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Breaking: Students Support Publication of Spector Op-ed, But Disagree With Him

In another example of how effective the College Pulse software is at measuring student opinion, the on-line survey platform rapidly gathered responses yesterday from 846 undergraduate students concerning Ryan Spector ‘19’s critique in The D of the Trips Director’s and Assistant Director’s choice of fifteen women and only four men for the Trips Directorate. A sample size of only about half that amount, 450 students, is considered statistically valid in accurately measuring the sentiments of Dartmouth’s undergraduates.

In response to the question, “Do you think it was okay for The Dartmouth to publish the article?”, an overall majority of 71% of all students believes that the paper was correct in printing Spector’s piece. However a fairly sharp divergence of responses to this question exists among students of different races, with only 50% of Black/AfAm student supporting The D’s decision to publish the article:

Pulse OK to Publish.jpg

However 78.6% of all students disagreed with Spector’s critique of the Trips leadership in staffing the Directorate — a result that again has fairly sharp differences of opinion among students of different races:

Pulse Disagree wth Spector.jpg

To date the composition of the applicant pool for the Directorate has not been revealed, but one Pulse query asks students to assume that it is known: “Assuming that the applicant pool was evenly split in terms of gender, the decision to select an 80% female directorate is inherently unjust.” A full 72.5% of students somewhat disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement, believing that an 80-20 female:male division was acceptable:

Pulse 50-50 Applicant Pool.jpg

Finally, two thirds of all students felt that gender was a factor used in the Trip leader selection process:

Pulse Use of Gender.jpg

What to say about the above? We can be glad that students support The D’s right to print a controversial article, but their acceptance of a self-evidently skewed end result in the selection process gives this observer pause.

But then, this stance should come as no surprise. After all, Phl Hanlon as much as told the assembled faculty that race and gender were the critical factors in his own selection of senior administrators, as he said at the May 9, 2016 faculty meeting:

My history in dean searches is probably relevant here. In my day I have conducted nine dean searches, all of them national searches. In every case I insisted that the search process generate a deep, talented, diverse pool of internal and external candidates from which to choose. In five of those cases I hired an internal candidate; in four of them I hired an external candidate. Of the nine, only two of the deans I hired were white males; four of them were people of color. So, that sort of tells you what I am looking for in the search… [Emphasis added]

Not long thereafter, Phil selected Native American Bruce Duthu for the Dean of the Faculty position, notwithstanding that Duthu did not hold a Ph.D, had a thin scholarly record, and had only served as the Associate Dean of the Faculty for International Studies & Interdisciplinary Programs for a scant ten months.

Addendum: Although there now seem to be a total of 37 open letters circulating on campus, virtually all of them condemning Spector and his column, when students can express their opinions on the Pulse platform, their views are more moderate.

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