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News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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Following posts last week that described statistics on the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics website regarding the College’s relative spending on the recruiting of athletes and the overall budget for the Athletics Department’s varsity teams, AD Harry Sheehy has written in to detail the intricacies of federal reporting and the true — and very modest — cost of Dartmouth athletics:
Harry Sheehy’s precise number — that only $11.6 million of Dartmouth’s total budget goes directly to Athletics — should give everyone pause. Athletics is an area where the College’s students reap enormous benefits for a very modest net outlay. (How often do I get to write that?)
Addendum: The $11.6 million figures covers not only the College’s varsity teams, but also the Zimmerman Fitness Center, club teams, intramural leagues, and all other fitness-related activities at Dartmouth.
In a class that I audited many years ago at Yale’s School of Organization and Management, entrepreneur/professor Bill Lyons opined: “There are a lot of great ideas out there. The idea gets 5%. It’s execution that’s hard. Execution gets 95%.” So it goes with the businesses — Uber and Airbnb — described in Brad Stone’s The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World. Attentive readers will recall my brief comment on Stone’s book about Amazon, The Everything Store, in which I noted the involvement of many Dartmouth alumni in the creation and growth of Amazon.com.
Stone’s new book seems less comprehensively researched, but the critical takeaway is how multiple other companies tried to do the same things as Uber and Airbnb, but were out-hustled, out-financed and out-chutzpahed by the latest generation of internet phenoms — innovative, energetic and ferociously competitive creators. The term robber baron is archaic, but Uber’s Travis Kalanick would give Jay Gould a run for his money.
Who today remembers Airbnb’s predecessors and early competitors: Couchsurfing, VRBO, HomeAway and the home rental section of Craigslist? And Uber’s rivals: Zimride, Lyft, Taxi Magic, Cabulous and Seamless Wheel? Some of them still exist; all have been eclipsed by the two powerhouse companies that are now used by hundreds of millions of people every week all over the globe. Only Lyft is still trying to play in the big leagues, having had its day when it pioneered what we now know as UberX, leaving Uber to play catch-up for once (in fact, Uber uncharacteristically encouraged regulators to shut down Lyft’s ridesharing-by-anyone-with-a-car service).
What a remarkable company-creation ecosystem we have in this country. Angels and venture capitalist will invest billions of dollars in nascent firms that are a long way from profitability. The end result is companies wildly successful like Airbnb and Uber — and a host of also-rans where investors lost all their money. Nobody on the globe comes close
Addendum: In auditing about 45 Dartmouth courses over the past three decades, I have heard every few years in class from pessimistic students that the great opportunities have already been taken. First it was Microsoft and Apple; then Google and Amazon; followed by Facebook and Instagram; and now Uber and Airbnb. Kids, the future is not yet over.
Addendum: One has to wonder at the lack of diversity among the founders of these now-massively powerful companies. Virtually all are educated-in-America men.
My alternative title for this post was, “Is Geisel the Next Calhoun?” — for even as former Dartmouth History Professor Craig Steven Wilder writes about the slavery-tainted origins of Ivy League schools, and Yale banishes to the dustbin the memory of John C. Calhoun, it is possible that a new front in the endless war against white supremacy will soon open up much closer to home.
As we have written, our own Ted Geisel ‘25, dba Dr. Seuss, contributed cartoons caricaturing our WWII enemy in the Pacific; however, the Japanese were not the only target of his mockery. It seems that African-Americans, too, were depicted unfavorably. A March 4 article in The Real African, The Racist History of Dr. Seuss & What it Means in Today’s Social, Political & Educational Context, lashes out at Geisel for a series of racist cartoons, and asks whether American blacks can fairly read Dr. Seuss’ stories to their children:
Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka “Dr. Seuss,” has sold over 600 million copies of his books and is a widely celebrated and beloved children’s book author. Most people in America, and even globally (Dr. Seuss books are translated into 20 languages), know of his classic titles. What it not as well known (or acknowledged), is his work publishing racist and xenophobic political cartoons.
From 1941-43, Seuss was the chief editorial cartoonist for the New York newspaper, PM, and used this highly-influential platform to create propaganda dehumanizing, stereotyping and even vilifying people of color.
Dr. Seuss repeatedly depicted Africans and African-Americans as monkeys. In fact, his cartoons only depict Black people as monkeys. This cartoon he made for “Judge” Magazine in 1929 was up for auction in 2015 for $20,000 and has African American men up for sale with a sign reading: “Take Home A High Grade N*gger For Your Wood Pile.”
