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Will the Last Senior Administrator in Hanover Please Turn Out the Lights

Beyond people who leave the College in a shower of laudatory press releases, like Senior Vice President for Advancement Carrie Pelzel, other senior folks are on their way out with little fanfare: Brian Lally, who was Chief Advancement Officer at DHMC, left late last year in order to become Associate Vice President for Medical Development and Alumni Relations at the University of Michigan; Roddy Young quit his job as Dartmouth’s vice president for communications after ten months to move up to DHMC in a similar capacity; and Director of Real Estate Paul Olsen retired quietly at the end of last year (reportedly after disagreeing with the College’s wild spending on the Hanover Inn).

With the departure of Jim Kim, and with Chief Financial Officer/Executive Vice President Steven Kadish and his wife Vice President for Campus Planning and Facilities Linda Snyder widely expected to follow Kim in a southbound convoy (Kadish/Snyder never sold their home in Boston; they knew a shortterm gig when they saw one), the College is experiencing a huge hollowing out of the administration. I for one don’t feel a high degree of confidence that David Spalding could soon be the most experienced administrator in the executive branch — if he isn’t already looking for a new job himself.

On the academic side, IP/Provost Carol Folt has staffed the academic deanship with long-time loyalists of noted indecisiveness (translation: they will do Carol’s bidding). Personable personalities are all well and good, but don’t count on them for hard decisions in hard times.

In the Dean of the College area, students can fill you in on the sterling qualities of Charlotte Johnson and April Thompson. The prosecution rests.

So what kind of institutional leadership will greet our incoming President? Or perhaps a better question can be asked: what kind of leader will want to come to a school with such a weak supporting cast?

Addendum: As this space has lamented before, if Jim Kim had taken as much care in hiring senior administrators as he did in choosing Harry Sheehy as AD, he’d have left Dartmouth in better shape when he quite predictably jetted off in search of his next prestige job.

Addendum: Rapid turnover in a young administration is a clear indicator of poor management. President Kim and his Boston cronies may well possess a great well of feeling for the world’s poor, but by multiple reports, they were not at all easy people for whom to work.


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