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Nice to see yet another classmate do good and have some fun in the bargain:

Bill Holmes '79 Honorary Degree.jpg

Addendum: Bill seems to get around. Read a quick report that he provided in our class newsletter in 2009:

I’m in Afghanistan [as of November 2008], which continues to deteriorate from a security standpoint. Two times in the last week I passed through a location in Kabul less than fifteen minutes before a suicide bomb went off. Now it begins to be a bit much even for me—not so much about the risk, but because it is getting so difficult to get things done because of concern and constraint. The good news is that I had the chance to visit one of the most remote provinces in the north, and got in a bit of Hindu Kush day hiking. Such a pleasure given the restrictions in many places.

I head to Argentina end of this week in time to be the “ship doctor” for an icebreaker going to Antarctica. Nice change of pace and a nice place to spend the holidays. Afterward I will travel a bit and visit some friends in South America before heading back to Afghanistan.

Before arriving in Kabul this time around I was on walkabout—surfing in Bali, enjoying some great food in Thailand, and doing a bit of surgery (don’t want to get too rusty) in Cambodia.

Addendum: Here is the full list of honorary degree recipients: Mindy Kaling ‘01, actor, writer, producer, author, and comedy star; Peter M. Fahey ‘68, Dartmouth trustee, president of the Class of 1968, and a retired partner of Goldman Sachs; Frank J. Guarini ‘46, former U.S. congressman and representative to the United Nations; William H. Holmes ‘79, surgeon and global public health leader involved with more than 20 humanitarian aid organizations; Sylvia Kaaya, psychiatrist, researcher and dean of the School of Medicine at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and co-executive chairman of the Carlyle Group and supporter of The Giving Pledge.

A former senior administrator at the College writes in:

UPNE logo.jpgUPNE has never been a very successful consortium/venture and was losing money (all funded by Dartmouth) going back to at least the early 2000’s. I can’t imagine that its situation has improved since, largely because of the rise of online publishing for scholarly articles and small circulation hardcover and paperback books, plus poor management and out-of-control costs.

You may have in your library a copy of the history of the Skiway, a small 50-80 page hardcover that was originally published by UPNE in the early 2000’s. When the College was looking into a re-run as a possible donor gift, UPNE’s quote was in the neighborhood of $10,000 for 200 copies — yet a local publisher who runs a small imprint for one of the larger NYC publishers provided a quote of $2.00/book plus $2,000 in setup fees from a high-volume midwest commercial printer… that’s only $2,400, less than one quarter UPNE’s price.

That something should have been done about UPNE long ago — the consortium shrank because the other participants refused to fund their share of the losses — is unquestionable. What is sad is that Dartmouth didn’t have the smarts or the initiative to wander down Tuck Drive to find the smarts — to figure out how to turn it into something that actually made money. Duke University Press, for example, is active as a print and electronic publisher of books, scholarly articles and journals. They make good money at it.

If you don’t see the pattern here, you are never going to see it, for it is the same poisonous mixture of bad management and wildly excessive costs that afflicts the Hanover Country Club, the Skiway, the Hanover Inn, Dartmouth Dining Services (DDS) and any other Dartmouth entity that has to compete with businesses working in the real world. Of course, the same malady afflicts the College itself, but the school exists in a lala land where people will pay virtually any price to attend.

Start with bad management that allows slack workers to keep their jobs, leading to low productivity and an environment where high performers feel like chumps (so they don’t stay around). Then add a cost structure of over-market salaries, palatial health benefits, and long vacations. All that leaves a place like UPNE in a position where expenses are wildly out of whack compared to the private sector.

In the first instance, such an enterprise raises its prices in an attempt to cover its losses. Any undergrad who buys a snack at Novack Cafe knows what I mean. Above-inflation tuition increases might work for the College, at least for now, but real world customers sooner or later migrate to different suppliers. As a result, the losses start to pile up.

