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Goodbye Inge-Lise

Inge-Lise Ameer.jpgWhen Inge-lise Ameer was named Vice Provost for Student Affairs, this space had a post entitled The Dean of the College Disaster. And now that she is leaving the College — with no professional forwarding address provided — the Dartmouth News buried the announcement of her departure in the second half of a scintillating press release entitled College Reorganizes Student Affairs Leadership Structure:

Dever thanked Inge-Lise Ameer, the vice provost for student affairs, who is leaving the College, for her six-and-a-half years of valued service and commitment to Dartmouth. The vice provost’s position will not be filled.

“Inge has been a key member of the student affairs team, serving in numerous roles since the day she arrived at Dartmouth, always finding a way to make a positive difference in the lives of students. Her ideas and her concern for students will be missed,” Dever said.

During her tenure, Ameer helped launch the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” initiative in the student affairs departments. In addition, she initiated and guided significant advances in student services, including the planning and opening of the Ross Advising Suite in the library, resulting in a 30 percent increase in student utilization of the services offered by the undergraduate deans.

Ameer also advanced campus services and access for students and other community members with disabilities, worked with faculty to create and implement the Advising 360 pilot program for first- and second-year students, and ensured the continuation and expansion of the First Year Student Enrichment Program for first-generation students.

Provost Carolyn Dever should never have placed Ameer in such a position in the first place. Dever’s nose for talent is as blocked up as Phil’s is. Competence and confidence have nothing to do with it, dearie; both our President and Provost look only for doctrinaire, politically correct, fellow travelers — and the College is the worse for it.

Ameer’s Doctor of Education thesis topic should have been enough to warn Phil and Carolyn to steer clear (Day-to-day race relations at Harvard College: The student perspective), but given their party-line politics, the tract probably enticed them:

Distinguishing this study from previous research on racial climate is its emphasis on exploring students’ experiences and interpretations of their day-to-day positive and negative cross-race interactions. Based on semi-structured interviews with seven African American, seven Latino, seven Asian American and seven white undergraduates, it examines students’ interpretations of these interactions, the differences in racial groups’ descriptions and reports of their experiences, and the strategies students employ to develop successful cross-race relationships. Data analysis incorporates two processes: drafting analytical memos (Strauss, 1987) and transcribing and coding the interviews and memos (Patton, 1990).

The study’s findings indicate that students experience a strained civility in their cross-race interactions in extra-curricular activities, in housing, and in the curriculum. Students arrive with different orientations: white students arrive excited about being part of the most racially diverse community they have ever belonged to. Students of color, on the other hand, are primarily focused on exploring their own racial identities with other students of color. As a result, students of color face nervous and awkward moments with white students who have little skills or strategies for living daily in a racially diverse community. Comparatively, white students experience students of color as not being interested in them. These factors contribute to tense daily cross-race interactions and result in students across race turning to racial stereotypes for explanations of these interactions.
[Emphasis added]

However, even though Ameer was hired, her performance subsequent to the BLM library invasion fourteen months ago should have resulted in her dismissal at that time:

Below is a transcription of the first part of Dean Ameer’s comments:

Inge-Lise Ameer: I’m very sorry about all of this. I know it doesn’t help, but we’ve received a lot of terrible calls today, too, and we’ve told them that they were all, you know, ridiculous, and that the protest was a wonderful, beautiful thing.

Geovanni Cuevas ‘14: Can you elaborate on that?

Inge-Lise Ameer: You know, people, there’s a whole conservative world out there that’s not very nice.

Geovanni Cuevas ‘14: They’re fucking racists. Don’t say they’re not very nice. They’re fucking racists. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to blow up like that.

Inge-Lise Ameer: I’m not going to say that. But it was hard. We’re on Yik Yak all the time and we’re constantly contacting them: Please take this down. Please do this. Stop doing this.

We fought bored@baker. It’s finally down. It took five years to get that stupid thing down.

And all I can keep saying, as I’ve been saying with students all of the last few days, if you’re feeling unsafe, and you’re not feeling that you’re getting responded to, then you contact me directly. And will deal with it, because that is not right, and I don’t want you feeling this way, I don’t want any of you feeling this way.

And I think that the reaction to the protest in the library has been, I think that it just displays our society very clearly right now.

Enough said.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

True to the spirit of “Mad Men,” the College managed to bury the fact that Ameer has finally been shown the proverbial door. While a simple press release stating “we have heard you and are making changes” might have served to signal that President Hanlon was finally focused on the “in the trenches” changes needed to restore Dartmouth as an champion of undergraduates, I guess we should at least applaud the long overdue result if not the obfuscated process!

Addendum: As does another:

I’m stunned by the information you gave on Ameer’s doctoral work. You can interview 28 people in a “semi-structured” way and become a Ph.d.? I’m in. That sounds fun, quick, and easy! Maybe, you’d all like to join me. The notion of drawing conclusions about how an entire group feels for the sake of policy creation from such a statistically small sample is laughable. How did she pick these people? Did she ask them questions that resulted in the answers she wanted, or the “semi-structured” answers she wanted? And by the way, Dever needs to go too.

Addendum: And yet another.

Hoo-ray! … nice way to start the new year. Maybe now, finally, the administration is beginning to get back on a better track. Did, me wonders, a reduction in “gift giving” have something to do with Ameer’s departure?

Addendum: And another:

Thanks for your reporting on the outgoing Vice-Provost and the Dean’s Office. While it is a step forward that Hanlon finally realized his mistake in splitting the Dean’s office in two, the real test will be if they get rid of the Dean of Student Affairs Liz Agosto and the other dead wood in Parkhurst. We can only hope that Dean Biron will work on improving the undergraduate experience rather than building a bureaucracy.

Unfortunately, Hanlon still is unable to provide strong leadership and vision for Dartmouth. Happy New Year and Kind regards.

Addendum: And another:

Thanks for your January 6th post. The You Tube video of Ameer addressing the snowflakes sickened me yet again. “I know its scary [for you] to file a report”… “Our new Provost is very much in support of all this” [ref. to Demonstrations]… WHAT????

Your post references a comment from Provost Dever that Ameer gave “6 1/2 years of valued service and commitment to Dartmouth.” At what cost per annum in dollar terms and total lack of ‘grown up guidance’ from a Dartmouth Senior Administration official? This “leader” should have been shown the door within 24 hours of this video being posted. Do you think that this type of non-leadership has had an impact on current Dartmouth Fundraising?….well, let me think on that…let me really ponder that for a while…I’ll get back to you on that!


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