IP Folt wasn’t kidding when she said that she was short staffed and therefore couldn’t communicate with alumni and parents about the College’s April 24 shutdown. She is even now feverishly looking for a senior writer for such important assignments:
Interestingly enough, the proposed salary in the DRM D salary bracket is $39,500-$67,100. If the College can hire someone at the low end of that range, then the President’s new senior writer will be making $5,616 more per year than the lowest paid starting cook helper in Thayer dining hall, someone who doesn’t even require a high school education to get the job.
Is the cook helper overpaid, or is the speech writer underpaid? If you ask me, it’s the cook. Certainly the writer isn’t getting much payback from four years spent in college and five years+ experience in communications.
Alumni Council: Folt Justifies Inaction Due to Being “Short Staffed”
This past weekend the members of the Alumni Council were in town. IP Folt reported to them that all is well at the College. She said that she regrets not sending a letter to parents and alumni to explain the reasons for the College’s April 24 shutdown, but she did the best she could do with “limited staff.” LOL, as my daughter would text in such a situation. I wonder how long it took Folt to cast about and come up with that excuse. After all, the Dartmouth Directory lists 24 people in the President’s Office:
Maybe Folt needs another dozen or so people to help her write a letter about the state of the College. However, I would have thought that the present staff could suffice.
Addendum: Meanwhile, S&S officers manned all of the entranceways to meeting venues used by the Councillors. It was light duty for them. RealTalk seems preoccupied with other matters.
The Valley News has announced that Maurice L. Johnson ‘13 has been arrested in regard to the recently reported theft in Phil Delt. Johnson is listed by RealTalk as one of its campaign members. He is being held in the Grafton County Correctional Facility.
To date, RealTalk has not justified Johnson’s alleged crime as a protest against the College; according to a report on Jeff Sharlet’s Twitter feed, RealTalk has stated that “Above all, we believe in accountability.” Here is the group’s FaceBook note:
Addendum: Dartblog sources now report that Johnson was never held in the Grafton County jail.
We saw Gustave Caillebotte’s Paris Street- Rainy Weather 1877 at the Met in New York as part of the Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity show (it will be there until the 27th). Normally the painting hangs at the Art Institute Of Chicago. A moment of recognition ran through us: “That’s our street!” Of course, Caillebotte seemed to take some liberties with the composition, but the various avenues and streets that converge on his central traffic circle closely resemble our neighborhood.
But there is a problem with our conclusion: Caillebotte painted his work in 1877, and our building — the second from the left — was built in 1899-1900. The building furthest to the left, almost out of view, was constructed in 1907, on ground where Victor Hugo had his residence until his death in 1885.
Addendum: Wikipedia, in its infinite wisdom, reports that the painting “depicts the Place de Dublin, an intersection near the Gare Saint-Lazare, a railroad station in north Paris,” which is a little more than two miles from our neighborhood.
Yesterday the campus received two e-mails from Safety and Security Director Harry Kinne:
From: “Harry C. Kinne”
Date: May 17, 2013 6:39:42 PM EDT
Subject: Dartmouth Safety and Security Alert
An alumnus has reported that on May 17th 2013 at approximately 1:57 AM a student entered a room where he was sleeping and made inappropriate contact with him while removing cash and valuables from the room. Hanover Police and Safety and Security have identified the student and valuables have been recovered. The investigation is ongoing.
and about three hours later:
From: “Harry C. Kinne”
Date: May 17, 2013, 9:20:25 PM EDT
To: All Students:;
Subject: Dartmouth Safety and Security Alert Update
This is update to the earlier Dartmouth Safety and Security Alert sent at 6:39PM today. The student involved in the incident below has been arrested by Hanover Police and is incarcerated in the Grafton County Correctional Facility. See below:
An alumnus has reported that on May 17th 2013 at approximately 1:57 AM a student entered a room where he was sleeping and made inappropriate contact with him while removing cash and valuables from the room.
Hanover Police and Safety and Security have identified the student and valuables have been recovered. The investigation is ongoing.
Rumors are flying around Hanover that the perpetrator is a prominent member of the RealTalk movement, but to date no information on the identity of the arrested person has been forthcoming from the Town of Hanover Police department. It seems that the theft took place in the Phi Delt fraternity, and the thief forced his way past a number of brothers as he fled.
Addendum: The rape charge against Parker Gilbert ‘16 has made the papers as far away as San Francisco. The additional incident described above will undoubtedly keep Dartmouth in the news.
National Geographic is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ascent of Everest, and the magazine has produced a list of the fifteen greatest American climbers who have been up the mountain. The College’s Freddy Wilkinson ‘02 makes the list.
Thirty-three-year-old Wilkinson is tied for being the youngest man on the list; Melissa Arnot, at 29, soon to summit Everest for the fifth time, is the youngest person.
One of the last gasps of the ancien régime took place at Monday’s faculty meeting: a new mandatory course was put forward that would replace one of the College’s three required physical education courses. This idea has been in the air for some time, as Dartblog has reported. Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson seems to be spearheading the effort, and she has spoken at length with Professor Claudia Anguiano about having the latter’s course, Speech 27: Intercultural Communication, serve as a model for the new initiative. Other initiatives were also proposed to ensure right-mindedness on the part of students.
The following document was distributed to all faculty members. It was drafted by History Professor History Annelise Orleck (photo).