The piece concludes with a call to action by the National Endowment for the Arts:
If the NEA is truly committed to building respect for our youth — all of our youth — then shift the focus of Read Across America Day away from Dr. Seuss. Reading is infinitely powerful and full of possibilities. Let’s unlock its full potential by associating it with diverse authors and illustrators whose lives and work are dedicated to honoring, reflecting, and empowering the rich diversity of our children, communities, nation and world.
For now, this critique of Seuss is confined to a marginal publication (albeit one that garnered 380 comments to this story). Will the issue have legs in Hanover?
Addendum: A January 31 piece in The Atlantic, The Complicated Relevance of Dr. Seuss’s Political Cartoons, reviews at some length Seuss’ anti-Fascist cartoons directed at the Axis powers, and his overtly racist depictions of the WWII Japanese — but the piece entirely omits any comment on Ted Geisel’s disparaging caricatures of African Americans.
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:
Jeffrey S. Taube is Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences. His work, rooted in neuroscience, explores the biological basis of spatial cognition in animals. If you’ve ever found yourself lost in the middle of the woods or a mall parking lot, Professor Taube’s scholarship would help explain what’s going on — or not going on — inside your brain as you turn around scratching your head.
A 1970 graduate of Evanston Township High School in Illinois, Taube completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1974. From there, Taube spent several years seeing the world: a year and a half in Europe and two years traveling throughout Asia. Earning money along the way by washing pots and pans in Switzerland and teaching English in Korea and Japan, he returned penniless to the US in 1978 and settled in Seattle working as a carpenter.
Yearning to return to academic interests and investigate how the brain works, in 1980 he began Ph.D. studies at the University of Washington in Seattle as part of a joint program in physiology, biophysics, and psychology. After finishing his doctorate in 1986, Taube moved east for a postdoctoral position at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, which lasted until 1988. He then spent the following two years at UC Irvine, also as a postdoc, before joining the Dartmouth faculty in 1990. Taube received tenure at the College in 1996 and the rank of full professor in 2002. One of the courses he has regularly taught since joining the faculty is Systems Neuroscience (PSYC 65), which will be offered this coming spring. Another, entitled Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (PSYC 50), took place in the fall.
Taube’s body of work as an academic is extensive and highly cited, not to mention well-funded by sources ranging from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation to the Rockefeller Foundation. His h-index of 44 and citation count of 8303 are impressive by any standard; one pair of papers titled “Head-direction cells recorded from the postsubiculum in freely moving rats” has received over 1600 individual citations alone. For an idea of what on earth the title means, read on.
As self-evident as it may sound, it is critically important that we know where we are located within our surrounding environment. While the invention of maps, compasses, and handheld GPS technology would likely prevent getting lost in the woods or in a parking lot from morphing into a full-blown catastrophe for most people, our animal brothers and sisters further down on the evolutionary scale have no such luxury. For them, being able to identify their own location may mean the difference between, say, making their way to a reliable food source and starving. But even with or without available GPS devices, humans still need to perceive their spatial location and orientation within their environment. How else could you get from your bedroom to your kitchen without awareness of your spatial whereabouts? Using rats and microelectrode technology, Taube investigates how the animal brain keeps track of location and spatial orientation.
Taube’s research has shown that, in rats, there exists a set of cells in the brain whose activity is linked to the direction in which the rat’s head is pointing. These are the “head-direction cells” referenced previously. By implanting microelectrodes in a rat’s brain and hooking them up to an automated video/computer system, Taube found that particular neurons would discharge only when the rat was facing a certain direction. Within specified brain areas, different neurons would be tuned to different directions. For example, Neuron A might become activated when the rat’s head pointed east, whereas Neuron B would fire if the rat’s head pointed towards the southwest. These firings would occur no matter where the rat was located in its surrounding environment. Currently, Taube’s lab is looking into how primary sensory inputs generate these neurological head direction signals.
A second type of cell, located in the hippocampus, relies on both self-motion information and recognizable landmarks to determine the rat’s location within a given environment. As Taube has demonstrated, these “place cells” work independently of head direction cells, and here again, different place cells are tuned to different locations in the environment. Collectively, these cells map out the entire environment and form a spatial representation, often referred to as a cognitive map, of the rat’s surroundings. At the moment, the question occupying Taube’s research team is how the vestibular system — the series of tiny organs in the inner ear that provides balance — is related to the functioning of both head direction and place cells. In any case, it turns out that head direction cells and place cells communicate with each other to create a more comprehensive picture of your perceived spatial orientation, a sense that is critical for knowing where your car is in the parking lot and getting you there successfully at day’s end.
