Friday, September 30, 2005

More Riner Reactions

Noah Riner's Convocation speech continues to spark reactions from columnists wide and far. Inside Higher Ed has an objective write-up of the imbroglio, while the Washington Times reprints the entirety of the speech alongside a short summary of the events.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Changing the Rules—Again

Joe Asch '79, writing in the Daily Dartmouth, argues that the current plans to change the Alumni Association's constitution are a cynical ploy to prevent alumni from electing outsiders to the Board of Trustees.
At Dartmouth, when the Administration is unhappy with election results, it tries to change the electoral rules.

Having lost the last three trustee elections to anti-Administration candidates, the Wright Administration has now responded to these rebukes.

However, rather than addressing the fundamental reasons why the petition candidates won their elections, a process has been set in motion to change the way the alumni vote for trustees.
It should be noted that the College (or, to be precise, Alumni Association insiders with very close ties to the College administration) has successfully accomplished similar rule changes in the past. In 1990, the election rules were revised in an attempt to prevent future petition candidates from gaining traction. This followed the successful 1980 petition campaign to elect John Steel '54 and a similar but less successful effort eight years later by Wid Washburn '48.

The timing of this effort, though conceived before T.J. Rodgers '70 successfully ran for Trustee in 2004, does appear suspicious.

Rodgers in Reason

Dartmouth Trustee and Cypress Semiconductors CEO T.J. Rodgers '70 participates in a debate with Milton Freidman and John Mackey on corporate social responsibility in this month's issue of Reason. The article is available online here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Alumni Constitution Text

The text of the new Alumni Association constitution is available on the alumni relations website in Microsoft Word format.

Other documents from the Alumni Governance Task Force's September 23 announcement--including a talking points "summary" using words like "strengthen" and "innovative"--are also on the alumni relations page.

Alumni Meeting Approaches

Dartmouth's Alumni Association will be holding its annual meeting over this coming Homecoming weekend (Oct. 23) to consider, among other matters, a new constitution that has been developed by the Alumni Governance Task Force.

Look for full coverage of the new constitution in the next issue of The Dartmouth Review, but the new constitution, if approved by three-quarters of those present at the October meeting, would, among other things, transform the current Alumni Council (an un-elected body) into an Alumni "Assembly," mandate that only alumni in the "Assembly" could be elected president of the Alumni Association, and make it more difficult for petition candidates to mount outsider campaigns for alumni Trustee elections.

Any alumni who can make it up to Hanover for Homecoming should plan on attending the meeting and making their opinion known on the new constitution.

Great Moments in Private Charity

Brian Wilson (yes, that Brian Wilson) will match your donation and give you a phone call if you donate to Hurricane Katrina relief through his website. Minimum donation (for the call): $100.

I'm sure many have already given, but doesn't this make it tempting to sacrifice a bit more?

Wilson promises that, on the phone call, he will "answer a question you just have, or just say hello." So is the rate then $100/question? Not a bad deal at all.

Who's Really Old Fashioned Here?

The D spins the replacement of Kaelin Goulet '07 with Elisa Donnelly '07 as a matter of sectarian controversy:

"Riner began the meeting with a 30-minute, closed-door session during which the Assembly confirmed his choice of Elisa Donnelly '07 to lead the Assembly's student life committee. Donnelly, who is also a member of the Navigators Christian Fellowship, assumes the post Kaelin Goulet '07 resigned last week as she called Riner's invocation of Jesus an embarrassment to the Assembly.

"Goulet said that, by appointing Donnelly to fill her position, Riner wasted a chance to reach out to students who may have been offended by his speech.

"'I think it's unfortunate that at a moment of opportunity to send a message, he [Riner] perpetuated a state of homogeny amongst the body,' Goulet said."

Putting aside the fact that Donelly is the ONLY '07 with experience on SA execs (which the article neglects to mention), is Goulet really suggesting that positions should screened a priori based upon religion affiliation? Riner has been accused of trying to take Dartmouth back to the days the Eleazar Wheelock, but it looks like Goulet would rather us return to the 17th century.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Dartmouth in The Onion

The Onion uses Dartmouth's campus as the setting for an article in its latest issue. The article, standard Onion fare, includes a few details that don't ring true for those that know the school: the subjects of the article attend "Dartmouth University" and take "Philosophy 101" in a building that doesn't at all resemble Thornton Hall.

