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You can stop complaining about the absence of speakers on campus regarding your favorite topic du jour. Send in a suggestion:

PEP Projects.jpg

pep@dartmouth.edu
jason.p.sorens@dartmouth.edu

The Athletics department seems to be acting on its own to punish varsity athletes who were caught sending in a clicker with a friend to the Religion 65 class. Offenders are being asked to sit out one game or more of the department’s choosing. This posture seems fair, so as not to punish the entire team in a single game for the infractions of a few teammates.

Valley News reporter Tris Wykes made the following observation regarding this past weekend’s football game against Brown:

[Running back Brian] Grove, linebacker Eric Wickham and receiver Victor Williams were not on the sidelines for the game. [Football Coach Buddy] Teevens would say only that the trio violated team rules last week.

It is unclear whether other non-starting players did not dress.

No members of the men’s soccer team appeared to be sitting out in the 3-0 victory over Brown.

We’ll see who is not present for the season-ending football game against Princeton this weekend. If Yale beats Harvard, and then we lose to Princeton due to the absence of players who violated the College’s honor code — and thereby not share in the Ivy football title with Harvard and Yale, potentially our first title since 1996 — you can bet that athletes will tell the story for decades, and be more than adverse to breaking the College’s core rules ever again.

Addendum: The Athletics department’s sit-down punishment for athletes is independent of whatever sanctions the College will mete out. If players on winter and spring teams have to take terms off due to College sanctions, they will sit out contests when they return

Addendum: Today’s D reports on the number of athletes taking Religion 65:

Varsity athletes comprise just under 70 percent of the 272-person class, including more than half of the football team, or 61 players, more than half of the men’s hockey team, or 16 players, and more than two-thirds of the men’s basketball team, or 12 players. The men’s soccer team has 10 players in the class, and the baseball, women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse teams each have nine. Athletes in the class represent 24 of Dartmouth’s 34 varsity teams, and about a quarter of Dartmouth students are varsity athletes.

Who’s gonna play Princeton?

Erratum: The above post contained several errors of fact that have now been corrected as we gather more information.

There will come a point when the free association cue of “Dartmouth” will cause people to hold their nose. Perhaps in New Hampshire we are already there:

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What a pleasure it would be if the College occasionally made the headlines for innovative programs, the arrival of exciting new professors, or the cutting of tuition.

Addendum: On and on and on:

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Munich Column.JPGMunich was bombed repeatedly (71 raids from 1940-1945) and fought over once in WWII — not that you could tell that fact on a visit today. Just as I was struck by Mainz’s material progress between 1976, when I lived there in the fall on LSA, and on a return trip to see my host family in 2004, so does Munich show all the indicia of wealth that one could hope to see: lovely, restored buildings; elegant shops; and a cleanliness that only Swiss cities can rival. Yet, unlike Berlin, or even our neighborhood in Paris, the civic fathers have chosen to scrub away almost all traces of the war, save for a few. The columns of the Palais an der Oper (right) and the nearby Opera itself show signs of shrapnel blasts from aerial bombing.

Erasing memories strikes me as the wrong approach to history. When the wounds of war are visible, passers-by can’t but think of their good fortune to live in a time of peace. Munich has come a long way since 1945:

Munich bombed.jpg

Addendum: The Wall Street bombing of 1920, thought to have been perpetrated by Italian anarchists, killed 38 people when an explosive device carried in a horse-drawn wagon was detonated across the street from the headquarters of the J.P. Morgan Bank at 23 Wall Street. That event, too, left its mark on masonry, and to this day the Bank has respectfully chosen not to patch the pockmarks from the terrorist attack.

Wall Street Bombing 1920.jpg

Addendum: An alumnus in the military writes in to note that the Ford Island control tower at Pearl Harbor has been preserved in memory of the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941.

Oahu Control Tower.jpg


The Navy itself notes:

The tower is where a radioman issued the first radio broadcast of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor at 8:05 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941. Exploding bombs shattered lower-level windows during the assault.

“The tower is part of the Navy’s history and our country’s history, and it is important that we continue to preserve this historical site,” said Rear Adm. Dixon Smith, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. “As the history of Pearl Harbor continues with current and future generations to come, we need to have memorials and reminders of all the important history that happened here more than 65 years ago.”

Rauner, Kitzhaber and Wolf, oh my. They may be politicians, but they are Dartmouth politicians: Bruce Rauner ‘78 (R-Illinois), John Kitzhaber ‘71 (D-Oregon) and Tom Wolf ‘71 (D-Pennsylvania) were elected to the governorships of their states on November 4.

