Tuesday, August 30, 2005

On Washington Monthly's Ratings

Joe Malchow '08 says Washington Monthly's college rankings, in which Dartmouth places 37th, are bogus. At the same time, he says the rankings can be used as a model for "a positive goal for the future." The former view is correct; the latter is mistaken.

Malchow says the criteria the magazine used to rank students were the following:
percent of student with Pell grants, graduation rate, change in graduation rates, size of research grants, number of Ph. D.s awarded, (ranked) percentage of students in Peace Corps or ROTC, and the percentage of federal grants spent on community service.
Presumably, to reach this "positive goal," Malchow recommends that Dartmouth improve some or all of these categories.

Raising the graduation rate is a noble cause, so long as educational standards are not relaxed. Increasing the number of students with Pell grants is charitable and raising the proportion in the ROTC is a good patriotic goal. None of these at all undermine Dartmouth's mission as an educational institution, and could improve the school. The others could well do more harm than good.

Increasing the number of Ph.D.s Dartmouth grants and increasing the size of research grants would further divert the College's attention from its undergraduates. Abandoning 236 years of educational tradition for the sake of an arbitrary college ranking by an obscure magazine is a poor idea. The College should perhaps improve on the basics (specifically its undergraduate education) before it seeks to be "a research university in all but name."

The community service ideas likewise seem bogus. Shouldn't Dartmouth's mission be to educate students about the importance of service to the community instead of to usher students into the Peace Corps or to funnel federal monies to the Tucker Foundation? Support of such programs for their own sake is hardly a public good. In fact, an over-funded community service progam without students who care could do considerable harm.

Washington Monthly says such reforms could create "a wealthier, freer, more vibrant, and democratic country." This would hardly be the case if the changes facilitate the continued decline of undergraduate education and the evolution of community service from genuine concern into a sort of do-goodery program.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Zywicki on Academia's Intellectual Disparity

Alumni Trustee Todd Zywicki '88 has posted a lengthy rebuttal to those who seek to explain away the lack of conservatives in academia as a natural consequence of conservatives' alleged greed, closed-mindedness, stupidity and other characteristics.

From the article:
Even if this is self-selection, this is not necessarily responsive--when the elite academy is confronted with other examples of "underrepresented" interests, they do not simply throw up their hands and complain of a shallow talent pool. Instead, at Columbia for instance, the diversity committee is "tasked with finding ways to strengthen the pipeline bringing women and minority students into the University's undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral programs" and not merely take what the pipeline produces. . . .

[I]t seems utterly absurd that people are still making uninformed armchair speculation about the causes of the prevailing ideological imbalance in the academy. Is it self-selection? Conservatives are greedier? Conservatives are dumber? When it comes to addressing the issue of other "underrepresented minorities" on college campuses, the record overflows with high profile blue ribbon panels of leading scholars and administrators. No stone is left unturned and no penny left unspent to try to determine why women are "underrepresented" in teaching math and science, or the underrepresentation of minorities. I think maybe it is time to take even a small percentage of those tens of millions being spent at places like Harvard and Columbia and perhaps do a study of the causes of the ideological disparity in the academy, rather than simply speculate and pontificate. At the very least, such a study would eliminate some of the more preposterous hypotheses (such as the idea that conservatives generically like money more than liberals or that conservatives lack the intellecutal frame of mind to succeed in academia).

Friday, August 26, 2005

Travel Issue Online

The latest issue of The Dartmouth Review is now online for your reading pleasure.

Inside, find:
-- An interview with presidential historian and Montgomery Fellow Robert Dallek.

-- Tales of adventure and intrigue in Morocco, Arabia, the Czech Republic, Belarus, and local restaurants.

-- Angry Wiccan epistles.

-- A review of Brian Anderson's South Park Conservatives.

Dems Push-Polling Against Bass

PoliticsNH reports that the New Hampshire State GOP has received numerous complaints from residents of Hanover, Lyme, Lebanon, and other towns throughout the 2nd Congressional District about automated phone calls smearing Rep. Charlie Bass '74.