A further solution is to force customers to make purchases, as DDS has done. Prior to the late 1990’s, students were not obligated to have meal plans; now all student need to pay up to support the DDS welfare state.

Subsidies and enforced monopoly power last for a while, sometimes a good while, given that the College has an endowment that throws off a quarter of its budget. However, in the long run, a distorted cost structure cannot be maintained. Either an entity elicits additional subsidies from alumni (like the swim team or the Skiway) or it must be closed, as in the fate of UPNE and possibly the Hanover Country Club golf course.

When a poorly managed institution faces private sector competition, the situation can’t last. Rather than cutting wages and benefits to market levels and adopting good management practices — something that might have even appealed to the soon-to-be-laid-off employees of UPNE — the only option apparent to the administration is to shut down a money-loser. Everyone gets fired, and the world is the poorer for all the UPNE books that will never see the light of day.

At the rate we are going, in a few years Dartmouth will consist of only dorms, classrooms/labs, dining facilities, and libraries, and tuition will run over $100,000/year. All that in order to keep an army of low-productivity administrators in their jobs.

Addendum: Let’s not understate what we are losing with the closing of UPNE. Inside Higher Education reports:

The University Press of New England has published about 60 books a year on the subjects of the humanities, liberal arts, literature, New England culture, interdisciplinary studies and fine, decorative and performing arts. The press has also published a number of books about higher education.

The rugby team’s legendary Dick Liesching ‘59 (“Sir Richard of Rugby”) celebrated his 82nd birthday on March 10, and his son John took the below picture:

Dick Liesching March 2018.jpg

Dick follows the team’s exploits closely — including news of yesterday’s national championship. In a 66-20 win against the University of Nevada in a game played at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, Dartmouth won the Division 1AA “spring” title.

Will Gray ‘59 sends a message to the team:

Greetings, Coach Willocks.

At Dan Kenslea’s request, I am sending the attached photo to you.

Good luck to the D ruggers of 2018 this weekend, and going forward in all tournaments. The current lads are making all ancient D ruggers proud, and they should never doubt that they are in the head and heart of Dick Liesching and the rest of 1959 team every time they assemble to do battle.

And, so too are the lads of 2018 honoring well the memory of the great Corey Ford whose astute observation/dream in 1959 was: “Someday, somehow, the rugby team must have its own clubhouse.”

Will Gray ‘59

Addendum: If you are looking for the Olde Dartmouth in its glory, the DRFC is its modern incarnation.

Addendum: The team will next play Mary Washington University, winner of the “fall” Division 1AA title, on May 5 in Fullerton, California.

It’s been 80° all week in Paris — quite atypical:

Paris April 2018A.jpg

Have the French stolen our warm spring weather as an act of geopolitical protest?

Addendum: The tree blooming in Paris stands in front of the Haussmann building next to ours. That building is on the site of Victor Hugo’s home, and his likeness adorns its main entryway.

I’m hanging in Paris, but all of the action is in my backyard in Hanover, where Mama and the Four Bears have taken up residence:

According to various reports, as soon as the northern part of the state warms up, Mom and her cubs will be trapped by NH Fish and Game and driven upstate.

Two eulogies, both alike in dignity, but quite different. Peter Robinson ‘79 writes most personally about Barbara Bush in the NY Post:

Peter Robinson on Babara Bush Comp.jpg

And Peggy Noonan offers her thoughts in the Journal from the vantage of culture and history:

Peggy Noonan on Babara Bush Comp.jpg

Do Noonan’s historical comparisons (1213 words) bring you closer to Barbara Bush than Peter Robinson’s intimate vignettes (839 words). Which one is the better piece of writing?

Read them both and make up your own mind (I can’t quite figure out what I think). Both are informative. Both are affecting.

Addendum: While we are on the subject of writing, the Journal has just announced the Joseph Rago [‘05) Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism:

Joe Rago Fellowship.jpg

You can apply here.

