Recent articles

The U.S. News grad schools rankings are out, and while the College’s PR people might say nice things about our grad schools, both Geisel and Thayer are a long way out of the running among the Ivies. Only Tuck acquits itself well, with a ranking that I’d consider unfairly low, given the fine ésprit de corps that rules at the bottom of Tuck Mall.

U.S. News 2016 grad school rankings Comp.jpg

To give you some sense of context regarding Thayer’s position, the two engineering schools tied ahead of Thayer with a #59 ranking are SUNY-Buffalo and UMass-Amherst. Yearly in-state tuition at UMass-Amherst is $2,640 and out-of-state is $9,937; the corresponding numbers at SUNY-Buffalo are $10,370 and $20,190. Last year, equivalent tuition at Thayer was $48,120.

Regarding Dartmouth’s med school, the administration is rushing to unwind Jim Kim’s pie-in-the-sky financial commitments. As with so many things, there was a disconnect between Kim’s ambition and his ability to get things done. The plans that our departed President put into place would have eventually bled Dartmouth dry.

Addendum: Tuck fares better in other rankings. The Economist placed it in the #2 position last October.

Rumors are swirling about that Michael Taylor, the erstwhile Director of the Hood Museum of Art, has been dismissed — just months before the start of the museum’s $50 million expansion and renovation. This terse, somewhat awkward e-mail was sent out by Provost Dever yesterday:

March 16, 2015

Dear One Dartmouth,

I write to tell you that Michael Taylor is no longer in the role of director of the Hood Museum of Art.

While we conduct a nationwide search for the next Hood director, I’m pleased to announce that, beginning immediately, Juliette Bianco ‘94, deputy director at the museum, will serve as its interim director.

Juliette has had an impressive tenure at the Hood, serving as assistant director from 2005 until 2013, when she was appointed deputy director. Before that, she served as exhibitions manager, a job she began in 1998. After graduating from Dartmouth, Juliette received a master’s degree in art history from the University of Chicago.


Carolyn Dever

Taylor came to Dartmouth from the Philadelphia Museum of Art on June 1, 2011, where he was a modern art curator. His name no longer appears in the Hood staff directory:

Hood Staff.jpg

Addendum: CultureGrrl blog quotes Michael Taylor as follows:

This is an ongoing situation and all I can say right now is that: “I have left my position as Director of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College to pursue other career opportunities.”

The Boston Globe has picked up the story, too — in a generous fashion as regards your humble servant:

Word from Hanover, N.H., is that Michael Taylor, director of Dartmouth’s Hood Museum of Art since 2011, is out of that job. Dartblog, which seems to have a good handle on all things Dartmouth…

When UNC learning support specialist Mary Willingham came forward with allegations that UNC had allowed sub-standard athletes to take non-existent courses, Chancellor Carol Folt was quick to respond — by attacking Willingham so vehemently that UNC was censured by the Government Accountability Project (GAP) (“the nation’s leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization”). In addition to publicly disparaging Willingham, Folt and UNC senior administrators made Willingham’s job untenable. Willingham sued for retaliation, and today UNC settled her complaint for the sum of $335,000. Some things will never change.

Addendum: Willingham’ allegations were later substantiated in an extensive report authored by former federal prosecutor and FBI counsel Kenneth Wainstein.

Addendum: A longtime reader writes in:

It’s interesting to me that you note Kenneth Wainstein was a former federal prosecutor and FBI counsel - this is all correct. But to my mind, having worked with him in DC, I would have chosen other items of his resume to highlight such as being US Attorney for DC, Asst. Attorney General for National Security (the first in the newly created position) and then Homeland Security Advisor to the President.. but I guess one can pick and choose with these sleeve length résumés, no?

