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The other day we noted that OPAL was actively training students to see themselves as endlessly victimized by racial prejudice and to respond aggressively to anything that they might perceive as the slightest slight. The people involved in that effort are coming into focus now. However, two of Dartmouth’s most notorious social justice warriors are no longer with the College.

Ashlee Consulting Comp.jpgI’m talking about Kyle and Aeriel Ashlee, she an Assistant Dean and OPAL Adviser to Pan-Asian Students, and he the acting Director for the Center for Gender and Student Engagement. It seems that while he had been working “fulltime” for the College, and she had been on “medical leave,” they had been working hard setting up their private consulting business. Both recently resigned.

This space has commented on Aeriel Ashlee before, when she was Aeriel Anderson. Her blog gives one an inkling of her approach to the world:

I have written before about microaggressions and stereotypes targeting Asian Americans. I have written about my frustration of traveling far away from the streets of a racialized America and yet still being accosted by the ignorant. I have shared stories of racial prejudice towards Asian Americans and thoughts on triumphs of breaking boundaries of racial typecasting. I have rambled and reflected, and yet here I am again making issue of Asian American identity. What’s my beef? Why can’t I just “let it go”? Because this shit is in my face everyday.

However Kyle Ashlee has not heretofore come to our attention. That’s a shame. Judging from a piece that he wrote on Monday in The Good Men Project entitled Bravery in the Ivy League, his views are provocative, to say the least. Read his take on daily student life in Hanover:

It’s late on a Friday night and a rowdy group of drunken co-eds stumble through the entryway of the student center at Dartmouth College. Shouting obnoxiously, one of the inebriated students kicks over a wet floor sign while another angrily tears down a flyer advertising a gathering for student protest on campus. The student worker behind the food counter sighs deeply and prepares for the impending exchange. Sadly, it’s one that she is all too familiar with.

As the hostile group approaches the counter, the alpha male of the group barks his order at the young Black woman without apology. Despite having received a scholarship for tuition, this First-Generation college student took on the serving job as a way to survive the high cost of college without financial support from her family back home. She rang up the order and moved on to dealing with the other demands and slurred food orders. A few minutes later, one of the students stumbles back to the counter:

“You’re all out of forks. Where the hell can I find a God damn fork around here?”

Having dealt with his type many times, she responded with dignity:

“There are more forks on the other side of the dining hall. And do you mind treating me with a little respect, please?”

A puzzled look of disbelief fell over his face. Without thinking, he gathered all of the alcohol soaked saliva in his mouth and spit a violent wad of phlegm directly in her face: “Respect? A n***** like you doesn’t even belong at this school. You should feel lucky to be serving me food.”

Disgusted and appalled, she immediately phoned Campus Safety to report the egregious offense. Later, a security officer arrived to the student center in response. The drunken aggressors were long gone at that point, having left behind their half-eaten slices of pizza and chicken tenders for someone else to clean up.

While this may sound like an extreme incident of disrespect and racism, it is a scene not wildly uncommon at the prestigious institution of Dartmouth College. As a former administrator at the college, I heard from many students who had been treated similarly at some point in their academic career…

During my two years at Dartmouth, many students came into my office with heartbreaking accounts like the one shared here. These are the stories that the outside world never thinks about when Ivy League schools like Dartmouth College come up in conversation.

Come again? Does Kyle Ashlee seriously assert that it’s “not wildly uncommon” for a male Dartmouth student to spit in the face of a female undergrad working at Collis and call her a “n*****” in front of several other students. Frankly, I don’t believe for a minute that the incident occurred. How could such an event (or many events?) go unreported and unpunished on a campus where only last year Safety & Security conducted a manhunt for a student who spoke faux-Chinese to two Asian students?

Of course, the slanderous story is out there now. I bet that in eight months year applications to Dartmouth will probably drop by another few percentage points due to the fervid imagination of a now-former employee of the College.

Addendum: OPAL is an ongoing soap opera. A couple of years ago, Assistant Dean of Student Life and Advisor to Black Students Quantrell Willis resigned his position after only five months on the job. His stated reason was “in order to have additional time to focus on his family.” Uh, right. Certainly his extremely close advisory role with an undergraduate had nothing to do with his departure.