To see Professor Taube in action, watch his March 5, 2014 lecture on Leaning and Memory in the Head-Direction Cell Circuit, which took place at UC Santa Barbara.
Last week when we noted the Brown Daily Herald’s ranking of recruiting expenditures in the Ivy League — the College was in the bottom half of the class — we figured that the same parsimony would characterize Dartmouth’s overall spending on varsity athletics. So back we went to the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics website to see who is spending how much on men’s and women’s varsity teams. Surprise, surprise:
Now keep in mind that these figures are provided by the schools themselves to the Department of Education, and one would expect that they all follow the same accounting conventions. What to make of figures that vary hugely between schools? (Note: Columbia and Penn don’t have hockey teams — their loss, as I see it.)
The College has not done all that well over the past decades in athletics, so we are not getting bang for the buck. And Princeton’s spending is in the middle of the pack, yet the Tigers have amassed more championships than anyone in the Ivies.
Are we top-heavy with too many non-productive, but highly paid senior managers? Or are we bloated all through the staff ranks, and is AD Harry Sheehey unwilling to buck the College’s “nobody gets fired” administrative culture?
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
The numbers do not make sense. I would suspect that our number includes an overly large allocation from bloated Parkhurst.
Addendum: And another:
Good to see spending for the 90% of students who don’t participate in varsity sports. That has long-term benefits. In general, students seem fatter than in our day.
Addendum: I’ll have more on this issue next week.
Yale is having something of a contretemps regarding the value of its athletics programs and particularity the presence of athletes on campus. The first volley was fired on February 27 by Yale junior Cole Aronson with a snide piece in the Yale Daily News that derided athletes themselves and also the absolute value of participating in sports; on the same day a Yale freshman baseball player, Tyler Sapsford, responded in The Politic blog; and the next day Yale baseball head coach John Stuper joined the debate with a Letter to the Editor to defending the merits of varsity sports in New Haven.
Absent from the discussion was any detail regarding Yale’s financial commitment to varsity sports and student recreation.
Tomorrow we’ll look at the money that all the Ivies spend on sports; today let’s just look at Dartmouth’s budget for athletics. The source for all of the below figures is the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics website:
A grand total of 903 students participated on at least one of Dartmouth’s thirteen men’s varsity teams, sixteen women’s teams, and one co-ed team (sailing, if you must know). And virtually every undergraduate student at one time or another uses the College’s extensive recreational fitness facilities (anyone who hasn’t should head down to Zimmerman now).
And all that for a grand total expense (not including ticket income) of $27,496,614 in fiscal 2016 — a figure that amounts almost exactly to a miserly 3% of the College’s total expenses of $918,111,000 in the same year.
I don’t know about you, but I’m with former Government Professor Alan Stam in supporting athletics on their merits, but especially so given their huge impact on students for a risible amount of investment by the administration.
Addendum: Yale is entirely consistent with the College in conducting debates with virtually no financial information. Budgets in higher education are deep, dark secrets. Phil Hanlon may talk about transparency, but he certainly does not want you to know where Dartmouth spends its money — and for good reason, as this space endeavors to point out on a regular basis.
Last year we reported that then-doctor Lloyd Kaspar — a professor of medicine, a professor of microbiology and immunology, and the director of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Multiple Sclerosis Clinic — had “voluntarily and permanently” surrendered his licence to practice medicine to the New Hampshire Board of Medicine. He did so in the face of the following allegations, as detailed at the time by the Union Leader:
—Failed to ensure that communication protocols and systems in connection with certain drug trials were sufficient and were being followed to fully address clinical care and patient oversight;
—Engaged in improper and disruptive behavior in the presence of staff in the workplace by exhibiting a loss of temper;
—Did not take appropriate remedial action to resolve conflicts between the nursing director and other clinical trial staff, after it was reported the nursing director had engaged in improper, disruptive behavior towards her subordinates, in part because of his personal relationship with the nursing director;
—Was absent from campus during the course of certain drug trials without sufficient prior notification or approval, resulting at times in an unavailability to respond to concerns and an inability to timely carry out required duties; and
—Failed to completely and accurately answer two questions in his 2012 license renewal application filed with the board.
