Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
I guess that Phil thinks that fundraising and administration are going so well in Hanover that he can take on an extracurricular activity: he has just joined the educational advisory board of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for a four-year term:
The Guggenehim board is made up of university professors, a smattering of artists and writers, Phil and Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust. Dartmouth Trustee Annette Gordon-Reed joined the board this year, too.
Addendum: Ecclesiastes 1:2: “All is vanity.”
Addendum: Phil is now about at the end of his Arctic trip with Environmental Science Professor Ross Virginia.
College counsel Bob Donin, Dartmouth’s top lawyer, has announced his retirement, effective June 30, 2017. A 1971 graduate of Colgate, which would make him about 66 or 67 years of age today, he has been at the College for sixteen years, having previously worked at a small school in Cambridge. The General Counsel’s office currently comprises Donin, four attorneys and three assistants.
I have interacted obliquely with Donin on a couple of occasions, when College entities have reflexively refused to allow advertising by my health club business on the grounds that the College is a competitor. I wrote to the folks concerned, with a copy to Bob, letting them know that they don’t compete with my company because as a non-profit they don’t and can’t compete with a private sector business (not if they want to keep their tax-free status). Bob sorted things out in short order.
Though it is tough to know how much Bob has been involved, the Counsel’s office has a reputation among many members of the faculty for not allowing anyone to run the slightest legal risk. As we have noted, at least until recently the College has cut down much loved river ropeswings almost as fast as students can put them up; and softball games, when rarely played on the Green, have two levels of defensive perimeter. Sheesh. Rather than playing CYA all day, the College’s lawyers could take a more real world approach to student activities.
Donin was fairly compensated for his work, earning $509,904 in the 2014 calendar year. That made him the eleventh most highly paid employee of the College:
Actually, such a salary is modest for the senior lawyer in an operation with expenses that totaled $891,428,000 in 2015. In New York the current going rate at top law firms for fresh-from-law-school, first-year associates is $180,000.
Addendum: A former member of the College’s Board of Trustees writes in:
Donin always struck me as an exception to the usual “yes men and women” in Hanover — one of the few administration officials who didn’t treat petition trustees as evil incarnate. Though he obviously couldn’t say so, I think he understood that we were doing our part to make Dartmouth an even better place for students and faculty. The College was fortunate to have such a skilled and fair-minded person as Donin handling its legal affairs over the last sixteen years.
Addendum: A senior faculty member writes in:
I can’t comment on Bob Donin’s legal work for the College per se, but I can say that he was always a pleasure to work with: reasonable, informed, and never confrontational. I think I can say that he was a gentleman in the best senses of that word.
A sparklingly new FieldTurf surface is just a metaphor for the ongoing turnaround in Athletics. Harry Sheehy is culling the ranks of his coaches, and he is doing so despite taking heat for dismissing veterans like Chris Wielgus, Amy Patton and Mark Hudak. No guts, no glory applies off the field as well as on:
I went by Floren to say hello to my classmate Buddy Teevens ‘79, and I had a chat, too, with Drew Galbraith, who is Senior Associate Athletics Director for Peak Performance — the DP2 program. How nice to get a sense of intense purposefulness in interactions with both of them, and I felt the same sentiment in crossing paths with other people in the immaculately clean fieldhouse. The routine greetings from everyone and the seriousness that is in the air can’t but confirm that every aspect of the athletics program is seeking to meet a high standard. Bravo.
Addendum: Tuck is at the top of its game, as usual, and Thayer is on the ascent. If Harry Sheehy can turn around the mess that Josie Harper bequeathed him in Athletics, then a real leader could turn around the College, too. What a shame that the Trustees are such poor judges of talent.
Here’s a little primer on how the world really works. Jim Kim is currently rowing furiously to keep his job at the World Bank. His five-year term ends next summer. One step his PR folks have taken is to generate a laudatory profile by a sympathetic journalist. But when journalists do research, their activities become known to others.
As a result, when the World Bank employee association learned that the Guardian was about to come out with Andrew Rice’s puff piece, it rushed out its own public letter critical of Kim, which was duly reported on by the unsympathetic-to-Kim Financial Times — thereby pre-empting the Guardian piece that came out the following day. As they say, the battle is joined.
Perhaps you take issue with my characterization of the Guardian profile? Why don’t we put that assertion to the test. Here is the entire section in the article about Jim Kim’s time as Dartmouth’s President. We all know something about that. Is the Guardian’s depiction accurate?
