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.
Phil has decided to show some nerve and make a statement of principle:
While he is at it, our President might note that invading the library and screaming racist insults at students who are working there is off limits, too.
Addendum: Phil imagines an equivalency between the inadvertent removal of two T-shirts from a Collis display last November, and this past week’s premeditated vandalism. That’s wrong — as the BLM crowd and the campus NAACP knew..
This Dale Chihuly glass artwork — the Lime Green Icicle Tower at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts — is illuminated only by the sun, but it glows almost as if alive:
A visitor can reach over and touch the glass spines, none of which has a formally recognized position. Each time the piece is re-assembled, it is born anew.
There are artists who deride Chihuly — seen at right with his 2,000ft² Fiori di Como (Como Flowers) at the Bellagio in Las Vegas — as only a craftsman. Perhaps his art is too pleasing for an élite that disdains popular appreciation, but the pieces do merit sustained and repeated viewing. Isn’t that a better test?
We had the good fortune to visit Chihuly’s workshop in Seattle about twenty years ago. In it he had a lap pool with dozens of his pieces on the bottom; his works in water bear an uncanny resemblance to coral, at least as coral was in the past. An assistant wryly noted that occasionally the swimming maestro’s foot would graze a work, and a disconcerting — and very expensive — clink could be heard.
Addendum: On a recent trip to San Jose, I spotted a Chihuly piece in the headquarters of Oracle Corporation. However photographing it was beyond my (and my iPhone’s) capabilities, despite the kindness of a security guard. Here is a shot that appears on the website of Korth, Sunseri & Hagey, the architects of 488 Almaden:
Addendum: An alumnus writs in:
As you featured works by Dale Chihuly on Dartblog today, I was wondering if you have seen the Bridge of Glass in Tacoma?
The Review has put up a thorough summary of the vandalism of the College Republican’s Blue Lives Matter display in Collis.
It can only be a matter of time before another Dartmouth double standard story makes the national news.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee met on Friday to discuss concussive head injuries, and Football Coach Buddy Teevens, a member of the College’s remarkable Class of ‘79, testified extensively. You can hear his opening statement at 1:39:40 - 1:45:21 and he answered questions at: 2:28:18 - 2:30:30 and 2:47:50 - 2:50:40 and 3:04:00 - 3:05:43 and 3:07:20 - 3:07:52 and 3:08:49 - 3:09:20.
As Buddy tells it at the hearing, his no-tackling initiative has paid dividends on many levels: a remarkable reduction in concussions and other injuries, superior tackling technique and defense by his players, greatly improved recruiting for the football program, an Ivy League Championship for the College, and the initiation of a wave of no-tackling practices across the sport. Coach T came across as articulate and thoughtful (dare I say, intellectual?): he was to the point in answering questions and he left no doubt when he had finished his remarks. In short, he did the College proud.
Addendum: Dartmouth has wonderful students, a great many top professors, and a rapidly improving athletics program. Imagine what the College could be if it weren’t weighed down by a boat-anchor administration. Actually, you don’t have to imagine; just go back a few decades to when we were #7 in the U.S. News rankings, and we were the only institution of higher learning that occupied the research college niche.
Addendum: An alumnus from 1950’s comments:
This [BLM activity] is all truly dreadful stuff as the administration continues to inadvertently fan the flames of resentment throughout the community and beyond. I do not recognize the place where I spent four glorious years. Yes, I know similar events are happening elsewhere, but that notion provides little solace. Thank the Lord for Buddy.
Addendum: The Associated Press ran a laudatory story about Buddy’s testimony.
Black Lives Matter activist “Mikala Trilliams” (who shares a picture with Mikala Williams ‘18) admits to being part of a group that destroyed the College Republicans’ Blue Lives Matter display in Collis:
And the Republicans respond with the now-quaint argument that neutral principles of fairness and freedom of speech should protect their right to make public statements:
I say “quaint” because at the most recent faculty meeting Phil Hanlon told the assembled professors that the race of candidates for the Dean of the Faculty position matters greatly to him. And as we have documented, the College metes out punishment based on who you are and not on what you did. Why don’t these Republican people of privilege understand that at an institution of higher learning like Dartmouth race matters and reasoned argument does not. Phil and Carolyn confirm that observation almost every day.
Addendum: More seriously, what I am trying to say is that confused student are calling for adult guidance — but it is the administration that has them confused.
