Just what we need: a Professor in Transnational Feminism. And please note that in this, um, broad field, the College is looking for someone with a particular emphasis in Asian transnational feminism:
I guess that Dartmouth has no need to do anything about the fact that most classes in the Economics department are oversubscribed.
Addendum: Can we expect that the faculty will soon be enriched by additional Professors who focus on Latinx, African American, Native American, and Indo-European Transnational Feminism, too? Or are those people already on the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program payroll?
For a fuller understanding of the SAE case, and especially the constitutional issues surrounding the hand-in-glove cooperation between the Town and the College in derecognizing SAE and preventing the brothers from using their physical plant, the Fraternal Law newsletter, published by the Manley Burke law firm, is a good place to start (scroll down to the highlighted headline at the end of the second page of the attached file).
An alumnus wrote in when he alerted me to the Manley Burke analysis:
The article is by far the best summary of the legal process that SAE has been going through. It’s also a chilling look at how ideologically perverse the Hanlon administration is in its efforts to use Moving Dartmouth Forward as a Trojan horse in grinding away the Greek system. I’m sure that the senior societies are next in their sights (if not already under the gun).
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
Sean Callan, who penned the piece re: SAE for Manley Burke, is a Dartmouth ‘90.
Below is every word of The D Editorial Board’s carefully researched and written editorial concerning the Hanlon administration’s plan to expand the size of the undergraduate student body by 10-25% (I know, I know, the official decision has not yet been made, but let me tell you, at the Trustee level it’s an all-but-done deal. The administration doesn’t “study” things that it doesn’t already want).
Congratulations to the Editors for producing a thorough argument, one that I hope will garner the undivided attention of the committee reviewing the question:
The members of the committee studying a larger College are Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Elizabeth Smith, Dean of the College Rebecca Biron, College Trustee Dave Hodgson ‘78, Economics Professor James Feyrer, Biology Professor Mark McPeek, Religion Professor Reiko Ohnuma, Mathematics Professor Scott Pauls, and French and Comparative Literature Professor Andrea Tarnowski.
A goodly number of readers have sent in pics of yesterday’s balloonfest on the Green. Phil is pulling out all the stops to convince the College’s donors of his administration’s intellectual vitality. Balloons are front and center in his effort, and word is that a large bouncy castle was in place for the exclusive use of eight-figure contributors:
Does anyone think that balloons will increase the likelihood that alumni will pony up? Will bread and circuses be next?
Addendum: A professor writes in:
Is there a better metaphor?
Seriously, folks. Is spending tens (hundreds?) of thousands of dollars on tents, white tablecloths, fancy food and hot air balloons going to inspire our richest alumni to give money to the College? Wouldn’t innovative programs and proof that the administration is running a lean, well managed operation constitute stronger arguments that students would get a better education if alumni gave generously. However, for Phil that’s hard to do.
Addendum: An observer of the College writes in:
This is lazy fundraising at its finest, what fundraisers do when they need to feel as if they are actually doing something, but in reality aren’t doing much! If they are pounding the pavement, meeting face to face and getting pledges, they don’t pull stunts like this.
Fundraisers have legit parties for two reasons: actually kicking off a campaign when they know the goal will be hit, so they want to further energize the base; or they are celebrating a campaign’s successful completion. Have either of those two goals been met?!?
Addendum: And an alumnus does, too:
I wonder if any of the big hitters in town this weekend played a round of golf…
If you have been curious about the fancy cars, the big tents and the extra lighting on Baker, then wonder no more. Phil Hanlon has convened a Presidential Summit: The Call to Lead, a significant event in the run-up (or is it limp-up, in both senses of the world limp) to the always-on-the-horizon capital campaign. This is his latest effort to reverse the sharply declining trends (here and here) in alumni donations.
The heavy hitters are in town, and methinks that Phil is under the gun this weekend. Either he secures some seriously large pledges, or he will have to start thinking of retirement (or the Trustees will certainly start thinking about it for him).
The administration is parading all of its leaders in an effort to wow big donors. But who knows if Phil will be talking honestly in the presidential keynote address today about his 100-year, Michigan-on-the-Connecticut vision for the College, the one that doesn’t care a wit about today’s students, faculty and alumni:
The last group of speakers includes some of the College’s most prominent alumni. I hope that they have been talking to faculty and students on campus to take the pulse of Phil Hanlon’s Dartmouth. With fundraising in the doldrums, you have to figure that the big donors are now regularly talking among themselves in concerned tones.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
This is what happens when you can’t look someone in the eye and explain why you want them to give you $20,000,000.
Julie Bolcer, the spokeswoman for the city’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner, said Mr. Rago suffered from the inflammatory disease sarcoidosis, which affected his lungs, heart, spleen, hilar and mediastinal lymph nodes. “The manner of death is natural,” Ms. Bolcer said.
Sarcoidosis is the formation of tiny clumps of inflammatory cells in one or more organs of the body, according to the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research. Chronic inflammation can lead to permanent thickening or scarring of organ tissue.
Joe was a brilliant journalist who died too young, but we were fortunate to have worked with him and benefited from his intelligence, his curiosity and a wit that informed and enlightened readers and all of us who knew him as a friend.
Emily Yoffe has written a thorough and incisive series of articles in The Atlantic on the subject of campus sexual assault. Anyone interested in the subject should read Yoffe’s work, given that the Trump administration seems to have changes on the way:
When Phil Hanlon announced on September 23, 2016 that the Irving Oil family was to contribute $80 million towards a $160 million energy institute at the College, I had already heard rumors about the institute for several years. Irving was to give half of the total amount; the rest was to come from other donors. However, I raised my eyebrows when the announcement noted that at that point — seemingly after several years of effort — only $33 million had been raised from various, non-Irving contributors:
One would think that Phil would have raised the entire $160 million amount prior to the big announcement — especially for a signature project like the energy institute.
