Monday, October 31, 2005

Cindy Sheehan on Campus

Rumors have been swirling that a group of Dartmouth students is angling to bring Cindy Sheehan and her egomaniacal bus tour to Hanover. I've done my best to drown her out over the past few months, so can anybody add any information about this?

Choosing the Trustees

Alumni Council Trustee Nominating and Search Committee Chairman Julie Amstein Cillo '92 defends the alumni Trustee selection process in today's Daily Dartmouth. The process, she insists, is "independent" and uses no "litmus tests" to determine a candidate's acceptability. "At no time is a member of the College administration present" as the committee chooses the official Trustee candidates, she says.

But two-thirds of the Alumni Council's members are themselves part of the pro-College alumni establishment, being chosen by Dartmouth clubs, "official" minority organizations and by the Council itself. So representatives of the College need not be present to hold sway, as the Council is already solidly in the College's camp.

Meanwhile, Paul Heintz '06 says the problem with the alumni Trustee elections is that it forces alumni to make a decision and that it gives outsiders a fighting chance. He proposes instead that the process be made "more democratic," as if that is an end in itself, to ensure the alumni cannot get uppity again and choose candidates he disagrees with.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Crying Wolf: False Rape Claims

In Friday's issue of the New Hampshire, the University of New Hampshire's student newspaper, Patrick McClary, decries a spate of falsified rape accusations in the UNH system, which he sees as nothing more than a regrettable means to an end, namely to "instill fear on college campuses." While McClary admittedly makes few original or insightful points, he does bring light to an issue which one could only imagine to be rather taboo, and calls for action to be taken.

Assaults and campus violence is a serious and very real issue at colleges and universities across the country. These instances shed an unfair light on the real victims. These people are truly brave and should be applauded. But those who fake such a thing should suffer the consequences, which are simply far too light. Faking an assault to instill fear on a college campus should be a felony, not a misdemeanor. Maybe this is the only way to stop this nonsense.

The cases addressed are strangely reminiscent of that reported in the Dartmouth Free Press nearly two year's ago, in a piece entitled Jane's Story. Jane's story, however, was debunked shortly thereafter thanks to some investigation by The Dartmouth Review.

While nobody denies the existence of sexual assault on college campuses, the messages of McClary's piece and The Review's are strikingly similar: false rape accusations can be disastrous for both the 'victim' and the accusee, but more importantly, decrease the merit of real claims, and detract from the central problem. What a shame that this has become a recurring issue.

More Useless Rankings

Dartmouth does not appear at all in this Ranking of the Top 100 Worldwide Universities. I would like to believe that this is because Dartmouth, for the purposes of this ranking, is still a College. Which is fine by me. Otherwise, what happened?

Friday, October 28, 2005

We're clearly better than the #4 Ivy road trip

Maggie Haskins, CNNSI, thinks otherwise.

Dr. Seuss, a top "moneymaker beyond the grave"

Behind only Elvis, Charles Schulz, John Lennon and Andy Warhol

Folt's Response

A commenter on my original post added this e-mail from Dean of the Faculty Carol Folt in response to Prof. Appleton's allegations. Here it is in its entirety for those of you who don't read comments:

