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A movie already exists by that name, but it’s tough not to repeat the phrase. There is so much beauty here:

Pont Alexandre IIIC.jpg

The Pont Alexandre III from the Right Bank.

An alert reader writes in to note Tuck’s strong showing in the new Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranking of MBA programs. Here’s what B/BW had to say:

Tuck Has Best Showing Since Businessweek’s First Ranking In 1988

In all, 21 of the Top 25 schools experienced changes in their year-over-year ranks. Stanford’s Graduate School of Business climbed five places to rank second behind Harvard. Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, which was Businessweek’s top winner in 2014, rose five spots to claim third place. Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, was up nine places to rank fifth, its best showing since 1988 when its MBA program was ranked third best.

Businesssweek Rankings 2016.jpg

My correspondent then added some pertinent thoughts of his own:

Tuck’s high ranking in the BW and other MBA program rankings is a great accomplishment. Tuck accomplishes its high ranking in spite of lacking certain characteristics that most other high ranking business schools have, for example:

— Most top business schools have a business PhD program, but Tuck does not. Faculty value a PhD program because it provides research assistants who do a lot of the grunt work of business research such as data gathering and analysis from high-level business databases. A PhD program is also a source of prestige to a b-school because its graduates will go on to teach in other schools. Some faculty at other schools believe that “you can’t can be a top business school without a PhD program.”

— Most top business schools are located in or near large metro areas. Such a location puts students closer to sources of internships and jobs. Dartmouth’s remote location is unusual for a top U.S. school. An urban location is also helpful to student spouses who want/need to continue their careers.

— Many top business schools either own or have easy access to elaborate facilities for executive education. Such facilities might include a hotel/dining facility and dedicated classrooms. Executive Education programs generate a lot of extra cash for business schools and many of their faculty. Those programs also provide contacts in the corporate world and add prestige to the school. Of course the most important attribute of a good exec ed program is great teachers. Though Tuck does not have a dedicated facility for exec ed, it does have great teachers and so it has a successful exec ed program.

— Many of the top business schools, because they also have undergraduate students and/or more MBA students, are larger than Tuck with more faculty. Tuck’s faculty is relatively small.

As we’ve noted before, there are lessons to be learned by the College from Tuck if only College leaders were paying attention. Tuck makes a virtue of of its seeming disadvantages, much as the College used to do.

Amen.

Addendum: The article was divided into eight pages; the third page, where the full ranking appeared, included a Tuck picture:

Bloomberg Tuck Image.jpg

No students were harmed in the making of this photograph.

Addendum: Tuck’s alumni loyalty is second to none among B-schools.

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:

Bruce Sacerdote.jpgBruce Sacerdote ‘90 is the Richard S. Braddock 1963 Professor in Economics at the College. An alumnus and now professor for nearly 20 years, he has explored the economic and personal impact of education, crime, and social interaction.

Sacerdote fell in love with the College after a winter visit as a high school junior. Econ hooked him from his first Intro to Macroeconomics course, and by the time he graduated in 1990, he was a star with High Honors in Economics and Salutatorian status. After some time as a management consultant, he went to Harvard, where he earned his Ph.D. in economics.

At Harvard, Sacerdote analyzed data on human behavior changes in response to events or policy changes. One paper he co-authored, Crime and Social Interactions, examined massive data files on crime and arrests product by the FBI and police departments to learn how crime propagates within a city or area due to social peer effects from one person to the next. It remains his most cited paper, and he has continued to research the topic. Sacerdote’s dissertation, funded by the National Science Foundation, involved a survey of hundreds of people who had played and won the Massachusetts State Lottery. His results showed how the extra income from lottery winnings influenced everything from savings and large purchases to labor supply.

Sacerdote has continued to work with data sets that allow him to examine clear before-and-after test cases on behavior. Another of his most-cited papers (overall, Sacerdote has more than 11,000 individual citations and an h-index of 33, according to Google Scholar) concerns the random assignment of roommates at the College. Peer Effects with Random Assignment proved what many people may know intuitively: it matters who is assigned to be your roommate. Sacerdote found that roommates affect both academic effort and social interaction. There is an observable difference in GPA that occurs at the individual room level, and both room- and dorm-mates influence the decision to join a fraternity. That research has been discussed in The New York Times and elsewhere (here and here).