Smelling a rat (as I am wont to do), I decided to keep tabs on fundraising for the energy institute. On June 6, I wrote to Diana Lawrence, the College’s amiable spokesperson (one of twenty-two people in the Office of Communications) to inquire about the institute’s progress:
Even though no numbers were forthcoming in Diana’s response, it was good to see that ten months after the initial announcement, fundraising for this important project was “ahead of schedule.”
However — um, with the Hanlon administration, there is always a “however,” don’t you think? — the following item recently appeared in the September/October 2017 issue of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine:
As the math-minded among you will have already noted, if $47 million remains to be raised to reach the $160 million target, then only $33 million has been raised to date beyond the Irvings’ initial $80 million gift — which means that not a penny has been donated over the last year to the energy institute. And even if Bob Lasher’s Advancement division had planned to raise no money at all during the first year of public fundraising for the energy institute (very unlikely), it was inaccurate for Advancement to tell Diana (and for Diana to tell me) that fundraising was “ahead of schedule.”
As we have noted previously, Phil is just a terrible fundraiser (here and here). I mean, we are smack in the middle of the endless quiet phase of a capital campaign that is supposed to bring in about $2.5 billion, and Phil can’t scare up $47 million over the course of a year for the campus initiative that is closest to his heart?
The man that Phil hired to run fundraising at the College, Bob Lasher ‘88, is terrible in many ways, too (here and here) — which leads in turn to the conclusion that Phil is also an awful judge of character and an indecisive manager who can’t cut loose an under-achieving subordinate (See also: Dever, Carolyn).
Will the Trustees ever act in the face of such expensive incompetence?
Addendum: I checked with the folks at the Alumni Magazine regarding the accuracy of their figures. They confirmed the numbers after consulting their notes, which dated from the end of July (when they fact-checked their information and closed the fall issue).
An active shooter was reported yesterday at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. A man from Warwick, R.I. allegedly shot his mother four times in the stomach area, killing her. She was a patient in the DHMC intensive care unit. The shooter’s step-father was in the room, too, but was not harmed:
The hospital was evacuated, and the local schools were locked down:
As of yesterday evening, the man was being held at the Lebanon Police Station, where he was being questioned by the Major Crimes division and representatives from the NH Attorney General’s office. He had been apprehended while trying to flee from the hospital.
The Valley News now has a full report on the incident. The paper notes that, “Travis Frink, 49, will be arraigned Wednesday in Grafton Superior Court for the first-degree murder of Pamela Ferriere, of Groton, N.H.”
Addendum: The Lebanon Food Coop in Centerra responded to a call yesterday saying that the store was not being evacuated; a manager there said that business was taking place as usual with lots of shoppers and no reason to close down. My own business, located immediately behind the Co-op, did not close either.
Addendum: As of Thursday, the Valley News has a detailed report on the incident.
Phil breathes a sigh of relief that our longterm downward trend has stabilized for the time being:
We stayed at #11, tied with Hopkins (which moved down a notch) and Northwestern (which moved up). Caltech replaced Hopkins at #10.
In happier news, we regained our Best Undergraduate Teaching slot at #2 (up from #7 last year, which had been a precipitous drop).
In Best Colleges for Veterans, we were #2 behind Stanford. In the Best Value Colleges & Universities, we were #7. And in the 2018 High School Counselor Rankings of National Universities, we tied for #5.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
The real ranking is done by the College alums and students and their ranking overall is low enough to cause them to stop sending the college any more money. That’s the vote that counts.
BREAKING: Secret Shopping the Bob Lasher ‘88 Advancement Division
Beyond the internal stories of temper tantrums, disorganization and silly turf battles, let’s look at the College’s fundraising disaster (here, too) from the perspective of people on the receiving (or giving) end: prospective donors who deal with Bob Lasher ‘88 and his ever-revolving team. Read with care the thoughtful depiction below by a wealthy alumnus who spent time with Lasher after having met with people in the Advancement office. It recounts part of the reason why Phil Hanlon’s capital campaign is still only on the horizon well into his fifth year in Hanover.
In my own business we use secret shoppers who go through the sales process and report back on what it is like to be treated as a customer. That’s where the rubber hits the road, and if Phil and the Trustees have any faith in Lasher after reading this vignette, well, heaven help us and the College.
By the way, this donor did not approach the Advancement office as a secret shopper. She only contacted Dartblog after the dispiriting experience of dealing with Bob Lasher ‘88:
Note also Lasher’s depiction of Phil Hanlon’s unvarnished vision for the College. Reduced to its essence, Phil has no more imagination than to turn Dartmouth into Michigan-on-the-Connecticut. And he does not care if today’s students, faculty and alumni disagree with his plodding ideas.
We are in big trouble as long as Phil and his team are in town.
Addendum: An active alumnus writes in:
I wouldn’t know Bob Lasher if I tripped over him. I am over at Centerra easily a couple of dozen times a year and in group meetings, and Lasher can’t be bothered with low-class peons like me who help get him more givers than almost any other class (over $1M)
I was barely an agent back in the Carrie Pelzel era, and she gladhanded me with the best of them. We have 10 top givers in our class that are supposed to be courted by the elite of the fundraising team, and if you asked me, I would say they do nada. Advancement is an area that needs a change a lot faster than Parkhurst, and almost as fast at the 22-person PR group.
Addendum: Lasher’s sales technique, if it can be called that, would be cited in a Tuck class as a model of what not to do. How many fundraising faux pas did he make in his interaction with a potentially significant donor? Hint: It’s not always about you, Bob.
Government Professor Vincent Starzinger — the Zinger — passed away on Wednesday at the age 88. He terrorized several generations of Dartmouth students with a bruising classroom style that is today only recalled by Economics Professor Meir Kohn. And like Kohn, Starzinger’s classes were always full:
The Valley News obituary is woefully incomplete. Starzinger’s most incredible talent was memorizing the Freshman Book, and then greeting you by name when you passed him on the Green. Not just those in his classes — every freshman!