If the College ever gets around to trimming its egregiously large and expensive support staff, big-hearted members of the community should be aware that Dartmouth workers who are asked to move on will be required to do no more than emulate the regular experience of almost all American workers. Unlike faculty members who set their sights on a job-for-life, Americans leave jobs for many reasons, mostly to seek better pay, increased opportunity for advancement, the chance to work in a more supportive and interesting environment, or the desire to change the place in which they live. According to the Wall Street Journal, on average workers change jobs every 4.6 years:

Worker Tenure1.jpg

This information renders laughable comments by faculty members like now-at-Cornell Rusell Rickford, who scorned the College for laying off workers in the last year of the Wright administration:

In a move that set adrift some of the most financially vulnerable employees on campus, Dartmouth officials recently completed several round of layoffs, mostly of hourly staff members…

“Set adrift…”? That phrase reeks of both condescension and misunderstanding. American workers at all levels are well equipped to find new work. As we saw above, job-hopping is a common occurrence, and interestingly enough, in prosperous economic times worker “quit rates” increase. Think about that fact for a second: workers tend to change jobs more frequently just when their level of employment security is at its highest:

Quite Rate.jpg

Given that the economy is now showing strong signs of a revival — at my business in Lebanon we have numerous newly created, unfilled jobs — the College could take the opportunity to eliminate unnecessary positions, and use the savings to cut tuition and hire more faculty members. The College’s employees have other jobs waiting for them in the Upper Valley, and they are certainly capable of finding them.

Addendum: A close reader of Dartblog writes in:

Another enjoyable read this morning on DartBlog. It brought to mind an interview I read with Jack Schafer, a media commentator who previously worked at Slate and Reuters (now at Politico.) The interview, in November 2014, is right after he was fired from Reuters. Take a look at this passage (below). In my mind, he shares a perspective that is too often lost when folks lose work:

Capital: This is the second time in three years that you’ve been laid off, not maliciously but unceremoniously.

Shafer: No! It’s wrong to say it’s “unceremoniously.” The job is theirs. The job belongs to Slate or the job belongs to Reuters, not to me. The day that they decide that job doesn’t exist or they don’t want me in that job, there’s nothing unceremonious about it. We know this going in. We’re mercenaries.

If, tomorrow, you don’t like the editing or the headlines or the paper stock at Capital, and you want to do something else, it’s not unceremonious to give Tom your two weeks’ notice and walk across the street, so it probably shouldn’t be unceremonious for Tom to tell you, “Peter, we’ve had a great run here, but you know, I’m going to bring in Shafer to do your job.”

No one ever cries any tears for a publication when somebody leaves it for another publication. It’s inconvenient as hell to lose your job. I’m not trying to cast any aspersions about people who go through real trouble and real pain when they get sacked. But we know that going into this business, and it’s the way this business has always been. I would reject the idea that it’s “unceremonious.”

I mean, the way that I was treated at Slate for so long and the nice package I got going out, likewise with Reuters. There was never a better place that I’ve worked in my career than Reuters. If they decide that they want to do something else with their space and their money, god bless ‘em. They’ve been very good to me.

Gerzina.jpgThe flight of highly regarded faculty continues. English Professor Gretchen Gerzina, former Chair of the English Department and current Chair of the African and African Studies Department, is leaving the College to become Dean of Commonwealth Honors College at UMass Amherst, whose press release describes her as follows:

Local readers and amateur historians may recognize Gerzina for her book “Mr. and Mrs. Prince: How an Extraordinary 18th-century Family Moved out of Slavery and into Legend.” It is the story of slaves who grew up and became husband and wife in Deerfield, Mass., in the 1700s. After gaining their freedom, they built a home in Vermont. Lucy Prince and her husband Abijah, a veteran of the American Revolution, faced challenges including white neighbors trying to take their land. But Lucy went to court, personally arguing for their rights, and eventually won. Mrs. Prince went on to be a valued member of her community, and today is considered the first known African-American poet.

“Mr. and Mrs. Prince” was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Frederick Douglass Book Prize and the NAACP National Image Award. UMass Amherst’s dean of the Graduate School John McCarthy says, “This book is assigned in courses here and is beloved by students for its moving story, its local connection and its autobiographical twist: it relates how Gerzina unearthed information about the Princes,” which according to one reviewer includes her “obvious love of genealogy and research.”

McCarthy adds that Gerzina’s scholarship is “very well known and widely admired.” She is the author of two other biographies, “Carrington: A Life” and “Frances Hodgson Burnett: The Unexpected Life of the Author of the Secret Garden,” and the editor of three other books.

Gerzina, a native of Springfield, Mass., also hosted a nationally syndicated weekly radio interview program, “The Book Show,” for 14 years on WAMC, the National Public Radio affiliate in Albany. In the U.K., she is a familiar guest on television and radio, commenting on race and history. She is now working on a BBC radio series based on her book, “Black London: Life Before Emancipation.” Gerzina is also working on a biracial family memoir and another book, “The Black Wife in British Literature and Culture.”

