Archived post

This is an archived post. Please click here to see the latest entries.

« Capital Campaign: All That For This? | Home | The Really Rich Schools Complain »

An Alumnus’ List of Phil’s Phailures

An alumnus who actively follows the goings-on at the College writes in to catalogue Phil Hanlon’s sorry record as Dartmouth’s President:

Joe, Here is my list of the most obvious bad policies and decisions made by Phil since he arrived. Even the most casual observer could see these clearly. How could he possibly survive after such a record of failure? Can anyone identify a successful endeavor by our lackluster leader?

  • Many terrible personnel appointments including Bob Lasher, the failed Bruce Duthu appointment, and the Provost Dever fiasco.
  • His oft stated intention he would get tuition under control.
  • The huge announcement that he would remake the College into a PC mirror of diversity at the expense of its true educational mission including lip service with regard to teaching leadership as a priority.
  • The creation of an unnecessary separate graduate school in his not well hidden intent to make Dartmouth a third-rate university.
  • The unproven Dorm Cluster idea and the incredibly expensive and architecturally insensitive cluster common houses designed as social engineering and behavioral modification experiments neither of which are the responsibility of a true institution of academic excellence.
  • The 750-bed dorm in College Park intended to facilitate his erroneous and now failed attempt to increase the student body by up to 25% in order to balance his bloated budget and the self-serving recasting of that effort as merely a place in which to move existing students while old dorms are torn down or renovated. All this at the expense of the last remaining natural space on campus.
  • The stated goal of making the faculty and undergraduate body as diverse as possible (up to 50%)… at the risk of diminishing academic rigor and teaching credentials but with no mention of the administration’s diversity imbalance.
  • The unnecessary increase of administration ranks coupled with their inflated salaries, plus the unwillingness to make faculty salaries competitive with other Ivy schools.
  • The failure to launch a capital campaign in a timely and effective way and the disturbing and precipitous drop in total alumni participation and support for the campaign.
  • The failure to address the total uselessness of Summer Term as a viable academic experience, as well as any achieving any success in improving year-round class size and course availability.
  • The stated purpose of eliminating all single-sex Greek and other undergraduate organizations.
  • A complete disregard for the history, traditions, and true mission of Dartmouth.
  • His lack of charisma and an arrogant personal style epitomized by his unwillingness to listen, coupled with a my-way-or-the-highway attitude. His failed policy of giving every faculty member just 10 minutes to meet with him is a good example of this.
  • And last but not least, his unwillingness to take responsibility for his mistakes. Clearly, he exhibits none of the qualities one looks for in a leader. Has he inspired anyone?

It appears that the proverbial ‘snowball in hell’ has finally arrived on the Hanover Plain. It does not seem at all possible that a leader, and I use that term loosely in reference to Phil, could possibly remain on the job after suffering so many setbacks to his avowed policies designed to make Dartmouth a better place.

He must either resign or retire as soon as possible and let someone else lead Dartmouth out of the mess he leaves behind. It is my hope the Trustees finally have the will to make this a reality. The biggest challenge will be finding the right person to lead Dartmouth going forward. Even the choice of an interim president will tell us a great deal about the Board’s mindset.

Can anyone think of positive things that Phil has achieved?

Addendum: Behind the scenes, Phil continues to make errors that never see the light of day. Though I hear about poor decisions, I often cannot confirm them or get my informants to go on record. As such, consider the above list to be only a partial inventory.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

Just saw today’s Dartblog. WOW! That should open a few eyes and as you say… It’s just the most obvious poor decisions, the tip of the proverbial iceberg. How many more will we have to endure before Dartmouth sees the light ???? Keep up the pressure…

Addendum: And another:

Two more things to add to the list today: 1) Destruction of the original Hood Museum. Highly acclaimed design by everyone when built. 2) Absolutely no preparations or lead up to the 250th anniversary next year. Less than 10 months away.


Featured posts

  • 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…

Dartblog Specials

Subscribe by Email

Enter your email address:

Help, Pecuniarily

Please note

This website reflects the personal opinions of its authors. Any e-mails received may be published along with the full name of the sender. If you wish otherwise, please say so.

All content appearing at should be presumed copyright 2004-2018 its respective bylined author unless otherwise noted or unless linked to original source.




March 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31