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BREAKING: Thayer Professor Jane Hill To Leave Post as Head of Allen House

Jane Hill1.jpgThe Student Assembly Executive Board learned last week that Thayer Professor Jane Hill will no longer be the faculty head of Allen House. Rumors are swirling around that she was fired by Dean of the College Rebecca Biron.

Hill’s supposed dismissal follows the unexpected departure in September of Biology Professor Ryan Calsbeek as the North Park House faculty member. After Calsbeek, a popular professor, left, students at North Park wondered whether he, too, had been dismissed.

Phil Hanlon’s house system is an interesting experiment in a certain respect: it is one of the rare places where the College’s faculty directly intersects with Provost Carolyn Dever’s (“Carolynclusion Deversity” to her friends) sprawling student affairs bureaucracy. In talking with other professors who have had the same unfortunate experience, it seems that faculty members’ spoken words, writing and other decisions are subject to an endless, fine-toothed-comb review by the PC police in the Dean of the College’s office. The army of sub-deans feels no reluctance to weigh in regarding the behavior of and the language used by Dartmouth’s professors in the context of their work with students. How they presume to have the right to do this is beyond me. The support staff should do no more than support the faculty.

The broader context here is that the precipitous departures of Calsbeek and Hill — they both left early in the first year of a four-year stint — will certainly give pause to any professors who wish to replace them. This chilling effect virtually guarantees that future House heads will be PC conformists in synch with the Dean of the College’s staff. Out the window goes personality, originality and any other characteristics that might enchant students.

And so the College declines in yet another area — one that has only begun.

Addendum: Watch Professor Hill discuss her innovative research in advanced diagnostics:

Addendum: For additional fun, watch Hill tackle a Buddy Teevens ‘79/John Currier ‘79 MVP.

Addendum: How can The D not have picked up the story of Hill’s departure?

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