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A Star Shines Brighter

Matt Slaughter2.jpgI expect that the powers at the College hesitated slightly in picking a Dartmouth insider to replace Paul Danos as the Dean of the Tuck School — the reasoning being that perhaps an outsider would bring fresh thinking to the school — but Matt Slaughter’s performance to date has dispelled all doubts. The guy is the real deal: whipsmart, articulate, well prepared, and above all, an original mind. In an hour-long lecture followed by an hour of Q&A on July 22 at the summer’s OSHER/ILLEAD event (a series of lectures on The Future of American Power and Influence), he had intellectual star power.

My favorite response during Slaughter’s presentation was his comment on global warming. He said that while the scientific jury might be out on the reality of the threat, any time that humanity faces an existential challenge, we would do well to take the subject seriously. He likened his position to his choice to take fire insurance on his home. He wasn’t expecting a fire, but the consequences of one were so severe that preparation was in order nonetheless.

Slaughter is a top-flight scholar. He has published 28 articles that have been cited over one hundred times by other economists in their own work; five of those articles have been cited over five hundred times.

In keeping with our oft-stated theme that the College’s best researchers are more often than not our best teachers, Slaughter received John M. Manley Huntington Teaching Award for undergraduate teaching in 2001, and in 2012 he received Tuck’s Class of 2011 Teaching Excellence Award.

When Phil decides to depart the Hanover Plain, Slaughter will be in his mid-50’s. Dartmouth’s next President?

Addendum: The above portrait of Slaughter comes from the OSHER catalog; it is more flattering that the one that the College’s website recently chose to display (below left). The latter image makes Matt look a lot like Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman.

Matt Slaughter Comp.jpg

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