Kasper is still listed as being employed by DHMC — geez, what does it take to get fired up there? — and it seems that a foul temper runs in the family. His son, Norwich resident Eli Kasper, a cellular microbiology researcher also at Geisel, was recently arrested for pulling a gun in a bar, as the DailyUV website reports:
A Norwich resident was jailed this weekend after he allegedly pulled a gun on bouncers while they were trying to remove him from a ski bar Saturday evening.
Eli J. Kasper, 33, was ordered held for lack of bail late Saturday night pending his arraignment on a felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon which is scheduled to take place first thing Monday morning in Rutland’s criminal court…
Killington Police Chief Robert Montgomery said his officers and Vermont State Police troopers responded to The Wobbly Barn around 9:30 p.m. Saturday night after receiving a report that a gun had been flashed during a confrontation inside the popular nightspot.
The chief said the subsequent investigation determined that Kasper had been “acting intoxicated” and was asked by the staff to leave the bar. “It was reported that Kasper then returned to the bar and Wobbly Barn staff were escorting him out of the bar when Kasper pulled out a firearm that he had concealed in his jacket. In the brief physical altercation, the firearm was dropped and secured by staff while police were called to the scene,” according to a press release issued Sunday.
Kasper was lodged at the Marble Valley Correctional Facility for lack of $50,000 bail. He will be arraigned in Rutland Superior Court on Monday March 13, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.
Eli Kasper is still described on the Dartmouth DND Lookup as an employee of the College:
As I said, what does it take to get fired around here?
Addendum: A reader writes in:
FYI — if employees leave the College or have been terminated — they show up in the DND for 30 days. He has most likely been fired…
The federal Education Department has come up with a Financial-Responsibility Test to evaluate the fiscal health of the nation’s schools. How did Dartmouth come out? Well, given the College’s wealth — we have about double the endowment/student of all of the Ivy schools except for HYP — you’d think that we’d get top marks. But no. After years of profligacy and waste, it turns out that the feds think that we are at the bottom of the pack:
What a sad result for a school that charges more tuition than anyone in the Ancient Eight except Columbia, that pays its faculty under the odds, and is letting its buildings molder. That a skinflint can end up poor is but a reflection of the fact that we cut spending to save money everywhere — except on the staff.
I know that this line of argument is beginning to sound like a broken record (note to undergrads: a broken record is like a scratched CD that repeats a scene over and over), but to see a fine college laid low by bad strategy choices and weak management practices is hard to take. Dartmouth could be great again if the administration approached the College as an educational institution first and foremost, and not as a welfare agency providing lifetime tenure to bureaucrats and laborers.
Addendum: The methodology behind the Financial-Responsibility Test has been criticized over the years. However this is not the place to pass judgment on the feds. The point to take away is that under the consistent application of a methodology, we come out looking bad yet again.
The charm of Saint Barth’s is preserved in part because landing here is far from charming. No mass-tourism 747’s on this runway, that’s for sure. The local guidebooks note that pilots must have special training before they may take a plane into Gustavia. Watch why:
The stronger the wind on a given day, the steeper and faster a pilot’s approach must be. I am grateful for the professionalism of the young woman flying our Winair plane.
Addendum: The 60 frames/second speed of my iPhone 7’s video capture makes the plane’s props look at times as if they are barely turning. Not so.
Addendum: For readers interested in my whale-related adventures (here, here and here), there were no whales visible in Saint Barth’s this week, but each time I went freediving below a depth of 40 feet (where sound is not disrupted by surface turbulence — think of calling to someone on a windy day) at the mouth of the Plage de Gouverneur and the Plage de Grande Saline this past Tuesday and Wednesday, I could clearly hear male humpback whales singing to females in their usual courting ritual (though some scientists dispute that this is what is occurring). Saint Barth’s is on a migration route for humpbacks.
Addendum: There is no truth to the rumor that Phil Hanlon wants to take the wonderful, intimate jewel that is Saint Barth’s today and transform it into a resort for mass tourism by building huge, international hotels and even opening an energy institute. Nobody could be so foolish as to alter something that is small and much loved in order to chase after prestige in emulation of huge vacation destinations.
Tuck seems to have cemented its position among the Top Ten business schools in the 2017 U.S. News ranking:
Its classification, based on the above objective metrics, is also reflected in the opinions of peers and recruiters:
Addendum: Poets & Quants summarizes U.S. News’ ranking methodology:
The methodology takes into account a wealth of proprietary and school-supplied data to crank out its annual ranking of the best full-time MBA programs. The magazine does its own peer assessment survey of B-school deans and MBA directors (25% of the score). It also does its own survey of corporate recruiters (accounting for 15% of the overall ranking). U.S. News said it averaged the recruiter scores over the past three years for the ranking. The magazine reported a 43% response rate for the peer survey but none for the mashup of recruiter polls.
