Archived post

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

« The Campaign Goals | Home | Who Wants to Be a Billionaire? »

Govy Star Brendan Nyhan to Michigan

Brendan Nyhan.jpgI wish that today’s post were fake news, but it isn’t. Hot on the heels of Hany Farid’s departure to Berkeley, the Government department is now losing one its brightest young stars, Brendan Nyhan (so bright that the department made him a full professor with astonishing speed). He’s leaving for Michigan.

Nyhan has been in Hanover since 2011, and he understands the special place that the College occupies in higher education, as he told The D in an interview on January 24, 2017:

What was most attractive about Dartmouth was the combination of being able to teach really bright undergraduates in small classes and also have a top-tier research faculty. The teacher-scholar model was especially appealing to me because I went to Swarthmore as an undergraduate and I believe in liberal arts education, but I also have research aspirations and Dartmouth seemed like a place where I could fulfill both of those goals…

The Dartmouth ideal is someone who is committed to teaching — particularly to undergraduate teaching — while also being an active participant in their research field as well as a contributor to the collective knowledge that academia hopefully produces. The professional system in higher education tends to drive people toward one of those two roles. Most professors are focused on teaching while there’s a small set of people who are focused on research. It’s sometimes difficult to balance those roles or to find places that encourage you to do both the way Dartmouth does. I think the teacher-scholar model is something that is genuinely unique about the College. It’s one of the most appealing aspects of this institution to me.

And yet Nyhan is now off to mega-University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Uh, Phil?

Brendan Nyhan Michigan1.jpg

A huge get for Michigan. Just enormous. A huge loss for Dartmouth. Just enormous.

Nyhan’s work has focused on the manipulation of information in the media — a more relevant subject is hard to find — and he has always been an equal opportunity critic: the right and the left have both been subject to piercing criticism for distortions of the truth. In addition to being a prolific and widely cited researcher, Nyhan has written dozens of Upshot columns for the New York Times since 2014.

Addendum: Phil Hanlon’s policy with the faculty has been clear: ‘If you want a serious raise, show me an offer from another school.’ Obviously, that message has set members of the faculty to hunting, and as I have predicted, a good number of them will like what they find at other institutions. I know several professors who are entertaining attractive offers right now — as smart schools try to poach our crown jewels, too. They recognize a teetering college when they see it.

Addendum: The College does not publicize the departure of faculty members. Please write to me if you learn that a professor is leaving Hanover.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in to note that Brendan Nyhan served as a RWJ Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan from 2009-2011.

Addendum: The D now has a report on Nyhan’s departure.


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.




June 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