Kim left the WHO in 2006. After a stopover at Harvard, where he headed a centre for health and human rights, he was hired to be president of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. He arrived in 2009, with little university management experience but characteristically high hopes. With the global recession at its zenith, however, Kim was forced to spend much of his time focused on saving Dartmouth’s endowment.
He hardly knew the difference between hedge funds and private equity, so a venture capitalist on the college’s board would drive up from Boston periodically to give him lessons, scribbling out basic financial concepts on a whiteboard or scratch paper. His tenure soon turned stormy as he proposed slashing $100m from the school’s budget and clashed with faculty members who complained about a lack of transparency. Joe Asch, a Dartmouth alumnus who writes for a widely read blog about the university, was highly critical of Kim. “He is a man who is very concerned about optics and not so concerned about follow-through,” Asch says now. “Everyone’s sense was that he was just there to punch his ticket.” Soon enough, a surprising opportunity arose.
The way Kim tells it, the call came out of the blue one Monday in March 2012. Timothy Geithner, another Dartmouth alumnus who was then the US treasury secretary, was on the line asking about Kim’s old nemesis. “Jim,” Geithner asked, “would you consider being president of the World Bank?”
Interesting, no? So Kim had “characteristically high hopes” for Dartmouth? Just what were they? I wrote a Dartblog post every day during the Kim administration, and I could not tell you what Kim’s “high hopes” were — and neither does Andrew Rice. Puff. Puff.
And just what does Rice mean exactly when he writes: “Kim was forced to spend much of his time focused on saving Dartmouth’s endowment.”? Does he mean anything at all? Dartmouth’s President is only involved peripherally in managing the endowment; Kim certainly was not making investment decisions, which, as the following paragraph in the Guardian story notes, he was manifestly incapable of doing.
Rice then artfully notes that Kim “proposed slashing $100m from the school’s budget.” Come again? Did he propose it, or did he do it? How cleverly vague. As this space documented when the College’s accounts came out, the three budgets prepared by the Kim administration increased spending by 3.0%, 5.1% and 7.7% respectively — rates of growth entirely in line with the profligacy of the Wright administration that preceded it. Total cumulative spending growth in Kim’s three budgets was 16.5% during a period when inflation totaled only 6.8%. “Slashing $100m,” indeed.
Of course, in a nod to objectivity, Rice quotes an unimpeachable source as to Kim’s self-regarding PR focus — me — but my broad, unsupported assertion in the article is more than counterbalanced by Rice’s various allusions to Kim’s supposed concrete accomplishments. I made the comment to Rice in March and he first quoted it in his Foreign Affairs piece Is Jim Kim Destroying the World Bank — or Saving it From Itself?, which became the Guardian story.
At least Rice is honestly objective when he writes “The way Kim tells it” about a call “out of the blue one Monday in March 2012” from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner ‘83. Geithner supposedly asked if Kim wanted to run the World Bank. Ha ha. Or should I say Puff Puff again? Over at least the preceding year Kim had been disappearing from the College for weeks at a time as he pitched himself for DC jobs. His nomination was announced on March 23, 2012, and the first Monday in March of that year was March 5.
For Kim to claim that he was picked for the WB presidency without his own participation, then Geithner phoned him, and he was then vetted and approved in a little over two weeks is just not a credible statement. That’s not how Washington works. After all, it is not as if he was doing such brilliant work in Hanover that he spontaneously came to the attention of senior people in the Obama administration.
Notably, Rice spoke to nobody at Dartmouth — neither faculty members nor administrators. Had he done so, he would have heard a torrent of criticism about Kim and his team of crony administrators — all of whom quickly left Hanover when Kim departed.
All in all, our dissection of Rice’s article’s section about Kim’s time at Dartmouth should leave a reader quite skeptical about the rest of the content in the piece.
Addendum: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Kim has already lined up the support of key players in his re-nomination effort:
Mr. Kim received informal backing from several major shareholders, including China, the U.S. and Germany, according to one of the people with knowledge of the discussions, bolstering the likelihood he will win a second term.
Give Kim credit for playing the smokey back rooms with the best of ‘em. Too bad that the people who work directly with him know the truth.