If the course and other initiatives ever came up for a vote, I expect that there would be blood in the streets. A great many faculty members would bitterly oppose it. That said, a vote might not be a bad thing. Professors would have to stand and be counted, and a dispassionate viewer would garner a good sense of how many faculty members are concerned about academics and how many wish to advance a social agenda. I worry what a final tally would show.
How will students react to the below appeal? The RealTalkers would have you believe that on one hand, the campus is seething with a sense of injustice, and on the other, students are foaming at the mouth in hatred for anyone who is not privileged. Both ideas are wrong. My bet is that tomorrow many students will wear as much Dartmouth green as they can.
From: The Dartmouth Radical
Date: Wed, May 15, 2013
Subject: Day of Support: Friday
Dear Dartmouth Community,
In the past few weeks, Dartmouth students have called for attention to prevalent issues of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism, and sexual assault on campus. This is a critical time for Dartmouth, in which the administration, staff, and students are improving their relationships to allow for a safer, inclusive, and supportive campus community. This Friday, we invite you to join us in a Day of Support for those who are and have been victims to injustice. In this Day of Support, we ask you to wear Blue in whichever way you can as a sign of solidarity with those who have experienced oppression and/or hostility. In this time of change and progress, a show of support is especially meaningful. This display of camaraderie and community is perhaps a step forward, however small, towards a better Dartmouth for all.
Perhaps the best way to understand the events of the past few weeks is as the final expression of Carol Folt’s ugly view of Dartmouth. She and a small number of professors have taken the current situation and used it to fit their politics and their agenda for the College. The effort became clear on Tuesday, April 23, when the decision to shut down the College for a day was made by a small, insider set of Folt loyalists, as The D described as follows:
As a result of the [RealTalkers’] letter, over two dozen faculty and administrators met this morning to discuss how to respond to the aftermath of Friday’s protest, sociology department chair Kathryn Lively said. Associate dean of student academic support services Inge-Lise Ameer led the meeting, and Folt, Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson and the student protesters were all in attendance.
In fact, there were several meetings that took place between the Dimensions disruption and the shutdown. Let’s detail the core group of people at these meetings, the ones who made the decision to shut down the College for the day: Interim President Carol Folt, Dean of the Faculty Michael Mastanduno, Sociology Chair Kathryn Lively, Associate Dean of Student Academic Support Services Inge-Lise Ameer, Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson, Women’s and Gender Studies Professor Michael Bronski, Women’s and Gender Studies Chair Ivy Schweitzer, the members of the RealTalk group, and a number of other faculty and staff members of a like-minded political bent.
The question arises as to how the people at the meetings came to be there. According to Bronski, as reported by The D:
Protesters explained the weekend’s events and discussed the fiery criticism they have received since, women’s and gender studies professor Michael Bronski said. A wide range of faculty were asked to attend the meeting, including those from the women’s and gender studies, economics, biology and history departments.
After the discussion, the faculty decided unanimously to cancel classes on Wednesday. Bronski added that some faculty members are considering holding discussions on Thursday after classes resume.
Interim College President Carol Folt stressed that the decision to cancel class on Wednesday was not a direct response to the protesters, but based on a consensus among faculty that threats against students brought the College to a “tipping point” that demanded greater action.
The emphatic words “wide range,” “unanimous,” and “consensus” give the game away, for there was no such accord among the faculty at large — only among the small group specifically selected by Folt to attend the meetings. In fact, almost all of the College’s faculty members were unaware that these meetings were taking place. I’ve inquired of members of a half-dozen academic departments, including the economics and history departments listed above, and they heard nothing at all in advance about the meetings.
For someone who can’t go an entire paragraph without using words like “diversity,” “inclusiveness,” and “transparency,” Carol Folt sure knows how to stack the deck by organizing meetings attended only by people who will support her agenda. How clever. How intellectually dishonest. How typical of Folt.
The D is reporting that a student was arrested by the Hanover Police following the delivery of nitrous oxide cannisters to his Hinman Box.
Hanover Police opened an investigation on May 2, after staff at the Hinman Mail Center alerted them to a suspicious package addressed to Lekweuwa. The package was found to contain four cartons of nitrous oxide gas canisters.
This is a curious action, given that “whippits” are freely available at several retail locations in the Upper Valley — as most students know.
Addendum: The use, possession, purchase and sale of nitrous oxide for recreational purposes is illegal under New Hamsphire law:
644:5-a Inhaling Toxic Vapors for Effect. - A person is guilty of a violation if he or she purposely smells or inhales the fumes of any substance having the property of releasing toxic vapors, for the purpose of causing a condition of intoxication, euphoria, excitement, exhilaration, stupefaction, or dulled senses of the nervous system, or possesses, buys or sells any such substance for the purpose of violating or aiding another to violate this section. This section does not apply to the inhalation of anesthesia for medical or dental purposes.
Source. 1971, 518:1. 2005, 112:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2006.
Addendum: The D has updated its report, noting:
The package was found to contain four cartons holding 96 nitrous oxide gas canisters.
Addendum: The D has removed the name of the student charged above, and it has appended the following note to its article:
Editor’s Note: Due to the low-level nature of the case, we have decided to remove the student’s name from the article.