Addendum: An alumnus refers me to an Alumni Magazine profile of Maine Senator Angus King ‘66, in which King is quoted:
King’s interest in politics was immediate. He recalls, in detail, the lectures of longtime Dartmouth government professor Vincent Starzinger. “I remember him using the movie The African Queen to explain the two different views of natural law,” King says. “Humphrey Bogart wakes up in the boat to see Katharine Hepburn dumping his gin out into the river, and he’s very upset. He says to Hepburn, ‘It’s only natural, ma’am, that a man should want to drink every now and then.’ That’s one view of natural law. Hepburn said, ‘Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are here to rise above.’ That’s the other view of natural law. It has been 50 years and I remember every word of that lecture.”
My correspondent also noted a February 29, 2008 Valley News column by Frank Gado ‘58:
Back in the unglorious days of 1969, [Government Professor Richard] Winters writes, his department had only “one superlative instructor (the legendary ‘Zinger).” But Vincent Starzinger, it is worth noting, wrote just one book during his entire career. His monumental reputation instead derived from his brilliance in challenging students to think, and in employing the broad base of scholarship. He directed his intellectual vitality at a range of heterogeneous students, not just government majors. It is that kind of mind, operating with that kind of passion, that Dartmouth should be seeking and rewarding.
However note how the tower in the below photograph hugs the coast when seen from Joseph Wright’s grotto. I snapped the photo of the beachscape while standing directly in front of the cave. The tower only projects into the sea when viewed from a position on the beach much closer to it (right).
The artist took a liberty in depicting the tower in silhouette jutting out into the sea:
Addendum: As I noted in a previous post, Darby’s Rangers (no relation to Derby) landed at Maiori on September 9, 1943 as part of the Allied invasion of Salerno.
As per usual at this time of year, Dartblog’s HQ has transferred to Maiori on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, but not before we took some Italian friends to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In Gallery 246, we, well, I, spotted a 1778 painting of the Maiori shoreline by Joseph Wright of Derby ( 1734-1797): Grotto by the Seaside in the Kingdom of Naples with Banditti, Sunset. I snapped two photos of the work with my iPhone 7, the first using the ProCam camera application, and the second using Apple’s standard app. I did not adjust the shots using any of the software features of the apps; it was just point and shoot:
Neither of the two photographs, as I judged when standing in front of the painting itself, does the work justice. From the evident distinctions between them, you can see for yourself that the camera lies.
Hard to choose between them all, especially because I can’t compare the MFA’s image directly with the painting — though the MFA’s image does have the most balanced and even palette. I expect that the shot was taken with a professional DSLR camera rig and serious lighting.
In an open Letter to the Editor in the Valley News, more than fifty former varsity golf team members protested the idea of closing the Hanover Country Club. They offered their help in getting the place run right:
The complete list of signatories:
Lee Birchall ‘02, Andrew Pisacano ‘02, Vivian Lee ‘03, Jeronimo Esteve ‘03, Kathy Birchall Gardner ‘04, Shannon Rogers ‘04, Jeremiah Daly ‘04, Greg McSweeney ‘04, Stephen Gruber ‘05, Kenan Yount ‘06, Chaki Kobayashi ‘06, Tony Papadopoulos ‘06, Mark Christman ‘06, Annie Daher ‘07, Hayley Stevens Vanbragt ‘07, Ann Kapusta ‘07, Matt Uretsky ‘07, Stephen Reyes ‘07, Charles Kettering ‘07, Elizabeth Dupuy ‘08, Elizabeth Wegener ‘08, Jamie Wallace ‘08, John Mitchell ‘08, Christopher Crawford ‘08, Eric Crawford ‘08, Lauren Strickler John ‘09, Tory Sheppard Gammal ‘09, Rob Henley ‘09, Alex Abate ‘09, Alex Olshonsky ‘09, Dave Putney ‘10, Shunsuke Aonuma ‘10, Dan Egan ‘10, Katie Gulemi ‘11, Davis Mullany ‘11, Marietta Smith ‘12, Peter Williamson ‘12, Teddy Overton ‘12, Emily Hyman ‘13, Julie Campbell ‘13, Colleen Caroll ‘13, James Pleat ‘13, Andrew Jankowski ‘13, Owen Lynch ‘13, Kathryn Kennedy Bleday ‘14, Sarah Knapp ‘14, Evan Sterneck ‘14, Joey Maziar ‘14, Jane Lee ‘15, Charlie Edler ‘15, Lilly Morrison ‘16, Harry Boling ’ 16, Charles Cai ‘16, Dylan Rusk ‘16, Tara Simmons ‘17, Jamie Susanin ‘17, Sean Fahey ‘17, Scott Jaster ‘17, Jeff Lang ‘17.
Addendum: I wonder if Bob Lasher ‘88 has removed the above names from his Rolodex for the ever-upcoming capital campaign. He should.
Many Dartmouth student videos can be found on YouTube, but for some reason I thought this one more affecting than others. Timothy Brennan ‘17 put together an account of what he called, “A video a day from January 2017 to June 2017 encompassing my Dartmouth experience and the best time of my life”:
Tim was a government major and Russian minor. Outside of academics, he was a four-year letter winner on the Dartmouth track and field team (captain in his junior and senior year). He was also a Chi Gamma Epsilon brother, serving as president in his senior year, and a participant in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, serving as co-captain when he was a senior. Tim is now working as a consultant for the Maia Strategy Group in Manchester, NH.
Addendum: Tim’s grandkids will get a kick out of this video one day. As will Tim when he watches it with them. (“Grandpa, why are all those cups on the ping pong table?”)
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
Wow, this is the most awesome video I’ve seen coming out of Dartmouth in years! As a former Dartmouth trackster and frat member, this brings back glorious memories in a fantastic way !