Addendum: An administrator who worked with Jim Kim at the College writes in:
I have no idea how Jim Kim has managed to persuade so many serious people that he is qualified to lead a major global financial institution, let alone find his way to shelter in a rainstorm. One of the best con men in the business…
Dartmouth has a wealth of experienced professors who lead their respective research fields, while also working closely with students — inspiring them in the classroom and leading them in laboratory environments. And while at Dartblog we talk frequently about problems that need to be fixed at the College, there are still many bright spots. Our professors deserve more recognition for their achievements. As such, this is one of a series of posts that shines a spotlight on the best professors in Hanover:
Andrew Samwick is the Sandra L. and Arthur L. Irving Professor of Economics and Director of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences. His work has stretched from topics like executive compensation to social entrepreneurship, and he has both personally worked on government policy and been instrumental in encouraging young people to do so, too.
Ironically, Samwick’s earliest research concerned retirement. He got his start in economics at Harvard, where he graduated summa cum laude and wrote his undergraduate thesis on the British social security system. Later, for his Ph.D. dissertation at M.I.T., Samwick examined how social security and defined pension plans encourage people to stay in jobs and affect when they retire. But his career was just getting started — Samwick joined Dartmouth as his first academic job in 1994.
When Samwick came to Hanover, the Economics department was much smaller, so he taught finance courses almost exclusively for his first ten years or so. He produced some of his most cited research (he has more than 7,000 citations and a h-index of 25 according to Google Scholar) during this period, working with former Tuck professor Rajesh Aggarwal. They co-authored two influential papers on executive compensation — how CEOs of major companies are paid. The first explored the relationship between volatile stock prices and executive performance incentives. The second showed why executives are rarely given pay incentives for their company to perform better than competitors, even though that seems like a logical approach.
Samwick also continued to work on savings and retirement. A paper he co-authored flipped the traditional narrative that households save money directly for retirement, even if that prospect is still decades away. Instead, he found that for a typical household, one-third to one-half of wealth (savings) is based on the relative safety of that household’s earnings. People keep a large portion of their savings not for retirement years later, but as precautionary buffers against the loss of a job or other bad outcomes. Today Samwick is working on a new paper that explains how college financial aid serves as a valuable form of insurance for modern families.
Samwick’s most famous contribution to the public conversation on these topics wasn’t a research paper at all, but his year from 2003-2004 as the Chief Economist on the staff of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. In an attempt by the Bush Administration to reform social security, Samwick worked on the proposal that would create personal retirement accounts for individuals. The idea never gained much traction, largely due to political realities of the time, but Samwick maintains it would have been beneficial, with less government interference (raiding the trust fund) and potentially higher returns offsetting the higher risks and less wealth redistribution. Here’s a Bloomberg TV clip of him talking about social security reform in 2008:
While he was the New Hampshire Professor of the Year in 2009, Samwick doesn’t teach many courses these days. His main course, which will be offered next winter term, is Econ 77: Social Entrepreneurship. Outside of the classroom, Samwick has had a significant impact on the College as director of the Rockefeller Center, a position he assumed in 2004. In that role, he encourages students to engage with public policy and leadership. Samwick created the Rocky First Year Fellows program, which takes the top performing freshman from the Introduction to Public Policy class and gives them the opportunity to qualify for summer internships alongside Dartmouth alumni in Washington D.C. About two dozen students take advantage of the program each year.
Addendum: You can read Samwick’s blog here.
Addendum: A loyal reader writes in:
I took your suggestion and looked at Professor Samwick’s blog. I found this quote, which is both accurate (based on my experience) and to the point (having been written in Hanover):
Education is like many public policy issues today — we spend too much, get too little, and either don’t yet know how to improve on those outcomes or don’t have the leadership skills to implement what we do know.
Spencer was a no joke when she played at Northwestern. She won 3 titles (2007, 2008, 2009) and was runner-up once (2010) during her playing career. Spencer was also a two-time All-American & a three-time All-ALC player. As an assistant coach & recruiting coordinator at Northwestern she helped the Wildcats four Big BBQ appearances and a two trips to the Final Four (2013, 2014).
This is a wonderful grab by Dartmouth. Moreover, getting someone of Spencer’s caliber is a great way to start to heal the wounds from the Patton saga. Hopefully the Dartmouth lacrosse community can now rally around Spencer & the program.
As talk swirls around Hanover concerning a vote of no confidence for Phil Hanlon and Carolyn Dever, it is worth recalling how close Jim Kim came to a similar fate. A richly deserved one, by the way. The Kimster was all charisma, no follow-through, and a whole heap of BS. For example, though he talked endlessly about budget cuts, once the accounts came out — and he had hightailed it out of town — it became clear that budgets rose in each year of his time in office.