Addendum: Kyle Ashlee’s piece has already been picked up by Business Insider.

Addendum: Some quick answers from students about the supposed incident at Collis:

Quite easy to prove that article false in multiple ways: the biggest being that we use our student ids to buy food. Go back to the time the guy paid for his meal, find out who paid at that time, match face, boom, kid expelled. This article is a huge lie.

and:

Ashlee’s story reeks of lies - small ones, like saying Collis serves pizza or that the woman was both a food handler and a cashier at the same time, and big ones like claiming these men could not have been caught. Post-renovation Collis is rigged with *many* security cameras and if she was a hybrid food handler/cashier (which doesn’t actually exist), the incident would have occurred somewhere near a cash register. These men would have been identified, the incident would have been in safety and security logs, and it would have been reported by the daily Dartmouth.

It’s getting harder and harder to separate the lies from the truth. Whatever, as long as it makes good story…

and:

I also hated the Ashlee piece because it’s such a transparent fabrication. I would add that, standing at the Collis register, I think you can’t see someone entering the building and you definitely can’t see them tear down a flyer on the bulletin board, which is on the opposite side of the wall and facing the opposite direction. Furthermore, the same student couldn’t both “ring up” and “take” an order. At Collis, you ask for food from people inside the area, and you pay at the register. There is no “counter.” And, yeah, the first thing that jumped out at me as a total lie is the pizza and chicken tenders thing. Collis doesn’t have both of those things! I wish though!

Phil is beating the tomtom for change at the College. But will anything more come of this effort than a rehashed Year 2000 Student Life Initiative — the one that pleaded for dorm continuity, etc.?

Call to Action.jpg

So Phil is taking a break from fundraising to convene an invitation-only Summit to Address Extreme Behavior tonight in 105 Dartmouth. I wonder what the carefully chosen people in attendance will discuss, and why the event is not open to the campus.

Methinks back to Carol Folt’s select little group that voted to shut the College for a day last year. Is Charlotte’s web growing tighter?

Summit.jpg

Dartmouth Social Media.jpgThe College is fighting back on the social media front: UltraViolet’s campaign will not be left unanswered. If you see the image at right on a webpage and you click on it, you will be directed to Dartmouth’s Sexual Assault Prevention, Education, and Response page. UV says we have a sexual assault problem, and the administration’s campaign says that we are taking serious steps to fight the problem. Oh, joy. What will high school seniors, parents and college counselors think of first when the words Dartmouth College are mentioned?

                        

Now there’s a crazy thought? The Improve Dartmouth website is a forum for commonsensical ideas. Here’s one of them:

Standard of Conduct CompA.jpg

We’re not talking about victimless crime here — like a 20-year-old drinking a beer — but students aggressively invading Dartmouth events and spaces where the work of the College is being done. We’ve discussed the same idea in the past in relation to the RealTalk disruption of Dimensions last year:

…the principles of non-violent protest include an acceptance of punishment. In being sanctioned, the demonstrators show commitment to their cause, and if their cause is just, their plight elicits further community support.

This space likes to refer to the value of precedent. If the RealTalkers are not punished, how can the College contemplate punishing any future group that disrupts College events such as films, concerts, speeches, lectures, or other gatherings of members of the Dartmouth community?

Of course, the possibility exists that last year’s RealTalkers and this year’s Freedom Budgeters had and have little or no support in the community.

Addeundum: Don’t hesitate to vote for this proposal.

Dan Fagin Comp.jpg

He won for his book, Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation.

Fagin was the Editor-in-Chief of The D when he was at the College.

David Vincelette1.jpg

The D is reporting that Vincelette is a member of the Class of 1984. That fact would mean that the man was about 27 years old when he graduated from the College.

