this video, Cormen introduces and moderates a panel on The Future of Computing - The Next 50 Years:

Addendum: In his free time, Cormen is an active contributor to Quora, where he answers such questions as: “What would be your best advice for someone just starting college at Dartmouth?” He has also hiked all 48 of the 4000-foot White Mountains in New Hampshire and roller-bladed/biked the 71.4 mile Trail of the Coeur D’Alenes in Idaho.

Bravo to the administration of the University of Chicago for going against the grain of insipid college administrators across the land. In a letter to the incoming class, the school takes the stand on free speech and academic freedom that any number of university presidents should have taken long ago:

Chicago Safe Spaces Letter1.jpg

Will other schools follow suit? Even Dartmouth? Or will Phil and Carolyn affirm their support for diversity and inclusivity in yet another in an endless string of cringe-inducing letters?

Addendum: The Chicago Maroon has the full story. And Inside Higher Ed reports on Chicago’s letter, too.

Addendum: University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer, has followed-up Dean Ellison’s letter with a piece in the Wall Street Journal: Free Speech Is the Basis of a True Education: A university should not be a sanctuary for comfort but rather a crucible for confronting ideas. His introductory paragraphs:

Free speech is at risk at the very institution where it should be assured: the university.

Invited speakers are disinvited because a segment of a university community deems them offensive, while other orators are shouted down for similar reasons. Demands are made to eliminate readings that might make some students uncomfortable. Individuals are forced to apologize for expressing views that conflict with prevailing perceptions. In many cases, these efforts have been supported by university administrators.

Yet what is the value of a university education without encountering, reflecting on and debating ideas that differ from the ones that students brought with them to college? The purpose of a university education is to provide the critical pathway by which students can fulfill their potential, change the trajectory of their families, and build healthier and more inclusive societies…

And his conclusion:

Universities cannot be viewed as a sanctuary for comfort but rather as a crucible for confronting ideas and thereby learning to make informed judgments in complex environments. Having one’s assumptions challenged and experiencing the discomfort that sometimes accompanies this process are intrinsic parts of an excellent education. Only then will students develop the skills necessary to build their own futures and contribute to society.

An alumnus writes in: “Too bad Hanlon shares neither Zimmer’s beliefs nor courage of conviction.”

Construction work continues all over the campus: the buildings on Dartmouth Row are getting some new makeup, but more than few people on the faculty would like to see the oft-promised, top-to-bottom renovation of these buildings finally occur. The last few administrations have repeatedly told the Humanities departments who call the Row home that the white buildings will soon be equipped with such 20th century accoutrements as ventilation. Don’t hold your breath! Right now fresh air only comes in from the windows, even if it is -20° below outside — and sometimes the rusty steam radiators make open windows necessary at all times. Think of an old NYC apartment. Believe me when I say that it is a fetid affair to enter a closed-door classroom in which 50 student have just heard a 65-minute lecture. I audited a course in Dartmouth Hall in the winter term of 2008, and I’d always arrive early to open all the windows wide for ten minutes before class began. I’m all for intimate classroom interactions, but inhaling air that has already been breathed a dozen times is a little much:

Dartmouth Hall Painting.jpg

Simultaneously, as my four-year-old son put it many years ago in another context, “a machine is eating the Hood Museum.” Demolition of Charles Moore’s 1985 structure is well underway as the College prepares to spend $50 million on a new Hood:

Hood Demolition.jpg

While we await the U.S. News rankings, let’s look at a couple of other tables that have been published recently. First off, MONEY Magazine’s Best Colleges, as measured by value (find detailed information on MONEY’s methodolgy here):

- MONEY screened out schools with graduation rates below the median, financial difficulties, or fewer than 500 undergraduates.

- The remaining 705 colleges were ranked on 24 factors in three categories: educational quality, affordability, and alumni success.

- Plus, MONEY measured comparative value, by assessing how well students at each school did vs. what’s expected for students with similar economic and academic backgrounds, and the college’s mix of majors.

Schools with high tuition (we are consistently the second-most expensive Ivy) take a hit in MONEY’s ranking, and the Ancient Eight look less élite than they usually do (click on the image to enlarge it):

Money Magazine 2016 Rankings.jpg

On a more whimsical note, an outfit called WealthInsight (“WealthInsight is the leading source of high quality intelligence on global high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals (HNWs and UHNWIs) in the wealth management sector.”) has ranked institutions of higher learning by the number of millionaires that they produce. The ranking is only a relative one; the company doesn’t give actual numbers (between you and me, where would they get such figures?). We are #19, and the rest of the Ivies all make the the top 25:

Schools Producing Millionaires.jpg

“Millionaire” seems a weak metric these days. When you add in retirement accounts and home equity, even your average middle-aged Dartmouth faculty member would qualify — a fact that makes any emotional outpouring of solidarity with the staff somewhat problematic.