Other metrics included in the ranking are starting salaries and bonuses (14%), employment rates at and three months after graduation (7% to 14%, respectively), student GMATs and GREs scores (about 16%), undergrad GPAs (about 8%), and the percentage of applicants who are accepted to a school (a little over 1%). This is the fifth year U.S. News included GRE scores in its ranking methodology.
Addendum: Business Insider ranked Tuck #8, too, in its feature on The 20 Best Business Schools in America.
The stock market sets new records more often than not these days, income inequality reaches unprecedented heights (and with it some people have even more guilt to expiate), and heaven knows that many wealthy alumni families have kids coming up to college age — so fundraising must be a snap now for colleges and universities, right? Well, for some schools it is:
The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that USC was original in its campaign strategy:
When the University of Southern California announced its current capital campaign back in 2011, the fundraising world gasped. The private research institution’s goal of $6 billion was unprecedented and audacious. Furthermore, the Campaign for USC broke the rules of big drives: It went public after a short quiet phase, with less than 20 percent of its goal raised, about half as much as in most campaigns.
The risks, however, are paying off. It’s on track to raise $6 billion 18 months ahead of schedule, says Albert Checcio, USC’s senior vice president for university advancement. More than 322,000 donors have contributed, and only a third are alumni. [Emphasis added]
And how is Phil Hanlon, our fundraiser-in-chief, doing? Word around campus is that the next capital campaign (“All in for Dartmouth” — ugh) will seek to raise $2.5 billion (the last campaign netted $1.3 billion). To be fair, that’s a pretty good goal: the College has 4,310 undergraduate students (6,381 including post-grads), whereas USC has 18,740 undergrads (42,469 including post-grads): USC raised 2.4 times what we are going to try to raise, even though their undergraduate student body is 4.3 times as large as ours.
That said, Phil will have been President for four years in June, and we are still in the (very) quiet phase of the long-bruited-about capital campaign. Are we looking to have $500 million in the kitty (20% of the goal) or a round $1.0 billion (40%) before the gala announcement? Either way, the kickoff has been a long time coming. Is there something wrong? Do big donors think that Phil is an uninspired and uninspiring leader? Do you?
Addendum: Calculating total giving in a campaign is an art in itself. Some schools count only giving to the campaign; others cumulate every lil’ thing, like the annual alumni fund and grants, etc. Needless to say, our Trustees have already decided to throw everything possible into the pot. Typical.
The Brown Daily Herald reports on the relative investment that the Ivy schools make in recruiting varsity athletes. We spend less than everyone except for Penn and Brown:
Is there a correlation between spending and performance? Look at how well teams from top-spenders Princeton and Harvard do year in and year out:
The total Dartmouth College budget for the coming year will be just shy of a billion dollars. Too bad we can’t come up with a few hundred thousand smackeroos to recruit as seriously as the big guys.
Addendum: It goes without saying that spending on recruiting is probably just the tip of the iceberg of advantages the HYP have in athletics spending. But, please, don’t tell me that Dartmouth couldn’t cut waste in any number of areas in order to fund our athletics programs at the same level as Harvard, Yale and Princeton. After all, athletics is not even 3% of the College’s total annual expenses — as we shall show in a post next week.
Two of our finest men of letters have issued a call for free speech and the respectful toleration of others’ ideas. Cornel West, the Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy in the Divinity School and the Department of African and African-American Studies at Harvard; and Robert P. George, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton, have published an on-line petition that merits your attention.
The petition’s first signatory was Allison Stanger, the Russell J. Leng ‘60 Professor of International Politics and Economics at Middlebury, who was concussed and had her neck injured by violent students protesting Charles Murray’s visit to her school.
Let’s hope that the Middlebury incident represents a high water mark in the sad series of intolerant protests by college students opposed to the ideas advanced by visiting speakers.
Addendum: Inside Higher Ed reports that the petition has received “thousands” of signatures.
Addendum: A Dartmouth professor writes in:
I read the March 15 piece on the Left and Right Agree on Free Speech that points to a public statement by Professors George and West, posted on Princeton’s James Madison Program, and then went to that letter, read it and perused the list of signatories. Unless I missed the few of them, conspicuously absent from the long list are professors in program such as women studies, gender studies, and environmental studies, people we might generally associate with activism. Doesn’t this tell us something?