More recently Kim has been scurrying about Washington lining up the support of principal patrons Hillary Clinton and John Kerry for his reappointment next summer after the end of his first term as President of the World Bank. They might well weigh in to support their glib friend. However, speaking out forcefully for the contrary position is the World Bank’s employee association. The situation is evidence of a phenomenon that everyone experienced in Hanover: the closer you worked with Jim Kim, the less you respected him.
The Financial Times, never one to hold back in its criticism of Kim (see Restructuring Hell at the World Bank), has run two pieces on Kim’s efforts to hold onto his job: World Bank staff challenge Jim Yong Kim’s second term and Jim Yong Kim is lightning rod for World Bank angst. Some excerpts:
The World Bank’s powerful staff association has called for an international search for a replacement to President Jim Yong Kim, pointing to a “crisis of leadership” at the bank just as he begins a campaign for a second five-year term…
His tenure at the bank has been mired in criticism, much of it from within the bank and related to a difficult restructuring that he has pushed through…
If the original angst was over putting a public health expert with no experience in finance or economics in charge of the bank, much of the criticism since has centred on a controversial reorganisation that he pushed through and a management style that has left many veterans feeling alienated…
Mr Kim told staff in a town-hall meeting earlier this year that he was open to serving a second term but had not formally sought a reappointment. He has, however, told board members that he would like to serve a second term, said one person close to the board.
The letter cites staff surveys which have pointed to low morale at the bank over the past two years and “made it painfully clear that the World Bank Group is experiencing a crisis of leadership”.
Only a third of staff surveyed “understand where the senior management team is leading us”, the letter points out. “Even fewer believe that our senior management creates a culture of openness and trust.”
But the unusual staff letter demonstrates that Mr Kim, who emigrated to the US from South Korea as a young boy and left the presidency of Dartmouth College to take over at the World Bank, is likely to face a raucous campaign for a second term.
Besides the staff he also has critics among campaign groups, many of which questioned an update last week to the environmental and social standards for bank projects, as well as among the bank’s active alumni network.
Paul Cadario, a former senior executive at the bank who is now at the University of Toronto, said it would be hard for Mr Kim to be reappointed if the board held a truly open process.
“His record does not justify it,” Mr Cadario said, pointing to a “sloppy, sprawling strategy focused on health” and the mismanagement of the reorganisation of the bank.
If Kim is reappointed to the Presidency of the World Bank, we will know that cronyism is alive and well in Washington.
Addendum: A writer for Devex asserts that Kim has lobbied for his accelerated reappointment. That’s no surprise. Wills Begor ‘12, the valedictory speaker at his Commencement, noted in his address that during his time as a student in Hanover: “Dr. Jim Yong Kim became the 17th president of Dartmouth College, Jim Yong Kim became the president of the World Bank, and word on the street is he’s already looking for the next big job.”
Addendum: A close friend who worked in the World Bank for decades, and was an early supporter of Kim, sums up the present state of affairs inside the institution: “A Sh**storm,” she said. Don’t we know.
A number of readers have written in about yesterday’s cost comparison between Brown and the College. I’ll have more about that topic next week.
— Brown has 42% more students (9,073) than we do (6,350) and 32% more full-time professors (all of whom are paid more than ours, except for Full Professors)
You can logically expect that Brown will have to spend much more money than Dartmouth to run its entire operation, right? More students means more dorms, office space, classrooms, dining halls, campus facilities of all types, administrators, professors, etc. And if Brown pays most members of its faculty more than we pay our people, that will ramp up the difference even more.
— Brown’s total 2015 expenses: $810,957,000; Dartmouth’s: $891,428,000:
— Brown paid out $80,471,000 less than Dartmouth
But, no. It costs Brown about $80 million less than Dartmouth to run the university each year. That makes no sense. Dartmouth has to be overspending wildly, especially given that land and the cost of living and construction in rural Hanover, New Hampshire is less than in urban Providence, Rhode Island (with its top state income tax rate of 5.99% and its 7% state sales tax; both are zero in flinty New Hampshire). And Brown has to deal with other urban concerns: for example, it has 80 sworn, armed municipal police officers on its payroll vs. our 40 private security guards, etc.