In other papers, Sacerdote has looked at Korean-American adoptees who were randomly assigned to families in the U.S., and what impact their families and environments had on their lives. Today he’s looking at the effect random personnel assignment to Army bases has on children moving with their parents.

Sacerdote returned to Hanover in 1998, was tenured in 2003, and he became a full professor in 2005. In the spring, he’ll teach three sections of Econ 46 Topics in Money and Finance — a seminar that covers topics including financial institutions, capital markets, monetary policy, and debt and deficits. In the course students design and execute their own data-intensive research project. Watch Sacerdote discuss the recent financial crisis here:

Meanwhile, Sacerdote has shifted his research focus to burrow in on education. One recent paper looked at what factors induce high school seniors to apply to college. He showed that in-person coaching had the biggest impact on students. National education non-profits are currently looking to implement policy based on those findings. Right now he’s researching the effect on a student of winning a major college scholarship, and he is running a randomized control trial to text community college students to remind them to file financial aid forms.

The first two parts of our parking exposé dealt with the increased costs of parking at Dartmouth for students and the reduced availability of spots for everyone who needs to leave a car at the College. But A-Lot and the other spaces scattered around campus are not the only two parking possibilities for vehicle owners — fraternity lots offer a significant number of spots every year. As it turns out, this fact has not escaped the College in its attempt to crack down on a problem that does not need to be cracked down on. Administrators want to know exactly who is keeping a car on fraternity property. The only problem is that the big bad frats aren’t playing nice:

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A member of the Interfraternity Council has a theory:

IFC Parking Memo.jpg

The fact that the College wants to be able to identify drivers who break the rules — unnecessarily restrictive as they may be — seems fair at first. However, there are multiple fraternities on campus which own their own houses, including the attached parking lots. Anyone who’s paid any attention at all to College news in the past few years is aware that the administration seemingly has it out for the Greek system, so the infringement detailed above isn’t too surprising, but it does cross a line nonetheless.

What fraternities do with their own property is their own business, assuming that nobody is being put into any sort of danger. Obviously nobody is getting hurt because Dartmouth is unable to levy fines on certain students who put their cars in the wrong places from time to time. The foregone revenue may annoy administrators, but that alone does not pass muster when it comes to violating private property rights.

I would encourage the fraternities withholding information to stick to their guns — someone needs to remind the administration that Dartmouth students are, in fact, adults to be trusted, not children to rule over. If doing so means that the new parking department’s coffers are a bit less full at the end of the day, even better.

Perhaps we’ll get lucky and the College will come up short on the funding for its sorely needed reinforcements. Do you think that S&S alone will be able to stop the tide of chaos that would surely result from the absence of a dedicated parking Gestapo? I do.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

CBS News reports that Kyle Hendricks ‘12 did not win the Cy Young. As Michael Beechert ‘16 predicted in this space, the award went to Max Scherzer of the Nats:

On Wednesday, the Baseball Writers Association of America named Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer the winner of the 2016 National League Cy Young award. Cubs lefty Jon Lester finished second in the voting and Cubs righty Kyle Hendricks was third.

Somewhat surprisingly, Scherzer won the Cy Young in a landslide. He received 25 of the 30 first place votes and accumulated 192 total voting points. Lester received one first-place vote and had 102 points. Hendricks received two first-place votes and had 85 points. Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw received the other two first place votes…

As a reminder, the Cy Young is a regular season award only. Votes are cast following the final regular season game and before the first postseason game.

Addendum: The full vote is here — “30 individual ballots, submitted by two writers representing each city in the National League.” Only Jack Magruder of FanRagSports.com in Arizona and Matt Snyder of CBS Sports in Cincinnati voted for Kyle to win the award.

Addendum: CSN Chicago has a nice profile of the CY Young finalists and their reaction to Max Scherzer’s win.

