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Good Luck, Harvard

To transpose to local conditions a common New Zealand phrase: “I have two favorite teams: Dartmouth and anybody playing Harvard.” Having said that, I would not wish Jim Kim on my worst enemy, and certainly not on Harvard as its president. But it seems that Kim is in the running for the top job in Cambridge — despite the opprobrium heaped on him in Hanover (all show, incompetent, dishonest), and the angry reaction of staffers at the World Bank (only concerned about “optics,” playing favorites, clueless about management):

Kim Harvard President.jpg

Recall that Kim, with the help of his golfing buddy, engineered an anticipatory re-appointment to the World Bank’s Presidency a full ten months before his first term was up, and more importantly, three months before the U.S. elections in 2016. So he’s now only six months into his second, five-year term. But, really, it should be no surprise that ambitious Kim is already job hunting. Recall the words of valedictorian Wills Begor ‘12 at his Commencement. He noted in his address that during his time as a student in Hanover:

“Dr. Jim Yong Kim became the 17th president of Dartmouth College, Jim Yong Kim became the president of the World Bank, and word on the street is he’s already looking for the next big job.

I expect that Harvard will not be duped. As part of the hiring process in Cambridge, numerous people from Dartmouth will be invited to share their views of Kim — as was done when Jim Freedman threw his hat into the ring for the Harvard presidency many years ago. The hiring committee will get an earful from guests driving down from the College.

Addendum: Harvard’s next President is going to have a serious issue with which to contend — Department of Justice Threatens Lawsuit Against Harvard in Admissions Probe:

The U.S. Department of Justice is threatening to file a lawsuit against Harvard unless the school hands over student records, a request the Department made as part of its ongoing investigation into allegations of racial discrimination in the College’s admissions processes.

In a letter to Harvard’s lawyers first obtained by The Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department stated that its Civil Rights Division is investigating the University for allegedly violating Title VI, which prohibits race-based discrimination in programs receiving federal funding.

The Justice Department’s probe into allegations that Harvard’s admissions processes unfairly disadvantage Asian-American applicants came to light in August. But the investigation has stalled as Harvard has refused to turn over “a single document” to the government, according to a Nov. 17 letter from John M. Gore, acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division. [Emphasis added]

Addendum: A wry reader writes in:

It insults my intelligence® that HMS Dean Daley considers Jim Kim to be a candidate of the same caliber as Eric Lander, who is indeed a Real Life Scientist Big Time. Jim Kim is at best an inefficient bureaucrat. But we know all that, and hopefully Harvard does or will too.

Of course it’s important to include a non-white candidate with Harvard ties even if he is literally the most unqualified contender possible. Speaking of nominal diversity, I find it amusing that George Q. Daley couldn’t come up with a single female life scientist worth including in the under-20 list. Or would a thought of having two female Harvard presidents in a row be too much for some? Must be classic toxic masculinity from male chauvinist pigs ;)


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