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The Inevitable President Folt?
The faculty is passing around a rumor that the members of the Presidential Search Committee are coalescing around IP Folt as the College’s next President. Of course, that’s no surprise to readers of this space: we’ve had two posts (here and here) pointing to this sad eventuality. After all, Carol’s fingerprints are all over the members of the search committee, including that of her little finger, around which she so deftly twists our over-confident and inexperienced Trustees.
Search Committee Chair Bill Helman ‘80 boasts that he’s already met with a couple of dozen presidents and provosts of leading institutions, and he goes on and on in a TEDx video about his love for founders. How can he not see that Folt is the very definition of a third-rater: if you don’t draw that conclusion from talking to her, Folt’s record is clear: an absence of achievement over the past decade at the College? In fact, the situation is worse than that; her lack of imagination causes her to impede the achievement of others.
What can be done? Count out students and the alumni in this round of “Let’s try and improve Dartmouth in the face the the Trustees’ overwhelming cluelessness.” Undergrads don’t have a nose for talent, and alums are too far from the scene to have an opinion. Most alumni have only seen IP Folt on one or two carefully scripted occasions.
Will the faculty rouse themselves to action? Their track record — other than last spring’s ripple of contentiousness regarding the Kim/Folt budget charade — is one of passivity. We’ve looked at the reasons for professors’ lack of involvement in the life of the College. Will things change now, when they stare frankly at the possibility of a decade or more under soon-to-be-President Carol Folt?
Word is that Bill Helman has had revealing conversations over the past few months as he has canvassed various members of the faculty about the state of the College. He has been surprised — further proof of Trustee fecklessness — by the deep faculty disdain for Jim Kim. He might re-visit his contacts and ask their view about Carol.
Beyond that, what can the faculty do, other than go public? Perhaps a well publicized Anybody But Carol letter will put the Trustees on notice? 200 signatures from tenured professors is a nice round number. It would certainly make the news. And we know that our image-obsessed Trustees react to embarrassments like that.
Addendum: There are great candidates for the Dartmouth Presidency out there — and even a few in Hanover — but if the faculty is talking about Carol being the heir apparent, then you know that candidates are hearing the same thing. For the good of the institution, Folt has to be taken out of the running soon; otherwise, she might be the only applicant for the job.
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…
August 23, 2009
Fare Thee Well, Tom Crady
And now Dean Tom Crady has precipitously announced his departure from the College after only 20 months on the job. How to read this? By way of background, prior to coming to Dartmouth, Crady had…
May 31, 2009
Kangaroo Court, Indeed
In an interview with The Dartmouth, alumni-elected trustee T.J. Rodgers ‘70 explained his reasons for declining to participate in future evaluations of trustees up for “re-election,” namely the “kangaroo court” nature of such discussion in…