Phil has run another post on his blog, this one about his trip to the Arctic. While he puts up some travel pics and evinces a new-found admiration for the College’s faculty — in an obvious effort to counteract his previous, oft-expressed disdain (never publicly, of course, but the word is out there) — he hasn’t yet found the time to write about Abbey D’Agostino ‘14. I wonder if he even knows what she did in Rio. He’s been clueless about significant Dartmouth events in the past.

Addendum: Um, Phil. Is there nobody in IT who can help you to format things better?

Addendum: An alum writes in:

My wife and I truly enjoyed your recent reports on Abbey at The Olympics. I know that President Hanlon is en vacances in the Arctic, but even if he was ON THE MOON he should have at least made some mention to The Dartmouth Family recognizing Abby… “One giant leap for sportsmanship the World over”.

How about a grass roots campaign to raise funds to build a “D’Agostino Gate” at Dartmouth memorializing the unselfish nature and kind heart of a MOST worthy Dartmouth alum who excelled on the World stage?

Is there a Dartmouth medal for outstanding achievement?

Abbey’s positive spirit and kindness in helping Nikki Hamblin to her feet epitomizes ALL that is good in sport, and it says a lot for Dartmouth and Dartmouth coaching, too! The visual of the two athletes helping one another reminded me of Jim McKay talking about “the agony of defeat” on ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

Phil should be ashamed for blowing yet another golden opportunity… to laud true humanitarian spirit and friendship. Dartmouth, sadly, is the loser here.

The D’s Ray Lu ‘18, who wrote an exceptional report on the Amy Patton controversy, has summarized the results posted by Dartmouth athletes participating in the Rio Olympics.

Addendum: An alum writes in:

Thanks for highlighting Ray Lu’s excellent article on “Dartmouth at Rio.” Hats off to Abbey for her impressive show of sportsmanship, and her equally impressive show of “the right stuff’ by remarkably finding a way to complete the last mile of the race with a torn ACL and a torn meniscus.

As for the ruggers’ 9th place finish, Captain Madison Hughes’ boys were a hair away from greatness considering how close to victory they were in their games against Fiji (the ultimate champion) and Argentina (the beneficiary of a controversial try).

Ratings season is upon us (U.S. News will probably release its results in the second week of September), but Forbes has already ranked us #17 — after #3 Princeton; #4 Harvard; #6 Yale; #8 Brown; #11 Penn; and #16 Columbia — but ahead of #29 Cornell).

We do appreciably better in Forbes’ Grateful Grads Index (GGI):

Our Grateful Graduates Index ranks private not for profit colleges with more than 1,000 students by analyzing two important variables : private donations and gifts per student over 10 years, as reported to the Department of Education and the alumni participation rate, or what percentage of its graduates give back in the form of donations to their colleges.

The first measure is our show-me-the-money measure, weighted at 75%. It tends to favor elite research universities like Stanford, Caltech and Harvard, whose super successful alumni stuff its coffers with billions in donations. The second metric, the Alumni Participation Rate is measured by the Council for Aid to Education and is weighted at 25%.

Forbes Grateful Grads 2016.jpg

The other Ivies rank as follows: #14 Brown; #24 Penn; #25 Harvard; #37 Cornell; #46 Columbia.

Note that seven of the top ten schools in the Grateful Grads Index — a good barometer of alumni sentiment as to whether their school had a real impact on them — have the word “College” in their name. The irony will not escape readers that the Folt administration wanted to change our name to Dartmouth University, and the Hanlon administration wants to make us into one. Yet look around: close relationships with professors not only produce exceptional learning, they breed a special kind of loyalty. Why can’t the Trustees see the obvious — being a research college is our niche?

Abbey D’Agostino ‘14 and New Zealander Nikki Hamblin have been given Olympic medals for sportsmanship. Both runners were presented with the Pierre de Coubertin Medal yesterday, an award given to those who exemplify the Olympic spirit:

Abbey Sportsmanship.jpg

Addendum: Still no word of appreciation from Phil about Abbey’s good-hearted gesture. If he is too busy, why doesn’t he just leave it to Dever?

