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Admit/Hire Without Bias

One of the salient ironies of the Freedom Budgeters’ protest is that while they demanded that the College have strict quotas for people of color and various other sub-groups in the student population, preferences in both admissions and hiring are forbidden under Dartmouth’s expressed policies:

Dartmouth College is committed to the principle of equal opportunity for all its students, faculty, employees, and applicants for admission and employment. For that reason, Dartmouth does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability, military or veteran status in its programs, organizations, and conditions of employment and admission. [Emphasis added]

These terms appear all over the Dartmouth website, including at the Office of Institutional Diversity & Equity, the Real Estate Office, the Office of the Registrar, the Dean of the College Office, and so on, and in every job application that the institution advertises. Does anyone seriously believe that the Admissions department respects this College policy?

As regards hiring, the College is not only bound by its own policies not to discriminate by race and any other impermissible factors; legislation prevents such action in hiring as well. Under the case law, discrimination can be shown both by evidence of intent to discriminate and by a clear course of conduct.

Over the last twenty years Dartmouth’s Dean of the College position has clearly been filled with an eye directed toward race. From the left below: Lee Pelton is an African American; Jim Larimore is a Native American, Tom Crady is Caucasian (though he was only hired as a second choice for Dean — after the position was left vacant for an entire year in the hope that an African American, Carmen Twillie Ambar, would accept the position), and Syvia Spears and Charlotte Johnson are African Americans. Looks like a course of conduct to me.

Dean of the College Comp.jpg

With the departure of Charlotte Johnson, a search will begin for a new Dean of the College. Will it be a fair search? Here’s hoping that the applicant pool will not be limited to people of color — though, of course, people of color should be considered pari passu with other candidates. Rather, the College should choose the best available candidate. There is a lot of work to do to make up for the incompetence of many of the past Deans.

Addendum: Former Dean of the College Jim Larimore could well apply for his old job. However, after his not-even-a-year-long tenure as Dean at Amherst (looks like he got the boot), there is evidence that he is not the person we need at Dartmouth — even though he spent a mediocre seven years as Dean here. Phil, you have to be be a demanding boss; Jim Larimore is not the man you want. Don’t make the easy/lazy choice. Please.

Addendum: A verbot as regards discrimination in admissions in the New Hampshire state educational system has been in place since January 1, 2012, when the legislature voted to end admissions preferences. The law reads as follows:

NH Rev Stat § 187-A:16-a Prohibition on Preferential Treatment and Discrimination. -
I. Within the state college and university system, there shall be no preferential treatment or discrimination in recruiting, hiring, promotion, or admission based on race, sex, national origin, religion, or sexual orientation.

II. Notwithstanding paragraph I:
(a) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as prohibiting bona fide qualifications based on sex which are reasonably necessary to the normal operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

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