Dartmouth's Daily Blog
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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And the Beat Goes On….
A collective groan went up across the campus last month when Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim announced that Provost Barry Scherr will be staying on for another two years. A charter members of the Hanover Olde Guard that filled the senior ranks of the outgoing administration (propriety restrains me from referring to this past-their-prime bunch as the Wright Guard), Scherr has been in Hanover for 34 years, only slightly less than his previous boss (Wright was here for 41 years).
Rounding out that graying crew were Dean of the Faculty Carol Folt (26 years); outgoing Athletics Director Josie Harper (27 years); acting AD Bob Ceplikas (30 years); Director of Admissions Maria Laskaris (22 years); and Director of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity Holly Sateia (35 years).
Now don’t get me wrong, Scherr is a perfectly nice guy: quiet, respectful, and prudent to a fault. It’s just that, like the other senior people in the administration, he has been at Dartmouth forever, and he has spent almost no time at other institutions. As a result, any fresh energy and ideas that he might have once had have long been spent. His eight years to date as Provost have been, charitably speaking, uneventful.
The groan that greeted Scherr’s re-appointment stems from the conclusions to be drawn therefrom about President Kim’s nose for talent - or lack thereof. If Jim Kim could not immediately conclude that Scherr is not the Provost that he needs, and then set about finding a muscular academic leader for the College, someone with broad experience and a track record of innovation and achievement, then I have to wonder where Dartmouth is headed under her new President.
Of course, some of you will make the usual noises about the need for continuity and institutional memory, but that is just smoke. Really good people get up to speed quickly - that’s one of the reasons that they are really good - and besides, Scherr was not going anywhere else soon, so he could stay around to help out. And even if Kim felt a real need for continued support, why give Scherr a two-year re-appointment and signal continuity with the last stagnant decade? Kim should have started a search on July 1 and personally worked hard to attract a forceful administrator.
All in all, Jim Yong Kim’s first major decision as President has not been a heartening one.
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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