Bass has been frequently targeted by national Democrats for defeat, but to little avail. Democrat Paul Hodes, who unsuccessfully challenged Bass in 2004, is running against him again in 2006.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

CORRECTION

Dear Reader,

We at The Dartmouth Review are truly sorry for the preceding post by Mr. Nathaniel Ward, which deeply offended the delicate sensibilities of many of us.

What Mr. Ward meant to say was, "... Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, and who has requested ..."

We especially apologize to women and minorities, who were affected the most.

Re: Tuck

The Forbes rankings, like President Bush, failed to mention anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan, who has requested a meeting with the commander-in-chief. They're conspiring to restrict her right to free speech.

Tuck

Forbes recently announced its 2005 business school rankings, and Tuck came out at #1.

This announcement came as President Bush is facing increased opposition on the war in Iraq, where 1,869 American service members have died since the war began in March 2003.

Undergrad Research Database

Recent alum and Marshall Scholar Peter Noteboom '05 passes on this message about a new database of undergraduate theses. Seems like it could be a useful resource if enough students participated.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Hi,

Some '05s and I just put together a non-profit, online database of
undergraduate research (www.ugresearch.org). It furthers Dartmouth's
goal as an undergraduate institution and I was hoping to post
something on dartlog about the website, to get more alumni involved.

The idea behind the website is that undergraduate work rarely leaves
the institution at which it is written. Since there is no
comprehensive list of undergraduate work, students may well repeat the
same research conducted by their peers at other schools. This leads to
repetition and stagnation.

The vast majority of undergraduate theses end up in the basement of
the library, and they're even hard to find using the dartmouth library
search engine. Since undergraduates often have very creative and
original ideas, this is a real loss to society.


Thanks,
Peter Noteboom '05

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Grovel Before Us

An impressionable New Criterion intern learns what it is like to work for TDR alumni James Panero '98 and Stefan Beck '04:
"File these press clippings!" the seersuckered Mr. Panero commands. "Update the website! Polish the bust of Hilton Kramer! You will KNEEL when Roger Kimball speaks to you!" "Actually, he prefers grovelling," Dawn Steeves chimes in, ever helpful.
Via Armavirumque.

Update: The intern in question, Andrew Cusack, edits a monthly newspaper at St. Andrew's University in Scotland. The paper regularly runs a feature titled "Imperial and Colonial Report."

Congratulations

to new alumni Trustee Todd Zywicki '88, whose became a father on Thursday evening.

UPDATE: The young Zywicki has been named Claire Olivia.

Dartmouth #9

For what it's worth, Dartmouth retained its #9 ranking from U.S. News & World Report.

Friday, August 19, 2005

NCAA Retreats on Indian Mascots

The AP reports that the NCAA has backed off of its previous position banning the use of Indian mascots in postseason competition by saying that "approval from American Indian tribes would be a primary factor" in deciding the cases of individual schools.

Florida State University, whose Seminole mascot is supported by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, had threatened to bring a lawsuit against the NCAA.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Banning Indian Mascots

Scott Ott of Scrappleface has a fun parody of the politically-correct "nationwide campaign to drum American Indians out of the public square."

How Odd

Truly a dubious distinction.

This one, while not related to anything here, isn't as dirty as you might expect, either.

Scholer '04 in the News

The first issue of The Insider under the editorship of former Review editor J. Lawrence Scholer '04 has just come off the presses. The Insider is the quarterly publication of The Heritage Foundation.

Scholer also runs a related blog: InsiderOnline.org

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Spalding Named Vice President for Alumni Relations

An email sent out to all alumni this afternoon announces that David Spalding ’76 has been appointed Dartmouth’s Vice President for Alumni Relations and will take over that position in October.

Spalding’s career started in Finance, with Chase, and continued through the First National Bank of Chicago, GE Capital, Lehman Bros., and the Cypress Group. For all the details, see the College’s press release. Notably, Spalding is now Chairman of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York—no minor position in a city of big philanthropy.

The chief goal of the Alumni Relations, of course, is to increase alumni giving. Under that come several secondary goals, such as maintaining goodwill and building alumni involvement in current goings-on.