Thanks, Timothy Brennan ‘17 for producing this, and thanks, Joe Asch for sharing this. May the special flavor of Dartmouth life that Timothy B. has captured so well forever be extant at Dartmouth.
The end of days might finally have come for Carol Folt at UNC. She just can’t make a decision on Carolina’s signature Civil War statue: Silent Sam. The News & Observer editorial board comments (acidly) on Carol’s fumbling response on the issue, More souring on Sam, but where is Folt?, but the editors’ contempt seems more generalized:
The top officials of the University of North Carolina system and UNC-Chapel Hill were given a clear authorization from Gov. Roy Cooper - they could remove the now-infamous “Silent Sam” statue in a prominent place on the old part of the campus if they feared its presence presented a hazard.
They did nothing. And the embarrassment over this monument to UNC students who fought for the Confederacy grew much worse as the text of a speech made by Julian Carr, a businessman and Civil War veteran, at the statue’s dedication made the rounds. The speech was about as bad as it could be, not so much the invoking of tired, overwrought phrases about Stonewall Jackson and the “boys in gray” but one segment in which Carr boasted of “horse whipping” a “negro wench” he said had insulted a white “lady.” The speech was appalling, and now many times the number of people who heard it at the dedication have read it and been disgusted by it.
Chancellor Carol Folt had a chance for a defining moment here, an opportunity to take a stand that would have restored her reputation and that of her university after a long-running academic-athletics scandal. But Folt, rather than order the statue taken down as a recognition of a new day and a new era in Chapel Hill after other leaders around the United States have ordered the removal of such monuments to the Confederacy, did not do anything except put some fences around the statue temporarily and urge people not to demonstrate.
This ranks as one of the most disappointing moments in her tenure, and she cannot put a spin on it that makes her look like anything other than a weak leader who is perhaps bending to pressure from conservative Republicans on her Board of Trustees and those on the UNC system Board of Governors. Doubtless the sentiments on those boards isn’t as strong in favor of removing this statue and other Confederate monuments as it is in the general public and in particular in the university community.
Some individual faculty members have spoken out. But their chancellor, their leader, appears to be protecting her job above all.
How different this is from the progressive leadership of Chancellor Bill Aycock and UNC founding President William Friday, who stood against the Speaker Ban law of the early 1960s - a knee-jerk anti-communist bit of showboating by the General Assembly - despite the fact that their stance was unpopular with lawmakers and doubtless with some trustees. And what of the revered UNC President Frank Porter Graham, who never backed away from his enlightened views on civil rights even when he was viciously attacked while seeking election to the U.S. Senate in 1950? He lost, but not for lack of strength and personal fortitude.
Carol Folt still has time to restore her position of leadership by ordering the removal of Silent Sam - but not much time is left.
As anyone in Hanover knows, Carol is no more than a politician bereft of ideas. In her present difficulty at UNC, she has no first principles to fall back on, so she fumbles about trying to appease various constituencies. In the end everyone will be angry with her.
Addendum: Are we truly talking Schadenfreude when someone gets their just desserts? I mean, celebrating when someone gets their comeuppance is not bad, right?
Addendum: If Carol leaves Carolina and then Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees picks her to replace Feckless Phil, I promise to stop blogging forever. The only thing dumber than UNC hiring her in the first place would be for us to take her back.
This year’s U.S. News rankings will be out on Tuesday, but the magazine has already published the Top Ten list of Best Value Schools. We are on it — but there is no ranking yet:
Hard to know where we will land on Tuesday. Last year the College jumped up a place to #11 in the National University rankings, but we plummeted to a tie for #7 (from #2) in Best Undergraduate Teaching.
Amid the recent scandals about Phil’s condemnation of violence-supporting Mark Bray, the closure of the golf course, and such, we’ve forgotten about the debate about the size of the College. Phil’s floated idea to increase the number of undergraduate students by 10-25% is making the news, this time in Inside Higher Education:
Beyond that point, you don’t build an addition onto a structure until you are sure that the foundation is solid. The Inside Higher Education article observes that the College’s dorms are both in need of sprucing up and are not even capable of housing today’s undergraduate population:
The college is already facing some pressures on its dormitory space. Dormitories that house first-year students are worn, said Andrew Samwick, a professor of economics who will be the chair this academic year of the Committee on Priorities, which forms and promotes faculty budget priorities. This year’s higher-than-expected admissions yield already means some undergraduates will be living in campus housing that was previously dedicated to graduate students, he said.
The issue of class size has surfaced again, too:
Other faculty members voiced similar concerns. Dartmouth’s campus is already too small for its student body, said Thomas Cormen, a professor of computer science and former chair of the Committee on Instruction, which reviews matters related to educational policy.
Cormen likened Dartmouth’s vaunted D-Plan, a year-round quarter system devised when the college started admitting women in the 1970s, to a computer’s cache. The D-Plan — formed amid discussion about how Dartmouth could admit women without displacing men — rotates students off campus, enabling the college to enroll more students without adding more physical space or altering the size of the student body during any one quarter.
An upside to enrolling more undergraduates would be if the college then hired more faculty, adding to departments and intellectual activity, Cormen said. He would not support adding undergraduates without adding faculty positions.
“That would be terrible,” Cormen said. “We’d be seeing class sizes increasing. In our department, we are capping just about every course. We never used to cap courses. We don’t always hit the cap, but we have to plan for it, which is terrible.”
As we have stressed repeatedly in the past, students at the College today are regularly turned away from classes that have reached their enrollment cap — a situation virtually unknown at the College before the Jim Wright era.
This issue of faculty size is also addressed in the piece:
Computer science may be feeling the crunch of high student demand. But the number of faculty members at Dartmouth has grown faster than undergraduate enrollment over the years, said Mills, the college’s executive vice president.
Dartmouth’s School of Arts and Sciences, its largest, had 606 faculty members in 2016, according to the college’s Office of Institutional Research. That’s up by more than 15 percent from 526 in 2004.
