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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.
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
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October 9, 2009
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September 4, 2009
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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…