Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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Studying the Humanities? Go Elsewhere.
Love literature? Fascinated by religion? In awe of the classics? That’s all well and good, but there is not much space for you right now at the Dartmouth College Admissions office, and even less so as the years go by. Word is that Jim Kim asked Admissions to make a greater effort to attract science majors to the College, even as students flock to the social sciences (chiefly Economics) — a fact that the numbers bear out: only 11% of the incoming students in the Class of 2016 want to study subjects in the humanities.
That’s only 125 declared humanists in the Class of 2016 — a drop of almost a third from the 184 incoming students in the Class of 2004:
You almost get the sense that someone somewhere sees the Humanities as ancillary to the College’s main goals (pre-med, pre-wealth?), or as a future dumping ground for people who can’t hack the sciences and Economics.
The Humanities division is where students (even future hedge fund managers) are most likely to discuss right and wrong, and from where, most often, firebrand writers emerge to kindle debate at the College. When moral issues arise at Dartmouth, it is the Humanities faculty that weighs in on the matter in question, often after much debate with students. As such, reducing the number of incoming humanists makes a material change to intellectual and moral life in Hanover.
Such a modification in admissions policy would seem to be part of the governance of the College, no? Shouldn’t the faculty be consulted about such things?
Addendum: Jim Kim’s sense that vocational training trumped work in the humanities still has people shaking their heads in Hanover. From Kim’s interview with the Washington Post:
I find it astounding that a man with so little understanding of the liberal arts could have been hired as Dartmouth’s President.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
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…