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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.

IDE Program 1.jpg

IDE Program 2.jpg

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.


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