I am not the only alumnus who can’t abide Phil’s inability to celebrate the achievements great and small of students. It is, sir, as I have said, a small College, so there is no reason to miss out on those person-to-person moments that mean a great deal to undergraduates and to the community (I’m thinking of Abbey and Kyle here).
On that theme, an alumnus has written in to comment on a brief note that he received from President John Sloan Dickey (President of the College from 1945-1970) after his last game as a senior on the football team. (I have brushed out his name in the salutation.) That my correspondent has kept the note lo these many years speaks to the impact that a President can have on students:
At the end of fall term my senior year, after having played football at D for four seasons, I found the attached, hand-written personal note from President Dickey in my Hinman Box. I was both stunned and elated. What better example of why my decision to attend Dartmouth over Harvard was a wise one. Can you imagine this busy man taking the time to do something like this?
And I am sure the gesture was not singular. There were 15-odd other seniors who, no doubt, also received such a missive. And who knows what other sports team members as well? And note his comment about watching us at practice. Off and on someone would say from the practice field: Look up! There’s JSD on the hill. And sure enough, there he was taking a few moments out of his day to give us his moral support.
I have kept it all these years because of how very special this personal note is to me. And it was not dictated and typed by his staff for his signature, but hand written (with the informality of a red ballpoint no less) in Dickey’s distinctive style (as reflected on our diplomas).
Perhaps at big research universities the President is a distant and august figure, but that state of affairs should not be the case at Dartmouth.
Addendum: An alumnus from the same era writes in:
And I, as one of the student managers of the football team, can attest to Dickey’s attendance at practice on Chase Field. Frequently he would walk there with his dog, chat with those of us who could take a minute to visit, and then move on to his next stop. As I get older, it becomes a more special time on which to dwell. One of those that wets the eyes with the memory, even though as senior manager I don’t recall getting such a note, which is OK. I just enjoyed my visits with him.
Following the departure of the College’s Chief Investment Officer Pam Peedin ‘89 (T ‘98) — who let it be known on November 9 that she would leave this June — the administration put together a search committee:
The College has hired executive search firm David Barrett Partners to assist with the search. Kimball, a founding general partner of the growth equity firm Technology Crossover Ventures, will chair the search committee and work with search committee members Trustee Beth Cogan Fascitelli ‘80 and Alice Ruth ‘83, both members of the board’s investment committee. [Emphasis added]
And today Dartmouth News announced the name of our new CIO: Alice Ruth ‘83. The College’s press release describes Ruth’s background as follows:
She comes to Dartmouth from Willett [Advisors], which, since its inception in 2010, has been the investment adviser for former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Bloomberg Family Office and the Bloomberg Family Foundation. Prior to Willett, she served in the same capacity for Bloomberg at Quadrangle Group.
Before Quadrangle, she was chief investment officer for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, where she led and shaped a $6 billion portfolio. Prior to Moore, she spent 12 years at Montgomery Securities as a senior managing director and co-director of equity research. As a consumer stock analyst for Montgomery, Ruth was recognized a number of times by The Wall Street Journal and named by Institutional Investor’s as a “Home Run Hitter.” Ruth started her career at Morgan Stanley as an economic analyst, focused primarily on Federal Reserve and monetary policy.
The information that Dartmouth News did not give us is that ex-Trustee Diana Taylor ‘77 (2008-2016) is Mike Bloomberg’s partner, and that Ruth is not the first person to migrate from Willett Advisors to the College. You’d think that the Trustees would be up front about this kind of conflict of interest.
Beyond those facts, sources indicate the Phil Hanlon is so desperate to kick the stalled capital campaign into gear that he is currying favor with Michael Bloomberg by offering bolt holes to his ex-employees. Will favors like that help elicit a large donation? Who knows? But do you think that former New York Mayor Bloomberg, a legendary, no-nonsense, tough guy (#6 on the Forbes 400 with a net worth of $49.3 billion; #8 in the world) is going to be impressed by Phil?
Addendum: There appears to be a veritable pipeline from Willett Advisors to the College’s endowment office. Kelsey Morgan ‘02, T’08 spent 26 months with Willett before making his way to the College’s employ. At least a couple of other College staffers previously worked for Willett, too.
Addendum: The CIO position is usually the most highly paid position at the College. Here are the figures for the top earners in 2014 (click on the image to enlarge it):
Addendum: Institutional Investor comments, ahem, on Alice Ruth’s hiring by the College:
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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