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Stuart Lord Finds His Level

Stuart Lord1.JPGAs investor Warren Buffett has repeatedly noted, “You never know who’s swimming naked until the tide goes out.” And so it goes with Dartmouth administrators when they venture beyond the Hanover Plain — soon for Carol Folt and Jim Kim; already for Silvia Spears — and now for Stuart Lord. This space raised its metaphorical eyebrows in March of last year when Lord hurriedly left the Presidency of Naropa University after only two years and three months on the job. Was he qualified to be a president? At the College he had bounced from job to job:

Stuart Lord left the College in 2009 to become President of Naropa University, after serving over a nine-year period variously as Dean of the Tucker Foundation, Associate Provost, and interim Vice-President for Institutional Diversity.

After being Naropa’s President (Academic staff:164; Undergraduates: 402; Postgraduates 617), Lord will now take up the executive director position of Boulder, Colorado’s Emergency Family Assistance Association, where he will help the 23 employees on the EEFA staff and numerous volunteers fulfill the organization’s mission:

EFAA helps those in our community where immediate needs for food, shelter and other basic necessities cannot be adequately met by other means…

Valid goals to be sure, but, ahem, a bit of a step down for a vigorous 54-year-old in the prime of his professional life.

In the case of Silvia Spears, she went from being the head of OPAL (then ten staffers, now fifteen) to Dartmouth’s Interim Dean of the College (total budget at the time: approximately $64 million) to the director of New England College’s newly launched Doctorate in Education program. She lasted nine months in that job. She is now the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at Emerson College, a post little different from her earlier role as the head of OPAL.

Academic headhunters will get the message at some point. Dartmouth is hardly a breeding ground for high-quality administrators — just the opposite. But then, anyone who has been in Hanover over the past fifteen years could confirm that point.

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