Gerzina’s scholarly accomplishments include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Fulbright Foundation. She was the George Eastman Visiting Professor to Oxford, affiliated with Balliol College, from which she received an honorary M.A. The New York Times selected her book, “Black London” as a “notable book of the year” and as a book of the year by several British newspapers, including the London Sunday Times. Her book “Carrington” was also selected by that newspaper as a book of the year.

Fellow faculty members in Hanover consider Gerzina to be both a fine teacher, a rigorous scholar (characteristics that often go together at the College), and an excellent colleague.

Addendum: Curiously, Gerzina begins the bio on her personal home page, which later lists her extensive publications, as follows:

Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan to a white mother and African American father, whose marriage was illegal in seventeen states when they married.

She notes also that at Dartmouth:

… she is the first woman ever to Chair the English department, and the first African American woman to chair an Ivy League English department.

Addendum: Gerzina served on the Search Committee that brought Jim Kim to the College. The Committee drafted a statement that it entitled An Opportunity for Leadership — an inexecrably drafted document by any objective standard. At a public meeting of the Search Committee, I asked Gerzina what letter grade she would accord the quality of the writing in the piece in her professional capacity as Chair of Dartmouth’s English Department. She replied that everyone on the Committee was “very happy” with the statement, and would say no more.

A trip to Burgundy included a stop-off for lunch in Vézelay, site of the great Romanesque Abbey dating to the early 12th century — now the Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Wikipedia notes:

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux preached there in favor of a second crusade at Easter 1146, in front of King Louis VII. Richard I of England and Philip II of France met there and spent three months at the Abbey in 1190 before leaving for the Third Crusade. Thomas Becket in exile, chose Vézelay for his Whitsunday sermon in 1166, announcing the excommunication of the main supporters of his English King, Henry II, and threatening the King with excommunication too.

Azelay Interior.jpg

Azelay Cathedral.jpg

Azelay Plaque.jpg As we walked towards the Abbey, a wall-mounted plaque to the right also attracted our attention. It reads:

IN THIS HOME, ONCE THE SAINTE-MADELEINE DORMITORY, Marie ARNOL (Sister Léocadie, Director), assisted by D’Augustine RIGOLLAT (Sister Placidie) and Marie Thérèse TOTAL (Sister Marie), nuns from the Sens area; with the aid of several citizens of Vélelay, hid Jewish children during the 1942-1944 period. SHE HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED AS “RIGHTEOUS AMONG THE NATIONS” BY THE STATE OF ISRAEL FOR HAVING ASSISTED AT HER OWN RISK AND PERIL JEWS WHO WERE HUNTED DURING THE OCCUPATION.

Holy places are often so for many reasons.

Nelson Shanks overall compositional choices bear review: seemingly short in stature, Jim Kim (actually, he’s probably 5’10”) occupies far less of the canvas in his portrait painting than the figures of his five predecessors — an attribute that is striking in the paintings’ side-by-side display in Rauner. Shanks chose in no uncertain terms to diminish Kim — after all, he would have looked at all of the College’s other presidential portraits and seen that the artists painting Dartmouth Presidents Dickey (bottom right), Kemeny (bottom left), McLaughlin (middle right), Freedman (middle left), and Wright (next to Kim) allowed their subjects to dominate the frame:

Rauner Presidents Comp1.jpg

Some of these fellows were big men on campus; one wasn’t.

Addendum: Apologies for the poor image quality here. Today’s focus is on the overall composition, not the detail.

Clinton Portait Full.jpgThe College’s choice (or was it a wag in the Studio Art or Art History department?) of Nelson Shanks to paint Jim Kim’s portrait was, shall we say, an ambiguous one. Shanks has an extensive background of painting the rich and powerful, but it seems that he brings more than a critical eye to his work; as we observed yesterday, he likes to stand in judgment of his subjects. No more so, it would appear, than of Bill Clinton. Shanks spoke to the Philadelphia Inquirer last week; he described the clearly defined shadow on the mantle in the Clinton portrait:

Clinton was hard. I’ll tell you why. The reality is he’s probably the most famous liar of all time. He and his administration did some very good things, of course, but I could never get this Monica thing completely out of my mind and it is subtly incorporated in the painting.