Yesterday, the first part of our parking exposé covered how the College has raised permit fees for student drivers, presumably to finance the addition of four positions to its parking enforcement staff. Today, thanks to some investigative photojournalism done by a loyal Dartblog reader, we see why Dartmouth saw — or, more perhaps accurately, how it invented — the need to do so.

Anyone who has ever experienced the struggle of having to find a parking spot at the College during peak hours can attest to the dearth of convenient options on campus. While this is merely an annoyance for students who have to bring their cars over from A-Lot for whatever reason, it’s faculty members who really get the short end of the stick. Dartmouth has, as Joe Asch ‘79 has covered on multiple occasions in the past, a first-come, first-serve system that oftentimes relegates professors to distant satellite lots since everything more central is snapped up by maintenance people and other staff members who arrive at work early in the morning. I have had professors admit to me that they sometimes pay for street parking in order to save time. This should be a source of embarrassment to a college that already neglects its faculty.

So, what’s a school to do if its screwed-up parking situation causes feelings of frustration and resentment among employees? Apparently, eliminate a number of the few options that do exist! Take a look:

Parking Spots Lost.jpg

What you see are the remnants of several spaces that have been half-ripped out of the ground and replaced with gravel. For good measure, the College put up a no parking sign in case the change in surface wasn’t clear enough.

Parking Sports Lost1a.jpgThe picture to the right, meanwhile, was taken from the side of the Gold Coast cluster which previously held a number of spots that could be used by faculty and staff. Not anymore. And, once again, there’s a helpful sign to avoid any ambiguity.

One more example of precious parking spots gone to die, as reflected in the image that you see below, also provides us with a demonstration of poor aesthetic sense on the part of whoever was in charge of the transformation. Do we really need such a chaotic, ugly maze of green, black, and white? And are the giant concrete planters on top — or whatever they are — really necessary? What an eyesore:

Parking Sports Lost2.jpg

It is unclear, at least to me, what the rationale behind the elimination of so many spots would be. Many of the former spaces seen in the above photos would not seem to block vehicle traffic or give rise to any sort of dangerous situation on the road. I can anecdotally confirm that, in my four years in Hanover, I was never inconvenienced by anyone making use of an existing parking space. Could the College simply be attempting to drum up revenue from fines by restricting the areas in which parking is actually allowed on campus? I hope not, but then again, would anyone really be surprised if that were the case?

Tomorrow, the third and final installment of the parking series will focus on how fraternity lots fit into the College’s plans.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

I was recently asked by friend not affiliated with Dartmouth to explain the purpose of this website. Although Dartblog is, of course, home to world-class cultural commentary and superbly-done analysis of current events on campus, my response was something along the lines of, “we try to expose how unfairly the College tends to treat its students and faculty.” Sad, but true. With that, I am happy (not really) to present further evidence that Dartmouth views its charges as little more than piggy banks to be smashed open at the first sniff of money to be made.

As someone who had a car in Hanover for the majority of my time as a student, the price of parking every term was just something to be tacked on to the already-exorbitant cost of attendance. In contrast to most Dartmouth-associated expenditures, however, I never felt that I was being gouged for the privilege of depositing my vehicle in the distant, poorly-maintained A-Lot. The cost of a term permit hovered around $40 for the entirety of my tenure; when I graduated this past spring, the price was $42. This, I believed, was reasonable.

But since reason tends to have a short lifespan up in Hanover, I was not surprised to find out that a permit now costs $75 per term. What, you might ask, are drivers receiving for an extra $99 a year? Did the College hire a valet service to ferry cars back and forth between A-Lot and civilization? Did anyone promise to actually clear snow from the lot in the winter instead of plowing it up against parked vehicles? Is Phil going to personally give every sedan and SUV a fresh wax come springtime?