Hundreds of people came to the Bema today to pay their respects to the Hartman family after Jinny Hartman passed away on Wednesday. We knew her from youth hockey, and she was the anesthesiologist for one of our kids’ surgeries. Jinny’s intelligence, warmth and wit touched a great many people, always for the better:

Hartman Memorial.jpg

The Valley News obituary is here.

The artist Christo (and his partner, Jeanne-Claude, who passed away in 2009) visited the College back in my day, but he is not responsible for what appears to be the wrapping of Baker Tower — completed this week:

Baker Renovation Comp.jpg

The Tower has not been renovated since its construction in 1928. According to an FO&M press release, work on the $4 million project should be ongoing into October:

- Replacement of the copper roofing, flashing and ornamental metal;

- Expanded, energy-efficient LED lighting to highlight the architecture of the clock and tower;

- Fabrication of the clock’s hands and numbers back to their original 1928 design;

- Installation of a digital control system to support the Baker Tower clock and bells;

- Construction of an exact replica of the Tower’s weathervane, using original drawings found in Rauner Special Collections Library;

- Replacement of flooring within the Tower Room, electrical upgrades to support future lighting needs, and installation of USB ports in all electrical outlets.

Three years ago when the College did an assessment of the structure, it chose an intelligent, low-tech way to get the job done. Rather than paying $75,000 to rent a large, unsightly crane, Robert Fulmer, a building consultant at Maine-based Fulmer Associates, clambered all over the Tower using climbing equipment. Bravo.

Addendum: We’ve noted in the past the use of illustrative scaffolding covers in major renovations in France.

Our former President is in for a tough time in trying to keep his prestigious job at the World Bank. The folks at the Financial Times have his number, and they are fighting the good fight by printing stories and letters to keep the controversy about Kim’s reappointment (or not) alive:

FT Letter Kim Comp.jpg

How nice to see an honest reference to Kim’s weak tenure in Hanover.

The FT also ran a letter from Tim Cullen, a former chief spokesman at the World Bank. An excerpt:

While the Bank’s Staff Association has focused its attention on the need for a transparent process to appoint a new president, rather than on attacking the incumbent, the reality is that Jim Yong Kim has demonstrated over the past four years that he is not the leader the Bank needs. His development priorities seem aimed at soundbites rather than sound policies.

It was good that he initiated organisational change to make the Bank more effective and relevant, but his intolerance of any dissent, which included firing three of the Bank’s most senior women over a single weekend, and his apparent contempt for staff in general, doomed his messy restructuring to failure.

I had high expectations for an Asian-American president with a development record. But I was appalled when I heard him address 40 or so ministers from small states at the 2013 annual meeting. Dr Kim poured scorn on Bank staff, saying, among other things, that if doctors (like him) got as many things wrong as the Bank’s hopeless economists had, they wouldn’t keep their jobs for long. This particular doctor has got too many things wrong to be allowed to keep his job beyond a single term.

It isn’t just about process. The Bank’s member countries need to appoint a real leader if the Bank is to remain relevant and effective in the fight against poverty.

Lance Pritchett, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD) and a professor of the practice of international development at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, offered a general argument on the CGD blog against the WB President being named again by the American President:

There has never been any expectation that World Bank Presidents would be reappointed. Only two of twelve presidents have been reappointed for a second five year term: Robert McNamara and James Wolfensohn. Reappointment, then, is the exception rather than the rule. The argument that the selection process for a reappointment should be different and isn’t a “time” is a non-starter, as it thwarts the very idea of having limited five year terms. Every President would love to declare that a re-election doesn’t need a full blown election, which is precisely why democracy requires that re-elections are just the same as elections.

Second, I am not (now) arguing that Jim Kim should not be reappointed because of poor performance. I am just arguing that the context within which his performance should be assessed is an “open, merit-based and transparent” process for considering who should lead the World Bank this time. Certainly it is possible that one of the candidates to be the next president will be Jim Kim. Assessing his strengths and weaknesses in his current term will be important factors in deciding whether he or some other nominee should be the World Bank’s next leader.

But even if, counter-factually, there were broad and deep consensus among all stakeholders that Jim Kim had done a fantastic job in his first term, this time would still be last time’s next time and it still would be necessary to go through a full-blown selection process in order to ensure the legitimacy of the selection, even if the result of that process is a re-appointment. Given the World Bank Staff Association’s recent open letter, it is clear there is not a broad and deep consensus on Jim Kim’s performance, which makes the legitimacy of the process even more important.