— Brown’s Salary/Wages ($322,533,000) and Benefits ($93,351,000) total: $416,484,000; Dartmouth’s Salary/Wages ($382,433,000) and Benefits: ($135,622,000) total: $518,055,000
— Brown paid out $101,571,000 less in employee compensation than Dartmouth
So that’s where that money goes. How can our payroll be over $101 million more each year than Brown’s? There’s an easy answer for that: too many people doing too little work for too much money. Recall, as I mentioned above, that Brown has 42% more students than we have; you’d expect that payroll at Brown would be higher by approximately that amount — not lower by almost 20%.
— Brown’s 2015 Endowment Draw: $142,725,000; Dartmouth’s: $212,493,000;
— Brown drew out $69,768,000 less from its endowment than Dartmouth
We are by far the richer school. Our endowment stands at $4.66 billion; Brown has only $3.07 billion. But more importantly, we have double the endowment per student that Brown has. We have it, so we spend it, though I don’t think that anyone who deals with the Dartmouth administration would argue that this spending translates into a responsive operation that caters to students’ and faculty members’ every need.
— Brown’s Sponsored Research: $151,458,000; Dartmouth’s: $182,118,000;
— Brown paid out $30,660,000 less than Dartmouth
Here is the only area where the cost of operating Dartmouth should be somewhat more expensive than Brown. We do slightly more sponsored research than Brown, which hikes up our overall cost of operations. But $30 million in a budget that runs at $891.4 million doesn’t have much impact.
— Brown’s tuition, room and board and fees in 2016/2017: $64,566; Dartmouth’s: $66,174
— Brown will cost $1,608 less than Dartmouth in the coming year
Go figure. Despite all of our wealth and cost advantage, we still charge our students more than Brown (both schools give financial aid to about 44% of students; the remainder pay full boat). You’d think that Dartmouth students would get to share in the spoils of our huge endowment. Nope.
Summary: Brown’s expenses run to $89,381/student each year; we pay out $140,382/student. We spend $51,001/year/student more than Brown. However, part of that difference lies in our extra research spending — just under $12,000/year per student). After deducting research, we still spend approximately $39,000/student/year more than Brown. That difference adds up.
If we could reduce our spending/student to Brown’s level, we could take $247,650,000 of waste each year out of our budget, which we could then put towards more productive uses. Oh, the places we’d go if the administration ran the College with the goal of providing students with the best education possible, rather than allowing a cushy, overpaid bureaucracy to grow every year.Addendum: A Dartmouth parent writes in:
Great. Can we poach the Brown top ten administrators and pay them each $2,000,000 per year? We would be way ahead if we did so. If a side by side comparison like this was done for all eight Ivy schools, it would be even more eye-opening. Maybe the board members or top administrators would have some explaining to do before anyone makes more donations. How’s that capital campaign coming along?
We can summarize what ails Dartmouth — and what doesn’t ail her — fairly simply: in the 2016 Senior Survey (to which 44% of graduating students responded) the overwhelming majority of the members of the Class of 2016 were either “very satisfied” or “generally satisfied” with the out-of-class availability of the faculty (97%), the overall quality of instruction (94%), the availability of academic support and assistance (88%), the opportunities to participate in research with a faculty member (86%), and the level of intellectual excitement on campus. All in all, not bad. Not bad at all:
The devotion of Dartmouth professors explains why we are ranked #2 in the country for undergraduate teaching after the College of New Jersey, err, Princeton.
And yet when members of the Class of 2016 were asked if they would recommend the College to high school seniors, the number that “definitely would” or “probably would” was the lowest since the Class of 2002 — the students who voted immediately subsequent to the introduction of Jim Wright’s failed Student Life Initiative of 2001. Not only is the Class of 2016 a disgruntled bunch, their level of unhappiness continues a steady downward trend that began following Jim Kim’s first academic year (2009-2010) in Hanover:
Only 44% of the Class of 2016 “definitively would” recommend Dartmouth to high school seniors, and another 25% “probably would” do so. That’s a total of 69% positives, down from 84% in 2010.
Incongruous? Not if you understand that we have a high-performance faculty (not that things couldn’t be improved in many departments) and an incompetent, lazy administration, one that is doing nothing to hinder the College’s downward slide (we were #7 in the national rankings in 1998; we are #12 as of last year). In fact, the administration is doing many things to further our decline (ending need-blind admissions for international students, not having kosher dining, introducing an ill-conceived house system, and wasting money as if it were in a competition to do so. Loyal readers can add to this list.)