Meanwhile, undergraduate head-count enrollment in the college was 4,310 in 2016, up only 5.7 percent from 4,079 in 2004.
But the total number of professors on campus is a red herring. The proper metric is the number of courses offered to undergrads. As we have discussed, Phil Hanlon’s cluster hire program, and his effort to have teams work on the world’s big problems with the goal of garnering prestige for the College, is hardly propitious for the improvement of undergraduate education. The kind of profs that he hopes to attract (will he be able to do so?), don’t do much teaching.
The task force on the growth of the College will present a preliminary report at the end of October. Let’s hope that it includes of full review of the state of Dartmouth today. If the committee is rigorous, it is hard to see how a solid argument for growth can be made. Phil should get his house in order first, before he talks about putting on additions.
Addendum: In the coming year, undergraduate students will be living in the graduate student housing at 18 North Park, 20 North Park, 22 North Park, 24 North Park, 7 Ivy Lane, and 9 Ivy Lane — which is essentially all the housing that the College has for graduate students. Dartmouth is already bursting at the seams.
A friend of Dartblog with an inside knowledge of the College’s operations writes in about the management of the Hanover Country Club over the years (click on the text to enlarge it):
Why would we expect the golf course to be better run that the rest of the administration? The rot is everywhere.
Addendum: One of my most reliable sources about the administration sends in a comment:
As part of HCC’s major course renovation and expansion project in 2001-2002, an alumnus offered to cover the cost of a new clubhouse on the west side of Lyme Road. Adding a multi-purpose facility in that very accessible location was central to the financial model for HCC’s future.
In addition to serving the College and its teams, a real clubhouse would make HCC memberships more marketable. It would give Dartmouth a year-round meeting venue for business and professional conferences close to campus. It would also open an income stream for HCC for wedding receptions, and corporate and non-profit golf events. Such services are how many golf clubs keep their operating budgets in the black.
The Wright administration turned down that alumni gift of a new clubhouse when the course was being renovated. Who knows why. Nothing has been done by the College to address this need in the 15 years since.
Addendum: A local golfer and close observer of the College writes in:
First, there was always the sensible option in 2000-2001 to include the four (?) holes on the east side of Route 10. It would have simply required a tunnel which shouldn’t have been too hard to fix with the Town. This would have given more room on the west side to make better holes than the new appalling design.
Dartmouth Pro Bill Johnson called #17 the only hole in golf that could be played as a par 5, a par 4 or a par 3, and it is a terrible hole from all three. Seven of the holes have greens that need to be bulldozed (#1; #2; #6; #8; #13; #17 and#18). #17 needs to be scrapped altogether.
The new 2000ft clubhouse that was proposed by Dartmouth Athletics was set to cost about $2,000,000 at at time around 2000 when an equivalent house in Hanover with land was costing about $300,000. The committee turned the proposal down.
The course redesign was managed by ex-hockey coach Roger Demment. Ever since, it has been called Demment’s Debacle! After the renovation I left, as did all my friends, because the course became unplayable.
As Valley News staff writer Tim Camerato reported Monday, more than 100 active members of the Dartmouth College faculty have denounced a statement made by Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon and posted on the college website on Aug. 21. In this statement, President Hanlon reprimands visiting professor Mark Bray for endorsing violence. As an emeritus member of the Dartmouth faculty, I too find President Hanlon’s statement deplorable.
In condemning “anything but civil discourse” while insisting that “Dartmouth embraces free speech and open inquiry in all matters,” President Hanlon not only contradicts himself. He also reveals his ignorance of history — above all the history of Dartmouth College.
Hefferan takes as his leitmotif the defense of the Orozco murals by President Ernest Martin Hopkins on the grounds of free expression — the same parallel that I drew on July 12 in commenting on how Hopkins would have responded to the violence of Middlebury students in preventing Harvard scholar Charles Murray from speaking there.
In charging that Professor Bray’s public comments “do not represent the views of Dartmouth,” he implies that all Dartmouth professors think — or should think — exactly alike, that they are all just so many outlets for one institutional, indivisible mind. Also, in reprimanding a Dartmouth professor for endorsing “violence,” President Hanlon makes no distinction between launching a violent attack and physically defending oneself against it. Against the present-day heirs of fascism Professor Bray condones only the latter — for the very same reason that President Hopkins urged us to join the war against the original Fascist regimes. Can anyone doubt what he would have said about President Hanlon’s attempt to silence what has now become a leading voice against the virulent fascism of our own time?
Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon sure stepped in it recently. His disavowal of visiting lecturer Mark Bray’s remarks about antifa drew a sharp rebuke from Dartmouth faculty in a letter signed by more than 100 members. Hanlon wrote, “Recent statements made by Lecturer in History Mark Bray supporting violent protest do not represent the views of Dartmouth.” Faculty members found Hanlon’s disavowal a disturbing and gratuitous attack on a colleague.
Bravo to the faculty and boo to Hanlon. It hardly bears stating that Bray never claimed to be representing “the views of Dartmouth.” It is also worth noting that by any fair reading or hearing, Bray did not “support violent protest.” I listened to several of Bray’s news appearances and found nothing particularly radical about his views. Even if he had declared support for violent protest, Hanlon’s disavowal would have been somewhat chilling in an academic environment.
There is an unexpected directness in these columns, one that makes me think of, uh, me. Not that it is not deserved, of course; it is; but the vociferousness here bespeaks an anger with Phil that goes beyond the issue at hand. He is really a very poor leader, and I think that the piling on has begun. Not a moment too soon.
Addendum: Rumors of a moving van parked in the driveway of the President’s Mansion on Webster Avenue are premature.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
Emeritus Professor Heffernan refers to: “…the virulent fascism of our own time.” Bray supports violent suppression of speech. Hanlon says Bray’s views are not those of Dartmouth. One hundred faculty members criticize Hanlon for criticizing Bray. The Valley News clutches its pearls and joins the fray. Amidst this cacophony, exactly what speech, or whose thoughts, are being suppressed?