Addendum: Slightly below the radar, a WB staffer has written to me to note the repeated accusations that Kim has engaged in racist and sexist hiring practices while at the Bank. See: I can no longer remain silent about racism in the World Bank and Diversity Challenge At World Bank: How An “Exceptional” Confidential Assistant Was Ousted By President Kim. My correspondent asserts that there have been “over 20 articles” of this nature about Kim.

Dartmouth has a wealth of experienced professors who lead their respective research fields, while also working closely with students — inspiring them in the classroom and leading them in laboratory environments. And while at Dartblog we talk frequently about problems that need to be fixed at the College, there are still many bright spots. Our professors deserve more recognition for their achievements. As such, this is one of a series of posts that shines a spotlight on the best professors in Hanover:

Lorenza Viola.1jpg.jpgLorenza Viola is a Professor of Physics and Director of the Quantum Information Science Initiative at the College. She’s a theoretical physicist whose stellar work on quantum mechanics, and specifically quantum information science, largely surpasses my ability to understand, let alone explain. But at the most basic level, she studies how tiny particles move and interact, and their complex behavior understood and harnessed for useful quantum tasks.

Viola grew up in Trento, Italy, where she graduated summa cum laude at the University of Trento with a undergraduate/masters degree in physics. She had originally considered astrophysics or even becoming a medical doctor, but as a junior fell in love with a year-long course on quantum mechanics and never looked back. Viola went on to the University of Padua, also in Italy, for her Ph.D. Her thesis was titled “Relativistic stochastic quantization through co-moving coordinates” — a mouthful, but one that came out of her work examining how the theory of quantum mechanics can be made to coexist with Einstein’s relativity theory that describes our Universe at the macro scale. While quantum theory is unquestionably necessary to explain physical behavior at the level of the the smallest particles in the world, as objects grow bigger they tend to lose their quantum qualities and behave according to the more familiar rules of classical mechanics instead. Making those rules come together in this “quantum-to-classical” transition is a difficult quest for physicists, one that she continues to explore today.

After earning her Ph.D. at Padua, Viola came to the U.S. and spent three years as a postdoc fellow at MIT. There she began working in the nascent field of quantum information science. Within this arena you find quantum computing, building a machine that works by quantum rules rather than the binary bits of our standard laptops and smartphones. Such quantum computers may eventually solve more complicated mathematical problems than our current devices, help simulate the complex quantum world itself, and make breakthroughs in cryptographic security.

Viola then spent nearly five years at the Los Almos National Laboratory, both in the theoretical division and in the computer and computational sciences division, before joining the Dartmouth faculty in 2004, along with her husband, physics professor Roberto Onofrio. Since arriving on campus, Viola has continued advancing and expanding her research, both in quantum information science and its implications for quantum matter. She boasts more than 7,500 individual citations and a h-index of 41, according to Google Scholar, giving her bragging rights at home over Onofrio, a formidable scholar in his own right.

We may not understand all of her work, but the source of Viola’s research grants shows how valuable they are. In the past few years, she has worked with grants from not only the National Science Foundation, but also the Department of Energy, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, and the Army Research Office & National Security Agency.

Two of Viola’s most impactful papers, with over 1,000 citations each, are “Dynamical suppression of decoherence in two-state quantum systems” and “Dynamical Decoupling of Open Quantum Systems.” For a (possibly) easier window into her work, here is a lecture she gave on quantum control theory in 2012:

While Viola says she wishes there were more professors at Dartmouth to explore the budding world of quantum physics, she enjoys teaching students of all levels. In her lab she currently works with two postdocs and three grad students, yet her favorite courses allow her to explain quantum mechanics to undergraduates for the first time, seeing some of them emerge from class with a spark of curiosity and the desire to learn more. This summer she’s teaching Physics 109: Statistical Mechanics II, then she’ll break in the fall and winter, and come back in the spring for another Statistical Mechanics course.

Addendum: Here’s a recent interview Viola gave to the Journal of Physics.

A few letters came in concerning our analysis of the huge cost differential per student between #12 Dartmouth and #14 Brown, which I summarized as follows:

Brown’s expenses run to $89,381/student each year; we pay out $140,382/student. We spend $51,001/year/student more than Brown. However, part of that difference lies in our extra research spending — just under $12,000/year per student). After deducting research, we still spend approximately $39,000/student/year more than Brown.