Dartmouth Governors 2014.jpg

In his first run for elective office, Rauner received the votes of 50.8% of Illinois voters. He won every county in the state, except for Chicago’s populous Cook County, which he lost by a 2:1 ratio. Kitzhaber won an unprecedented fourth term as Oregon’s governor with 49.4% of the vote, and if he serves his full term, he will be the nation’s second longest-serving governor. Another newcomer to elective politics, Wolf won in Pennsylvania with a 54.9% majority; in contrast to Rauner, he easily won his state’s urban areas, including 88% of the voters in Philadelphia County, which accounted for almost his entire margin of victory.

Addendum: There are four sitting U.S. Senators who graduated from the College: Angus King ‘66 (I-Maine); Rob Portman ‘78 (R-Ohio); Kirsten Gillibrand ‘88 (D-New York); and John Hoeven ‘79 (R-North Dakota).

One begins to get the feeling that Phil is going to be little more than a caretaker President, someone who nibbles at the edges of problems rather than taking the decisive moves that the College had needed for several decades. Reappointing Mike Mastanduno as Dean of the Faculty is a case in point. Like Phil, Mike spends little time with the faculty in their departments, and as a result, we see the kind of drift that marks the rest of the College. Sure, there is lots of talk about interdisciplinary this and that, but does Mike have anything substantive to show for his five years in office (or for his 28 years in Hanover?) — since he was predictably appointed by Jim Kim and Carol Folt? Can anyone recall field-leading professors moving to Hanover or exciting scholarly initiatives?

Beyond an overarching vision for the future (what George Bush called “the vision thing” — as evidence that he didn’t have one), a chief executive must have an eye for strong people. When Phil allows someone like Mastanduno to carry on, he tells us that he is comfortable with the mediocre status quo at the College. As I keep saying, Mike is a nice guy with a good sense of humor, but that isn’t enough.

Mastanduno Reappointment.jpg

The only questions remaining are whether the more accomplished members of the faculty will raise their voices against Mastanduno, and whether Phil will listen to them. Other than the usual set of sycophants, Mike has few supporters out in the trenches.

Fire and brimstone it ain’t, but there is a tad more muscle in Provost Dever’s solo campus-wide e-mail than there was in Phil’s and her missive about civilty on Wednesday:

Dever Honor Code.jpg

I hope that I am not the only person hoping for more forceful prose and rigorous argumentation from our top administrators in the future — particularly regarding issues that go to the heart of our democracy and academic life. For example, we could take more than “a moment” to think about the ethics of cheating.

Addendum: Here are the links to which Provost Dever refers:

The Academic Honor Principle can be read here:
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~uja/honor/students.html

The Standards of Conduct are contained here:
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~deancoll/student-handbook/standards.html

The Athletics Department and the administration are pressuring students to come forward and admit that they clicked the clickers of absent students in the Religion 65 class. Students whose clickers were clicked, even though they themselves were not present in the classroom, numbered 43. But who was doing the clicking?

If the College were serious about enforcement here, the situation could develop into an interesting, if distant, variation on the Prisoner’s Dilemma: the students not present in the class (but whose clickers were clicked by accomplices) could be offered a choice of two punishments: say, a three-term suspension if they don’t give up their accomplice, and a one-term suspension if they do. And all potential accomplices could be told that they would receive a one-term suspension if they come forward, but a three-term suspension if they don’t (and are denounced by a friend).

Of course, the students could game this situation by having one student (presumably well compensated by all the others) step forward as the fall guy/gal and falsely admit to pressing all 43 clickers for students who were not present…

Don’t get me started.

Addendum: The D has another thorough piece of reporting on the growing scandal: Religion 65 students identify culture of cheating.

John Barchilon ”60, M.D. could well become a name in the news in Hanover in the next few weeks. We wrote last week about how his Letter to the Editor of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine had generated an on-line petition at MoveOn.org (415 signatures as of this morning) that took the DAM to task for publishing his letter.