If we are living in a time of “virulent fascism,” just what vocabulary has Professor Heffernan kept in reserve for discussions concerning, say, Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia or Mao’s China? Would he refer to those places are “really, really virulent fascism.” After all, in a truly fascist state, the good professor would not have been able to publish his article in a newspaper, and had he had the foolish courage to submit it, he’d already have had a midnight knock on his door, and we would not know where he is today.
Addendum: A parent writes in:
Much of the controversy turns on a disagreement over whether Bray supports the use of preemptive violence against the far right, or only the right to defend oneself from attack. I am no fan of fascists, but a Washington Post review of Bray’s book (“The History, Theory and Contradictions of Antifa”, 9/1/17), demonstrates that Bray does, in fact, endorse the use of preemptive violence to “no platform” fascists (i.e., to deny them the right to speak). In an interview with NBC News on August 26th, Bray was pressed to state whether he considers preemptive violence a form of self-defense, and he declined to give a straight answer (which is disappointing for someone who has complained that Hanlon denied him the opportunity to “contextualize” his position). Withing very broad limits, the First Amendment allows Bray to take whatever position he wants, and his defenders have the right to support him, but they should have the courage of their convictions. Meanwhile, Hanlon is correct to make clear that Dartmouth, as an institution, does not endorse the views of each and every Dartmouth professor, even though it does support their right to express those views.
History is a crooked timber, that’s for sure. Just when I was wondering how far back the Indian symbol went, up on eBay appeared a tobacco leather that seems to urge the assembled multitudes to chant for the Dartmouth T-I-G-E-R — even if the image of an American Indian is present, too:
Tobacco leathers were affixed to tobacco pouches to advertise tobacco companies or one’s affiliation. They were offered at the point of sale by makers of tobacco products. The seller asserts, with no documentary proof, that this leather dates to 1908.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
I really enjoyed today’s post. I have a similar paper version of your leather depicted below along with a description of these items. I picked mine up at a Nantucket flea market several years ago where they also had numerous versions of other Ivy League schools. I believe the tiger cheer was similar to that of the locomotive cheer, also popular at the time and not school specific.
He also included a more detailed description of the origins of tobacco leathers:
And a wonderful example of a Dartmouth tobacco silk that also includes the T-I-G-E-R chant (TRIGGER WARNING: avert your eyes if historical memorabilia might cause you severe emotional discomfort):
Ad Harry Sheehy has written to members of the Hanover Country Club to reassure them that there will be golf in Hanover next year:
And Dartmouth Women’s Golf coach and HCC head pro Alex Kirk has also distributed the usual HCC end-of-summer membership offer:
Alex Kirk is both the HCC head pro and the head coach of the Women’s Golf team. If HCC is closed, will some other part of the College make up his lost income as head pro while he continues as the Women’s Varsity Golf coach?
Addendum: What a tempest in a teapot this whole golf course closure issue is. If Phil had a lick of managerial sense, he would never have put up for evaluation a decision that was obviously bound to raise a storm of protest. What was he thinking? A senior manager is supposed to understand the bigger picture in this type of situation. Will the Skiway be the next feature at the College to be “reviewed”?
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
This teapot tempest still stinks. The commitment to remain open for all of 2018 hardly encourages new memberships. I suppose it’s a face-saving type of announcement, but “for the foreseeable future” would have been far more appropriate.
I wonder how many more would-be major donors were discouraged by this ridiculous episode.
Breaking: Phil (and Dean Elizabeth Smith) Respond to Professors Re: Mark Bray
As I read through yesterday’s letter to the faculty from Phil Hanlon about l’affaire Bray, I was struck by its thoughtful and precise tone. How nice to see crisp writing and careful reasoning from such an unlikely source:
However, upon reaching the end of the letter, it was clear that a second hand had been involved in the drafting: newly appointed Dean of the Faculty Elizabeth Smith. Welcome!
That said, unexpectedly, the name of the College’s Chief Academic Officer, Provost Carolyn Dever was nowhere to be found in the missive. But then Carolyn was probably out of town interviewing for a job as the supreme leader of a community college somewhere.
The Valley News reported that certain professors were far from mollified by Phil and Elizabeth Smith’s letter:
However, Bray and faculty said on Thursday that Hanlon and Smith’s emailed letter does little to ease their worries.
“I’m concerned that the Dartmouth president based his comments on email, phone calls and social media without checking in with me or my department to contextualize or get the full sense of what my arguments are based on in my historical research,” Bray, a visiting scholar at the Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth, said on Thursday afternoon. “To me, that seems unprofessional.”
Bray said neither he nor any other professor makes attempts to speak for Dartmouth, and so it makes little sense why Hanlon would feel the need to make that clear.
“Considering the threats that I’ve received and the damage to my professional reputation his initial statement caused, I find this response to be unsatisfactory,” Bray said.
At least three faculty members on Thursday also issued a rebuttal, saying Hanlon and Smith’s response “effectively chills research and public engagement.”
“Making academic policy in response to outside pressure undermines the core mission of colleges and universities and emboldens those with a stake in quashing original research,” history professors Pamela Voekel, Annelise Orleck and Bethany Moreton said in a statement on Thursday. The three authored the initial letter criticizing Hanlon that was signed by roughly 120 faculty members last week.
I wonder what the Trustees make of all this.
Addendum: Given the rapidity with which the faculty letter gathered its 120 signatures (not all professors were asked to sign), it’s hard to imagine that Phil has any support at all among the left wing of the faculty. And the Duthu débâcle showed that professors on the (relative) right don’t hold Phil in high esteem either. So just who supports our lackluster President. Anyone?
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
Hanlon’s and Smith’s letter defends Bray’s right to “pursue and disseminate his research.” However, Bray’s apparent advocacy of violence is not a product or finding of research; rather it is pure political advocacy. Academic freedom only covers the former.