Last year at the Town of Hanover annual meeting on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, Vincelette, who is listed by the Better Business Bureau as a general contractor, made a series of extended statements (as recorded by the minute taker of the meeting). The following is an excerpt:

David Vincelette stated that he has lived in Hanover for 32 years. He stated that he is concerned about the conservation group because he is facing foreclosure on his home. The Upper Valley Land Trust and conservation groups have called him to ask about purchasing his land and force him off the land next to it. He stated that the Town has already forced him off other land that he owned and removed all of his papers and effects and he noted that there hasn’t been a word from any member of the community. He stated that he is not running for anything and he’s not running from anything. He stated that he came here (to Hanover) with a golden invitation from a College on a hill after he served 3 years in the military. He stated that he’s not sure why he has been treated this way by the Town. He stated that he lives simply and has very little money. He stated that he owes a debt of appreciation to Kate Connolly who helped him with his purchase of a run- down camp near the Tanzi Brook. He stated that he was badly injured in the Army and served his family, God and his country. Mr. Vincelette went on to state that he’s a flawed man but that they are all citizens and deserve the rights to citizenship.

A person in attendance at the meeting referred to Vincelette’s comments as “the rantings of a crazy man.”

If you are a Dartmouth undergraduate and you want first-class medical care, there is an easy solution to your woes: withdraw as a student (your folks will be happy; tuition is costing them a fortune) and get a job at the College. As an employee, you will have advisers and counselors begging to provide you with health-related services.

Student have been complaining about Dick’s House for years, and the complaints just keep on coming at the Improve Dartmouth website:

Dick's House Improve.jpg

However, if you become a staffer you can join the College’s concièrge medical service. It’s for employees only, of course. At Dartmouth Health Connect, you will have a dedicated wellness coach and an entire team of healthcare providers eager to look after you:

Dartmouth Health Connect Comp1.jpg

Also, for mental health care, there is the Faculty/Employee Assistance Program, which will regularly solicit you to come in for one of the eight free chats that you are offered by the College’s healthcare plan each year:

FEAP Site Visit.jpg

As well, you can get advice on your various medications. Note that you will be assisted by a full-bird psychiatrist:

FEAP Medication.jpg

And if a tragedy takes place, say in Boston, by all means come in for a consultation:

FEAP Marathon.jpg

And how much do these luxurious benefits cost the College? That’s hard to tell, but in 2013, the total cost of benefits for all Dartmouth employees came to $124,583,000. Meanwhile, at Brown, which has approximately the same number of full time employees as the College, employee benefits cost $94,185,000. That’s a difference of $30,398,000.

Addendum: After deducting financial aid, the College took in $119,186,100 in undergraduate tuition and fees. Wouldn’t it be nice to cut employee benefits to Brown’s level and pass the $30,398,000 in savings on to Dartmouth students and their families? That money would be enough to effect a 25% cut in tuition.

By way of background, tuition, room, board and fees at the College will be $61,947 during the 2014-15 academic year; at Brown comparable costs will be $59,428 — a difference of $2,519 (-4.2%). We all know where that extra money goes.

I have always loved spring’s earliest days for the color of tree leaves. The pale green mixed with yellow possesses a freshness that makes one want to breathe deeply and exult (though riding a Vélib through Paris at high speed has the same effect):

Spring1.jpg

The 17th Century Italianate Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption church in the rue St. Honoré in the 8th arrondissment is the religious center of Paris’ Polish community.

David Shribman ‘76, a Trustee from 1993-2003, has written a fine review for the Wall Street Journal of William D. Cohan’s book, “The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities.” His observation below holds an echo for anyone who follows the current life of Dartmouth College:

But this book is also about the power of narrative. The narrative in Durham and across the country growing out of this episode was simply too delicious for its own good: Snotty, privileged boys at an elite school playing an elite sport hold a private party where their worst impulses were played out in a drama involving a woman who was a member of both a racial minority and the economic underclass. The story satisfied every politically correct assumption. The only obstacle was that, while the snotty/privileged/elite part was true, and also the loutish behavior, the boys didn’t rape the woman. The rush to judgment on the part of the campus community—well ahead of due process—was a travesty of its own.