>>Subject: Message from Dean Folt
>>To: Sergei A. Kan, Kathleen A. Corrigan, Edward M. Berger, John S. Winn, Jeremy B. Rutter, Prasad Jayanti, Dennis Washburn, Xiahong Feng, Jonathan S. Skinner, Laura-Ann Petitto, Eric W. Hansen, Peter W. Travis, Amy L. Lawrence, Mark J. Williams, Katharine Conley, Francis J. Magilligan, Bruce Duncan, M. Anne Saadah, P. David Lagomarsino, (Thomas R. Shemanske), Theodore C. Levin, James H. Moor, (John R. Thorstensen), George L. Wolford II, Susan Ackerman, Lev L. Loseff, Misagh Parsa, Lenore A. Grenoble, Colleen M. Randall, Timothy P. Hackett, J. Martin Favor, Steven J. Ericson, Graziella Parati, Andrew J. Friedland, Annelise Orleck, Israel Reyes, Lindsay J. Whaley, Donald E. Pease Jr, Colin G. Calloway, Judith A. Byfield
>Dear Colleagues,
>I understand that a mass email titled, "The Decline of Academic Freedom at Dartmouth College" was sent to many members of the faculty last Thursday. While I do not know who received the email, I have heard about it from faculty in many departments. I am writing to you in your role as Chair to provide you with the correct information which you can discuss with your faculty if questions arise. The "Decline of Academic Freedom" email is filled with errors and unpleasant personal allusions, but rather than address all of them, I am going to focus on the errors that touch on fundamental issues for the faculty.
>The email concerned grading issues in Music 3 taught during the fall 2004 to 76 students (final enrollment). At the conclusion of the course, the Dean's Office received 42 student complaints -- an unprecedented number – from students who received grades from A- to D. As is standard procedure, the Associate Dean for the responsible division (in this case for Humanities) was in charge of the inquiry into complaints. The review was very thorough and took four months to complete. It included: interviews by the Assistant Dean with 28 complaining students who were on campus, review by the Associate Dean of grades on all assignments, review of course information distributed to students (including information about grading criteria) and a discussion between the Associate Dean and the Professor about grading practices. Our investigation concluded that unspecified extra credit had been given to students who came to speak with the instructor about the course and their compositions, regardless of whether they improved their work based on his feedback, and that students had never been told that they could raise their grades simply by meeting with the instructor.
>Under the circumstances, the Associate Dean and I both felt that some accommodation was necessary to ensure the student's right to understandable and fair grading. It was impractical to re-grade the musical compositions; it was weeks after the end of the term, students had dispersed and there were no faculty on campus available to undertake such a task. Instead, the students were given the option of receiving credit instead of a grade for the course. Please note that not a single student grade was raised and thus no GPA's were "inflated." However, because all students had passed the course, all students were given the option to receive credit for the course (this is like using Dartmouth's NRO option).
>I want to make it clear that an alleged concern that the grades were either too high or too low was never a consideration. Many other courses have mean and median grades similar to that of Music 3 in the fall of 2004.
>I also wish to emphasize that student complaints about grades are very rare at Dartmouth and only lead to administrative action in the most exceptional cases where there is clear evidence – after review by assistant and associate deans – of unfairness in the assignation of grades. I am aware of fewer than 5 grading complaints coming to the Dean's office about the more than 6000 courses taught by Arts & Science faculty in the last 4 years. However, if you or any of your faculty have questions about faculty independence in grading, please contact the Dean of Faculty or any of the Associate Deans.
>Finally, in the context of this case, a broad assertion has been made that Dartmouth has a lack of standards and is uninterested or even complicit in the perpetuation of grade inflation. This is simply not true. Dartmouth was one of the first institutions to address grade inflation when it began reporting the median grade on the transcripts. Last year, the Committee on Instruction began discussions about grading practices once again and they plan to examine this issue more closely in the coming year. I look forward to working with the faculty on this and trust we will explore this complex question with the careful reflection and consideration it deserves.
>Thank you.

What is acceptable speech?

In a letter to the editor of the Daily Dartmouth, Prof. Ronald Edsforth, who started a campus debate on free speech with his protest outside a forum on prisoner interrogations, makes the valid point that the College needs to decide which events it should sponsor.