Also generating controversy at the College is a comment that Barchilon made on the website of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), which Wikipedia describes as “a politically conservative non-profit association founded in 1943 to ‘fight socialized medicine and to fight the government takeover of medicine.’” The AAPS site published what it described as a series of health care myths: “#11. There are 46 million or more Americans without “health care.”:

The 46 million are the “uninsured.” They lack “coverage,” not care…

In the U.S. 37% of people with below-average income reported that they were in fair or poor health, while only 9% of people with above-average income said the same. A similar disparity is seen in the UK, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia, despite their “universal coverage.”…

Insurance “coverage” is not the same thing as medical care. It is not necessarily the best way to pay for medical care—although it probably is the most expensive. And there is no actual evidence, only inference from uncontrolled observational studies, that increasing the level of insurance coverage improves health outcomes. If expanding coverage means restricting care, the opposite could occur.

In response, Barchilon wrote the following:

Barchilon AAPS Comment.jpg

How many speech/thought crimes has the good doctor committed with these words? He is attacking the poor. He is attacking immigrants. He is blaming people who are victims for their misery. In the politically correct litany of sins, these are clearly cardinal.

What remains to be seen is the upcoming reaction of the angry members of the campus radical fringe — the people who disrupted Dimensions, occupied Phil’s office, and insulted Rick Perry by asking intentionally vulgar questions. Given that Yale Medical School-educated Doctor Barchilon is not in town — he is based in Los Angeles — can we expect that the staff of the Alumni Magazine will be hearing from the College’s social justice warriors in some provocative fashion?

Addendum: Rianna Starheim ‘14, a longtime intern at the DAM, published in yesterday’s D an articulate defense of the magazine’s right to provide space for unpopular views.

Phil has written to the campus concerning the current free-speech scandals roiling Hanover, but he seems to be limited by an animating principle: first, do no harm to anyone’s feelings. Generalities are all well and good, but a leader takes a clear stand on the issues of the day, rather than adopting an attitude of platitudes:

Phil on Dialogue.jpg

If a student writing an essay for freshman English were asked to comment on the Rick Perry visit and other such controversies, I don’t think that this missive would pass muster. How about some examples? Some clear views on what is and is not acceptable on the Dartmouth campus? Elucidating principles is fine in an introduction, but after that, the College community would benefit from specific guidance. This ain’t it.

Folt & Kim.jpgIf I were a headhunter, I would be wondering just who has been running Dartmouth College for the last couple of decades (many students, faculty, staff and alumni have been wondering the same thing). Last week The Economist ran a story about the World Bank staff’s open revolt against Jim Kim entitled Opprobrium from the Atrium, and the Carolina Tar Heel student newspaper’s editorial about Carol Folt had an equally acid headline: Folt’s Wainstein email says a whole lot of nothing.

Let’s look first at the editorial regarding Folt’s message to her community. It concerned an independent report that over the past two decades 3,100 students (about half of them athletes) had received grades for courses that did not meet: so-called “paper classes.” Folt’s usual chirpy whitewash, the kind that this space documented for years in Hanover, did not pass muster in Carolina:

Daily Tar Heel logo.jpgChancellor Carol Folt sent an email to the UNC community Thursday that did little to reassure the University that it has fully recovered from the impact of paper classes. In fact, the implied intention of the email was to lay a veneer on the rugged face of the scandal. Such a message indicates a lack of leadership.

The email contained little content of substance, instead featuring vague proclamations about “looking ahead” and “making our University better” that read as if they had been well-tested in focus groups.

Folt used the email to highlight examples of why students and employees should be proud to be at UNC — examples that had no relation to the Wainstein report whatsoever…

Yet now, Folt is avoiding the language of hard choices, clear action and decisive leadership.

The (Raleigh) News & Observer reported that UNC hired the world’s largest public relations firm — which has billed the University almost $800,000 — to deal with the aftermath of the scandal. While there is sometimes a legitimate place for public relations professionals at UNC, their job should not be to mask the stink of scandal by desperately listing the University’s many positive accomplishments to members of this community.

To do so reeks of condescension…

These Carolina kids don’t pull their punches, do they?

In the meanwhile, the Economist has picked up where the Financial Times left off in the spring: Jim Kim is making a dog’s breakfast of the World Bank Presidency.