A professor writes in:

Just came across your article and wanted to point out something. The $182,118,000 number quoted under Sponsored research is actually a revenue and not expense (i.e., this number is not part of the $891,428,000 total expense you quoted)! This is the total amount of money faculty bring in through grants. So we are actually pulling in 30 million more than Brown. And this is actually lowering the expense per student/year.

My correspondent is correct that the amount of research funding is listed as revenue in Dartmouth’s P&L, but I used this figure as a shorthand for research expenses. This is back of the envelope accounting, but it is not inaccurate, absent better figures. That said, while it is conventional wisdom that externally funded research generates a kind of operating profit for an institution, outside analysis indicates that sponsored research really does not cover its own direct and indirect costs. This point has been supported to me by people at the College.

Another correspondent raises some questions:

Playing devil’s advocate here: Dartmouth has fewer students than Brown and spends more per student than Brown. Some of that difference is expected due to economies of scale. How much of the difference in spending per student IS due to that factor? How do you quantify that? Some of the costs are fixed and would be the same between both schools no matter how many students they have enrolled. One example of this would be intercollegiate athletics because they are both in the same league and have to field the same number of teams and the same number of players per team.

Some of the cost difference between the College and Brown is due to economies of scale, but it is self-evident that if we increased the number of students in Hanover from our current 6,350 to Brown’s 9,073, the cost of running Dartmouth would not drop by $80,471,000 — so that Dartmouth would then have the same operating expenses as Brown. It is true that each school has one President, Provost, Athletics Director and hockey coach, etc., but my estimate is that in the grand scheme of things, the savings of scale would be minor, and would be less important than some of the real world differences between Dartmouth and Brown: for example, Brown has 80 armed police officers on its payroll; we have 40 security guards, and so forth.

More to the point, let’s look at the number of classes offered to undergrads at Dartmouth and at Brown, statistics that are available in the Department of Education’s university Common Data Set. Classes are defined as follows:

CDS Undergrad Class Size Definition.jpg

Look at the number of courses offered by the College to its 4,307 undergrads:

CDS Undergrad Class Size Dartmouth.jpg

and by Brown to its 6,320 undergrads:

CDS Undergrad Class Size Brown.jpg

While Brown has 40 courses with 100+ students (does the College really only have four?), it offers a total of 1,149 courses, a hair under double Dartmouth’s 575. And Brown proposes 806 (397+409) different courses with under 20 students — the College has 367 (122+245) small courses.

It does not appear that Brown is scrimping on instruction. 

Addendum: I argue frequently that the College needs to reduce its non-faculty staff headcount significantly — at least by the 447 staffers added since 2010, if not by the 1,100+ people added since 1999. But where would these people find work? Look to this recent tidbit in the Valley News:

“What I hear a lot of is ‘I can’t find housing,’ ” said Amy Smith, the director of care management at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Across DHMC’s entire system, there’s about 1,000 job openings, she said, and a 30 percent vacancy rate in the environmental services department alone.

Note that this is the DHMC “system” — not just the campus in Lebanon, but still. There are hundreds of empty jobs in the Upper Valley right now: the Co-ops advertises for people on the radio, and various employment agencies are offering signing bonuses if you find a job with them. A real leader would seize this opportunity.

Phil will be away from Hanover for well over a month this summer — the Arctic, Peru, a few weeks of vacation — but one would think that he could have sent out a word or two to the campus about Abbey D’Agostino ‘14. Abbey’s admirable sportsmanship (are we allowed to say that anymore?) at the Rio Olympics is all over the press, and our President might have used his bully pulpit to highlight her expression of some of the values that many people see as quintessentially Dartmouth. I sure do. Take a look at this post from a few years ago: The Sweet Students of Dartmouth.

Addendum: I imagine Provost Dever is preparing yet another missive about inclusivity and diversity. Isn’t she always? Could she add a note about Abbey to it? That said, maybe Carolyn is too busy interviewing for jobs at other schools. Judging by recent standards, she seems fully qualified to run the World Bank.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

In answer to your musing about Hanlon sending out a note about Abbey… No doubt, he will post something on his President’s Blog, when he does his next quarterly (semi-annual?) update.

Addendum: Per ESPN, Abbey described her motivation as follows:

Although my actions were instinctual at that moment, the only way I can and have rationalized it is that God prepared my heart to respond that way. This whole time here he’s made clear to me that my experience in Rio was going to be about more than my race performance — and as soon as Nikki got up I knew that was it.

Lots to think about there, Phil.

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