William F. Buckley Jr. on Riner

Read it here.

NRO on Riner

Over at NRO, Stefan Beck '04 weighs in on SA President Noah Riner's Convocation speech.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Job Market

Previously, I have been somewhat critical of the Dartmouth education, but it now appears as though the school may have been setting its grads up for employment after all.

Gazzaniga to Leave Dartmouth

Michael Gazzaniga, the David McLaughlin Professor of Distinction, Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, member of the President's Council on Bioethics, and former Dean of the Faculty, is leaving Dartmouth to take a new position at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Curiously, Gazzaniga already appears on the UCSB psychology department's faculty list.

Gazzaniga had resigned from his post as Dean of the Faculty in June 2004 after losing a vote of no-confidence among departmental heads.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Hockey Musings

Some random hockey notes with the opening faceoff less than a month away:

This year marks the 100th season of hockey at Dartmouth.

Both the men and the women were picked second by the coaches and third by the media in the preseason ECACHL polls.

Thompson Arena will be on national television at least three times this year. CSTV will broadcast two men's games as part of its Friday Night Hockey line-up. The first is the home matchup against arch-rival Harvard on December 16th, the second coming when Clarkson visits on February 24th. In addition, the women will get some airtime on CSTV for a rare Monday night clash with Harvard on January 30th.

In the pros, Hugh Jessiman will likely start the season with the Wolfpack in the AHL after being sent to Hartford from the NY Rangers training camp. Trevor Byrne was likewise sent to Peoria from the Blues, while Lee Stempniak remains in St. Louis as preseason games get underway. Last year's captain had an assist on the Blues' first goal tonight against the Predators. Dartmouth hasn't been represented in the NHL since Scott Fraser '94 played for the Rangers in the 1998-99 season.

Tuck ranked highly

Less than a week after being named to the #1 slot in The Wall Street Journal's ranking of business schools, the Tuck School placed third in The Economist's annual international rankings.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The College's Purpose

The College's charter, granted by King George in 1769, calls "for the education and instruction of Youth of the Indian Tribes in this Land ... and also of English Youth and any others."

And, as Michael noted below, Wheelock originally envisioned Dartmouth as "an Academy for all parts of useful Learning, part of it a College for the Education of Missonaries, School Masters, Interpreters &c., and part of it a School for reading and writing &c."

The D's Editorial

The Daily Dartmouth's editorial this morning claims that Dartmouth has given up on its original mission of education Indians and "while Riner has the same freedoms as all students, his speech gave the misleading impression that Dartmouth today is closer to Wheelock's vision than to its current ideals."

The D's claim, however, is misinformed -- Dartmouth today isn't substanially different than Wheelock's vision. Eleazer Wheelock originally founded both a school for the education of Indians and a Latin school for English youth, and his 1763 proposal for founding Dartmouth College described it as "an Academy for all parts of useful Learning, part of it a College for the Education of Missonaries, School Masters, Interpreters &c., and part of it a School for reading and writing &c." While Dartmouth has obviously changed over the years, few would argue that its mission today is substanially different than Wheelock's proposal more than 200 years ago.

Even despite the efforts of administrators who might try to transform Dartmouth into a research university, it still remains at its core the same liberal arts college that first graduated students in 1771.

Thought on All This

As Stern points out, Heintz comic was far more offensive than Riner's speech by almost any metric. Now remember, if not for instant running voting, Heintz would be SA president instead of Riner. One can only imagine what he would have said in his convocation address...and what the response to any protests would have been.

Controversy Surrounds Riner Convocation Speech

A summary of the fallout, as reported in The Dartmouth.

Wednesday:
A news article refers to the speech as "resembl[ing] a sermon" and quotes only freshmen who disliked it.

Yesterday:
A comic by Paul Heintz '06 (the runner up in last spring's Student Assembly race) featuring Riner and Jesus portrays the former as a crusader who wants "to vanquish all those infidel looters and rioters" and Jesus at pot-smoking pottymouth who tells Riner to "Take a hit off this s--- and chill the f--- out."