Addendum: The only element missing from the College’s latest drama is a meeting with Inge Lise Ameer.
Addendum: As of late Friday evening, the BLM folks were occupying the space around the bulletin board — ostensibly to protect it from a Republican counterattack.
The Valley News reports:
JUDGE UPHOLDS DARTMOUTH FRATERNITY HOUSING RULING
NORTH HAVERHILL — A Grafton Superior Court judge on Monday upheld Hanover town officials’ ruling that members of Alpha Delta, a Dartmouth College fraternity banned from campus after its members branded themselves, may not live in their East Wheelock Street mansion.
Alpha Delta had challenged a decision from Hanover zoning officials that the fraternity’s loss of college recognition also meant it forfeited its status as a student residence.
Attorneys for the Greek-letter society said Alpha Delta should be considered “grandfathered” under the town’s zoning ordinance, which came into effect after the fraternity’s founding. After an unfavorable 3-2 decision from the Hanover Zoning Board, the fraternity filed an appeal in Superior Court.
A final hearing was held in January. On Monday, Judge Lawrence MacLeod Jr. ruled with the Zoning Board majority. He argued that Alpha Delta had not proven it had operated outside of Dartmouth’s influence before the institution of the zoning code, which requires that student residences in the campus “institutional” district be “in conjunction with” the college.
The court outcome was, in one way, moot: Since Alpha Delta’s expulsion, Dartmouth has enacted a rule forbidding students from living in unrecognized Greek-letter houses.
A member of the Baker Tower Irregulars reports in:
The College Republicans did a Blue Lives Matter display for National Police Week. People are already calling it “racist.”
Word from Collis is that the display has already been covered up — silenced! — by people affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Addendum: Here’s how the notice board in Collis looks now:
Dartblog has not received word on exactly how the Blue Lives Matter display came to be replaced with the above materials.
While a recording of Jasbir Puar’s GRID panel assertions — including that Israel arrogates to itself the right to maim Palestinians — is available at the College’s Jones Media Center, Puar’s presentation has not been made available to the public — until this moment. Click here to read a full transcript of her remarks.
Now that Puar’s words, if not the College’s high-quality video (PHIL, IT’S TIME TO RELEASE IT!) are online for everyone to peruse, Alex Safian, PhD, Associate Director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), has prepared a point-by-point refutation of Puar’s claims.
Trigger Warning: Between Puar’s ugly assertions about Israel and her thick-as-it-gets, post-modern verbiage, the reading is slow going.
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:
Jonathan Skinner is the James O. Freedman Presidential Professor in Economics as well as the Professor of Family and Community Health at the Geisel School. His expertise in the field of health care economics has led him to contribute significantly to the current debates around the rising costs and future of health care in the United States.
Skinner graduated from the University of Rochester in 1977, magna cum laude with a B.A. in political science and economics. Afterward, he left the cold reaches of upstate New York for the sunny beaches of UCLA, where he earned both his Masters and Ph.D. in economics. He subsequently settling into a tenure track position at the University of Virginia from 1981 to 1995, with visiting stints at the University of Washington, Stanford, and Harvard
Since coming to Dartmouth in 1995, Skinner has served the College in many roles, including as Chair of the Economics department and holder of two different professorships named after College Presidents: first John Sloan Dickey and now Freedman. He is a professor at Geisel and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, and a senior scholar at The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care.
Skinner’s research is among the most cited of all professors at Dartmouth. According to Google Scholar, he has nearly 18,000 citations and 36 papers with at least 100 citations. His h-index of 71 places him among the top three professors in the faculty of Arts & Sciences.
The paper Skinner co-authored that has the most citations (1,375) was a piece for the Journal of Political Economy in 1994 with the title of Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance. It illustrated that certain social welfare programs encouraged poor families to spend rather than save their money:
In 1990, Grace Capetillo, a single mother receiving welfare assistance, was charged by the Milwaukee County Department of Social Services with fraud. Her crime: Her saving account balance exceeded $1000, the allowable asset limit for welfare recipients. How do programs with asset restrictions, such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and food stamps, affect the incentive to accumulate wealth?
As you might guess, the answer is not positive. Previous work on the savings rate gap between the poor and wealthy had focused only on earnings-based means tests, but restrictions in some social insurance programs incentivize their recipients to avoid accumulating assets. (A similar problem exists in the asset-based tests used for college financial aid scholarships that create an implicit tax on savings.)