No one expects the Spanish Inquisition at Dartmouth College, but capricious Assistant Dean of the College for Campus Life Kate Burke comes quite close, as an alumnus from a recent class testifies:
When I arrived at the College freshman year, I was told by several upperclassmen and a member of the OPAL office that if I ever end up in a COS hearing and wanted a fair trial, I better pray that April Thompson is the chair. This wasn’t because Thompson was a paragon of justice, but because the alternative, Katherine “Mad Dog” Burke, was as bad as it could possibly get.
During my time at Dartmouth I heard many stories about Burke. Rarely does such an obscure administrator achieve campus notoriety and unanimous opposition among all students. She seems to be a pathetically insecure woman, one who gets pleasure out of trying to control students’ futures through her role as the chair of the Committee on Standards. During hearings, Burke frequently drives students to tears and condescendingly rips apart the self-esteem of all who cross her.
Burke was famous for two things: first, she would make up her own “rules of evidence” regarding COS proceedings. This was most frequently done during cases regarding plagiarism. Second, whenever Burke sensed that a hearing was moving in favor of the student, she would stop the trial, take the student outside, and accuse him/her of breaking the rules of the hearing and threatening to never let the student step foot on campus again if they didn’t change their attitude. It was psychological manipulation at its finest by a human being with absolutely no code of morality or personal ethics.
I had a run-in with Burke herself. During Sophomore Summer I was stopped by the Hanover Police in a routine stop. I was walking back from the golf course and they stopped me to find out what I was doing. They wanted to see if I was drunk or up to no good. I didn’t have my ID on me, so they needed to verify who I was; I assume that they wanted to check if I had any outstanding arrest warrants. While they were trying to look up my name, someone fat fingered my last name and searched a Zero “0” instead of an O. After a few minutes of confusion they figured out their mistake and sent me on my way.
Three weeks later I got an email from Judicial Affairs saying I was being charged with disorderly conduct and providing false information. I eventually got the police report explaining the entire situation. While the Director of Judicial Affairs Nathan Miller was understanding about the matter, he insisted that the trial continue. Eventually I obtained letters from the District Attorney’s office and the Lebanon District Court explaining the matter and absolving me of all wrongdoing. I figured the COS hearing would be a breeze and the stories I had heard about Kate Burke were an exaggeration. There was no way she wouldn’t call off the hearing after discovering that the police had made an honest mistake.
While most members of COS were confused as to why there was even a trial. Burke insisted that, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, there was a “possibility” that I might be guilty. She felt the need to repeatedly remind committee members that statements from the Hanover Police saying I was not disorderly did not mean I didn’t fall under the College’s definition of “disorderly conduct”. She repeatedly stated that the College has its own rules and it was up to her to decide what disorderly conduct was.
At one juncture in the hearing, a faculty member pointedly asked Burke what she meant by the College’s definition of disorderly conduct. She respond, “That is what this committee is to decide”. Afterwards when a committee member referenced a phrase in the police report, Burke reprimanded her for bringing up the question and proceeded to provide her own opinion about what happened during the night in question. That the female student is no longer a member of the Committee on Standards
The day after the hearing, when it was announced that the committee voted to find me “not responsible” of all charges, Burke was visibly upset. The first words out of her mouth when she handed me the results were, “This doesn’t mean we think you didn’t do it.” During what was supposed to be an hour-long meeting to discuss the judicial process, Burke launched into a tirade about how I wasn’t going to get away with my supposed serious crimes. At one point she felt the need to rise up from her chair and stomp around the room as she discussed how I may have fooled the committee but did not fool her.
About five minutes into the meeting, she told me that if she had a vote on the committee, she would have voted for suspension. After that insult, I simply got up and left, refusing to be degraded any further by an anti-student administrator. As I was leaving, a stunned Burke shouted “If you spit on the sidewalk, I am going to suspend you for five terms.”
It took over four months to resolve the process. As a result of the mess, I was blocked from leading a DOC trip the day before the trip was supposed to leave. DOC scrambled to find a replacement. My attempts to check into Banner Student were blocked due to a “hold” that Burke had placed on my status as a student. Eventually, I had to pay a fine for failing to check in on time, but I paid a much higher price when I lost my dignity and self-esteem during Burke’s Soviet-style trial.
The fact that COS is a corrupt, ineffective process is news to no one on campus. But Kate Burke’s blatant disregard for College policy, personal attacks against students, and destruction of any dignity left in COS/Judicial Affairs process demands attention from us all.
It’s time to clean house in Hanover.
*With apologies to Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada (1420-1498), who, modern scholars seem to have ascertained, was a somewhat nicer guy than his depiction in traditional history would have you believe.
At the faculty meeting on May 6, Deborah L. Nichols, Professor of Anthropology, made an extended plea for dorm continuity:
I wanted to refer back to something that’s been brought up over the other meeting and today and that is a proposal that was in the Student Life Initiative now some thirteen years ago, and which Mary Jean Green and I and another faculty member, along with a group of alumni and students, spent a year of our life, a lot of time and effort, in thinking through many of these issues, and one component of that, and Mary Jean was really an integral part of that, was thinking about these issues in the context of our residential life system, of which I know Charlotte has done a lot to enhance it, as has each of the Deans of the College that we’ve had. We’ve also faced some infrastructure problems that have existed since we became a coeducational institution.