An op-ed by Brian Martin '06, who finished third to Riner in the race for student body President, contends that "It is fine to believe whatever you want, but Convocation is neither the time nor the place to proselytize."

In a news article about his priorities for Student Assembly, Riner defends his speech: "I realize that I have a very specific perspective on the issue of character. And by adding my perspective, I hope that it'll give other people the opportunity to examine their own perspectives and to add those to the Dartmouth dialogue."

Today:
A news article reports the resignation of Student Assembly Vice President for Student Life Kaelin Goulet '07. "I consider his choice of topic for the Convocation speech reprehensible and an abuse of power. You embarrass the organization; you embarrass yourself," she reportedly wrote to Riner.

A letter from John Stern '05 points out the hypocrisy of publishing Heintz's comic: " I dare say it was equally offensive to Christians, if not more so, than Riner's speech was to non-Christians."

The paper's editorial board condemns the speech: "The problem with Riner's speech was his insinuation that turning to Jesus is the only way to find character...Riner had every right, as a member of a community that values the freedom of speech, to speak freely about what matters to him. The forum he chose, however, was inappropriate."

An op-ed from Hillel president Libby Sherman '06 denounces the speech and "invite[s] Noah Riner to the Multi-Faith Council to learn to work with the diversity that makes Dartmouth such a wonderful place to be, rather than divide and offend." Sherman writes: "Invoking imagery of the cross, using the word "us," but not me -- these are inappropriate for a speech opening the new school year and welcoming all students...Presumably, the Student Body President is elected to represent the entire Dartmouth community. Alienating and offending a few students is, unto itself, something that a campus leader should avoid at all costs." Sherman doesn't explain how it's possible to please all students, and her piece also contains this incredibly contradictory sentence: "Part of the value of the Dartmouth experience is learning about and embracing diversity and this disrespectful action is the complete antithesis of the values that Dartmouth espouses."

An op-ed from David Glovsky '08, a Jewish student, notes that he was not offended by Riner's speech, despite his disagreement: "Many of us in the Dartmouth community proudly disagree with that and other aspects of Riner's religious beliefs, but our disagreements do not give us the right to limit his speech."

Tuck Prof to Join CEA

President Bush has named Tuck professor Matthew Slaughter to the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

The President intends to nominate Matthew Slaughter, of New Hampshire, to be a
Member of the Council of Economic Advisers. Dr. Slaughter is an Associate
Professor of Business Administration for the Tuck School of Business at
Dartmouth College. In addition, he serves as a Research Associate at the
National Bureau of Economic Research and as a Visiting Fellow at the Institute
for International Economics. Prior to this, Mr. Slaughter was a Visiting Scholar
at the Federal Reserve Board and the International Monetary Fund and served as a
Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations. Earlier in his career, he
served as a Consultant at the World Bank and the Department of Labor. Dr.
Slaughter received his bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame and
his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dartmouth economics professor Andrew Samwick served on the council as its chief economist until 2004.

UPDATE: As Prof. Samwick notes in the comments, he was a staff economist, not on the council itself.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Freshman Issue Online

The first TDR of the fall term, the freshman issue, has now been posted online for your reading pleasure.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Oversubscribed Courses

As of this morning, the first day of classes, only one government class (a seminar from a visiting professor) had ANY openings. I discovered this to my chagrin when I tried to switch classes. I don't think it would be an understatement to say that class sizes in certain departments are nearing a crisis.

Scott Glabe Call-Out

Scott Johnson '73 on the Powerline Blog calls out Scott Glabe for pointing him towards Noah Riner's Convocation speech, and also notes Scott's column in this morning's Daily Standard decrying the pork barrel spending in the recent highway bill.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Pres. Wright at Convocation

Riner's speech today should, of course, be contrasted directly with President Wright's Convocation speech, now also available online .

Key lines from the speeches:

Riner, in reference to the violence in the aftermath of Katrina:

"We have the same flaws as the individuals who pillaged New Orleans. Ours haven’t been given such free range, but they exist and are part of us all the same."