If you look at the left-hand side of it there’s a mantle in the Oval Office and I put a shadow coming into the painting and it does two things. It actually literally represents a shadow from a blue dress that I had on a mannequin, that I had there while I was painting it, but not when he was there. It is also a bit of a metaphor in that it represents a shadow on the office he held, or on him.

And so the Clintons hate the portrait. They want it removed from the National Portrait Gallery. They’re putting a lot of pressure on them. [Reached by phone Thursday, a spokeswoman from the National Portrait Gallery denied that.]

Miss Lewinsky’s well-filled-out torso is clear enough in the shadow, as do the long tresses hanging behind her.

Clinton Portait Close.jpg

And Jim Kim thinks that he had it bad.

Addendum: An alumnus from a class in the 1960’s writes in:

And isn’t Clinton not so subtly giving us all the finger? And what about the portrait of George Washington; his face is cut off so he is not having to gaze on the president. Clinton is also holding a newspaper. A reference to his preoccupation with public opinion?

Regarding Kim, one could sum up the portrait as follows: a man in a hurry, ill-suited to his job, with Washington on his brain, turning his back on academe while gazing out the window in anticipation of a brighter future as the sun sets on his current duties, which can be defined as a lot of paper shuffling.

P.S. And a shout out to Art History Professor Churchy Lathrop, who taught so many of us, in the darkness of Spaulding, how to see.

Let’s play art historian. What do we see in looking at Jim Kim’s portrait in the Rauner Rare Book Library? A slight man in a suit that is too big for his shoulders; the jacket appears padded and oversized. He stands in a room whose high ceilings make him look small. He turns his back to the shelved books as if uninterested in them; he holds a sheaf of administrative paperwork rather than a hardback. He gazes away somewhat wistfully — is he bored? — to the setting sun outside. Or is he contemplating other opportunities?

Kim Portait.jpg

Of course, in this portrait, Kim has a fuller, thicker head of hair than he had when he was President of the College.

Kim Portrait Comp.jpg

All artists have a point of view — literally and figuratively. I’d say that painter Nelson Shanks understood Jim Kim pretty well.

Addendum: An alumnus observes:

Wonderful post on the Kim portrait. The artist has shown Kim in a suit that is too big for him — symbolic of being in a job that was too big for him.

The administrative paperwork clutched in front of his body could stand for protecting himself through the bureaucracy. The splash of sunlight hits on books well behind him — enlightenment is over there, elsewhere from him.

Addendum: A faculty members has a comment:


Addendum: Another alumnus writes in:

The watch on Kim’s wrist is also a nice touch.

Addendum: At first I hesitated to add this comment to today’s post, but upon reflection, I think my correspondent makes a good point:

Great post today, I really enjoyed it.

Looks like there’s even the Washington Monument sticking out of Kim’s head. More foreshadowing?

Addendum: Art-historically-minded alumni are having a field day:

One could go on and on! You can pick and choose from these, but there is really a lot going on! I love the Washington monument! No artist would do that by mistake. Pretty confident about that. And, to the right, is that an American flag? His left hand appears near-normal in size, but his right hand seems very small (even with foreshortening) and not really very manly. He isn’t just holding those papers in his clutch, he is protecting himself with them — really, that’s not a comfortable pose with which to hold papers — it is distinctly protective. And, finally, when a locomotive is drawn to show that it is going fast, there are typically lines drawn to its left to indicate motion — progress is always thought to be moving from left to right — all of the motion lines (rugs, books, that flag-thing) are showing Jim Kim moving from right to left or backwards. I suppose there is more, but that’s all the time I have now for such fun!

When Jim Kim made noises about reducing costs at the College (he never did; his $100 million “budget gap” was all self-aggrandizing smoke and mirrors, and spending increased each year), the threatened staff drew great support from the Humanities faculty. The members of that division and their undergraduate allies — Students Stand With Staff — gathered protectively around the College’s overpaid dishwashers, janitors and legions of administrative assistants, bureaucrats and deanlets.