The actual answer, found in a June 2016 email from Assistant Director of Residential Operations Bernard Haskell, may be a tad less satisfying:

Haskell Memo.jpg

The mental image of some bureaucrat salivating over punishing students for having the gall to leave their cars outside of the dining hall during lunch would be funny if it weren’t so representative of how the administration actually behaves. Apparently, the total breakdown of law and order caused by improper parking habits justifies the addition of even more fat to the College’s already-bloated staffing structure. Congrats, kids! You get to pay an additional $33 a term for the increased chance of receiving a $50 fine if you accidentally park in the wrong place or can’t get a permit on time due to start-of-term chaos. But at least you’ll have three new parking officers (with their own department!) to shield you from the madness of traffic conditions in rural New Hampshire. That has to be worth something, right?

Part II will look at how Dartmouth has managed available spaces on campus, and Part III will examine how the College has gone about dealing with fraternity parking lots.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

When NYT cartoonist JR Zuckerberg had to draw a caricature of a feckless, pandering college administrator terrified of offending ever-so-sensitive students at Halloween, she chose the image of a balding man with a bushy mustache and wire rim glasses:

Halloween3.jpg

Look familiar?

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Coincidence, you say? I don’t think so. Julia Zuckerberg spent two months during the summer of 2014 in White River Junction at the Center for Cartoon Studies. She knows of what she draws.

Is an undergraduate education at Dartmouth followed by postings that include sixteen years at the University of Michigan a good preparation for the presidency of an Ivy League school. Cornell seems to think so. Michigan’s Provost Martha Pollack ‘79 was just appointed president there:

Martha Pollack3.jpg

Phil Hanlon ‘77 was at Michigan for 27 years, and look what that got him (and us).

Self-congratulation is hard to take, especially in an institution as bloated and inefficient as Dartmouth. Here is an example: an announcement that the various Vice Provosts and Deans in charge of student life have deigned to, get this, meet with students. How kind of them to pull away from the meetings to plan meetings that they meet to plan:

Deans Meetings.jpg

I can just see students rushing to chat with these folks in the last week of the term — at some point between finishing a 20-page paper and studying for finals.

Addendum: Are we laughing or crying?

There’s arson and then there’s accident. It turns out that Sebastian Lim ‘19 and Daniel Ro ‘19, the students whose hibachi caused the Morton Hall fire, have been expelled after being deemed “a danger to the community.” Is that a fair punishment for an act that was not intentional by any definition of the term. In fact, rooftop barbecuing has been done over the years by a great many students all over campus, albeit not with the same fiery consequences.

In any event, the two students are justifiably concerned about the harshness of their punishment, and they have put up an on-line petition:

Morton Fire Petition.jpg

What are Dean Ameer and her minions seeking to achieve in meting out such a dracoian punishment for an unintended event?

Needless to say, not everyone is a fan of the good Dean:

Ameer Must Go.jpg

My god, but the people who run the College are incompetent.

Addendum: The D briefly notes Lim’s and Ro’s petition.

Addendum: A Dartmouth parent writes in:

One reason for such harsh punishment may be to distract attention from the fact that the administration was not enforcing its own rules. I have heard vague reports from several sources that roof-top barbecuing was not unusual, but no concrete information. Who is responsible for fire safety?

Addendum: One of our feistiest readers comments:

Morton Hall fiasco is heartbreaking. Did anyone in the administration ever stop to consider the impact of expulsion on the lives of these two young men? Or are they concerned only with potential legal liabilities in future? Disgusting. Students at the College should never be collateral damage - why not “sentence” them to some sort of community service instead? Is not as though they were cooking meth on the roof for heaven’s sake.

The Hill is reporting that sassy talk radio star Laura Ingraham ‘85 (her show is heard on 306 stations) is under consideration for the position of Press Secretary in the Trump administration. She was an early and vociferous Donald supporter both on her show and when appearing on Fox:

Laura Ingraham_.jpg

Laura was the Dartmouth Review’s first female editor-in-chief, and she went on to study law at UVA. She then clerked for former Yale Law professor and Second Circuit Judge Ralph Winter and, as have several other alumni, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Subsequently she worked at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, one of New York City’s top firms.

Addendum: I don’t really love her.