Economist Logo narrow.jpgTHE fury would not have been much greater if anti-capitalist activists had taken over the vast atrium of the World Bank’s headquarters in Washington, DC. Yet the protesters who did so last month were the Bank’s own employees. The goodwill that first greeted the modernisation plans of Jim Yong Kim, the Bank’s president since 2012, has turned to rancour…

Whether or not these changes are the right ones, they have not been well executed. Staff in the countries where the Bank operates, who used to be charged with looking for new lending opportunities, complain that their budgets have disappeared while the new global practice leaders seem more focused on impressing Mr Kim than on assisting borrowers…

Among the Bank’s 16,000 strong staff, Mr Kim, a health-care expert and former president of Dartmouth College, is increasingly seen as an outsider who does not understand the institution he runs. He has appointed outsiders to many senior jobs and brought in consultants from McKinsey and Booz Allen Hamilton…

Mr Kim seems to take it for granted that things will settle down once the reforms are in place. He airily dismissed the complaints in an interview earlier this year, saying, “There’s grumbling about parking and there’s grumbling about breakfast.” His supporters claim, implausibly, that the unrest has largely been whipped up by one disgruntled mid-level officer, Fabrice Houdart. Yet even loyalists are increasingly frustrated by Mr Kim’s seeming inability to focus on his reforms. His current hyperactivity around the Ebola crisis, which has won him favourable comparisons in the media to Margaret Chan, the head of the World Health Organisation, is privately described as yet another distraction by one of his closest lieutenants: “Last year, he was Mr Climate Change, now he is Mr Ebola.”…

Mr Kim may think he has time on his side. After all, he is unlikely to lose his job, if only because America, which forced his appointment over objections from developing countries, has little appetite for another such row. Yet unless Mr Kim now moves decisively to fix the budget problems and win round the staff, his presidency risks becoming a costly failure.

If faculty members in Hanover had given public voice to their long-held view that both Kim and Folt are dishonest incompetents who consciously trade on appearance rather than substance, we could have saved two large institutions the trouble of finding these things out for themselves.

My prediction: despite The Economist’s reticence and Carolina courtesy, both Folt and Kim will be out of their jobs by the end of 2015. The kind of contemptuous anger that is being expressed in Chapel Hill and Washington does not die down. A line has been crossed.

Addendum: Although there will be no demonstration today in the atrium of the World Bank, last Thursday’s demonstration drew a large crowd. The angry consensus among the Bank’s staffers is that Kim has to go — but they are wondering just how to oblige the Bank’s Boards of Directors to give Jim Kim his walking papers.

Wolrd Bank Atrium.jpg

The Daily News — the country’s fourth most widely circulated daily newspaper — has picked up the story of Rick Perry’s altercation at the College. The piece ran top left on the paper’s website. We don’t come out looking good.

Daily News Perry Comp.jpg

Addendum: Meanwhile, Daily D columnist Emily Sellers ‘15, who asked Governor Perry if he would have anal sex for $102 million, wrote a column in the newspaper today explaining her motivations. I’ll leave you to follow the link to her piece. In the last three paragraphs of her essay, Miss Sellers uses the word “power” ten times.

The D has published a carefully written story on the second Dartmouth scandal this week: cheating on questions posed in a “Sports, Ethics and Religion” class by 43 students (and their currently unnamed, unindicted co-conspirators). Folks, it looks like the Rick Perry vulgar-questions incident will get knocked out of the newspapers by yet another ugly event at the College. The D’s Lily Xu has prepared an excellent graphic detailing the event (click on the image to enlarge it):

Ethics Class Cheating.jpg

In short, using electronic clickers assigned to others, certain students clicked answers to in-class question for their absent classmates. The 272-student course was specifically designed for athletes by Religion Professor Randall Balmer, and the staffers at The D have calculated on their own that “about 68 percent of students enrolled in the course are varsity athletes.” (Good legwork!)

The case is now in the hands of the the Committee on Standards. One wonders how fast the College’s disciplinary arm will act in light of the heavy sports schedule this weekend: the football team; the volleyball team; the men’s and women’s hockey, basketball and swimming/diving teams; and the men’s soccer team will all be competing.

Addendum: I have heard rumors of widespread cheating at the College for years, but no source has ever been able to pin down infractions.

Addendum: Of all the College’s courses in which to cheat, it had to be a class on ethics:

Ethics1.jpg

Erratum: An early version of this post referred to students cheating on an exam in the course, not simply answering in-class questions for absent classmates. The text above has been re-written in light of an e-mail from an eagle-eyed alumnus.

Addendum: The huge “Sports, Ethics and Religion” class has been the subject of no little discussion by members of the faculty. Many professors feel that a Humanities course of such a size goes against the spirit of that division, which prizes close cooperation between students and faculty members, with an emphasis on analysis and interpretation, good writing, and the formulation and expression of complex ideas. Is such a model of instruction worth in excess of $60k/year?