Does anyone see signs that Phil Hanlon is putting in place policies to change the College’s worrisome trajectory? I don’t. Does he even realize the disdain with which he is viewed?
The College has chosen a new coach, Danielle Spencer, for the troubled women’s lacrosse team. That was quick. Here’s the College’s press release and the story from the Northwestern University women’s lacrosse home page. One note: Spencer is a Class of 2010 graduate of Northwestern, which would indicate that she is still on this side of her thirtieth birthday. She is inheriting a Dartmouth team riven with controversy over the departure of veteran coach Amy Patton. One has to wonder if more experienced coaches passed on the job. In any event, Coach Spencer has her work cut out for her:
Addendum: Northwestern lax players and coaches have gone on to many top-flight coaching positions. Other than Spencer, the team home page lists eight current head coaches who played in the program, and four former assistants who have become head coaches.
The following memo from Psychology and Brain Sciences department chair Dave Bucci went out last month announcing the return to Hanover of one of the department’s stars:
Dear PBS Colleagues,
As you may have already heard, Jamshed Bharucha is making a return to Dartmouth as a Research Professor and Distinguished Fellow in PBS. Jamshed was a member of the PBS faculty a number of years ago, and went on to serve as Dean of Faculty before heading to Tufts and later Cooper Union. He will be in residence for at least the next 2 years and will have an office on the 4th floor of Moore. He may also be teaching a course or two during his time here, including at the grad level. Please welcome him back when you see him.
The succinct note does not do Bharucha justice: he left Dartmouth in 2002 (he had been the Dean of the Faculty for only a year) to become the Provost at Tufts (the multi-talented Bharucha had appointments with the Tufts departments of music, psychology and neuroscience); nine years later he was named the President of Cooper Union. His four-year term there was a difficult one as he was forced by financial turbulence to begin charging tuition at a school that had prided itself throughout its history on being free to its students (save for its earliest days, when students from wealthier families were called upon to subsidize their less well off fellows).
What to make of Bharucha’s return to the College? He has kept his Upper Valley house throughout his academic wanderings, so his affection for the area and for Dartmouth is sincere. But does he have more in mind? In listening to him speak, in looking at his background and achievements, one can’t help but conclude that the guy is the real deal: form and substance together. Hold him up against lesser leaders (any guess who?) and they pale into insignificance. This space will watch what kind of public role Bharucha chooses to play in the coming months.
Addendum: In this TEDx talk, Bharucha speaks thoughtfully about learning and memory (and he plays the violin, too):
Addendum: Bharucha departed from Dartmouth along with a group of accomplished scholar-administrators — including Susan Prager (2001), Lee Bollinger (1996) and Mike Gazzaniga (2004) — who all found it impossible to work with plodding, manipulative President Jim Wright.
Addendum: A reader writes in with an interesting point that may concern Bharucha:
It may be worth noting as well that his undergraduate alma mater, Vassar, is searching for a new president.
Vassar’s outgoing President, Catharine Hill, precipitously announced the exact date of her departure (almost immediate) on July 20, 2016, though her resignation had been known about for several months. The decision to have Bharucha come back to Dartmouth pre-dated July 20 by several weeks at least.
That said, how can you keep Jamshed down in Hanover once he’s seen Poughkeepsie.
Addendum: Professor of Music Jon Appleton writes in:
I became a close friend of Jamshed Bharucha from the first year he joined the Dartmouth faculty. He is a gifted teacher, an extraordinary scholar and a careful administrator. We saw each other frequently — and still do — when he was Provost at Tufts, a Visiting Professor at Stanford and President of The Cooper Union. He was the first scientist to start to uncover the secrets of how the brain processes music. He is also a fine violinist, and I enjoyed playing duets with him. How rare to find someone at ease in the arts and sciences.
Dartmouth would not have suffered the decline that occurred under Wright and Folt had he been our president. He was a finalist for the presidency when Kim was appointed. Bharucha would have brought back academic excellence, instead of the political correctness that we experience today. I guess academic qualifications no longer matter much in the presidential selection process.
Addendum: Carol Wolf, a member of the Cooper Union School of Art, Class of 1984, writes in to contest the above assertion that “students from wealthier families were called upon to subsidize their less well off fellows”:
Dear Mr. Asch,
Your August 8, 2016 article, “Jamshed Bharucha is Back,” contains an inaccurate statement:
“His four-year term there was a difficult one as he was forced by financial turbulence to begin charging tuition at a school that had prided itself throughout its history on being free to its students (save for its earliest days, when students from wealthier families were called upon to subsidize their less well off fellows).”