It is no secret that large numbers of alumni—both recent alumni and alumni going back to classes from the 1950s and 1960s—are upset at the College’s recent course, though, to be sure, relations have improved over the past year or so as the College has seemingly backed away from several of its earlier, more radical proposals, such as putting an end to student fraternities and sororities. As results from the past two Trustee elections show, a large portion of the alumni base rejects the status quo. Relative to what’s possible, this must impact alumni giving.


To a large extent, however, Alumni Relations’ hands are tied—it cannot change the policies that have caused many alumni to delay their donations or withhold them entirely. That power rests only in the hands of the Trustees.


Given his background, Spalding is a big catch for the College, but it is not clear what he will be able to do to soothe alumni discontent. Do you have any suggestions—perhaps fewer lengthy letters or better-timed phone calls (how do they always ring when I’m sitting down for a drink?!)? Post them below, and perhaps word will make its way to the Vice President Elect.

Here’s mine: I like the pictures, but the Life-meets-Pravda-style reporting in Dartmouth Life makes me suspicious that the College is up to no good each time I read it. Take this:

Jhilam Biswas '05 and Shivani Parmar '05 tend to finish each other's sentences. "Where I have weaknesses," says Biswas, "she has strengths, and vice versa." Biswas is the founding director of the Dartmouth Coalition for Global Health, and Parmar is editor-in-chief of the Coalition's journal, Standpoints
What lies behind this emerging impulse to address global health issues? "Everyone's going to get sick at some point," says Parmar. "The difference is that we live in a world where individual illness can quickly translate into a massive public health issue."

That just sounds…so sinister

Monday, August 15, 2005

Fick '99 Has New Website

Nathaniel Fick '99, who chronicled his Marine Corps experience in Afghanistan and Iraq in the forthcoming One Bullet Away, has a new website. He will signing copies of his book in Hanover on November 11, Veteran's Day.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Big Green Bus Returns

The vegetable oil-powered contraption ran 10,000 miles.

Missing Student Update

He's been identified as Valentine Valkov, from Bulgaria, a student at Hartford, Connecticut's Trinity College.

The recovery operations continue today, the Valley News reports.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Business Bridge Student Missing

Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 11:23:09 -0400 (EDT)
From: James.E.Wright@Dartmouth.EDU
To: dartmouth-announce@locum.dartmouth.edu
Subject: Notice to the community
Sender: massmail-sender@locum.dartmouth.edu
Precedence: bulk

To Members of the Dartmouth Community,

I'm very sad to report that a student in the summer Bridge Program at the Tuck School is missing after swimming in the Connecticut River. We have been working closely with both the Hanover Police and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department to locate the student. The dedication and professionalism of the officers who have been working on this case since the early morning hours is very much appreciated and has impressed us all. I have talked with Bob Hansen, the Senior Associate Dean of the Tuck School, who is working closely with the students and faculty to provide support. He has also been in touch with Dean Paul Danos, who is away from campus.

I have attached below a statement with a little more information from our Public Affairs Office. We are working to get as much information as we can and to be in touch with the student's family. I know you will join me in reaching out and taking good care of yourselves and others.

We will, of course, provide an update as soon as we can. Should you want to talk with a professional counselor about this, students should contact 603-650-1442. Faculty and employees should contact the Employee Assistance Program at 603-646-1165.

James Wright
President

***************************************************
STATEMENT:

A student who was participating in the summer Bridge Program at the Tuck School of Business was reported missing after swimming in the Connecticut River sometime early in the morning on August 12 2005. Officials from several local and regional police departments spent several hours on the river searching for the student and, at roughly 7 a.m. this morning, New Hampshire Fish and Game assumed jurisdiction for a recovery mission involving divers from around the state. The student's name is being withheld pending notification of the family. Our hearts are with the student's family at this difficult time and our immediate concern is the well being of those other students involved in the Bridge Program at the Tuck School. Extensive counseling is being provided to them and to others who request it.

This matter is currently under investigation by the Hanover Police Department. All questions concerning this should be directed to them at: 603-643-2222.