Addendum: The Valley News has a lengthy report on the cheating scandal.

Miriam Kilimo.jpgAmidst yet another scandal, one can take solace that the work of the College goes on. Complementing Dartmouth’s two Canadian regional winners last year, Miriam Kilimo ‘14 is one of two Rhodes recipients this year from Kenya. The College’s press release reports:

An anthropology major, Kilimo plans to use the scholarship to pursue a master’s in women’s studies at Oxford…

As a Senior Fellow, Kilimo conducted research on “Inter-ethnic Friendship Among Youth in Urban Kenya.” A salutatorian of her class, she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and was a James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar, a Rufus Choate Scholar, and a recipient of the W.E.B. DuBois Award for Academic Excellence for all four years of her Dartmouth career. She received a Robert G. McGuire III 1958 Memorial Fund grant for academic research on ethnicity and nationalism in Kenya, and a William Jewett Tucker Foundation Fellowship grant for a project to combat the practice of female circumcision through education in Kenya. Kilimo was a member of the Dartmouth African Students Association, the Christian Union, and the Jabulani African Chorus; worked as an undergraduate adviser and as a student consultant with the Office of the Dean of the College; and wrote for the student creative nonfiction journal 40 Towns.

Congratulations.

One of Dartblog’s roving reporters files a story:

Rick Perry came and spoke yesterday to the College Republicans. All in all, a solid, thoughtful and respectful talk. Unfortunately, a group of students had the audacity to cheapen the experience for everyone, circulating fliers (attached) during his talk. The sheet was aimed at baiting students into asking Governor Perry insulting and degrading questions.

A few students did. Questions #1 and #7 from the sheet were asked during the Q&A portion:

“In 2002, you supported Texas’s anti-sodomy law. Do you dislike bootysex because the peeny goes in where the poopy comes out?”

And:

“In your campaigns you have received hard money campaign contributions of $102 million, half of which came from 204 donors. Would you have anal sex for $102 million?”

The conduct these students displayed is the sort of trivial and immature behavior often represented on campus these days by a small group of students. This sort of behavior certainly doesn’t help Dartmouth’s PR problem, and goes against the respect and tolerance a majority of students embrace.

While I am no fan of Rick Perry, the least Dartmouth students can do is show him respect for taking the time to come and talk on campus.

Rick Perry Questions1.jpg

Not only is the College embarrassed — yet again — on the national stage, but anyone with a modicum of decorum will be embarrassed for Dartmouth. What kind of students do not understand the seriousness of the College’s and New Hampshire’s role as the first-in-the-nation primary? What kind of students don’t have the decency to ask only thoughtful questions of the governor of one of the largest states in the nation?

Let’s wait and see if other candidates strike Hanover from their itineraries.

Addendum: The D has a sanitized story about the event; the piece has received well over one hundred comments to date [209 comments as of Tuesday afternoon at 2pm]. The Daily Caller and Campus Reform describe the encounter more explicitly. New York Magazine has picked up the story, as has the Washington Examiner. The national press won’t be far behind.

Addendum: An alum writes in:

Next thing you know, they’ll be calling us Dirtmouth College.

Addendum: Well, well. It turns out that Dartmouth’s potty-mouthed students have a defender. A veteran professor writes in:

As a faculty member I applaud the students who confronted Rick Perry. I’m old enough to remember the Harvard students who in 1966 forced Robert McNamara to abandon his limousine during a visit to Harvard—a first harbinger of the protests over the Vietnam War [http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2012/2/28/harvard-protests-years-summary/]. I’m old enough to remember when Jerry Rubin and other members of SDS appeared before the House Unamerican Activities Committee and ridiculed that solemn committee’s proceedings, ending its 20-year reign of terror. [jerry rubin house unamerican activities committee]. My point? Theatrics and comedy are sometimes appropriate responses to smug iniquity.

Rick Perry thought that he could come to Dartmouth and strengthen his presidential bid. Up until now, he has confidently defended homophobic policies and many other destructive policies all over his Texas stamping ground. Now, Dartmouth students have shown him to be the defender of prejudice and violence that he is. Bravo, Dartmouth students!

My reaction? What is the principle elucidated by the College’s professor here? That any tactic is justified if you believe that your opponent is on the wrong side of an issue? Street theater may have its place — in the street — but if every politician can expect this type of behavior, or some variation on it, the future of civil discourse is dim.

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