Mr. Cohan captures brilliantly the theater of the absurd that is played out on campuses every year over one controversy or another: the predictable groups behaving predictably, the loudest advocates for social justice often too impatient to let legal justice take its course, the voices of reason drowned out by the clatter of cliché…

That said, it is clear in these pages that, while the members of the Duke lacrosse team were not guilty of the crimes for which they were arraigned, they also were not innocents.

Shribman is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Press.

Addendum: An alumnus points us towards some of the aspects of the Duke situation that did not come up in Shribman’s book review:

Interesting WSJ review from Shribman. However, he passes lightly over some of the most egregious misconduct from the prosecutor, and the Duke administration and faculty. The prosecutor didn’t just “have a taste for hype and hyperbole,” he had political ambitions that he thought would be served by inflaming black voters’ paranoia, and was willing to wreck people’s lives to further them.

Shribman does not mention the faculty statement signed by over 80 members condemning the defendants, at least not directly. The fact that the faculty had no knowledge of what had in fact happened did not slow them down in the least.

The authority on what happened at Duke and the aftermath is K.C. Johnson, who has followed this nearly from the inception on his Durham-In-Wonderland blog. Johnson demolishes author Cohan here:

http://www.durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/

Shribman’s review appears in a very different light after one reads Johnson.

Last Saturday, we reported on UltraViolet’s campaign against what it called the College’s “rape culture.” The story has now made the national media. Here is Bloomberg’s story:

Ultraviolet Bloomberg Comp.jpg

Read the full story here. The College’s social media ads direct the viewer to this College webpage.

Meanwhile, the New York Times has noted the disparate evolution in the number of applications at the different Ivies:

NYT Admissions Graph 2014.jpg

In the piece, Dean Laskaris trots out the tired old explanations to deflect attention away from the significant drop, but the Times is not fooled:

“We are doing some work to understand why,” says Maria Laskaris, Dartmouth dean of admissions and financial aid. For one, there are fewer applicants from the Northeast and Midwest, mirroring declining pools of high school students in the regions. And with most attending college within 200 miles of home, she says, “there are fewer students in our own backyard.” Dartmouth’s reputation has also taken a hit over charges that it has failed to combat sexual violence on campus, spurring the president last month to propose a new sexual assault disciplinary policy.

Is anyone fooled?

Addendum: Numerous papers, including the Valley News, have picked up the Bloomberg report.

At Dartmouth there are bureaucrats who spend time teaching hardworking freshmen — kids who want to be doctors and scientists — that they are aggrieved minorities who need to express their new-found unhappiness disrespectfully:

OPAL DPP.jpg

Students don’t come up with protests like the Freedom Budget and the invasion of Phil’s office in Parkhurst on their own. OPAL is there to teach them.

Addendum: How about replacing these payroll radicals with tutors and other academic support professionals who can help students succeed despite their relative lack of preparedness to study STEM subjects in the Ivy League.

Addendum: No better example of the end result of OPAL’s teaching is to be found than in the case of Jennifer McGrew.

The book will be out on September 16.

Lohse Amazon.jpg

The consistent talk around Hanover is that the benefactor who gave $100 million to the College is outgoing Board of Trustees Chairman Steve Mandel ‘78. He’s #314 on the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America with a total net worth of $1.8 billion.

Among his many other gifts to Dartmouth, Mandel is also known to be the “anonymous donor” of $35 million to the Center for Health Care Delivery Science. Forbes profiled him as follows:

Steve Mandel.jpgDartmouth grad Steve Mandel worked at Mars & Co. and then Goldman Sachs before joining fellow billionaire Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management as a consumer analyst. Mandel departed in 1997 to launch Lone Pine, named for a mythical Dartmouth pine tree that survived an 1887 lightning strike at his alma mater. The firm currently manages approximately $21 billion across its funds, which were up between 10% and 16% through the first half of 2013 after a great 2012. Mandel contributed $134 million to his Zoom Foundation in tax year 2010, which now has more than half a billion dollars in assets. Past beneficiaries include the Children’s Aid Society of New York, Phillips Exeter Academy, and the Fairfield County Foundation. Mandel also serves on the board of Dartmouth College and Teach for America.

