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Hanlon on Kim. Ugh.

Phil Hanlon has lost a gold star previously awarded by this space after a weak-minded remark the other day at his Hanover news conference, which took place following his introduction to the campus (at 1:28 below, from a WCAX TV report):

Hanlon will take office July 1. He succeeds Jim Yong Kim who was selected last April to serve as president of the World Bank.

“He obviously was a visionary,” Hanlon said. “He really excited the campus, released a lot of creative energy on this campus, and I want to continue his work.”

Perhaps we can redeem this fluff somewhat by filing it in the “damning with faint praise” category. If Phil had chosen to avoid content-free words like “visionary” (does anyone know just what Kim’s vision was? I sure don’t — and I bet that Phil doesn’t either), “excited” and “creative energy,” and stuck to the facts, he would have pointed to Kim’s only meaningful achievements: the hiring of a great new AD and the Heath Care Delivery Science graduate program. Not a lot to show for three years in town.

As for releasing energy and whatnot, the only energy during the Kim reign that I could discern was the growing faculty anger that would have led to a no-confidence vote had Kim stayed around much longer.

Phil, a lot of folks would be pleased if you could declare Parkhurst a platitude-free zone. We’ve had far too much of that kind of talk over the past 15 years.


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