Cheryl Bascomb.jpgAmidst its myriad failed appointments (VP for Advancement Bob Lasher, Provost Carolyn Dever, Dean of the Faculty Bruce Duthu, Deans of the College Rebecca Biron and Inge-Lise Ameer, and more people lower down in the hierarchy) the administration has made a couple of successful hires (VP for Finance Rick Mills and Dean of Admissions Lee Coffin come to mind). And now, mirabile dictu, it is possible that the new Vice President for Alumni Relations, Cheryl Bascomb ‘82, might be counted in the latter group. She replaces Martha Beattie ‘76, a chirpy, friendly person who was not a manager.

I’m not being charitable just because Bascomb is married to my classmate Dave Van Wie ‘79, an accomplished fly fisherman and writer and founding coach of the Dartmouth Women’s Rugby Club (who, like the men’s team, seems to win all its Ivy games by 30-40 points). Rather, Bascomb seems to be a strong, competent leader with real experience in the private sector (and she played rugby). In contrast to Beattie, a longtime crew coach at the high school level, since 2001 Bascomb has been the director of marketing and business development for BerryDunn, northern New England’s largest independent public accounting and consulting firm. BerryDunn has 36 principals and 128 professionals spread over six offices — a good enough size for a local firm, but not large enough to carry dead weight. Here is Berry Dunn’s profile of her:

Cheryl Bascomb is BerryDunn’s Marketing Director. In more than 25 years in marketing, Cheryl has worked for consumer product companies, professional service firms, insurance companies, and non-profits. During the course of her career, she has seen the best and worst of organizational leadership. She is never without an opinion. Cheryl is a graduate of Dartmouth College and serves on the board of Northeast Delta Dental, the United Way of Greater Portland, and The Community School.

Beyond that, Dartblog’s far-flung network of informants thinks the world of Bascomb. And the fact that she refers to herself as an “adult-onset hockey player” sealed the deal for me.

The only red-flag: has she ever directly managed a large staff? And can she whip a slow-moving office into fighting shape? In a year from now, if the same people and the same number of people are in place, we’ll know.

Addendum: Cheryl’s commitment to inclusiveness will be put to the test right off the bat. As we have noted in the past, the Office of Alumni Relations is skewed towards women by a ratio of 10:1 — thirty women and three men today. In 2011 that ratio was twenty-three women and one guy. Not only is staffing up 37.5% over the past seven years, but women are still being hired disproportionately.

Gender disproportion like this is a feature that people in the real world recognize as a formula for inefficiency. No need to explain why, but few HR propositions meet with virtual unanimity like this one.

Addendum: The only unseemly side of Cheryl’s appointment is that once again, straight white men seemed of no interest to the search firm administering the hiring process. They were excluded ab initio from interviews. In fact, in all of the Hanlon administration’s senior hires listed above, I believe only one person falls into that cohort. Phil has admitted as much.

Addendum: Several years ago the Alumni Magazine published a set of mother-daughter dialogues, This Isn’t My Mother’s Dartmouth, that included a brief but engaging chat between Cheryl and her daughter Rosa Van Wie ‘12.

After just about five years in Hanover, Phil Hanlon is kicking off the capital campaign. Yawn. The man really knows how to whip up a crowd, doesn’t he? The slogan is “A Call to Lead,” but more than a few people have opined that the operative idea at the College these days is “Calling for Leadership” — because there ain’t much of it around:

Call to Lead Announcement.jpg

The campus kickoff event will follow on the heels of a launch celebration in New York (April 27), and another gathering will take place in San Francisco (May 2).

Addendum: One would think that Phil could gin up a little excitement for the fact that the College has been around for almost a quarter of a millenium.

The Office of Communications has announced that the College’s scholarly imprint, the University Press of New England, will close at the end of the year:

UPNE was founded in 1970 as a consortium of institutions, including, over time, six to as many as 10 colleges and universities. In recent years, Dartmouth has employed all of the UPNE staff and the consortium was headquartered in Lebanon, N.H.