...Dartmouth should not foot the bill for such discussions. That there should be some minimal moral standards governing what kinds of public advocacy Dartmouth College supports with its programming funds does not seem to me to be a radical suggestion.
Actually, stifling a debate about American foreign and defense policies because a handful of notorious campus pacifists object does seem to be a very radical suggestion. Even if the College is under no legal obligation to uphold the right to free speech, it smacks of the worst sort of politically-correct censorship not to fund discussions about current events, especially controversial ones such as this. Besides, entirely silencing legitimate voices because some are upset with the very existence of the debate is no way to educate members of a free society.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Appleton Leaves Dartmouth

Jon Appleton, Dartmouth's Arthur Virgin Professor of Music and a pioneer in the field of electro-acoustic music, recently announced that he was leaving the College to take a position at Stanford. The Dartmouth Review has recently obtained an e-mail Appleton circulated around the faculty, giving a more in-depth explanation for his departure:

Date: 20 Oct 2005 16:52:33 EDT
From: Jon H. Appleton
Subject: The Decline of Academic Freedom at Dartmouth College
To: (Recipient list suppressed)

Dear Colleagues:

The Supreme Court declared in Regents of the University of Michigan v. Ewing , 474 U.S. 214, 225 (1985): When judges are asked to review the substance of a genuinely academic decision. . . they should show great respect for the faculty's professional judgment. Plainly, they may not override it unless it is such a substantial departure from accepted academic norms as to demonstrate that the person or committee responsible did not actually exercise professional judgment.

I came to teach music and musical composition at Dartmouth College nearly forty years ago. It had recently emerged from the tradition of a gentlemen's finishing school to an institution of intellectual strength, brought about in part by the mathematician John G. Kemeny. My own work as a composer dealt mostly with electro-acoustic music, a very new field at the time. Research with colleagues in engineering and computer science led to the creation of a user-friendly system where students without previous musical experience could try their hand at composing.

In 1972, together with my colleague Christian Wolff, we initiated an undergraduate course called Music and Technology. Over the years students used increasingly sophisticated computer programs to compose short electronic music compositions. This became the most popular feature of the course and it counted as half of the final grade. Thirty-three years ago the course enrolled 35 students but during the last several years I saw my enrollment in the course grow to 85.

Nowadays, all students have access to and indeed most own computers and are comfortable with the software used to compose music. There are probably too many musical options for them now and the trick is to limit the number of musical ideas so as to develop structure and continuity in their work. It is amazing to me that I have given this creative experience to more than 3000 non-music undergraduates over the last thirty-three years. Many alumni return to tell me how important this experience was in broadening their musical taste. Obviously it is very time consuming to listen to, criticize and grade 85 compositions even if they are less than three minutes each. Dartmouth College does not employ teaching assistants in the arts. Sometimes students are intimidated by the composition assignment and drop the course because they fear they will not
get an A in the course. Dartmouth has done nothing to curb grade inflation unlike Princeton, for example. The pressure to give A grades is intense. It comes from the students and increasingly from their parents as well.

When teaching the Music and Technology course, I set aside class periods for students to present their first compositional attempts (their first drafts). Those that work through the term almost always improve. Two weeks before the composition assignments are due, I schedule individual appointments with all the students. Perhaps a quarter of the class never takes the chance to show me their work and this is because, sadly, they put off everything until the last minute. It is nearly impossible for a beginning composer to create anything significant the night before the assignment is due.

During all my years on the faculty of Dartmouth College, I graded as follows: A meant excellent, B was good, C was average, D was poor and if you didn't show up, you failed the course.

Somehow it escaped me that the average grade at Dartmouth last year was a B+. Thus when I taught Music and Technology in the Fall term of 2004, I gave 30 As, 25 Bs, 15 Cs and 4 Ds (eleven students dropped the course for various reasons during the term). The students who earned less than an A were very upset. They wrote me angry notes such as "you nuked my GPA" and "how could I get a B in a music course?" and "my mother loved my composition."

