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Breaking John Sloan Dickey’s Rule

Back in the day (before my day), President John sloan Dickey had a rule that the College could only preserve its undergraduate focus and character if 80% of the students in Hanover were undergrads. Today that statistical benchmark is long gone; now the Hanlon administration even boasts about the growth in the number of grad students:

GRAD letter.jpg

Let’s do the math (and make some corrections for double counting): 550 PhD students; 300 Master’s candidates; 593 students at Tuck; 498 at Geisel, and 285 at Thayer. The total figures is actually 2,099 grad students according to the Dartmouth FactBook — juxtaposed against 4,410 undergrads.

President Dickey is rolling in his grave at the thought that almost one student in three (32.2% to be exact) in Hanover — as opposed to his rule of one in five (20%) — is a grad student.

In fact, we can no longer lay claim to having the most undergrad-centric student body in the Ivies. Brown wins on that score:

Ivy Grad Students.jpg

Our graduate student population has grown steadily since 2002:

Grad Students 2002-2017.jpg

Growth in the number of graduate students between 2002 and 2017 was 36.48%, whereas undergraduate growth was only 7.98% — and of that figure 5.53% occurred between 2002 and 2016, and the other 2.45% occured over the past academic year.

But, as a quick review of the infrastructure in Hanover shows, all this growth has not been matched by greater numbers of academic classrooms, labs and offices; increased dormitories, dining space and parking; and overall support for students and faculty. Successive administrations have made a hash of so much of the overcrowded campus. Will we ever see competence?

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

The College can easily reduce the percentage of graduate students to 28%. Just increase undergraduate enrollment to 5,510 (25%).

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