Wright, in reference to the violence in the aftermath of Katrina:

"The world is in good hands - and if terrorists and the venal, the cynical and the selfish, get the headlines, they do not represent us, so long as we insist that we will not allow them to do so. They surely are not the majority of humankind."

Convocation

Noah Riner '06's speech to the class of '09 is available online. And in case you missed it, Sandeep Ramesh's valedictory speech to the class of '05 is also.

Mark Your Calendars

Harvard government professor Harvey Mansfield and Dartmouth English department chair Peter Travis will debate the question "Is manliness a virtue in a free society?" at Dartmouth (room TBD) at 7:00 pm on October 12.

The event is sponsored by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation, and The Dartmouth Review.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Zywicki on Hurricane Response

Alumni Trustee Todd Zywicki '88 has posted to his blog several interesting pieces about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Football opens with a win.

Dartmouth opened the Buddy Teevens '79 era with a 26-21 win over Colgate this afternoon at Memorial Field.

After a slow start, Dartmouth's defense got the team going, forcing several turnovers. A fumble and an interception led to two touchdowns, giving Dartmouth the lead, which they never relinquished.

EDIT: Here is the game summary.

New Aquinas House Director

Fr. William Garrott, O.P., has been named the new director of Aquinas House, Dartmouth's Catholic Student Center, by the Bishop of Manchester.

Fr. Garrott formerly was the vocations director for the Order of Preachers' (Dominicans') Province of St. Joseph; he has also served as an itinerant preacher. Fr. Garrott succeeds Fr. Brendan Buckley, O.F.M. Cap., who resigned last spring with health issues. Garrott is the fourth director in the center's history.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Kelley '81 featured

Steve Kelley '81, a former cartoonist for the Review, was recently featured in an Editor and Publisher article. Kelley, now an editorial cartoonist for New Orleans' Times-Picayune, was displaced by Hurricane Katrina and is currently drawing out of California.

Monday, September 12, 2005

No Editors

That’s the only way I can explain how there are so many factual and even spelling errors in two paragraphs of this Daily Dartmouth article on the past four years in Hanover. The errors in the freshman issue just keep coming:
As the New Hampshrie [sic] Democratic primary neared in January 2003, the Dartmouth campus became occupied with national politics, with student leaders rallying support for several candidates. Democratic presidential candidates -- including Sen. John Kerry, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean and Sen. John Edwaards [sic] -- came to campus to rally support in the weeks leading up to the nation's first and most-watched primary.

As the New Hampshire primary drew closer, four major Democratic candidates visited campus during spring of 2004. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, the front-runner for much of the race, unveiled his national higher education plan in a November speech. Dartmouth also saw visits from Gen. Wesley Clark, Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., and eventual victor Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
The chronology is all wrong. The New Hampshire primary was in January 2004, which was before the “spring of 2004.” Dean’s November, 2003 speech was neither in 2004, nor in spring, as the previous sentence would suggest. The second paragraph introduces Dean, Edwards and Kerry for a second time, including the areas they represent as if it were a first reference.

The rest of the article is also rather poorly researched. For example, staff writer Mark Henle '07 writes that two members of the Board of Trustees retired this past year, when in fact only one member retired. Another spot was open because of the expansion noted earlier in the article. The article does get around to mentioning petition candidates Peter Robinson ’79 and Todd Zywicki ’88, who were the second and third anti-establishment candidates elected to the Board in just two years. The article did not mention the 2004 election of the first such candidate, T.J. Rodgers ’70.

The Daily Dartmouth is to be congratulated on this supreme effort.

Re: Errata Redux

The web editor has still neglected to fix the counting error on the Daily D's front page.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Daily D errata redux

After my original post on the many errors in the Daily D's article on the history of the College, some web editor went back and made (unacknowledged and unnoted) edits to the original piece.

Yet s/he still didn't get them all correct. Animal House still has the wrong release date (it should be 1978), Samson Occom is still misidentified as Samuel Occum, and the Dartmouth College Case is still given the incorrect date of 1816.

Congratulations.

EDIT: Here is the cached, unedited version of the article.

