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Which Way You Goin’ Billy?

Winter 2017.jpgThe thing about outgoing Board of Trustees Chair Bill Helman ‘80 is that he understands what ails the College. More than any other Trustee in recent decades, he has been out and about on campus talking to faculty, staff, students, and even the occasional alumnus blogger in order to take the temperature of the place. He knows the level of discontent with Phil Hanlon. The waste. The poor management. The weak people in highly paid positions. But he never could do anything about it — though it is not impossible to imagine that behind the scenes he averted decisions that would have hurt the College even more than the current disastrous policies. Now there’s a scary thought.

In any event, as he ends his term as Chair, Helman is offering the campus a chance to pick his brain — at a time when almost no students will be here:

Helman Town Hall.jpg

The original Town Hall meeting — part of a series of ongoing events hosted by EVP Rick Mills — was scheduled for March 8, when everyone would have been in Hanover. By March 15, almost all undergraduate students will have hit the road.

I would have hoped for better.

Addendum: In his day job, Helman was a successful venture capitalist at Greylock Partners. The old joke in the VC world is that it takes five elements to constitute a good company: a product, a market, the people, the people, the people. In other words, VC’s must be good judges of character. And yet Helman led the search committee that chose Phil Hanlon — ostensibly the fourth choice for the Dartmouth Presidency. How is that possible? Would Bill Helman have chosen Phil Hanlon to run a startup, or a division of Ford Motor company, where he is a Director?

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