More recently, Skinner has been cited in major publications on subjects such as the abnormally high cost of health care for dementia patients. In 2014 he and his coauthors also predicted that spending on health care in the United States will outpace economic growth by 1.2 percentage points over the next 20 years (full paper here). If you have an hour to spare, watch this talk Skinner gave in 2013 on the future of Medicare, which he calls “a really amazing program, and somewhat under-appreciated among people who have really come to take it for granted”:
In addition to all of Skinner’s research, he has served in various capacities at the Congressional Budget Office, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Academy of Science. He also teaches in the Masters of Health Care Delivery Science program and Economics 28 for undergraduates, an intermediate course focused on “public economics” — the intricate relationship between the economy and various levels of government activity.
Addendum: Here’s a fun panoramic photo from 2010 of Skinner capturing the attention of his Econ 28 class — with the possible exception of one student working on his laptop in the front row.
Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Professor Annabel Martin (upper photo) didn’t quite say “I need some muscle over here,” like the now-fired Melissa Click (lower photo) did at the University of Missouri as she tried to impede a student photographer from reporting on an undergraduate protest; Martin simply called in Dartmouth Safety & Security and then the Town of Hanover Police when a student attempted to record an open-to-the-public panel discussion that included Rutgers Professor Jasbir Puar:
What a sad day for the College when visiting speakers can dictate to our faculty whether their words can or cannot be recorded — especially when many people expected that an anti-Semitic diatribe was in the offing. Seems to me like an anti-trust violation of the free market in ideas. Or at least a contravention of the court’s rules regarding the preservation of evidence.
Addendum: The College itself recorded the Puar panel, just as it records faculty meetings — which are open to the public, too — but where “Observers are not permitted to tape any part of the proceedings…” If readers wonder how I can quote verbatim from meetings of the faculty, please rest assured that no “taping” is involved.
Did you know that high-flying Tuck has its own endowment (which I expect is a dedicated section of the College’s total endowment)? I didn’t. Not until Poets & Quants asked all the leading B-schools just how wealthy they are. Tuck comes in at #13 with a total endowment of $332 million::
Savvy readers understand that total size is a poor way to measure a school’s financial resources, and Poets & Quants knows that, too. The publication crunched the numbers to measure endowment per student among the same schools. Tuck was a rich #4:
That meaningful level of wealth allows little Tuck to score high in the rankings: #8 at U.S. News; #5 for Forbes; #3 in The Economist; #13 among U.S. schools and #22 worldwide in the Financial Times; and #14 in Bloomberg Business.
As we have noted, Tuck ranks #1 in alumni participation in giving by a long way.
Addendum: In endowment per student the College ranks #4 in the Ivies with $740,000 per student. We are a long way behind Princeton ($2,809,000), Yale ($2,037,000), and Harvard ($1,736,000), but we are far ahead of Penn ($476,000), Brown ($335,000), Columbia ($323,000) and Cornell ($276,000).
Lest you think that these figures have no meaning, as a result of our wealth, we were able to pull $212.5 million out of the endowment in 2015 to finance operations; in comparison, Brown (which has a third more students than we do, and has more professors and pays them on average more) was able to draw only $142.7 million from its endowment — a difference of just under $70 million. Nonetheless, Brown will charge its students $64,556 in the coming year; Dartmouth will charge $66,174 — a difference of $1,618 (2.5%).
In the U.S. News rankings we are #12 among all institutions of higher learning, though in the Ivies we are ahead of only Brown (#14) and Cornell (#15). We seem to drop a place every couple of years. As for tuition, we charge more than any Ivy except Columbia.
President Hanlon has sent out a memo regarding the search for the new Dean of the Faculty who will replace the amiable but ineffective Mike Mastanduno. At the faculty meeting on Monday, Hanlon emphasized that the term “national search” meant that:
Both internal and external candidates will be given full consideration in this search. The sole objective would be to find the most qualified leader to fill the position of the Dean of Faculty. [Emphasis added]
However, Phil then described his own past experiences in hiring senior deans:
My history in dean searches is probably relevant here. In my day I have conducted nine dean searches, all of them national searches. In every case I insisted that the search process generate a deep, talented, diverse pool of internal and external candidates from which to choose. In five of those cases I hired an internal candidate; in four of them I hired an external candidate. Of the nine, only two of the deans I hired were white males; four of them were people of color. So, that sort of tells you what I am looking for in the search… [Emphasis added]
One would have to assume that the remaining three deans that Phil has hired were white women.
