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Administrative Gold and Lead

Comparing the materials coming out of the Athletics department and out of Admissions is an education in marketing. To understand that point, first savor this affecting, one-minute video about being a student/athlete at the College:

Lovely, don’t you think? We’re not going to admit to a tear in the eye, but in sixty seconds the film establishes a real connection with the viewer. Now read the leaden, cliché-ridden prose of Dean Maria Laskaris ‘84’s main Admissions webpage:

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Are there any phrases in there that don’t land with a thud? “Learning knows no boundaries.” “This is your opportunity.” “The Dartmouth Difference.” “Define success your way.” Ugh.

But the topper is certainly, “The return on investment will be enormous.” Eleazer Wheelock must be turning in his grave. Is that the kind of thing that Admissions thinks will influence prospective students? Or will total applications fall by 14% again this year?

My father always says, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.” The folks in Athletics understand that high school students fall in love with a school; Admissions thinks that a 17-year-old makes a rationale calculation. The latter observation is wrong in any circumstance: it is triply in error about the small College.

When Phil asks Dean of the Faculty Mike Mastanduno to assume other responsibilities, he might ask the same of Dean Laskaris. After her 27 years of plodding service in Hanover, it’s time for a change. We need fresh blood in Admissions, too.

Addendum: Neither Athletics nor Admissions use the phrase “Dartmouth College,” anywhere in these materials, though it does appear in tiny type in the copyright footer at the bottom of the Admissions page. Memo to everyone: Carol is gone.

Addendum: We’ve commented before about Admissions’ inaccurate and sloppy writing.

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