Archived post

This is an archived post. Please click here to see the latest entries.

« Michael Beechert’s Guide to the Stars: Biology Professor Elizabeth Smith | Home | Skate With a Date, Etc. »

Which Product Do You Want to Sell?

Of some people it has been said, “They could sell snow to Eskimos.” Actually, they couldn’t. No matter how good a sales rep, nobody can sell a weak product for more than a short period of time (“You can fool some of the people some of the time…,” etc.). And so it is at Dartmouth. There are two high level jobs open now (not counting the Dean of the Faculty, and, ahem, the Provost position). Which one would you like to fill? And where might you stand a better chance of being successful?

Try on the Vice President, Presidential Initiatives and Principal Gifts for size. Phil will have been in Hanover for four years in June, and a capital campaign has long been in the offing, but our President is still searching for a worthy to fill this critical position — I say “still” because I did a post on June 23, 2016 about the open job. Here’s the first part of the current Help Wanted ad:

Advancement VP.jpg

My June post cited a memo dated March 8, 2016 that announced that Michael Kiefer was leaving as VP. Wow. Phil is gearing up for the capital campaign, and the staffer who is supposed to land the big ones has effectively been gone for a year now.

What does that tell you? It tells me that nobody serious in the fundraising world wants to work with either temperamental Bob Lasher ‘88 or feckless Phil Hanlon ‘77 — whose administration offers almost nothing in the way of checkbook-opening initiatives or leaders who can inspire donors to be generous. It also says that Phil is a terrible judge of character — by all reports he still loves Bob Lasher, when all about him have lost respect for the man and his inabilities. Judging character is probably the top requirement for a senior manager.

By way of contrast, let’s turn to Tuck, where an Executive Director of Admissions is needed:

Tuck Admissions Director.jpg

Of course, the College receives many more applications that it has spots, too, but Tuck can offer a unique selling proposition: the smallest of the major b-schools; a tight sense of community; by far the most loyal alumni (as measured by the percentage of graduates who give money each year); and a sense that the school understands itself and is on the move upwards from its already comfortable position in the Top 10.

I’d take that status any day over the drifting College, where good initiatives die on the vine for lack of funding, even as tens of millions of dollars are wasted on a bloated and inefficient bureaucracy each year.

Addendum: Note also the distinction between the first paragraphs in each of these two recruiting advertisements. Phil’s bunch provides an overview of the general strengths and prestige of the institution; Tuck’s ad emphasizes today’s excellent student experience. Need I say more?


Featured posts

  • 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…

Dartblog Specials

Subscribe by Email

Enter your email address:

Help, Pecuniarily

Please note

This website reflects the personal opinions of its authors. Any e-mails received may be published along with the full name of the sender. If you wish otherwise, please say so.

All content appearing at should be presumed copyright 2004-2018 its respective bylined author unless otherwise noted or unless linked to original source.




June 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30