Mandel’s tenure as Chairman covered most of the Presidency of Jim Yong Kim, the Interim Presidency of Carol Yong Folt, and the selection and first year of Philip J. Hanlon ‘77 as Dartmouth’s current President. It is safe to say that, despite his extraordinary generosity to the College, Chairman Mandel left Dartmouth weaker than he found it.

Addendum: A couple of sources have written in to assert that Steve Mandel did not fund the troubled Center for Health Care Delivery Science.

Following the Financial Times’ story on Monday about the ongoing chaos at the World Bank, the paper followed up with an editorial yesterday. What Monday’s report did not say directly, the commentary says straight out: Jim Kim is not up to the job.

Restructuring hell at the World Bank

Jim Yong Kim should get a grip on the troubled institution

When Jim Yong Kim was appointed to head the World Bank he was hailed as an inspired choice who would help to renew its purpose. Two years later, the bank is in turmoil and there are growing doubts about Mr Kim’s grip. Far from restoring its relevance, he has unleashed a restructuring hell that has demoralised staff and entrenched doubts about its long-term role.

Mr Kim still has time to turn the bank round. But he will need to make it far clearer what he is trying to do. Too often, the instinct to reorganise is a substitute for strategy. With this week’s spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, it is the right moment for Mr Kim to spell out the method behind the apparent madness.

morale is at rock-bottom. Mr Kim has fired several senior managers and even reinstated ones that he has fired. The top 48 division heads have been asked to reapply for their jobs. Meanwhile, the bank is crawling with overlapping consultancies. It is one thing to have McKinsey advising you. It is quite another to have former UK prime minister Tony Blair’s business entering the equation. The latter’s inclusion demands explanation.

All of these developments come amid Mr Kim’s drive to cut costs by $400m in the next three years. Yet there is a feeling among staff that Mr Kim himself is exempt from the austerity. The FT has reported that Mr Kim has taken 13 trips on private jets. There may have been no commercial flights available, as Mr Kim says. But the perception is damaging.

Removing Mr Kim at this stage would only add to the confusion. He must now make the best of it. But his self-generated problems underline why such jobs ought to be filled on merit. It makes no sense in today’s world for the US to retain the stale bargain whereby it appoints the World Bank president and Europe has first right to choose the IMF’s managing director.

If there is a silver lining to the bank’s turmoil, it is this: the Bretton Woods institutions belong to the world. From now on, they must be headed by the best people available. [Emphasis added, happily]

To date criticisms of Kim voiced by various people have focused on his specific policy and managerial choices, but sources at the Bank tell me that underlying all of the unrest is the understanding that Kim is an arrogant, manipulative liar who has little real expertise in running an institution.

But then, we have known that at Dartmouth for close to five years now, n’est-ce pas?

Addendum: Monday’s FT piece contained a note that will elicit knowing looks from anyone who wonders why Dartmouth alone among the Ivies uses Microsoft software rather than market-leading Google Apps:

Another example is the technophile Mr Kim’s unhappiness, when he first arrived at the bank, with its Lotus Notes email system. At considerable expense, he alone was switched over to Microsoft Outlook. The bank says it was a trial for eventually switching all of its staff and declined to disclose the cost.

Jim Kim a technophile? Ha. But, give the guy credit. He’s still a persuasive salesman.

Addendum: English cartoonist Kipper Williams saw where things were heading when Kim was chosen to run the World Bank:

Kim Cartoon1.jpg

Addendum: In David Brooks’ column in the Times he talks about the power of curiosity and about people who dig deeper in understanding their subject. He refers to the contrasting type of person — a type that we all recognize:

If you are primarily motivated to make money, you just need to get as much information as you need to do your job. You don’t have time for deep dives into abstract matters. You certainly don’t want to let people know how confused you are by something, or how shallow your knowledge is in certain areas. You want to project an image of mastery and omniscience.

On Wall Street, as in some other areas of the modern economy that I could mention, this attitude leads to a culture of knowingness. People learn to bluff their way through, day to day.

Some folks get through all of life like this; for others, there is a day when the music stops.

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