Archived post

This is an archived post. Please click here to see the latest entries.

« Frats, Sororities and Dorms | Home | Where in the World is Younsook Lim? »

Was Jim Kim Winging It?

An alum writes in about Jim Kim’s Chalk Talk before the Yale game, at which our President said how oh so important the arts and the liberal arts were to him:


The most scary part of the President’s “Reflections” talk last Saturday morning was when someone asked him about the Dartmouth library. He hadn’t mentioned anything about libraries up to that point —it was as if the “arts” in liberal arts means painting, music and sculpting and the new Arts Center and nothing more. He sort of scratched his head and thought for a minute and then said they were thinking about the future of the library, that big changes we’re coming, but no-one was quite sure what they would be at this point.

Good grief. Might they tear it down? One of the best definitions of the liberals arts I’ve ever heard came from a Dartmouth professor — a one word definition: “BOOKS”. One can forget about lifelong learning if one doesn’t have a love of books and reading that is nourished during the college years. Books — even the electronic versions— can change lives. Books contain the accumulated knowledge of humankind. As an English major, I was, to say the least, disappointed.

An Alum from the 50’s

Call me cynical, but isn’t Jim Kim’s response to any question about problems at the College always the same: important and innovative changes are coming, but I can’t tell you what they are yet. I am increasingly nonplused by these assertions of innovation. After close to a year and a half as Dartmouth’s President, will we ever see any substance to accompany Kim’s impassioned pronouncements.

Silverman.jpgNote: When alums like Rick Silverman ‘81 (right — really!), former head of the Alumni Council, lofts The D a softball letter of praise for the administration, it is not hard to believe that the loyalists are running scared.

Addendum: There are people in the library who know if Jim Kim was winging it in talking about the future of the library. If our President was telling the truth, then they will be proud of him; but, if Kim was gushing in his usual fashion, then people in another area of the College will lose their illusions about our leader.

Addendum: In an interview with Bloomberg in September, Kim said:

At Dartmouth, the goal is to reduce the cost of educating a student by as much as 25 percent, to $75,000 from $100,000 a year, and creating a ‘Dartmouth model’ for efficiency that is ‘the envy of the educational world.’

That’s a lovely goal, but given that wages and benefits constitute 60% of the College’s budget, and 10% of the budget is untouchable (taxes, interest payments, depreciation, etc.), we can conclude three possible things about Kim’s thoughts: a) he is going to fire a thousand of the College’s 3,200 non-faculty employees and then reduce compensation across the board in order to save almost $200M; b) he is going to grow the student body by 33% without increasing costs — which would lead to even more overcrowding; or c) he is just throwing out an exciting, crowd-pleasing goal, but he has no idea how to achieve it. What do you think?


Featured posts

  • 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…

Dartblog Specials

Subscribe by Email

Enter your email address:

Help, Pecuniarily

Please note

This website reflects the personal opinions of its authors. Any e-mails received may be published along with the full name of the sender. If you wish otherwise, please say so.

All content appearing at should be presumed copyright 2004-2018 its respective bylined author unless otherwise noted or unless linked to original source.




June 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30