The press has become unsustainable to operate with only two member-institutions, says President Phil Hanlon ‘77. The UPNE Board of Governors voted yesterday to dissolve the consortium and close the press.

“This decision was not made quickly or easily,” says President Hanlon. “Dartmouth will continue to support the scholarly publication of the work of its faculty.”

“We are extremely grateful for the guidance our authors have received over the years from UPNE’s dedicated staff, including superb editorial support and personal service with high quality and attention to detail,” he says.

Dartmouth’s Office of Human Resources has met with UPNE staff and will work to assist them in identifying other employment opportunities, says Scot Bemis, the College’s chief human resources officer.

A Dartmouth faculty study group, to be led by Graziella Parati, the Paul D. Paganucci Professor of Italian Language and Literature, will be appointed to formulate and evaluate proposals for the future of the Dartmouth press. The planning group will present recommendations to the president and provost in November.

What to say? Another distinctive aspect of Dartmouth bites the dust in order to save a few shekels. Sounds like the golf course, right? Meanwhile the obese bureaucracy waddles around town gorging itself on the College’s resources.

The administration continues to cut bone in order to save fat.

Addendum: The College’s Diana Lawrence reports:

Dartmouth’s Office of Human Resources has already met with most of the 20 current UPNE staff and is working to help them identify potential employment opportunities at Dartmouth and elsewhere.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

UPNE is a big loss to the prestige of the College. They have not only supported faculty publication for nearly a half century, but have been enormously helpful in supporting alumni work, as well. Case in point… they successfully published a collection of Vietnam memoirs produced by the Great Class of 1964 as part of its 50th reunion.

The book, “Dartmouth Veterans, a Vietnam Experience,” edited by Phil Schaefer ‘64, was a catalyst for many forums here at the College, and the focus of acclaimed appearances on NPR and in other media:

http://nhpr.org/post/stories-dartmouths-vietnam-veterans#stream/0

The book was a key part of the enormous success of our reunion. It had to go back for a second printing. Without UPNE, this valuable memoir would probably have remained an obscure publication lost in the dustbin of so many fine reunion efforts over the years.

Perhaps Dartmouth can find another publishing collaboration to continue this important legacy of supporting the great writing of its faculty and alumni. This closing is clearly a case of ‘penny-wise… pound foolishness’ so often displayed by Dartmouth’s powers that be. It takes vision and the ability to discern what is important to the vitality of a superb institution of higher learning. Sadly, Dartmouth has been lacking in such vision in recent years.

Rest in peace, UPNE, and thank you.

Here’s an excerpt from a PowerPoint presentation offered up at the most recent meeting of the Board of Trustees:

Administration Priorities Comp.jpg

Of course, I am kidding, but the real point that we should take away from this simple summary (which is an accurate depiction the College’s policies over the past two decades) and from the recent report drafted by Presidential Task Force on Enrollment Expansion is that you can’t have it all.

Either the next administration (I long ago gave up on the present one) gets serious about achieving educational excellence in Hanover or it will continue its allegiance to an institution-sapping support staff welfare state. The only way to free up resources for the College’s myriad needs is to make very deep cuts in the staff.

When I posed this dilemma to Phil Hanlon at a lunch that my wife and I had with him several months after he arrived in Hanover, he responded with a curious remark, “Joe, I am going to raise so much money for this school.” Almost five years later, we can see that Phil is not going to realize this ambition. Cash is just not going to be available to achieve both sets of aims.

Either hard choices will be made, and soon, or the College will descend into an ever tighter spiral of decline.

Addendum: The first step would be to eliminate the 484 new non-faculty positions that have been created since 2010.

The Justice Department is asking for information from a select group of schools regarding their Early Decision programs. What’s going on?

