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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Take My Provost, Please
Rodney Dangerfield’s line (actually, he referred to his wife) [actually, it’s Henny Youngman’s line — mea culpa] still makes me smile, though a recent headline might put a crimp in a College outplacement strategy: the fake positive recommendation. Inside Higher Education reports:
One of the many little corruptions in the academy is the failure to fire incompetent people. Rather than give the boot to unsuccessful administrators so they might face their own inadequacies — rather than peddling them down the road at another institution — senior people routinely shade their recommendations (lying is a better verb) in order to encourage other schools to take staffers off their hands. Is this behavior indicative of a lack of resolve? Or a failure to rigorously insist on quality? Or just self-interested solidarity, i.e. I won’t do to someone what I hope they won’t do to me?
I don’t know for sure, but such dishonesty does not help our colleges and universities serve their students better.
Former Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson is a salient example. We poached her from Colgate, and as soon as she arrived in Hanover, I started hearing from staffers in Hamilton about the big mistake that we had made. After three years in town here, Johnson was off to Scripps where she has continued her undistinguished career. Phil had given her a gentle warning that her contract would not be renewed, and she had plenty of time and support finding a new position where she could work her magic.
UNC’s Carol Folt, formerly our interim President, Provost and Dean of the Faculty, would have been hard-pressed to find a sincere supporter in Hanover, yet somehow (you know how) she was hired to run one of the country’s leading state schools.
So what are Phil & Co. saying these days about Provost Dever to other institutions of higher learning? Are they touting Carolyn’s behind-the-scenes achievements? Are there any? The only stage center actions that she has effected are her endless diversity and inclusion memos.
The fact that Carolyn has not landed a plum job somewhere by now (she has been hunting for months) at her $783,890/year salary, incites the occasional vain thought in yours truly. Perhaps hiring committees out there are reading this space, and are using back channel means to find out what is really going on in the Provost’s office in Parkhurst. The answer that would are receive from the faculty in Hanover: not much of anything.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in to say that the line, “Take my wife, please,” belongs to Henny Youngman, not Rodney Dangerfield. Ooops!
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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