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More Wasted Money Out the Door

BURNING_MONEY.jpgThe College cannot stop hiring people to perform superfluous functions. For a half-dozen years, until the budget cutting began in earnest, the College subsidized the memberships of its employees at the health club that I own in Hanover. The cost was minimal, the subsidy relieved crowding at the College’s fitness facilities, and it helped faculty and staff stay healthy and escape the pressure of the Dartmouth Bubble.

The College still does not have the resources for this kind of subsidy, but suddenly it seems to have the cash to hire a Health Promotions and Wellness Program Director. Just what we desperately need at Camp Dartmouth, someone who:

Promotes health, wellness and prevention as core values of Dartmouth College. Provides leadership in the development, planning, implementation, coordination, assessment, and continuous improvement of a comprehensive health and prevention program to enhance the physical and emotional wellbeing for more than 9,000 College employees, retirees, and family members.

This position seems to have nothing to do with students, you will have noted. What can we expect? Group calisthenics on the Green for staff members who don’t have enough to do during working hours? Suggestions for expensive ergonomic chairs for our pampered administrators? Ideas about active recreation when union members enjoy their 5+ weeks of annual vacation?

What we do know is that Dartmouth College has survived for 245 years without employing someone in this capacity. I guess that there is nothing too good for the staff — even though we charge students the second highest level of tuition, room and board, and fees in the Ivy League.

Base salary for the Health Promotions and Wellness Program Director will be in the area of $80,000, though you can add another $30,000 or so onto that for benefits and other expenses. (President Kim, That’s about the cost of a new faculty member in your beloved Humanities.)

A Dartmouth professor writes in to express her concern:


Did you see this? What chutzpah. After cutting our piddling $15/month subsidy at the RVC, they hire someone at thousands of dollars!

I realize you have a conflict of interest, but say something in Dartblog about this latest absurdity.

A Faculty Member

From: “Madeleine L. Overman”
Date: June 29, 2011 1:03:52 PM EDT
Subject: PAF Announcement on Employee Wellness Director Candidate Presentation
June 29, 2011

To Members of the President’s Administrative Forum:

As you may know, Dartmouth is planning to implement a comprehensive employee wellness program over the coming year. One of the first steps in this process is to hire a Health Promotions and Wellness Program Director. A small search committee including representatives from the College Benefit Council (CBC) has met with several candidates over the past couple of months.

Since this position will be expected to work across the campus to improve health and wellness of the employee, retiree and dependent populations, we felt that it was critical to involve others in the hiring decision. To that end, as the final step in the interview process, finalists will be coming to campus to make presentations for a group of College representatives. The presentations will include 1) an overview of their background in employee wellness, 2) a preliminary recommendation for Dartmouth College, and 3) an opportunity for questions and answers. If you are available, we would welcome your participation in these presentations. We will ask all attendees to complete an evaluation after the presentation. This evaluation will be a critical part of the hiring decision.

One of the finalists (Jason Morgan) will be presenting tomorrow (Thursday, June 30) from 9:30 am - 10:30 am in Kemeny 007. We hope you can attend.

Feel free to forward this invitation to others who might be interested in participating.

We appreciate your assistance in this process.

Thank you,

Lynda Baker, Acting VP for Human Resources
Tricia Spellman, Assistant VP for Finance


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