Dartmouth's Daily Blog
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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The College Says, Trust Us
My Alumni Council representative asked the College how it could reconcile accepting an $80 million donation for an energy institute from Arthur Irving and the Irving Oil Company with the risk that Irving would influence the direction of the institute’s research. She received the following response from Meg Ramsden ‘87, Associate Director of Alumni Leadership:
That’s all well and good, but influence, or at least the potential for influence, is what the College should be concerned about here. Has Irving pledged not to give more money ever again after donating the original $80 million, and has he forsworn the right to monitor research and comment on ongoing projects? If/when Dartmouth researchers apply for further grants from him, his power will be significant.
You see, the issue here is less that Irving will wield a heavy hand in directing research; rather, it is that researchers and the people who manage them will shy away from topics that might trouble Irving. That dynamic is more subtle, but it is real — and these pressures are why the Irving gift was immediately troublesome to many members of the faculty.
That Phil was/is oblivious to such concerns — people present at his initial Committee of Chairs announcement said that it was clear that he expected a standing ovation, not the pushback that he received — says a great deal about his narrow, uneducated view of the world.
To choose but one example of relations that cannot possibly be free of undue influence, look at the College’s policy regarding relationships between faculty and students:
The rule is correct that in many situations a power disparity can be such that no possible unconflicted relationship is to be had. If so, how can an oil man possibly endow an energy institute?
Addendum: As I have suggested before, perhaps the Hanlon administration could share with us the energy institute gift agreement in full, so that we may see how far away Irving is from the operations of the Institute.
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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