Their Rawls-inspired ardor was perhaps touching, but it was most certainly self-defeating. The bloat in college bureaucracies is sapping the budgets available for faculty hiring; across the country, the Humanities are the hardest hit. Look at the progression in the number of available job openings over the past decade and a half in the core Humanities fields:

Humanities Hiring.jpg

If the College reduced its excessive staff, and aligned the wages and benefits of its remaining non-faculty employees with the private sector, it could hire an army of energetic, creative faculty members — including additional teachers and researchers in the Humanities. But, Professors, if you stand with the staff, you stand against your own field, and all of the additional benefits that it could bring to the world.

yik yak.jpgThe Times had an extensive story the other day on Yik Yak, the controversial anonymous-comment site that seems to have pulled users away from Bored@Baker — itself infamous for the aggressive posts that led to the shutdown of the College for a day under IP Folt, and the expulsion of a student from the Class of 2017, who published what was called a “rape guide” on the site. Yik Yak can easily be logged onto from cellphones, a feature that effectively prevents the College from blocking student access to it.

Contrary to general opinion, anonymous-comment sites have real value, not because cyberbullying and harassment are of any importance, but because they reveal what students think and say when they are cloaked in anonymity. Political correctness has effectively muzzled unpleasant speech, but from the content of these sites, one can surmise that disrespect and ugly sentiment abound.

Addendum: These days, Bored@Baker rarely has more than a dozen students logged on to it at any given time, as its own statistics show on the site’s Heartbeat page — open only to frequent users:

B@B Heartbeat.jpg

Addendum: Yik Yak’s content leaves a lot to be desired. Is this how most students talk in private?:

Yik Yak Screenshot.jpg

Money hole.jpgYesterday’s announcement that tuition, room and board, and fees at the College would rise 2.9% to $63,744 can only be interpreted in one way: Phil has decided to keep feeding the beast.

After the College’s 2014 financials came out this past fall, I was encouraged to see that total expenses had grown by only 2.1%, and that the cost of employee benefits had fallen by 1.73% (from $124.6 million to $122.4 million). In addition, the overall cost environment was appealing from the point of view of expense control: we are possibly at the start of an era of deflation — the Labor department’s consumer price index declined by 1.28% in 2014/2015. As we have seen, the majority of the College’s costs reflect the CPI.

Add to those points this past September’s announcement that the endowment had grown an impressive 19.2% — the second best result in the Ivies — which will lead to an immediate jump in the amount of money that the administration can draw for the College’s operation (though not a full 19.2% jump, due to the smoothing formula employed by the Trustees for budgeting). Needless to say, given the strength of the economy since the summer, and the stock market’s unrelenting strong performance, we can expect another positive year for the endowment this year — though not as strong as last year (what a shame that we didn’t divest from those oil and gas stocks like radical students suggested in 2013). As well, the price of energy (the College’s utility bill is between $15-20M each year) has continued to decline, and as the newspapers report each day, the cost of labor has remained flat.

So how to explain a 2.9% increase in tuition? I had been hopeful that Phil would make a resounding statement and keep the cost of a Dartmouth education flat. But that happy result is not to be, even though in early November 2013, Phil made a promise about his approach to spending, as reported by The D:

Hanlon also announced his intent to keep the College’s tuition rates flat with inflation. The cost of higher education has increased at a rate of 3 to 5 percent above the rate of inflation for the last 40 years, and Hanlon said the College must find a way to slow this trend.

“That funding model is unsustainable and very near a breaking point,” Hanlon said. “If we don’t get this under control, the next Affordable Care Act is going to be the ‘Affordable Education Act.’”

If we are to use the CPI as the base rate of inflation, if appears that Phil is making no progress. His 2.9% increase is certainly “3 to 5 percent above the rate of inflation.” But perhaps he is using a different rate of inflation, the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI), which last year grew at 3.0%? Sure, a 2.9% increase is lower than the HEPI increase (is that how Phil came up with the 2.9% figure?), but as we have commented in the past, having marginally better cost control that the sector of the economy that is renowned for its profligacy is hardly a reason to rejoice.

I hope that Phil will set his sights a little higher — or lower — next year. Dartmouth could/should lead the nation in reining in the cost of education.

Addendum: A stats-minded reader has a comment:

Your post this morning regarding the increases in tuition, etc. caused me to look at the Social Security COLA (cost of living adjustments based on the CPI-W), as compared to the Dartmouth increases for tuition, room and board.

Here are the Dartmouth “increase numbers” for the years 2009-2015:

2014-2015: 2.9%;
2013-2014: 3.8%;
2012-2013: 4.8%;
2011-2012: 5.9%;
2010-2011: 4.6%;
2009-2010: 4.8%;

Here are the Social Security COLA “increase numbers” from 1975 to January, 2014:

The Social Security COLA” increase number” for January, 2015 is 1.7%.

