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Paul Danos: The Sound of Leadership

Word from the inside is that Paul Danos was going to be the interim-President but he withdrew his acceptance of the Trustees’ offer following a day of reflection. Too bad. The man is the kind of quiet, effective leader that the College needs (not a noisy, ineffective one like we had for the past three years — and, if you don’t already know, not a quiet, ineffective one like we have now).

Below is Danos’ recent report to Tuck alumni. Give a listen. He describes actual events, measurable results, and above all, there is no bombast about rankings and world-beating quality. As a friend once said to me, “The leaders of great schools don’t talk about who they are, they talk about what they are doing.”

In the video, among other topics, Danos talks about myTuck, the school’s new, in-house, Facebook-style site for its alumni. The site was described at length on Poets & Quants:

It was only a matter of time before a prominent business school decided to do its own version of Facebook to better connect alumni around the world. Not surprisingly, the school that will launch its Facebook-like network is Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business.

Next month, the school will take the wraps off of an impressive and innovative effort to use a private social network to more effectively link its 9,100 alumni—already the most loyal and generous of any business school in the world—with each other as well as the Tuck’s faculty and current students.

“The most loyal and generous of any business school in the world.” Hmm. People used to say that about Dartmouth’s alums, back when alumni giving was at 70% each year — as Tuck’s is today. Isn’t it nice when independent publications sing a school’s praises. If an administration concentrates on materially improving an institution, it can count on others to do the horn-blowing.

Note: According to the Council for Aid to Education, which conducts a national survey of colleges and universities to document private giving, in 2011 Dartmouth ranked 17th in the nation with an alumni giving rate of 43.5%. The College does not seem to have publicly released its own update to this figure in several years.

Addendum: The other day Business Week had a laudatory report on how Tuck is using on-line learning to supplement student preparation for classes. Paul Danos is quoted as saying that “he believes his school is at the forefront of this trend, and he expects others will follow.”

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