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Don’t Waste Your Time Applying to Be Dean of the College

As both President Wright and President Kim did in searches involving Provost/Dean of the Faculty Carol Folt, Kim has now signaled loudly that the search for a new Dean of the College will be a sham at best. From today’s D:

The College announced in August that Spears would fill the position vacated by former Dean of the College Tom Crady for a period of two years, at which point a national search for a permanent replacement will take place, The Dartmouth previously reported.

Kim cited Spears as a “very strong candidate” for the permanent Dean of the College position.

“I think Spears has done a fantastic job as [acting] Dean of the College,” Kim said. “We’re going to do a search but it’s hard for me to imagine there’s someone who will bring as much expertise and such a great track record to the job.”

Would you apply to be the next Dean of the College when Kim has already publicly anointed our friend, Sylvia Spears (aka Wild Dancer) — whose only administrative experience, prior to becoming acting Dean of the College, was heading up the ten-person OPAL office? Today she oversees 25 significant areas of the College with a total budget in the neighborhood of a hundred million dollars, including the entire athletics department.

I had hoped for greater integrity from Jim Kim in the conduct of the College’s affairs, as compared to Jim Wright, but it now seems clear that it’s business as usual at Parkhurst. The outcome of searches is pre-ordained, and energetic outsiders who might rock the boat are of no interest to the cozy bunch who feed off of Mother Dartmouth.

We can expect similar signals in the Dean of Faculty search. If they are forthcoming, we’ll see the selection of another mediocre insider, someone guaranteed not to bring anything resembling reform and innovation to a still-drifting institution.

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