Not being able to provide the kind of residential stability and residential communities, you never hear a Dartmouth student say, as I’ve heard a couple of faculty members recently say, “I loved my Yale college.” I have never heard a Dartmouth student say, “I love my dorm.” Older alumni, who were here before coeducation, in fact, did have those kind of identifications, and that was one of the things we learned. They did have those affiliations with their dormitories, as well as their Greek houses.
Some of the kinds of issues, and many of the things that students talked about was nighttime Dartmouth and daytime Dartmouth, and the residence halls is where those night and day both happens. I do agree with Susan that, in addition to whatever we might choose to do with the curriculum, it also has to be carried over for when the students walk out of the classroom, and the fact that these have continued on this campus to be seen as sort of two very divorced entities, we tried to think our way through it, and in thinking about a residential cluster system, immediately these things get lammed as, are presented as anti-Greek.
Ninety percent of our students live in a dormitory, so this is about something for all of our students, whether they belong to Greek organizations or they don’t belong to Greek organizations.
I do think wrestling and learning how to live as part of a diverse community, it really helps if you have some sense of a community. A lot of our sophomores and juniors are moving around from dorm to dorm. They come back. They go off campus. They return again. They’re in a different place their senior year than they were in their junior year. You don’t develop that kind of, and sometimes wrestling through those issues, among 4,400 students. You do it within a smaller group of people that you get to know and have the resources there that help facilitate some of this.
We’re not going to fix all of these problems; it would be naive to think that society could put all on our doorstep and we’re going to solve them, but I do think a better residential life system, and quite frankly, there was one proposed in 1987, and there were ones earlier than that, there was this one in 2000, and if we could, and if the Trustees would decide at some point, to fully implement one of these, it might be interesting to see what might actually happen and ways in which we could improve it, rather than asking faculty to serve on yet one more committee and prepare yet one more report that sits in a filebox. [Emphasis added]
Professor Nichols is correct in her conclusions, but she is wrong on her historical facts. Cohesive dorm communities at Dartmouth existed into the mid-1980’s, well over a decade after the advent of coeducation at the College. You have but to look at the fading dorm sports championship notice boards (left) in each residence hall for proof of that fact.
When coeducation was implemented in 1972, the Trustees refused to reduce the number of men at the College; they simply added 1,000 women to the famous 3,000 men of Dartmouth. The ensuing problem of putting “4,000 students into 3,000 beds” was met by expanding overseas programs, adding sophomore summer, and overall, by carefully managing the number of students on campus. In various ways, including mandating that fraternity rush be held in the winter, the administration was able to maintain a steady number of students — about 3,200-3,300 — on campus during the three traditional academic terms.
As a result, most students who chose to do so were able to live in the same dorm for all four years, despite their peregrinations under the new Dartmouth Plan. For example, because I had lived there as a freshman, under the system of dorm priority I was able to live in North Fayerweather during all four of my undergraduate years between 1975-1979, as did a good many of my friends and classmates. Dorms had identities and a sense of community, as manifested by frequent dorm social events and popular dorm-based intramural sports teams (I played softball, touch football and soccer for North Fayer, and hockey for the Fayerwearther cluster). These positive features were true even in the justly derided River Cluster and Choate dorms.
Additionally, because the dorms were composed of members of all four classes (freshmen were not then segregated into their own dorms), a spontaneous in-house advising system existed. Upperclassmen were a ready resource for clueless ‘shmen, and we all got to know each other because we played dorm sports together — or at least rooted for the dorm team. In addition, dorm communities were as diverse as the Office of Residential Life chose to make them.
Notably, Dartmouth’s 4,200 or so students were part of a successful residential housing system during my time in Hanover even though the East Wheelock Cluster, the Maynard Street dorms, and the Fahey dorm on Tuck Mall had not yet been built.
So what happened? As with campus parking, unthinking egalitarianism reared its ugly head, and the system of dorm priority was ended in the late 1980’s. Supporters of the change felt it unfair that some students had dibs on favored dorms for four years, while others suffered in less-favored accommodations. Students were henceforth all condemned to unhappy wandering from dorm to dorm each time that they returned to campus and were thrown into the housing lottery, as they are today.
Ironically, the late 80’s was a period of anti-fraternity agitation by the faculty (plus ça change…), and I recall thinking at the time how, in ending the system of dorm priorities, the College had given a monopoly on tight-knit residential communities to the frats. Unintended consequences, to be sure.
Subsequently, the management of the number of students on campus also lapsed. Rush was later moved up to the fall, and students began to congregate in Hanover in the fall and spring. While the total number of undergraduate students did not change, the actual number of students in town in the favored quarters rose from 3,200-3,300 to today’s fall and spring terms where virtually the entire student body is on campus. Hence the housing shortage of the 1990’s and the first decade of this century — to which the College responded, eventually, with the construction of more new dorms.
Where to go from here? As with the present-day return to traditional organic agriculture, sometimes its is best to admit that the modern era is replete with errors, and the right solution is to return to policies that worked well in the past: dorms mixed with all four classes; the option of returning to your freshman-year dorm each time you return to campus; and social budgets for dorm parties and for dorm-based, intramural sports. If the College successfully reduces the student population on campus in the fall and the spring — for example, participation in a Dartmouth LSA/FSP term could be made obligatory for all students, and rush could be moved back to winter — then the Choates could be razed and re-built in the high-quality style of Fahey. Once that is done, the River Cluster could be demolished (or rented to the State of New Hampshire for use as a minimum security prison).