What an astoundingly clear declaration. White males outnumber other groups in the academy and at Dartmouth by a long ways — 63% of the full professors at the College are white males:
Yet Phil is leaving no doubt where his preferences — or should we say his biases — lie. The phrase “chilling effect” springs to mind. Hanlon’s signaling words will certainly cause numerous qualified candidates to hesitate in expressing interest in the Deanship.
And what are we to make of a man who in the same breath says that he is looking for “the most qualified leader,” but then tells us with personal statistics that white males need not apply. Does Phil have nothing more to say about the qualities that he is looking for in his next Dean than to talk about identity politics?
Why doesn’t Phil tell the faculty that he is looking for a Dean who will tighten up tenure standards, or someone who will energetically attract top scholar/teachers to the College? Or a person who will seek to mold the curriculum so that students will not find themselves repeatedly closed out of oversubscribed courses or have an academically unfulfilling sophomore summer? It seems that Provost Carolynclusion Deversity is not the only senior Dartmouth administrator who can’t see a single priority beyond the fulfillment of racial quotas.
Addendum: A senior member of the faculty writes in:
You may be right about the motives behind Hanlon’s (Dever-driven?) explanation, but there may be other things at work. To my knowledge, we’ve never had a national search for this deanship. A dean from outside is possibly the end of everything that has made Dartmouth’s faculty unique. Our two leaders seem oblivious to the erasure of a Dartmouth that privileges both teaching and research.
Addendum: See Phil’s memo re: the search committee in the extended. Hint: there is nobody from the departments of Economics and Government on the committee.
Students are upset that English Professor Aimee Bahng has been denied tenure; meanwhile today’s lecture by New School Professor Nancy Fraser is part of her hiring review. Is Fraser the kind of person we want to have on the faculty?:
Once you have read, possibly a couple of times, the description of Fraser’s lecture, ask yourself if Dartmouth needs yet another professor who is part of the academic jargonistic phase of post-capitalist social evolution. (My view is that anyone who talks such pap should be stricken from the rolls posthaste.)
Addendum: Kevin Bui ‘17 and 101 people concerned about Aimee Bahng’s tenure decision shared a thought in the peculiar vernacular of too many of today’s protesting undergraduates:
Addendum: A close follower of the College’s affairs writes in:
After perusing a few snippets from Professor Bahng’s English department webpage, Fraser and Bahng sound like a toss-up to me. I say posthaste to both of them. P.C. gibberish and trendy drivel.
Addendum: A thoughtful reader shares a comment on Aimee Bahng:
Regarding your piece on Aimee Bhang, it’s easy, unfortunate, and dismissive to label things “jargon.” When this happens in science, we assume the terminology to be necessary and helpful, even if we don’t understand it When it happens in American Studies or other fields,especially the much-maligned “studies” areas, we assume it’s b.s. Just for the hell of it, you might consider that these terms (like scientific ones) build on past knowledge, connect to past work, and generally are part of the field moving itself forward.
Not only is this a cheap shot, it ignores more obvious reasons for Bhang’s tenure denial. It appears from her cv she’s been at Dartmouth since 2009, which means her tenure review must already have been postponed once or even twice. Her cv list of presented papers shows a steady record of reading at ASA, a very competitive conference. But it also mixes panels on which she was a respondent with those in which she presented. Her publication list has a hole between 2008 and 2015, which looks like someone scrambling as they come up for tenure. There is a strong record of (internal) grants which one might hope would have resulted in more completed work. Bhang’s book, labeled “forthcoming,’ is also very late in the game (this might be ok at some places if there weren’t also the lack of articles in the same period) and can’t be found on the Duke Press website. I can think of some places where this cv could earn you tenure, but they are not in Dartmouth’s league.
Students might be less knee-jerk and angry themselves if, instead of attacking Bhang’s field from a cartoonish position, you situated her actual tenure case (admittedly, it can’t be known fully from this kind of poking around) within the world of academic tenure practices.
Addendum: A reader responds:
Your correspondent needs to read about the Sokal affair in which a scientist concocted an article of pure jargonized gibberish and had it published in an academic journal of “postmodern cultural studies.”
