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Psychobabble Qu’est-ce Que C’est?
Here’s a language I don’t speak, and that I thought the College did not teach. But, no. Some guy named Ralph Brandt will wing in from Chicago next month, at what must be great expense from the budget of the College’s six-person Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity (IDE), to offer the following courses for the staff. Any guesses at what exactly will be going on in these seven-and-a-half-hour-long events? You can be sure that no time will be spent on clear, concise prose.
“Specific competencies which create a sustainable culture change around inclusion & diversity,” indeed. The jargon/in² measure is off the charts in the above paragraphs, as I assume it will be in the workshops themselves.
These courses are evidence of the cultural divide between Dartmouth’s enormous administration and the rest of the College. Such a course description, if proffered to students and faculty, would be met with derision (at least in most quarters), but the administrative state is now a world of its own, with values and even a language that is different from that of the academy.
Way back in the day, many or even most administrators were faculty members doing necessary time before going back to the real work of teaching and research. Today, our administrators take themselves seriously. Professor Benjamin Ginsberg, director of the Center for the Study of American Government and chair of the Government Program of Advanced Academic Programs at Johns Hopkins, and previously a faculty member at Cornell, advances this thesis in great detail in his book: The Fall of the Faculty, The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters. Huge, self-indulgent bureaucracies are sucking the life out of our institutions of higher learning. Is the College going to do anything about the problem? Don’t look for solutions in IP Folt’s strategic plan.
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…