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Tommy Woon Out at Dartmouth?

[Bumped to top on 6/26/06; update below.]

twoon.jpgAn e-mailer has informed Dartblog that Dartmouth’s Associate Dean for Pluralism and Leadership—that is to say the head of OPAL, the Office of Pluralism and Leadership, which acts as the diversity checkpoint for many institutional hires—Tommy Woon, will be leaving the College. I hasten to state that this information is not confirmed. This is a rumor only, though it comes from a source who has proved him or herself reliable in the past.

Tommy Woon came to Dartmouth in 2003 from Stanford, where he was associate dean of students and multicultural education. In Hanover, he was in charge of the heavily-criticized (particularly by the Dartmouth Review) OPAL. That department has underwritten in its several years of being a slew of strange things, such as “bias protocols,” a College forum on €œsexual stereotypes and fetishes about Asians and Asian Americans,” and most recently a special night of “free speech,” in which participants were allowed to speak their minds on certain topics, inter alia. Doubtless, many readers have more stories.

But the central controversy about OPAL and Woon must have been in the money. It was created in 2002, when finances were not stellar and plenty of spending deficiencies—cut sports teams and reduced academic department budgets—were roiling students, alumni, parents, and our teachers. All of a sudden here comes a new chunk of bureaucracy, and a new dean, and more diversity. Say, how about a professor or two?

Dartblog’s correspondent writes:

However, his ineffectuality was such that the damage he could do in the last four years was fairly superficial; one dreads an efficient successor. Alas, the word is: there’ll be one. Of course, the Associate Dean of Pluralism and Leadership should simply be abolished or allowed to become another dying ember of the lugubrious Larimore legacy.
A message distributed on Friday by Holly Fell Sateia, the Dean of Student Life to whom Mr. Woon was a direct report, indicates that Mr. Woon goes next to Macalester College in Minnesota.

UPDATE: This internal site search at Macalester seems to confirm news that Dean Tommy Woon is leaving Dartmouth.


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