Here are the Dartmouth “increase numbers” with the corresponding Social Security “increase numbers” in parentheses:

2014-2015: 2.9%; (1.7%)
2013-2014: 3.8%; (1.5%)
2012-2013: 4.8%; (1.7%)
2011-2012: 5.9%; (3.6%)
2010-2011: 4.6%; (0.0%)
2009-2010: 4.8%; (0.0%)


2014-2015: 1.2%
2013-2014: 2.3%
2012-2013: 3.1%
2011-2012: 2.3%
2010-2011: 4.6%
2009-2010: 4.8%

Hope this helpful.

Dartmouth Now is reporting on the Trustee’s decision about tuition in the coming academic year:

The trustees approved a 2.9 percent increase in undergraduate tuition, mandatory fees, and room and board for the 2015-16 academic year, consistent with the strategy launched last year by President Hanlon to slow the growth of the cost of a Dartmouth education.

The decision follows a budget process that prioritizes robust investment in innovation and excellence as well as support for Dartmouth’s most important academic priorities. The increase is the same as last year’s 2.9 percent increase, the lowest in nearly four decades.

“The board’s actions today reinforce our strategy to develop a budget designed to achieve Dartmouth’s aspirations as a world-class educational institution and then generate operating revenue to meet those expenses, as opposed to seeing how much revenue we can generate and then setting the expense budget accordingly,” says Hanlon.

Undergraduate tuition for the 2015-16 academic year will be $48,120, an increase of $1,357 over the current year’s tuition rate. Total tuition, room, board, and mandatory fees next year will increase to $63,744.

The tuition rates apply to all undergraduates and to students in the Dartmouth Graduate Studies programs and at Thayer School of Engineering, which offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. Tuition at the Geisel School of Medicine will increase 2.9 percent to $57,731, and tuition at the Tuck School of Business will increase 4.2 percent to $64,200.

Addendum: It is good to see that the Trustees are getting out and about:

Following a successful trustee-student dinner in November, the board has continued its practice of meeting with students to discuss ways to maintain the excellence of the classroom experience and campus life. More than 60 students joined 20 trustees on Friday for informal discussion and dinner.

What with the talk everywhere about MOOCs, one might imagine that all college learning takes place in the classroom. Wrong. One does not have to have a lot of experience at a residential college to see the importance of students living and talking and working together. Look at the U.S. News ranking of the schools where the highest percentage of students live in dorms on campus:

Residential Colleges1.jpg

Phil’s new policies about dorm living are a step towards a return to the vibrant dorms that the College used to enjoy. However, he must go farther: let’s eliminate freshmen dorms and integrate students into mixed-class residences, and also give students the option of living for four years in the same building, not just in a cluster of multiple halls. Proximity breeds the opportunity for friendship and learning.

Addendum: A local alumnus from a class in the 1960’s writes in:

Here, I couldn’t agree more. Maybe the situation has changed in ways we old fogies can’t comprehend. I spent all four years in a great, central room in Topliff and never regretted it.

Addendum: A ‘15 adds an observation:

I found your mention of the correlation of undergrads living on campus to ranking interesting. I generally like the dorm living ideas you bring up, but I think that the hard alcohol policy might work against Phil’s dorm plan. In my opinion, it will drive more students (as well as nightlife) off-campus. 21 year old juniors and seniors are not going to want to be subject to probation or suspension for having hard alcohol in a dorm room when they can very legally have it in an off campus house.

Bernard Avishai.jpegLet’s not lump visiting profs with adjuncts. On occasion the College can snag stars because they want to be in New Hampshire. Also, inviting desirable profs to be visitors for a year or two is akin to offering an extended job interview. Potential senior faculty members can see if they like Hanover, and the College’s faculty can take the measure of a new colleague. I don’t know into which category visiting Government Professor Bernard Avishai fits, but his background would earn him a place at my dinner table anytime, and he has proved a very successful teacher.

Bernard Avishai Bio.jpg

Avishai’s latest prominent piece of journalism appeared last week in the New Yorker: Leonard Cohen’s Montreal. I grew up in the same world a little more than twenty years after Cohen. A person can feel old seeing the current events of one’s youth depicted as history.

Addendum: Yesterday Professor Avishai followed up with another piece in the New Yorker on Bibi Netanyahu’s speech to the Congress.


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