I have been arguing for a return to continuous dorm living since publishing a column in The D on the subject almost nine years ago. Phil should put a new housing policy into place as soon as possible.
Addendum: In addition to Professor Nichols comment at the faculty meeting, Justin Maffett ‘16 recently ran a column about the College’s impoverished residential life in the Huffington Post.
Addendum: An alumna from the Class of 1982 writes in about her housing experience:
You’re so right on the dorm issue. I was shocked when I first learned through Dartblog that students didn’t have the choice to spend all four years in the same dorm. How can there be any true continuity or sense of stability with that kind of constant moving around? I spent four years in North Mass at a time when the college was still 3-1 men to women. Those bonds with that group of women remain strong more than 30 years later.
As a junior, I pledged a newer sorority, but wound up depledging after I realized that I already had the support system I needed from women I cared about and respected.
I hope that Phil Hanlon, having come from this same era, will take the logical steps you propose to bring back the dorm continuity system. I would further suggest that there’s real value in reinstating a few single sex dorms as an alternative for students who prefer that living arrangement.
As you may be aware, the Dartmouth published an op-ed on Monday, in which the writer voiced support for renaming the College as Dartmouth “University.” I wrote a response that the D’s editors have refused to print, on the grounds that it is nearly twice the length of the 250-word limit. I am wondering if you would graciously consider posting this on Dartblog? This letter drew from a lengthy response I sent to the Dartmouth Strategic Planning folks about their reports on the College’s future.
I appreciate your time and attention; I wish you a good weekend.
Brian C. Chao ‘09
Brian’s Letter to the Editor of The D:
I write in response to Kamiar Coffey’s op-ed published on Monday, May 6 (“A Fitting Title”). The logic used by the Dartmouth Strategic Planning reports and supported by Coffey is that changing the name of the institution to Dartmouth “University” would create a better brand for international publicity and recruitment.
This step equates branding with reputation, which, while perhaps closely related in other fields, is simply not the case in higher education. A name change would not solve the basic problem of lack of name recognition and presence. Just because the institution goes from Dartmouth “College” to Dartmouth “University” does not mean that we will establish, as the strategic planning reports state, a “more salient and prominent global presence”?
One need only look at the colleges in the United States that have changed their names this way in recent years and see where they have gotten in terms of reputation, presence, and recognition - nowhere.
Alternatively, one may look at such examples as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the London School of Economics and Political Science, Imperial College London, and King’s College London to see that a name and a reputation can be and are different. The former can be changed easily; the latter must be earned through means harder than swapping names.
If Dartmouth wants to bolster its standing in the world (and I wholeheartedly support this end goal), there are a number of other things it could do (not all of which I actually support), to wit: decidedly shifting emphasis from undergraduate teaching to graduate research, putting particular emphasis on the sciences (thus playing to the world university ranking systems’ prejudices), fielding more non-American alumni who are prominent in their respective home countries, and attracting more faculty who are household names not only within academia, but also in society writ large. These changes, not a simplistic change of name, would be more effective and long-lasting than turning ourselves into Dartmouth “University.”
The real problem, I feel, is how we go about furthering, emphasizing, and proselytizing what it is that makes Dartmouth Dartmouth. Outside the United States, the concept of a liberal arts college, with its personal attention and intimacy and close student-faculty interaction, is foreign. However, my personal experiences in East Asia reveal a growing disgust with the “force-feeding” (填鴨式) educational style of rote memorization in those cultures. More and more parents are intrigued by the possibility that their children might go to school and actually be asked to think critically and creatively. This is the lifelong, intangible value-added of a liberal arts curriculum and this is what Dartmouth College says it does as well as, if not better than, anyone else.
Let’s find new, more powerful ways of saying so.
It is rather striking that no rejoinders have yet appeared in The D to Kamiar Coffey’s column supporting the proposed name change. I was going to write in to the paper myself and suggest that the Trustees act with greater boldness and change the College’s name to Dartmouth Super University or even DartmouthIsBetterThanHarvard University so that our marketing message comes across more clearly — but I fear that The D would not take my ideas seriously.
Addendum: The Times had a story on Sunday regarding the influx of Asian students to New York City private schools, as they seek a broader, more creative education.
Addendum: Meanwhile, in Great Britain, a number of institutions of higher learning are revamping their undergraduate programs:
But anyone who wanted to study both the arts and the sciences, or to take courses across a range of disciplines, had to leave the country, until now. This past autumn, King’s College London and University College London both admitted their first cohort of undergraduates to new programs in the liberal arts. The University of Exeter is set to begin offering a similar program next autumn. So are the University of Birmingham and the University of Kent in Canterbury, whose courses will each take four years to complete, making them even more like a U.S. undergraduate degree.
But not just any liberal arts:
Dr. Rosen [of King’s College London] said his colleagues’ familiarity with the American system “gives us the opportunity to correct some of the flaws that are endemic in the U.S.”
The liberal arts in the United States, he said, “got drunk on their own eccentricity.”
“When I was at Bowdoin it seemed like the departments competed to offer the most narrow, irrelevant courses,” he said. “This gives us a chance to dial it back to fundamentals.”
