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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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A Great Day to Downsize
We might assume that Phil’s very highest priority is treating the College’s staff well — a priority that he places before hiring young faculty, renovating decrepit dorms, and reining in the out-of-control cost of Dartmouth’s tuition. But if he puts any weight at all on the latter considerations, he might think that this is a good time for the College to slim down its bloated bureaucracy (up almost 50% in the last fifteen years). After all, the local economy is short of workers, so there will be jobs aplenty for custodians, cook helpers, administrative assistants, and even senior executive special associate deans.
John Lippman’s article in the Valley News contained the following curious sentence:
… the economic news is a mixed bag regionally, where New Hampshire and Vermont have lower unemployment rates but also lower growth rates than the national average. When it comes to unemployment, the Upper Valley — Grafton County at 3.8 percent and Windsor County at 3.7 percent as well as the cities and towns within them — have among the lowest unemployment rates in the country.
Umm, John, do you think that these two factors might be related? I would like to grow my own business in the Upper Valley, but I am constrained from doing so because we cannot find personal trainers, hair stylists, daycare providers, housekeeping staff and on and on. I’d say that the recovery is so strong here that we have exhausted the supply of people willing to work, and that’s why growth has slowed.
Many economists would tell you that 4.0% is the frictional rate of unemployment: the rate at which there really is no unemployment at all, just people moving between jobs for short periods of time. Look at the stats for New England from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
In short, we are not in a recovery after all; rather the growth of the local economy has stalled due to a shortage of labor. But if Dartmouth would trim its enormous staff, and use the savings to hire some bright young professors who would come here from elsewhere, several things would happen:
— Laid-off staff members could find other jobs and help the economy grow;
— New professors would improve the quality of a Dartmouth education, and by their many purchases help the economy grow, too; and
— As a leaner institution, Dartmouth would run better.
How about it, Phil? The time is right to finally trim the College’s wasteful bureaucracy. Does your administration have the nerve to do so?
Addendum: As we have written before, on average American workers change jobs every 4.6 years.
Addendum: The national rate of unemployment is far worse than that found in the Granite State:
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…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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