The students complained to the chair of my department and to the Dean of Faculty Carol Folt. Their parents called to express outrage. I never saw these complaints but I got a message from the Dean of Faculty who asked what "metric" I used to grade these compositions? I asked what metric she thought Haydn used to grade Beethoven's compositions; or for that matter the "metric" used by Arnold Schoenberg when he taught John Cage. I explained to the Dean that r had been teaching this course successfully for thirty-three years and I was employed at Dartmouth because of my reputation as a composer. I offered to show the papers and compositions to the Dean but she never wanted to see them. I thought if something had gone terribly wrong with my teaching that perhaps an outside committee of composers might tender a second opinion. Alas, no administrator ever attended the class nor reviewed any of the student work.

A week later the Dean of Faculty informed the students that anyone unhappy with their grade could have it erased and be given a "credit" for the course. According to President James Wright, this was done without his knowledge and I want to note here that the president and I have been on the faculty for the same years and as dean, provost and president he has always been supportive of my work.

Until last year I thought that I would continue to teach at Dartmouth until I no longer felt useful to my students. However, because of this situation I am retiring from Dartmouth and will teach elsewhere for the next several years. There is nothing more I can do but to explain this to you, my colleagues. Perhaps you, through meetings of the faculty, your committees, etc. will be able to prevent the current Dean of Faculty from continuing to erode our academic freedom. If you think this was an isolated incident, let me paraphrase Pastor Martin Niemoller, "First they came for the music faculty and I did not speak out because I was not a musician. Then they came for the psychologists and I did not speak out because I was not a psychologist. Then they came for the biologists and I did not speak out because I was not a biologist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me."

Jon H. Appleton

Arthur R. Virgin Professor of Music
HB 6242
Dartmouth College
Hanover, New Hampshire 03755 USA
Tel: +1-603-646-3960

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A new vision for higher education?

A Swarthmore prof weighs in with some intriguing ideas on the (possible) future of higher education.

'Conflicting Rights'

Campust lefist Andrew Seal '07 writes in today's Daily Dartmouth that rights should be governed by reason and cannot stand on their own.

Using Prof. Ronald Edsforth's recent protest against discussions of terrorist interrogation practices as an example, Seal says it is undeniable "that some rights claims conflict." Someone's claim of a right not to be offended does not play nicely with a claim of a right to free speech, he insists. "Edsforth's freedom to express his opinion conflicts with the rights of others to dispute the merits of torture."

This argument makes little sense. First, while Edsforth's protest may have been dumb, it was well within his rights to speech and assembly, and it hardly conflicts with the rights of others to assemble and speak about the interrogation of terrorists. There is a conflict, but it is within the framework of existing rights--not between competing claims to new rights.

Second, Seal presumes that because one merely claims a right, that right is valid. This is an absurd premise. Generally speaking, our rights are defined as what government cannot take away (in this case the rights to speech and assembly) because to do so could undermine the system of government. Most interpersonal relationships are governed entirely by private contract and civil law--not rights.

As Seal hints in his opening paragraph, there do exist circumstances in which rights like freedom of speech do not apply--the classic example is shouting "fire" in a crowded theater--but these are not cases of conflicting rights.

Seal concludes: "Appealing only to rights instead of logic and reason is a circuitous argument, and it gets us nowhere. That should not be the goal of a free and open society."

Unless Seal is dismissing the "inalienable rights" upon which this "free and open society" is based, there is no reason why appeals to rights are improper. In our system, rights are considered absolute goods. "Logic and reason," on the other hand, have been used time and time again to restrict these basic and fundamental rights in order to satisfy claims to invented and arbitrary "rights" and to serve some vague and authoritarian "public good."

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Granik '69 to Retire

Russ Granik '69 to retire after 30 years with the NBA, where he started as a staff attorney and ends Deputy Commissioner. Some speculation of him as a successer to Selig or Tagliabue as MLB or NFL Commissioner, respectively.

MLK Keynote Speaker Chosen

The College has chosen Dr. James Forbes, Senior Minister of the Riverside Church, NY, as the keynote speaker for Martin Luther King Day this January. Dr. Forbes is widely recognized and was recently listed by Newsweek as one of the 12 "most effective preachers." He is also a well-known supporter of the Democratic Party and an activist for "social action."

