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Dartmouth: A Finance Feeder School?

In a recent D article noting that the College had struck out yet again in the Rhodes Scholarship race, an old saw re-appeared:

“My impression of Dartmouth is it’s a finance feeder school,” Rhodes Scholar Adam Levine ‘08 said in an interview with The Dartmouth in 2009. “As to the point of why apply to Oxford: Why would you? You don’t gain anything by putting your career on hold.”

Is Dartmouth “a finance feeder school”? We’ve addressed the question once before, after Andrew Lohse made the same claim in a widely reported article in The D (later picked up by the NY Daily News), but it seems that the world was not listening. The Dartmouth Factbook details the activities of most alumni (not all have reported in, but I assume that most people in finance have done so, given the customer-driven nature of that area):

Employment2.jpg

A grand total of 14% of alums in finance does not a feeder school make; the College has virtually equal numbers of alums in both education and medicine, and almost as many lawyers. In his piece, Lohse also reported that only 36% of students even participated last year in corporate recruiting. Unless a great many students are just slotting into Daddy’s seat on the stock exchange without going to campus interviews, it is clear that finance is a lesser option for the College’s graduates.

So where does the finance feeder school rap come from? Certainly it pre-dates the appointment of Tim Geithner ‘83 and Hank Paulson ‘68 as successive Secretaries of the Treasury. Perhaps its source is the Board of Trustees, grossly overweight as it is with big donors with MBA/finance backgrounds:

Dartmouth Trustees 2012.jpg

And as we’ve previously noted, the Trustees and their investment practices continue to dominate the news. I would argue that the Board’s atrociously bad press is also shaping the world’s perception of the College.

Addendum: Phil Hanlon might think that the Board is “terrific,” but in reality, its level of expertise in education is minimal at best, and the tenor of the group is hardly one of thoughtful reflection. Phil is on his own in guiding Dartmouth, unless he talks to the faculty — as he seems to be doing.

Late Addendum: On January 21, the Office of Institutional Research updated the first table above:

Dartmouth Careers.jpg

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