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Capital Campaign Might Really Happen

We’ve wondered in the past when the College’s oft-presaged, oft-delayed capital campaign is going to begin. The quiet phase has been going on for ages — in fact, as they used to say in cowboy movies, things have been “too quiet.” Last we heard from Phil, the public side of the campaign would kick off at the end of 2017 “or something like that.” That’s a long ways from Phil’s inauguration: four and a half years. Frankly, such a delay gives lie to Phil’s assertion that fundraising has been going well.

However, the College’s Advancement office really is starting to bulk up now. The administration is using pricey headhunter Isaacson Miller (John Isaacson ‘68’s firm, the folks who brought us Jim Kim) to round up a large number of new staffers. Look at the number of open positions advertised on the IM website. Wow. Twelve directors and vice-presidents (is everyone a senior staffer?):

Isaacson Miller Positions Comp.jpg

Of course, this isn’t that first time that the College has sought to add to the fundraising ranks. Many ads went out in 2012 and in 2015, too, as the College rebuilt the staff after the Kim-era, cost-saving demobilization following the end of Jim Wright’s capital campaign in 2009:

Dartmouth Advancement Staffing 2004-2015.jpg

Bob Lasher1.JPGAt least, I think that the staff was/is being rebuilt then and now. An alternative hypothesis is that hot-headed Senior Vice President for Advancement Bob Lasher ‘88 is having trouble keeping people, and the latest hiring efforts serve only to fill gaps left by fleeing personnel. The word around Centerra is that staffers keep a low profile to avoid the wrath of Bob, who is just not much of a manager or a strategic planner. Nor can he articulate a vision for the College, though obviously that lacuna is not entirely his fault. A salesman needs goods to sell, and Phil is not doing much to help him out.

Addendum: Like any manager, Phil makes mistakes in hiring. Think of Provost Dever, for example. But his motto should be, “Hire slow and fire fast.” Once our President realized that Bob Lasher was in way over his head, Phil should have sent him packing. That’s what true leaders do.

Addendum: Speaking of firing, the real world’s rules live in the Athletics Department, even if it’s jobs-for-life in the rest of the College. After sharing an Ivy title in 2015, the football team had a dismal season this year. There’s a price to pay for poor performance, and Buddy has shaken things up, as Bruce Woods’ Big Green Alert blog reports on a Valley News story:

Football Firings 2016.jpg

Ball players are learning life lessons here.

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