The Associated Press has run a story on the success of the College’s alcohol education efforts in the context of Jim Kim’s National College Health Improvement Project. How wonderful that students are reporting that they are drinking less:
Students also are being asked about alcohol use any time they go to the campus health clinic for any reason, from a sore throat to a sprained ankle. If their answers raise red flags, a physician steps in, Stevens said. That kind of screening also is in place at Dartmouth, along with another program developed at the University of Washington called BASICS — Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students.
Students who are involved in alcohol incidents are required to participate in the program, which includes counseling and online self-assessments to help them examine their drinking behavior. While many of the initial participants reported cutting their alcohol consumption by almost half after taking part, an open invitation to other students didn’t get many takers, said Aurora Matzkin, director of the Dartmouth College Health Improvement Project.
“BASICS is not a field of dreams. If you build it, they won’t come,” Matzkin said. “Students rarely self-refer.”
The college then tried expanding the program to student athletes. That, too, took some tweaking, and what finally worked was hiring a recent graduate and hockey player to coordinate BASICS counseling sessions during team meetings. Students were much more receptive when a “near peer” got involved, Matzkin said….
The next step happens in June, when other schools interested in joining the project will attend an informational session and hear from current participants.
“For Dartmouth, it’s been transformative,” Matzkin said. “We went from having one alcohol and other drug coordinator who did most of the work on alcohol at Dartmouth, to having a team of 17 that are across the college. So this is no longer the effort of one man; it’s the effort of a big team.”
On their Facebook page, the RealTalkers gave the following commentary on their interaction with Steve Mandel:
Real Talk Dartmouth racial profiling at its core: three members of our movement were able to walk into the Rocky event easily due to light skin privilege (mind you they were all grad students and did not have access to the event via blitz); but when three other members attempted to join the event, they were barred entry. yet several other students who also had light skin privilege were provided entry into the event without having to identify themselves. it is interesting on who is profiled on who is seen as a member of “REALTALK” in scare quotes and who is not.
We did meet with Steve Mandel for 30 minutes between 5-5:30 pm. the problem was that it was a “listening session” according to Sadhana Hall. Even at a moment when Steve Mandel was about to respond to some of our questions and Sadhana said that we were not “respecting” her by requesting answers to many of the questions already asked of Steve Mandel and the other Board of Trustees a many, many times in the past. But hey, this is what they expect of the Dartmouth “culture of civility,” right?
when asked about getting rid of the Greek system, he facetiously asked students: “do you have a billion dollars to invest in Dartmouth?” glad to know that money is the only reason Dartmouth keeps the Greek system. Lets just blindly ignore all the other ramifications that come with it. but hey Steve has a billion dollars to invests, put your money where your mouth is dear sir if you love this dear College on a Hill.
“all rapists should be expelled”
“We as a board [The Board of Trustees] can’t be on the pulse of everything that goes on”
“bored@baker is a first amendment right. you can still access it even if you cannot go on it through the college server”
“bored@baker is just a part of the Internet…”
“I am not going to respond to your comments because I am not confident that responses are going to stay in the room”
Three members of the Class of 2015 — Riley Ennis, Christopher Walker and Gary Le — have been awarded “20 under 20” Thiel Fellowships by venture capitalist Peter Thiel’s foundation. In addition to a cash grant of $100,000, to be paid out over two years, the Fellows will be mentored by the Thiel Foundation’s “network of tech entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, thought leaders, futurists, and innovators.”
Curiously, the Thiel site does not detail the schools attended by each Fellow, but with three out of the twenty winners, its seems that the College is well represented:
Riley Ennis (19, McLean, VA) founded Immudicon, an early-stage biotechnology company that has developed a novel cancer vaccine platform and telemetric sweat-monitoring device to improve diagnosis and treatment. The company was spun out of his research in high school at Georgetown and the Sheikh Zayed Institute at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington. His goal is to exercise empathy within health care to revolutionize and personalize patient care.
Christopher Walker (20, Chevy Chase, MD) is a video game designer, programmer, and artist. After leaving college to start a software company, he created a game designed to improve spatial cognition. As a Thiel Fellow, Chris will focus on developing interactive software to teach technical skills like programming, music, and mathematics.
Gary Le (19, East Brunswick, NH) envisions a safer, cleaner, and more trustable Internet. He is working on a real-time online identity verification system for various applications in e-commerce, online communities, and collaborative consumption businesses.
Interested in a school where the profs love to teach, even though they are leaders in their individual fields; where students can do research with scholars starting in freshman year; where class sizes are almost always small and undergrads interact intellectually inside and outside of class; and where the campus is safe and students take care of each other?
Sound like Dartmouth, you say? Sure it does. But it also sounds like Amherst (picture above) or any of the six “unqiue” colleges that my wife, our high school sophomore, and I looked at last week. Who to believe?
Addendum: One area where the College does distinguish itself is via its foreign study programs. Other schools comment that their students have access to 100, 150 or even 200 overseas programs, but upon questioning, it turns out that they only have a handful of programs staffed by their own profs; the rest are affiliations with other schools. Dartmouth has more than 40 LSA/FSP programs run by Dartmouth faculty members.
That said, the College’s Dartmouth Public WiFi network stands out negatively by requiring the repeated use of a log-in screen, and by being slow as molasses. The majority of the schools that we visited had unsecured, open guest networks, and all were faster than Dartmouth’s connection. Not very impressive for a school that used to be a national leader in computing and routinely won “Most Wired Campus” awards. The mighty have fallen.
