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Fare Thee Well, Tom Crady

And now Dean Tom Crady has precipitously announced his departure from the College after only 20 months on the job. How to read this?

By way of background, prior to coming to Dartmouth, Crady had been the highly regarded V.P of Student Services at Grinnell College, where, among other tolerant and student-friendly policies, he supervised the lenient enforcement of the underage drinking laws. In fact, he wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on student drinking habits.

During the 2005-2007 period, according to Clery Act statistics, Grinnell saw a total of seven (7!) college disciplinary actions for alcohol violations, and not one of its 1,600 students was arrested by the local police for alcohol-related infractions. During the same time period, Dartmouth’s 4,200 students were disciplined 493 times for alcohol violations and 239 students were arrested for this offence.

It doesn’t take a math whiz to understand that Crady’s ongoing effort to revamp the SEMP rules was going to entail major, liberalizing changes in Hanover - if he could have gotten them enacted. But there’s the rub. The rule in Hanover for two decades has been: “Don’t change anything! Change entails work and risk, and who wants to take the blame for making something worse.” All tired bureaucracies work like this, unless they contain leaders who really want to get things done.

But, as Tom Crady found out, that kind of forceful person doesn’t last long in Hanover these days. So like so many other vigorous leaders over the past decade (Mike Gazzaniga, Jamshed Bharucha, Danny Blanchflower, and Andy Harvard come quickly to mind) who have been expelled/repelled as foreign bodies by the assemblage of mediocrities that make up Dartmouth’s administration, Tom Crady decided to exit the Dartmouth scene early, rather than butt heads unproductively with the bureaucrats who have been in power for two decades - the people who should really be leaving town.

How long is it going to take President Kim to figure this out?

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