As we have noted, ED has grown in importance over the past few years as schools use the route to both improve their yield numbers and, also, to circumvent the bidding wars for financial aid that pits schools against each other in the hunt for top students from the regular pool. ED has been criticized as the province of wealthier, better advised students — to the detriment of low-income applicants.

Under the general terms of ED, applicants can only apply to one school, and they must commit to attending that school, if accepted. But how to ensure that students are only sending in an ED application to a single school?

Colleges could trust their applicants (as if!), or, better still, they can compare names on ED lists to make sure that nobody is trying the game the system. This sharing of data is undoubtedly the behavior that is of concern to the Justice Department, which could well deem the activity a restraint of trade.

The Ivies have had their hands slapped for collusive behavior in the past — though it seems that they do not share the identities of ED applicants at present, and the College is not an object of the present inquiry. In 1991, all eight schools agreed to cease coordinating financial aid offers to applicants. The Overlap Group had been establishing Ivy-wide guidelines for aid, which, in a business context, would have been considered to be price-fixing. The Justice Department’s consent order set off an era that continues to this day, wherein students can pit schools against each other in negotiating the best deal.

In September, 2006, Harvard and then Princeton ended ED admissions. The hope expressed at the time was that other schools would follow suit. None did. The usual justifications cited above were put forward, but suspicious minds (moi?) believe that both schools felt that ending ED gave them access to a pool of high-quality candidates that might have applied ED at other schools.

However the opposite occurred — ED applications rose at other top colleges — and both Harvard and Princeton reinstated an ED lookalike: Restrictive Early Action (“If you apply to Harvard under our Early Action program, you may also apply at the same time to any public college/university or to foreign universities but you are restricted from applying to other private universities’ Early Action and Early Decision programs.”). Clever, n’est-ce pas? Harvard loses nobody to other private American universities, the school’s chief competitors, under these terms.

If the Justice Department forbids the sub rosa sharing of applicants’ names, do alternative enforcement mechanisms exist? Before we go there, there is ample precedent for the sharing of certain information between normally independent competitors. For example, the Supreme Court ruled many decades ago that insurance companies could exchange claims information — an action deemed in the public interest as it allowed companies to price their products more keenly, given that they had better information on the global risk profiles of their customers.

Perhaps the schools could ask candidates to agree to the release of applicant lists to the public, just names and zip codes for example, and in that way schools could police their rolls using public data?

Or maybe Harvard and Princeton will get their wish. No more ED at all. Which would throw the entire application process wide open.

Addendum: In fact, not all students accepted under the College’s ED program actually come to Hanover. According to the Dartmouth FactBook, only 96%-97% do:

Early Decision Yield.jpg

Dean of Admissions Lee Coffin responded promptly and graciously to my request for an explanation of these figures:

Good morning, Joe.

“ED yield” averages around 97-98%. The data reported in the Fact Book doesn’t reflect the ED acceptances who take a gap year; the Fact Book data suggests they “didn’t yield” (and it reports a slightly lower ED yield than is true), but those 8-12 students simply postponed enrollment.

Other reasons for an ED decline would be financial aid (a few every year are released on that grounds) or shifts in athletic recruitment. For example, the departure of our soccer coach pried lose one ED acceptance this year. We also lost a football recruit.

For 2022, the current ED yield is 98.8% (558 out of 565), but we have not processed gap year requests yet. (That happens in May.)

One other thing: Dartmouth does not share a list of ED applicants or acceptances with other colleges (nor do the other Ivies, I believe).

Lee

Addendum: The WSJ is reporting that the following schools are among those that have received letters from the Department of Justice: Wesleyan, Middlebury, Pomona, Amherst, Wellesley, Williams, and Grinnell.

A Dartmouth Parent writes in:

It is disheartening to see how the College fares in terms of desirability against the other Ivies. Parchment is far from 100% accurate, but I think it does a decent job of showing which side the pendulum is at. The figures do not lie here either. According to Parchment, the only Ivy the College wins the cross-admit battle against is Cornell. TGFC!