As a private citizen, Bray is entitled to voice his political opinions like anyone else and should be free from institutional censorship. However, as a teacher, he has special obligations, and when his utterances raise grave questions about his suitability for that position, it is quite appropriate for them to be questioned. Advocacy of violence, i.e. criminal acts, clearly raises such questions.
Addendum: An eagle-eyed reader notes that, save for the first word of the third sentence (“we”), the entire letter is written in the first person singular (“I” is used three times) — and then signed by both Phil and Beth Smith. What does that tell you? Did someone, a hapless Phil, decide to join in at the last minute? After all, why let the new Dean of the Faculty put him in the shade with a fine piece of writing?
Another supposition is that the whole missive was drafted by the new College counsel, Sandhya Subramanian.
The College ranked #31 on The Jewish Forward’s College Guide (tied with Stanford). Note that The Forward includes prominently in its ranking criteria the presence on campus — or not — of a Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) anti-Israel resolution:
One might wonder if the College would have ranked so highly if The Forward’s researchers had seen that our almost-Dean of the Faculty Bruce Duthu had been a co-author and signatory of a petition advocating the complete boycott of Israeli universities.
Addendum: In the sub-ranking of “Schools for Students Who Love Israel,” we tied for #18.
Imagine if all of our departments produced videos in which they could legitimately claim to lead the nation in pedagogical practices; where their educational technology was being used all over the country; and where the results of their experiential learning led to graduation rates for their majors that were close to perfect:
Then our departments would be as good as Buddy Teevens ‘79 football team.
Addendum: For the life of me, I don’t understand why each of our academic departments doesn’t have a professionally produced video describing the many and varied reasons why any aspiring high school student in the world would want desperately to study with its members.
The Valley News has done some excellent reporting in the last couple of weeks on scandals and other developments in Hanover and at the College that I have not had time to detail in this space:
Columnist Jim Kenyon wondered whether the College was simply luring in wealthy alumni by floating the idea of a Hanover Country Club closure — the hope being that alumni would pony up big green, as they did when Jim Wright tried to axe the swim teams after the dot.com bust at the turn of the century. In the piece, Will Alumni Make Course Correction at Hanover Country Club?, Kenyon tips his hat to Dartblog repeatedly, and he includes statistics whose provenance seems clear to me.
While we are on the subject of the golf course, to the right see want ads that appeared in the Valley News on Sunday. The College seems to be trying to hire part-time workers for the course. Good idea. These folks will cost on an hourly basis less than half what Dartmouth’s plushy Service Employees International Union workers run. Just how much of the HCC’s average operating loss over the past four years came from inflated compensation for union workers? I bet a whole lot. There is a lesson to be learned here: it is better to have a golf course with many workers earning a market wage than have no course at all — with no workers — because the union does not allow employment at the going rate.
In April the Cornell University Press published I Am Where I Come From: Native American Students and Graduates Tell Their Life Stories, a compendium of thirteen essays — including one written by almost-Dean of the Faculty Bruce Duthu entitled essay The Good Ol’ Days When Times Were Bad — edited by Professor Emeritus Andrew Garrod. The Valley News article describes the work in some detail. Interestingly only the briefest mention of the book has ever appeared on the College web page: an oblique reference in June in the very last paragraph of a story regarding editor Andrew Garrod’s receipt of an honorary degree from the University of New Brunswick. Is the College trying to hide something?
On August 24 and 26 two articles appeared regarding what appears to be the gross misuse of funds related to Project VetCare: a charity that had as its goal the support of veterans at the College and in the Upper Valley. Officials at Hanover-Based Veterans Charity Misused Funds, State Finds and Police Open Probe Into VetCare describe the diversion of funds destined for veterans to uses such as luxury vacations, home repairs and vehicle purchases by executives and board members of the charity. Project VetCare is now in receivership and will be dissolved. Both a Hanover home on Lebanon Street destined to house veterans and a Lebanon property were recently sold. The Hanover Police Department has begun a criminal investigation into the charity and its directors, and an arrest has been made (see Addendum).
A fine profile — Dartmouth Professor Wraps Up Nearly Three Decades of Climate Research in Antarctica — describes the end of 66-year-old Professor Ross Virginia’s Antarctic soil research. Virginia, the director of the College’s Institute of Arctic Studies, has already appeared in Dartblog’s Guide to the Stars as the very model of a Dartmouth scholar/teacher. The Valley News article reports that Virginia will now join “a team that’s working to mount a large sensing unit on the belly of a helicopter that will allow them to find pockets of concentrated salty brine beneath the soil and ice sheets of Antarctica.”
An article entitled Dartmouth College Appeals Ruling Against Practice Facility reports that a hearing was held in the College’s lawsuit against the Town of Hanover over the right to build a new fieldhouse between the Boss Tennis Center and the Fahey-Sculley playing field. We have already reported on the incomprehensible cost of this structure, and on the Town of Hanover’s Planning Board outrageous over-reach in denying approval for the building. Neighbors who buy homes on sites bordering the institutional district have no standing to complain if an institutional building meeting explicit zoning and site plan rules is constructed there. At the end of the hearing, the judge asked for additional information. Good for the College for not caving in here. (I have had similar problems with an out-of-control Planning Board in Lebanon.) If the College loses in the Grafton County Superior Court, we can expect an appeal to the NH Supreme Court. A ruling favorable to Dartmouth will bring clarity to a too often murky area; it will be applauded by builders throughout the state.
Addendum: In breaking news late yesterday afternoon:
Addendum: The Valley News has more details regarding the charges against Danielle Goodwin.
(Twenty years after the death of the Princess Diana, I am re-printing a short piece about her from a few years ago.)