Also, another error, Edward Tuck was a member of the class of 1862, not the class of 1835.

Interestingly, the Daily D seems to have a long-standing problem with College history. This article from 2000, contains much of the same information as the present version, and also contains many of the same errors. A cursory scan reveals at least seven--see if you can spot them.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

More Daily D errata

Though Nat has already noted one error, more interesting is their article here, which contains a stunning number of incorrect dates and other facts.


  • Eleazar Wheelock died in 1779, not 1789.

  • Dartmouth Hall, though technically constructed between 1784 and 1791, is listed as constructed in 1791. (Not necessarily inaccurate, but assuredly incomplete.)

  • The Tuck School was founded in 1900, not 1902 as stated.

  • The Thayer School was founded in 1867, not 1851.

  • The movie Animal House was released in 1978, according to IMDB, not 1973 as stated in the article.

  • The Dartmouth College Case (Dartmouth College v. Woodward) was decided by the Supreme Court in 1819, not 1816. (For the record, it reached the SCOTUS in 1818.)

  • Nathan Lord became president of the College in 1828, not 1826.

  • The Mohegan Indian who went abroad to raise the funds for the College was Samson Occom (or, in a less common variation, Samson Occum), not Samuel Occum.

There may be more errors, these are just a few easily caught.

The Daily D: Off by 50 Percent

The Daily Dartmouth is off to a spectacular start. At the very top of the paper's website is a publicity photo of smiling newspaper staffers. The photo's caption, which has been online for ten days now and presumably also graced the print edition mailed to over 1,000 incoming freshmen, lists twelve members of the publication's summer staff:
Mark Henle '07, Jennifer Wang '07, Linzi Sheldon '07, Caroline McKenzie '07, Kevin Garland '07, Ben Taylor '07, Jessica Chen '07, Ben Zimmerman '07; Frances Cha '07, Charlie Kettering '07, Alex Lentz '07 and Dax Tejera '07.
Only eight staffers are pictured.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Ellner '92 Releases Campaign Ad

Brian Ellner '92, who is running for Manhattan Borough President, recently released a new ad that not only pictures George W. Bush's head superimposed on a naked torso, but also featured Ellner, who is gay, embracing his partner, Simon Holloway, on screen. WNYW, Fox's New York affiliate has refused to air the ad, reportedly on the grounds that it is "disrespectful to the office of the president."

While a student at Dartmouth, Ellner led the fight to end the College's relationship with ROTC, the current cause celebre of campus leftists, on the grounds that the program was discriminatory towards gays.

Robinson on Judge Roberts

For a profile of Supreme Court Chief Justice nominee John Roberts, Bloomberg news interviewed alumni Trustee Peter Robinson '79, who served in the office next to Roberts' in the Reagan White House.

Robinson said Roberts carries on President Reagan's judicial philosophy:
"We were all young enough to take Reagan's imprint...[Reagan] was for limited government, for a strict reading of the constitution, and he had a profound respect for the people. Yes, the people may make a mistake now and then but over time you could trust their wisdom. Those ideas fit exactly what we know about Roberts's judicial philosophy."
Robinson added that Roberts also shares with Reagan "a genuine friendliness and lightness of touch, combined with absolute determination and commitment to principle."

Robinson will be in Hanover this weekend for his first Board meeting since he was elected this spring.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Dartmouth to Admit Hurricane Victims

The College announced Friday it would accept students displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Several universities along the Gulf Coast, and in New Orleans in particular, have been shuttered for the fall semester.

President Wright offers some further details on the plan:

The students will be admitted under a temporary expansion of our Special Community Student Program, and we will not impose a limit on the number. We will review the program on a term-by-term basis, and will expect students to return to their home institutions once that is possible.

We will waive the tuition for these students, but they will be admitted with the provision that they pay the regular tuition at their home institutions. We envision that the home institutions will use the tuition funds to help rehabilitate their campuses and to help offset some of the impact on their local employees.

We are not in a position to offer housing on campus, but we will reach out to the community to organize a volunteer effort to help any students admitted under this program to find housing within a reasonable distance of the College.

Meanwhile, the alumni office has established a blog to help affected alumni connect with one another.