Addendum: A reader writes in:
As you continue with your offspring’s search, you will discover that being a “college on the hill” with “excellent professors” and students who “work hard and play hard but don't take themselves too seriously” is far from uncommon. Perhaps even the norm (for privates, at least). We saw dozens. My own children ended up at two such places, neither of them Dartmouth. And they got far better educations and had much more appropriate extracurricular experiences to boot.
Addendum: The D is now admitting that the intial column that it published was plagarized:
Correction: May 10, 2013
Editor’s Note: The original version of this article included material that was taken without attribution from Slate magazine. Several portions, including all references and quotes of public reaction to Collins’ coming out and wording of the argument, were copied in substantial form from “See If I Care,” published on May 3 and written by Josh Levin.
The Dartmouth has a strict policy against plagiarism and we apologize to Josh Levin and Slate magazine for this significant oversight.
Phil Hanlon is working in the background, even as Folt & Co. flounder about. He has announced the appointment of Bob Lasher ‘88 as Senior Vice President for Advancement — that’s fund-raising, PR and alumni relations for those of you who speak English the old-fashioned way. An alum, no less! That’s good news.
To the Dartmouth community:
With Commencement and Reunions fast approaching, I would like to introduce a new member of the senior leadership team that will work with me when I begin my term as president on June 10.
Effective July 1, Bob Lasher ‘88 will become Senior Vice President for Advancement, reporting to me. Bob brings to Dartmouth significant institutional strategy and development experience at organizations in fields ranging from education and the arts to science and research, most recently as the Deputy Museum Director of External Relations at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Bob’s track record, energetic and engaging style, and passion for Dartmouth’s mission make him a great choice to lead our alumni engagement and philanthropic efforts. With the support of our strong Advancement team, he will help ensure that we have the resources required to continue to deliver an outstanding, affordable education to our student body and attract and retain world-class faculty.
Please join me in congratulating Bob on his appointment.
Phil Hanlon ‘77
Curiously, Phil signs his letter only as Phil Hanlon ‘77, no title, nada. I guess when you know who you are, you don’t have to trumpet it to everyone.
Addendum: From the College’s press release:
At the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)… Lasher directed institutional strategy and development around the museum’s $610 million expansion campaign. In this leadership role, he managed the campaign strategy, including philanthropic support, trustee engagement, membership, marketing communications, visitor services and community engagement. Prior to SFMOMA, he served as the Director of Development and Strategy at the San Francisco Symphony. Previously, Lasher directed fundraising at leading scientific and research organizations, including the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation and the National Geographic Society, as well as the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture.
I figure that the quiet start of the next capital campaign is about a year away. Will the College shoot for $2.0 billion, after Jim Wright’s $1.3 billion campaign that ended in 2009?
The writers at The D are so excited about the choice of Geoffrey Canada, former CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone, to be the College’s Commencement speaker that they have forgotten how to write the English language:
On April 30, Dartblog ran a post noting that COS had not published its annual report for the last two years.
On May 8, The D ran a story noting that COS had not published its annual report for the last two years. The paper quoted Assistant Dean for Campus Life Kate Burke as to the fact that “the lack of recent annual reports is a result of the Undergraduate Judicial Affairs office being ‘in transition.’”
On the same day, I commented that Burke’s justification that UJA was “in transition” was a totally inadequate explanation for why two years of reports have not yet been released.
And today, The D senior staff editorializes that Burke’s explanation is not to its liking, too:
This response is simply unacceptable. No transition can excuse two years of inaction. Over the last few years, there has been significant turnover in many parts of the administration… Nonetheless, administrative positions have not simply been left empty; they have been replaced by interim hires. One could reasonably expect that procedural actions, such as the release of annual COS reports, would still occur on schedule. In spite of this, members of the Classes of 2014 and 2015 have not seen a single COS annual report issued about the time that they have been on campus. It seems nearly farcical that a time of transition is put forward as an excuse for irresponsibility on a major task.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The whole thing would be funny if we didn’t all agree that the rot inside the Dartmouth administration is broad, deep, and spreading.
Most political activism that I see from others on a regular basis consists of angry social media. This has given me an appreciation for the discussions I had during my time at Dartmouth; that level of intellectual engagement is much harder to find out in the real world. Yet it is one thing to talk about political principles and it is another to act upon them. This is what makes the Free State Project so intriguing to me.
The Free State Project (FSP) is a political migration of sorts, founded in 2001 as a movement of libertarians to New Hampshire in order to secure liberty and freedom in the Granite State. They have been collecting signatures of those who will commit to move to New Hampshire in the next few years, and if they reach their goal, they will have a politically engaged bloc that comprises approximately 1% of New Hampshire’s population, and 3-5% of the state’s electorate. The FSP is bold and imaginative in a time of stagnant political debate in this country. It is progressive in nature, yet draws from a deep American tradition of migration. As long as Americans are still willing to uproot their lives and move across the country for their principles or ambitions, one cannot despair for our future.
The Free State Project was founded by Jason Sorens, a Yale graduate and Professor of Political Science at SUNY-Buffalo. The organization is currently led by its president Carla Gericke, a political refugee from South Africa. Jason and Carla agreed to answer a few of my questions. I am pleased to share their story with Dartblog’s readers.