When my child was attending a few decades ago, Dartmouth was considered the fourth most desirable Ivy after HYP. Since then the College seems to have been on a steady decline on most fronts. What is happening?

Parchment Student Choice 2018.jpg

I chose Dartmouth over Yale, wanting a smaller, friendlier school located in a rural area, one that promised substantial interaction with professors. I later confirmed my negative opinion of New Haven versus Hanover.

Addendum: Phil worked his magic in Ann Arbor when he was the Provost there, and today students choose Dartmouth over Michigan 87%:13%. But give him time, give him time.

Addendum: An ‘18 writes in:

Just thought I’d put forward a few cents thought on your latest post. From hearsay from high school friends — and from my reading when I was deciding on schools — a major factor in deterring many students from Dartmouth (though it appeals to a smaller set) is the College’s perceived conservatism. The perception of Columbia and Brown as highly politically involved and left-wing in orientation has actually quite helped those schools, while many folks in my generation see Dartmouth as a bastion of Review types. We’re heavily associated with people like Ingraham and D’Souza, who are popularly seen (rightly, in my opinion) as odious figures rather than people like Kaling, Rhimes, Benioff, and the like, who might be more popular.

Why this is I’m not entirely sure. But I feel quite right in the statement that the idea of Dartmouth as a conservative, insular, perhaps even reactionary place is stuck into the popular imagination and is seriously hurting us with recruitment. (Again, there is a subset of students that this image appeals to, but frankly, that subset is smallish and tends to come from very specific backgrounds; you’d need to be very “yield-conscious” to exploit it heavily.)

Of course, the perception is entirely unfair. Dartmouth today is not the Dartmouth of 1932, when 90 percent of the study body, in a mock election, voted to return Herbert Hoover to the presidency against just 5 percent backing FDR. (FDR, of course, trounced Hoover by 16 percent nationally.) Dartmouth may maintain rather more ideological diversity than Brown or Columbia, which some (myself included) see positively, but nevertheless is highly left-of-center in aggregate. Nonetheless, we’re seen as conservative and backwards, and that is driving people away, including quite a few high school friends and acquaintances of mine.

Just my two cents. Not saying the College should try to embrace Brown or Columbia’s politics, just observing that in not doing so we make a conscious choice that makes us less popular with many students today. Of course, tides change; today Oxford and Cambridge’s parliamentary seats have the Conservatives third or worse, Labour and the Liberal Democrats topping the polls. In the eighteenth century many of those seats returned Jacobite MPs wishing to restore divine right and absolute monarchy; in the nineteenth, they returned resolute Tories; in the twentieth, mainly Conservatives. Perhaps the pendulum will swing back, perhaps not.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

There is some irony in today’s comment from the Class of ‘18 student…. aside from legacy admission denial, the second most popular complaint about Dartmouth is its tilt toward liberalism! This is a great observation to have… funny

Addendum: A member of the faculty writes in:

The student is probably correct that Dartmouth is perceived as being more conservative than Brown. The trick is to turn that to an advantage.

Trying to out-liberal Brown is a losing strategy. Turning Dartmouth into the one Ivy that’s truly open to intellectual diversity would be a way of building on our reputation for conservatism, while stepping away from its excesses. And no Ivy could credibly copy us — we’d have the high ground to ourselves.

Addendum: Another alumnus writes in:

I see that other people have discovered Parchment. I would note that Dartmouth has made some incremental progress in the most recent Parchment matchup figures. The percentages choosing Penn, Brown and Columbia over Dartmouth were all in the 70’s in prior years. At least we’re headed in the right direction.

I continue to believe that Dartmouth’s biggest challenge is that this generation of students strongly prefer the stimulation of an urban environment over a bucolic rural campus. In our day, Penn and Columbia were at the bottom of the Ivy heap. Today, students are flocking to those schools in record numbers. Of course, Morningside Heights is now a much safer and more desirable neighborhood than it was in the 70’s.