The summer Bridge Program at the Tuck School is a four-week career-focused program that teaches business fundamentals to juniors, seniors and recent graduates majoring in the liberal arts and sciences from institutions around the world.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

On the Warpath

The controversy surrounding the NCAA's decision to ban the use of Indian team names and mascots from postseason competition continues, as Jaye La Vallee writes a stream of consciousness letter to the Daily Dartmouth and Kenneth Woodward weighs in on Opinion Journal.

Woodward notes that the NCAA's decision to make an exception for UNC-Pembroke might
"clear the way for Dartmouth's Big Green to restore its Indian mascot and team name, Indians, which the school dropped in 1969. After all, Dartmouth was founded by Eleazar Wheelock, a Puritan minister, for the purpose of providing "Christianization, instruction and education" for "Youth of the Indian Tribes of this Land. . .and also of English Youth and any others." The college still offers a major in Native American Studies and since 1970 has graduated some 500 American Indians."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Threat Renewed

Tomorrow (Wednesday), we will try once again to upgrade the server that hosts this and several other sites. Expect the server to be offline for some part of the day and certain services may be unavailable after that, as well (most likely the site for the newspaper itself). Because you can read this now 1) nothing's yet been done, 2) things went swimmingly, or 3) it was grueling but everything is now fixed.

Update: Things are back up and should be a fair bit faster than before.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Fighting Sioux Update

Elliot Olshanky '04 covers the controversy over the Fighting Sioux mascot at the University of North Dakota. As a result of the NCAA's recent ruling, North Dakota will still be allowed to host the 2006 West Regional of the NCAA Hockey Tournament, but it will have to cover all images of the mascot before the tournament.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Server Work

That you can read this post is encouraging--it means that I haven't broken anything, yet. The goal today is to upgrade the web server that runs this and the other Dartmouth Review websites. The sites may go down and up this afternoon a few times. It happens; don't panic. It's a nice day--you should be outside, anyway.

Update: Never mind. It didn't work out. The breakage will happen next week, almost certainly.

Friday, August 05, 2005

NCAA Bans Indian Mascot from Postseason Play

The NCAA announced today a decision to ban 18 colleges and universities from participating in postseason competition until they remove "offensive" or "hostile" mascots from their uniforms.

The president of Florida State University, whose Seminole mascot is supported by the Seminole tribe, said he was "stunned at the complete lack of appreciation for cultural diversity" shown by the NCAA.

Rago on Pro Mini-Golf

Editor Emeritus Joseph Rago '05 looks at the sport of professional mini-golf in the Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal. "For most, mini-golf or putt-putt or adventure golf, as it is variously known, is a mere pastime," he writes. "But for some, the professionals, miniature golf is a serious matter.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Here it comes again...

Seems like a poor way to accomplish the goal.
__________________________________________
Date: 03 Aug 2005 21:37:04 EDT
From: Sexual Abuse Peer Advisors
Subject: Consensual Sex is Hot
To: (Recipient list suppressed)

************************************************************

You've seen the "Consensual Sex is Hot" T-shirts from past Sophomore summers, and now it's your chance to join the tradition.

Come and get one at Consent Day 2005!!!

When: Fri. 3 to 5 pm
Where: Webster Ave.
Why: It takes the whole community to prevent sexual abuse...and there's free Ben and Jerry's.

*************************************************************

Sponsored by:
KKG, EKT, Chi Gam, AZD, GDX, Alpha Theta, Sigma Delt, Sig Ep, Sig Nu, Psi U, KDE, Phi Tau, Phi Delt, Alpha Chi, LUL, Panarchy, Tabard
CWG, OPAL, College Health Services, Programming Board

Spawn of the Right

A couple weeks back, The Valley News took note of TDR's 25th birthday in a short clip:
Hard as it may be to believe, The Dartmouth Review, the conservative, independent newspaper that has long been the bane of Dartmouth College administrators, turned 25.
. . .
The nonprofit paper also proved to be an early example of conservative activism and churned out several influential writers and media stars. The Review's alumni--or spawn, depending on your ideology--include Dinesh D'Souza, Laura Ingraham and syndicated editorial cartoonist Steve Kelley.