In the coming week the winners of the Cy Young Award will be announced. Every year the Baseball Writers Association of America votes to determine the best regular-season pitcher in the American and National Leagues. While always a fun moment for baseball fans, this year’s big reveal should be of particular interest to the Dartmouth community, seeing as Kyle Hendricks ‘12 of the World Series champion Chicago Cubs is one of the three NL finalists. The race is tight, and although it’s difficult to identify a presumptive winner, I’ve put together a table as a means of estimating Kyle’s chances against his fellow finalists, teammate Jon Lester and Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals:

CY Young Table.jpg

The statistic most obviously in Kyle’s favor is his ERA, a category in which he led the major leagues. While ERA is by no means a perfect statistic — it doesn’t adjust for the quality of the defense playing behind a pitcher (the Cubs’ defense was phenomenal this year) or ballpark peculiarities — it is almost certainly a better measure of performance than a win-loss record, where Kyle falls somewhat behind Lester and Scherzer.

That being said, Scherzer had a significantly higher workload than both Hendricks and Lester, and he was simply more dominant on the mound, as evidenced by his superior strikeout total and batting average against. The sabermetric statistic WAR (wins above replacement), which estimates how many team wins a given player was worth in comparison to an average player at the same position, seems to back this up.

Scherzer, I believe, will deservedly win the vote. Kyle will come in second place, by virtue of his ERA crown, to be followed by Lester. It should be noted that this discussion is artificially limited because Dodger Clayton Kershaw was not able to play for almost two and a half months this season due to a back injury; the Los Angeles ace was by far the best pitcher in the major leagues when he was actually on the mound.

In any case, Kyle should be proud of a phenomenal season. I imagine that any sting that results from finishing as the Cy Young runner-up will be more than made up by the World Series crown that he helped bring to Chicago.

Addendum: Here is MLB’s summary description of the NL Cy Young finalists:

Kyle Hendricks, Cubs: The first Cubs pitcher to lead the league in ERA since Bill Lee in 1938, Hendricks put together an outstanding second full season in the Majors with a 2.13 ERA and a .581 opponents’ OPS. He had a nine-game winning streak en route to his 16 wins and allowed three or fewer earned runs in 22 consecutive starts. It was a study in pitch command, soft contact and consistency that lasted all year long.

Jon Lester, Cubs: Performing at the level anticipated when he was signed to a lucrative contract prior to the 2015 season, Lester had a career year with bests in ERA (2.44) and wins (19). He allowed one or zero runs in a franchise-record eight straight starts and helped lead the Cubs to an NL Central title and a ticket to the postseason party.

Max Scherzer, Nationals: In his second year after signing as a free agent with the Nationals, Scherzer led the Majors with a franchise-record and career-high 284 strikeouts and recorded his second 20-win season. He picked up 20 of those strikeouts in a meeting with his former team, the Tigers, in May.

Joe Asch Addendum: Beyond his status as a Dartmouth alum, I’m hoping that Kyle wins the award because he makes up in brainpower what he lacks in heat. His combination of pinpoint control, a range of four effective pitches (a sinker, a fourseam fastball, a curve, and the league’s best changeup), and superb preparation for opposing batters draw comparisons with Gregg Maddux — winner of four Cy Youngs. Fingers crossed for “The Professor,” who pitched better in the postseason than did his teammate Jon Lester.

In this series we ask professors to write a report anonymously on their opinion concerning the strengths and weaknesses of Dartmouth students. There are no more parameters than that; we’ll leave the faculty free to choose how to fully define their subject. The second post, by a Humanities professor, is entitled What Would It Take?:

What Would It Take.jpg

Joe Asch Addendum: In auditing 45 or so classes at the College since graduation, I have heard only in recent years the phrase, “You don’t need to know that; it won’t be on the exam.” In my day, those words would have elicited a cringe and disapproval. All knowledge was considered to have value, even if it was not to be part of an examination.

Football Coach Buddy Teevens ‘79 and Thayer Research Engineer John Currier ‘79 continue to make strides with their Mobile Virtual Player (MVP), as this Steelers’ video shows:

Addendum: The Steelers produced two other promo videos about the MVP (here and here).

Addendum: 1979 was a pretty good class.

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