Competing for first place in the gullibility sweepstakes along with the World Bank and UNC, Iowa State University has chosen Kim henchman David Spalding ‘76 as its next business school dean. No kidding. Just goes to show that the Ivy League name still means a lot in this world. Spalding’s first act has been to change the school’s mission statement to the following:
And after a while, you can work on points for style
Like the club tie and the firm handshake
A certain look in the eye, an easy smile
You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to
So that when they turn their backs on you
You’ll get the chance to put the knife in
That pretty much clears the decks at the College. Oh Charlotte, Chaaaaarlotte.
As investor Warren Buffett has repeatedly noted, “You never know who’s swimming naked until the tide goes out.” And so it goes with Dartmouth administrators when they venture beyond the Hanover Plain — soon for Carol Folt and Jim Kim; already for Silvia Spears — and now for Stuart Lord. This space raised its metaphorical eyebrows in March of last year when Lord hurriedly left the Presidency of Naropa University after only a year and a half on the job. Was he qualified to be a president? At the College he had bounced from job to job:
Stuart Lord left the College in 2009 to become President of Naropa University, after serving over a nine-year period variously as Dean of the Tucker Foundation, Associate Provost, and interim Vice-President for Institutional Diversity.
EFAA helps those in our community where immediate needs for food, shelter and other basic necessities cannot be adequately met by other means…
Valid goals to be sure, but, ahem, a bit of a step down for a vigorous 54-year-old in the prime of his professional life.
In the case of Silvia Spears, she went from being the head of OPAL (then ten staffers, now fifteen) to Dartmouth’s Interim Dean of the College (total budget at the time: approximately $64 million) to the director of New England College’s newly launched Doctorate in Education program. She lasted nine months in that job. She is now the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at Emerson College, a post little different from her earlier role as the head of OPAL.
Academic headhunters will get the message at some point. Dartmouth is hardly a breeding ground for high-quality administrators — just the opposite. But then, anyone who has been in Hanover over the past fifteen years could confirm that point.
A Dartmouth graduate student, Ani Xu, complains that she was given a date rape drug, and when a friend protected her and took her to S&S for treatment, she was accused of underage alcohol consumption and obliged to participate in the Town of Hanover Diversion program at a cost of $500 — despite the fact that she was drugged rather than intoxicated. She complains that the Town and the College refused to test her for the drug, which she believes would have exonerated her:
In the last month, my health and well-being was compromised. That night, although still in speculation, I was given a rufilin drug. Luckily a friend was able to get me home without any further potential assault. However, when campus security and paramedics were called, my stomach was pumped and I wasn’t taken to the hospital. Instead, I was given a long lecture about drinking. The next day I was told my BAC was 0, and that I was never transported to the hospital. I was also told that there was no way of testing for traces of the rufilin drug in a person’s system, despite another individual who had also just asked.
Fast forward again to a week later - Campus security and Hanover police burst into my apartment. They charge me with underage drinking and possession of alcohol. The latter is absolutely not true in any capacity, multiple witnesses can attest to that. More importantly, I was drugged, not drunk. Furthermore, each different source gave a varying versions of what transpired, with the police saying I was taken to the hospital, the hospital claiming I was never there, and the campus security claiming they’d check into the drugging, etc. In any case, I was told that I was to either go to court or complete an alternative alcohol education program. Despite being utterly unconscious, the officer that filed a court case against me insisted that I responded when he told me about this alternative programming and that it was my fault I didn’t remember…
My issue is that my friend called the officers to come and help me, because she noticed I was drugged. And in response it is being turned completely around so that the blame is placed squarely on me - not to mention the suspect turn of events including: being told that drug testing is impossible, being told that my being unconscoius was my fault, being told that I had posession of alcohol when I didn’t, etc.
Ani is trying to raise money on Indiegogo to cover the cost of the Diversion program and some of her legal expenses.
Obama Appoints Charlotte Johnson to Lead Health & Human Services
President Obama will announce tomorrow that Dartmouth’s Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson will be appointed to head the federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services. The agency, with an annual budget of $982 billion, would be a significant promotion for Johnson from her present responsibilities at the College, but Obama believes that the jump is no more significant for her than the increased role that former President Jim Kim is facing at the World Bank or Carol Folt will soon confront at UNC.
In light of this additional high-profile appointment for a Dartmouth administrator, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Steve Mandel has proposed that the College be inspired by the State of Virginia’s motto: “Birthplace of Presidents.” Henceforth, the traditional “Vox Clamantis in Deserto” will be replaced by “Birthplace of Bureaucrats.”
Addendum: Dartblog has been unable to confirm a persistent campus rumor that President Obama will soon appoint Kate Burke, Assistant Dean of the College for Campus Life, to command the United States detention facility in Guantánamo Bay.
Addendum: While on the topic of Kate Burke, The D has picked up my post noting that COS has not published its annual report for 2011 and 2012. The explanation?
The lack of recent annual reports is a result of the Undergraduate Judicial Affairs office being “in transition,” Kate Burke, assistant dean for campus life, said in an email. She added that full updated reports will be issued before the end of the summer.
So that’s why? Now I get it. Of course, no specific detail of what “in transition” means was asked for by The D’s reporter, and none was offered, except that Burke noted that Nathan Miller will leave his post as director of Undergraduate Judicial Affairs in another seven weeks. Once again, the administration comes through for me: lots of people doing little or no work. Maybe they have all been tied up in important meetings for the past two years?