The French authorities seem to have accepted that the Statue of Liberty flame on the banks of the Seine has become a widely beloved memorial to Princess Diana, popularly called “Lady Di” here. The flame itself — an exact replica of the one that stands in New York Harbor — was made by the same guild of Gallic artisans who crafted the original Lady Liberty, and who restored her several decades ago. It stands above the tunnel in which Diana’s fatal traffic accident occurred on August 31, 1997.
We flew back to Paris from our Hanover summer that year after having watched Diana’s funeral at the break of dawn. Her brother’s eulogy was one for the ages. After our arrival, jetlag kicked in and at about 3am Elizabeth and I and our seven-month-old son found ourselves unable to sleep. We strapped the little guy into a Baby Bjorn and spontaneously decided to go to the site of Princess Di’s accident, which is a little more than a mile from our apartment. I don’t think we had ever before or have ever since gone on a middle-of-the-night walk in Paris. In some curious way we were drawn to the place, as we found hundreds of other people were, too. We could leave no flowers at that hour, but there was solace in understanding that our own emotions were widely shared.
A good friend repeatedly asks what Princess Diana did to deserve such adulation. The better question is what it is about her that moved so many people, as she still does.
Addendum: We regularly bike and drive by the site. It stands near the Pont D’Alma at the bottom of avenue du Président Wilson, where an excellent open-air market is held each Wednesday and Saturday. There are always people standing reverently near the flame.
Addendum: A longtime reader writes in:
Her genuineness survived all.
She was interviewed, one time, while visiting a hospital in India, and she held a little girl while responding to the reporter. I remember the natural and unscripted tenderness with which she stroked the child’s hair — in the same almost unconscious manner we’d do with our own children. To have seen those few moments was to know that her causes hadn’t been chosen for publicity value. She cared about other people; she cared about ending suffering, as much as is possible to do.
I cried for a week after she died. I remember feeling like an old nurse in a Victorian novel, saying to myself, “I was here when she married and here to see her funeral.”
Only on TV, of course. I couldn’t stop watching the coverage, that awful week, and every time a film loop came on of her bending to her children, on a balcony, while waving to the public, I started sobbing all over again. She was a real mother; not the sort who can hardly wait to hand the kids over to nannies before running out to have fun.
It was a crime what was done to her; that gormless idiot who couldn’t stand up to his parents when it could have saved a world of pain.
But I guess those boys were destined to be born and they seem—even Harry, now—to have turned out OK. In my belief system, at least, she sees and knows that.
But if we still miss her so painfully—God only knows how they dealt with it.
Hoping there’ll never be a King Charles. But I doubt he has any grace at all anywhere in him. At least he won’t be our monarch. Good thing we broke away in time…
Members of the faculty and administrators often complain about the consumerist attitude towards education displayed by today’s students. Undergraduates seem to bring a marketplace mentality to Hanover with them, and if the College doesn’t deliver the goods, a phone call from parents or even a lawyer is not far away.
Beyond lamenting such approach, is the administration going to do anything about this development? Anything to set a different tone, to educate new students about their responsibilities as members of the Dartmouth community? Doesn’t look like it — except to host a community barbecue to begin the new academic year:
How about bringing back Convocation, where incoming freshmen can be treated to pomp and circumstance and some shock and awe about what is expected of them as they join a community of scholars (not whiners) that has existed for close to 250 years now? The massed, berobed faculty and though-provoking speeches used to do a good job in helping special snowflakes understand that Dartmouth does not exist only for their benefit:
In canceling Convocation, Phil has abdicated his responsibility to a valuable tradition and also passed over an opportunity to set his own tone at a small college. Of course, the entering class at Michigan is six times the size of the freshman class at Dartmouth, so Phil can’t be expected to comprehend how important Convocation can be at the College (though one might think he’d recall the event from his time as a student in the 1970’s). He needs to shift gears in understanding that certain things can be done in Hanover that were not possible in Ann Arbor.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
I agree strongly with your comments on the loss of Convocation. Thanks to the G.I. Bill, I arrived in Hanover in 1946 for Convocation a mere two weeks after getting out of the Navy following the war. Having grown up in Minnesota in the depths of the Great Depression, and gone directly into the service after high school in the small town of Hopkins, finding myself sitting in front of colorfully robed scholars and hearing John Sloan Dickey say, “Gentlemen, your business here is learning,” really got my attention and actually inspired me.
A middling student up until then, I graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. I have the horrible feeling that everything that made Dartmouth great for my generation is slipping away inexorably under present management. Many thanks for Dartblog.
In watching Dartmouth’s (and other schools’) young radicals, I find myself amazed at how they march in lockstep. A group of scholars from HYP has now encouraged all students to break from their resective groups and, horror of horrors, think for themselves:
A real radical is someone with an independent mind, someone who goes against the prevailing ideological tide. We’ll watch — without holding our breath — for any sign that this advice has been followed.
Addendum: The above declaration comes hard on the heels of a controversial op-ed by two professors in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Heather Macdonald reports:
On August 9, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax and University of San Diego law professor Larry Alexander published an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer calling for a revival of the bourgeois values that characterized mid-century American life, including child-rearing within marriage, hard work, self-discipline on and off the job, and respect for authority. The late 1960s took aim at the bourgeois ethic, they say, encouraging an “antiauthoritarian, adolescent, wish-fulfillment ideal [of] sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll that was unworthy of, and unworkable for, a mature, prosperous adult society.”
Flaming radicals both.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
Good title; the real radicals today are those who point out the obvious that is not supposed to be noticed in order to protect Progressive sacred absolutes, in this case egalitarianism pushed to the level of absurdity.
The HYP professors should have included a specific warning to the students that the “actual bigots,” those who seek to “protect the hegemony of their opinions by claiming that to question those opinions is itself bigotry,” will unfortunately include many of their teachers and administrators.
Students should be told that a degree of deference is due to the opinions of faculty only when they are non-politicized statements strictly concerning their area of expertise; outside of that, a high degree of skepticism is in order.