The above statement is factually incorrect, and is part of the false narrative promoted by Mr. Bharucha while he was Cooper Union’s president to misrepresent Peter Cooper’s vision and intent in founding the institution.
The fact is that, prior to the charging of tuition in 2014, there was only one anomalous exception to 155 years of free education—a small “amateur art class” that existed between 1860 and 1885 for which wealthy women paid a small fee. These were NOT undergraduates, they did not participate in the core curriculum of regular courses that were free to all, and they did not receive college credits, degrees, or graduate. In fact, the Trustees at the time only reluctantly agreed to allow that art class as “a departure from the invariable rule in the other department of the Union, that the instruction shall in all cases be entirely gratuitous,” as stated in their First Annual Report, 1860. This allowed for utilization of the building space during the day, when classes (which were originally held at night to accommodate working people) were not in session.
The actual fact is that NO undergraduate of Cooper Union had ever paid tuition prior to 2014, and this goes back to the institution’s founding in 1859. At a time when the school’s financial situation was (and is) dire, Bharucha’s administration chose to spend over a million dollars on public relations consultants to disseminate misinformation like the above to misrepresent the intentions of Peter Cooper (which were to provide free education to all who attend his school) in an effort to sway public opinion and falsely justify the plans to impose tuition.
This misinformation has been corrected officially in past articles by the New York Times and by The Associated Press. Furthermore, this claim has been challenged in New York’s Supreme Court, and no defense was made to support Mr. Barucha’s narrative. I respectfully request that you correct your article to reflect the facts.
Please feel free to contact me if you need any further information or clarification. Thank you for your consideration.
Cooper Union School of Art, Class of 1984
Council Member, Cooper Union Alumni Association
Chair, CUAA Annual Fund Committee
The College is self-evidently the focus of this space, along with weekend discursions on history, travel and food; my real-world work serves only to inform thoughts on management at Dartmouth. However I depart from that emphasis today to display a few pictures of the 188-kid childcare center that a talented team and I designed and built over the past eighteen months. We couldn’t be more proud.
The center has been open for three weeks now, and I think that we knocked it out of the park on all dimensions: the building is a series of twelve, one-room schoolhouses (you can see nine of them plus the staff room immediately below) that each open out to a fun-filled, football-field-sized playground (with a zip-line!). Everyone threw ideas into the mix and the result is a happy place with high ceilings, wonderful light, subdued and natural colors (we figure that today’s kids have a nature deficit not an attention problem) and endless areas for exploration:
We also like that our R120-roof building is energy efficient (the heating and cooling of each classroom is done by individual electric units) and that it was constructed on-time and on-budget for less than $200ft².
Addendum: We built the new 9,400ft² building on a 2.02 acre parcel next to our main business. The College sold the land to us in a transaction that could not have been easier and more efficient.
I expect that the PR mavens feel that Phil Hanlon has to get out more and show his warm and analytical side. He has now taken to blogging, though he says that he will post only once or twice each month. In his first entry he describes his upcoming travels: a trip to Greenland and then to Peru; the expected pleasure of “trading insights” with a new Dartmouth Trustee from South America; and the joy of being able tap into his “adventuresome spirit” by travelling and blogging. He’s even bringing a selfie stick on his trips, he says, to take what he is “sure will be some fantastic photos”:
What does Phil mean when he opens his post by writing, “I’m guessing you never thought I’d be the type to blog.” Hmm. To what “type” is he referring? Am I the blogging “type”? Are you? What a memorably awkward opening line.
I used to have an exceptional sound system. Was I once a stereo “type”? (Sorry)
Former Trustee Steve Roth ‘62, T’63 — he was on the Board from 2008-2016 — has signed on to Donald Trump’s economic policy team, according to CNBC. Steve’s Vornado Realty is an important player in Manhattan real estate, the same savory world that brought us The Donald. Roth received an honorary degree from Jim Kim in 2012:
Trump’s team consists of Roth, John Paulson, Harold Hamm, Howard Lorber, Steven Mnuchin, Tom Barrack, Stephen M. Calk, Andy Beal, Steve Feinberg, David Malpass, Peter Navarro, Stephen Moore and Dan DiMicco. The Times notes the absence of women in this group.
Addendum: Aaron Elstein in Crains New York Business details Trump’s and Roth’s longstanding rivalry and cooperation.
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…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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