There is nothing we can do about our location, but the College does need to do a better job of selling it to prospective students. Of course, threatening to shut down amenities like the golf course—which plays to our strength as a rural campus—is misguided and counterproductive. And finding a strong leader who truly appreciates the unique qualities of our rural setting and small close-knit community would go a long way to help frame the conversation. The expansion effort was nonsense and should never have seen the light of day. If Dartmouth remains focused on its singular advantage — the best liberal arts education in the Ivy League — then applicants will start finding their way back to Hanover.

Another sign of the Hanlon administration’s priorities:

Institutional Equity.png.jpg

As I understand it, while a half-dozen or more senior administrators have reserved parking spots on campus, no members of the faculty do. What do you make of that fact?

Addendum: The faculty and I have been complaining about the absurd inefficiency of the College’s egalitarian parking plan for years.

The staff at the World Bank puts out a parody each year, and Hanover’s close observers of Jim Kim will recognize the object of the current satire. As we all did at the College, WB staffers wonder where Kim is and if he is doing any work. Of course, no surprise there. He is social climbing with the best of them, down to and including the Trump family:

Jim Kim WB Parody0.jpg

Jim Kim WB Parody1A.jpg

I certainly have no need to ask if celebrity-chasing Kim has any shame. We all know the answer to that question.

Sharks Circling.jpgWord is out in academia that the College is in a bad way, and our sister schools are taking advantage: a good number of professors are being aggressively recruited by other institutions. I have spoken to members of the faculty who have been approached out of the blue, and heard from folks about multiple members of the same department being aggressively courted by leading universities.

The Department of Economics has lost a tenured husband and wife: Robert Johnson and Taryn Dinkelman. They are off to Notre Dame, tempted, it seems, by Catholic generosity. It’s always a shame to lose a couple; one weakness of the Hanover area is the absence of job opportunities for the so-called trailing spouse. A pair of scholars, self-evidently, does not face this challenge:

Departing Profs April 13, 2018.jpg

Sociologist Denise Anthony is returning to Michigan after an undistinguished run in Hanover. She headed up the team that prepared Carol Folt’s utterly forgotten strategic plan, and when Phil picked her up as Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives, well, it was clear to anyone paying attention that his administration was to be little better than the two and a half Presidencies that came before him.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

Denise Anthony’s departure from the College on the Hill for Michigan will have the effect of increasing the average IQ at both places.

Addendum: Anthony was appointed Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives for a four-year term on October 01, 2014. On May 31, 2017, after two years and eight months on the job, the administration announced that she would “return to teaching and research as a professor of sociology.” Yet another failed appointment for the chaotic Hanlon administration.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

Thanks for re-opening the discussion on the ‘Brain Drain’ at Dartmouth. It is very real and accelerating. If I were a top notch professor, I’d be looking for greener (pun intended) pastures as well. It has got to be very tough to work under such uninspiring leadership. You would expect an organization whose avowed purpose is to produce the leaders of tomorrow would have the sense to have great leadership directing that effort. Apparently Dartmouth doesn’t get it, and a lot of great teachers are considering other options.

My gut and good old common sense tells me that it would only take a few of those disappointed professors to author that much needed ‘vote of no confidence’ that would fix the problem immediately. Far better to lose an incompetent administrator than to have many great professors leave for more challenging academic positions at institutions of higher learning that would graciously — and at higher salaries — welcome them with open arms.

Sometimes it makes perfect sense to change horses in the middle of a raging stream, rather than wait for the flood to subside. England chose Winston Churchill to save the world in the middle of its greatest crisis. Dartmouth College chose Phil Hanlon to insure Dartmouth’s decline, and the Trustees appear unwilling to do what is necessary before the damage becomes irreversible. Too many battles have been lost in the interests of saving face. Many more have been won because great leaders were willing to take risks. Let’s take that risk.

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