April 30 (Saturday): “Archipelagic Entanglements”: This event maps different entanglements of nature and culture that produce geographies of gender, sexuality, and race. With scholars focused on the Caribbean, Pacific Islands, Northeast Asia, and the Middle East, we will make archipelagic connections between bodies, landscapes and violence to push the limits of conventional frames like “the nation” or “the global.”
However it seems that Professor Puar chose, to nobody’s surprise, to take the opportunity to offer her stump speech on the supposed horrors of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Parker Richards ‘18 of The D reports:
Puar is known for her controversial remarks about Israel, which was her main topic during the panel. The stated topic of the event was related to feminism and the environment rather than Middle Eastern politics, according to GRID’s website…
Rather than discussing the gender and ecological issues that were the topic of the panel, Puar began discussing conflicts in Israel and Palestine.
Though there were mixed thoughts on the content of Puar’s presentation, The D reported at some length on the views of Anthropology Professor Sergei Kan:
Kan said Puar’s statements at the GRID-sponsored event were “academic anti-Semitism.” He said he saw one Jewish student close to tears while others were emotionally distraught because their faith “was being covered in dirt.”
“This is hatred,” Kan said of Puar’s statements. “This is the kind of scholarship that wants to provoke, wants to offend and does it without any concern for accuracy.”…
Puar made accusations that Israelis maim Palestinians, a claim that represents a “deliberate maligning of Israel that has no factual or almost no factual foundation,” Kan said.
Matthew Goldstein ‘18 attempted to take a video of Puar’s talk. He was criticized by Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth (GRID) Director Annabel Martin (right), who first asked that he desist, and then called for the assistance of Dartmouth Safety & Security and finally the Town of Hanover Police. Goldstein ceased recording the event when he was threatened with arrest for disorderly conduct — however he only ended his effort after the conclusion of Puar’s comments. At this time it is unclear whether he has a complete record of the event and whether he plans to post it on-line.
Though a video of Puar’s remarks is not available, according to Professor Martin a recording of her presentation can now be listened to at the College’s Jones Media Center. I find it curious, especially given past controversies over the recording of Puar’s presentations, that the College would have agreed to limit the diffusion of Puar’s public presentation. The panel was open to all comers; why restrict its contents only to people who can later only listen to it in situ? Shouldn’t the College place a high value on both the sharing of knowledge and the prophylactic value of sunlight?:
Addendum: In response to the controversy around Puar’s remarks, Phil Hanlon and Carolyn Dever released this statement:
A defense of academic freedom is fine as far as it goes, but we can’t compliment our leaders for any originality here. Would they have been so evenhanded for a speaker who asserted, say, the intellectual inferiority of African Americans or the lesser aptitude of women in the sciences? Methinks not. That said, an evocation of school policy regarding free speech that was followed by a personal condemnation of anti-Semitism and vitriol that passes itself off as scholarship would have shown a courage and subtlety that Hanlon and Dever have not heretofore displayed.
Addendum: GRID has released two pieces in response to The D’s reporting: an essay by GRID Director Annabel Martin entitled “Response to Defamation Charges by The D”; the second one is a letter to the Editors of The D from a group who call themselves the Bully Bloggers (Lisa Duggan, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University; Jack Halberstam, Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California; Tavia Nyong’o, Associate Professor of Performance Studies, New York University; and Sandra Soto, Winton Chair in the Liberal Arts, Visiting Professor, American Studies, University of Minnesota, and Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Arizona.)
Addendum: A Dartmouth parent writes in:
While purporting to uphold free speech, by acceding to Professor Puar’s demands for restricted distribution, the College is actually facilitating her anti-Semitic campaign. One of the most important principles of free speech is that ideas must be openly debated in the light of day. Fordham handled it better, when it told Professor Puar that any remarks she made in an open public meeting would not only be recorded but also made available to the press, in the interests of “academic transparency”. She cancelled her talk at Fordham.
Addendum: An alumnus shares a letter that he sent to Professor Martin, with a copy to Phil Hanlon:
Dear Professor Martin:
So you have brought a notorious speaker to campus to spread her message of hate to students, telling them that the government of Israel engages in the “maiming” of the Palestinian population, among other crimes, as a matter of policy. What’s next? Someone to tell us about how the Jews use the blood of gentile infants to make their matzo?
Shame on you and on the College for sponsoring this sort of bigotry. I would have thought that after the Holocaust, people would hesitate to sponsor such things, for fear of their reputation. Evidently not.
William B. Modahl ‘60
841 E. Palace Avenue
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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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