Many will remember last year's keynote speaker, Dorothy Allison, whose speech caused a controversy, because she chose to speak about her homosexuality as opposed to matters of race. It was felt that the comments were inappropriate for a day celebrating America's most prominent black civil rights leader.

Freshman's Brother Killed in Afghanistan

Today's Valley News profiles Ashley Hines '09, whose brother 1st Lt. Steven Hines was shot and killed in Afghanistan on September 1.

Ashley, a member of the field hockey team, missed her first two games in mourning for her brother, but has played in every game since. As the article notes,

Ashley's tears at the playing of the national anthem are her only outward tribute to Derek's memory. Playing against the University of Massachusetts last week in her home state, she thought about him quite a bit. Fittingly, she played one of her best games.

Maybe Ashley realizes that, in sacrificing his own life, Derek was helping total strangers get ahead of themselves.

Maybe getting ahead of ourselves isn't such a bad idea after all.

Attacking Education

In a letter to the editor of the Daily Dartmouth, James Redfield '06 accuses TDR Executive Editor Scott Glabe '06 of taking a principled stand in favor of a well-rounded education. After rambling about how much muddle-headed academics and liberals have in common, Redfield concludes his attack on learning by insisting that Dartmouth should not teach "a highly subjective Western canon" but some more "objective" curriculum like "searching for ideas." Whatever.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Petition Slate Defeated

The Alumni Association's nominated slate, led by Allen Collins '53, defeated the petition slate led by Dean Spatz '66 Th'67 yesterday, by a vote of 248 to 140. Those present at the election note that most of the alumni voted along straight party lines: either casting all their votes for the nominated slate or all for the petition slate.

More details to follow in a forthcoming issue of The Dartmouth Review.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Field Rushed - Glory Ensues

Photos: Michael R. Audet

Field Rushed

7 kids (I think) did it, just before halftime ended.

Live Blogging the Football Game

Ellis and I are firmly planted in the alumni section. We brought a stack of the Homecoming Issue and started handing them out when we were stopped by S&S and athletic department personnel. The problem, however, was that couldn't stop handing them out; walking down the stairs, alums kept taking them, exasperating the powers that be. Finally, we just put the bundle in the crowd to be passed around, samizdat-style.

:35 left in the second quarter; Dartmouth up 7-3 with Columbia driving. We'll keep you updated on halftime festivities.

The Election and Alumni Involvement

Regardless of the result, this weekend's elections for the Alumni Association leadership will probably be a very good thing for the College. It seems alumni (and student) involvement in these elections is higher than in previous years, a change sparked in no small part by the fact that this year's election is actually contested for a change.

Even the Student Assembly has jumped on the participation bandwagon. The organization just sent an e-mail to recent alumni encouraging them to vote tomorrow at 11am in Alumni Hall.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Alumni Election in NY Sun

Today's New York Sun has an article profiling this weekend's crucial Alumni Association elections.

Hello Team, Good-Bye Tradition

In a half-hearted attempt by the college to subdue alumni and student disapproval over banning of field-rushing at Dartmouth's homecoming game, they have created "the gauntlet." This ingenious idea would have Dartmouth's freshman stand at the edge of the field to greet the players at half-time.

I for one still hope to see a few daring pea-greens take the field and not let the administration put to rest another great Dartmouth tradition.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

NH Senator Gregg: Jackpot

New Hampshire's own Senator Judd Gregg won the Powerball lottery in D.C. this week for a jackpot of $853,492. Out of spontaneity he purchased $20 of tickets, and the winning ticket matched every number but the powerball, allowing him a power-play for the cash-out:

He said he doesn't buy lottery tickets often but was intrigued by the publicity of the jackpot rising to about $350 million.

"Every American believes in good fortune and good luck and I'm no different than anyone else," he said.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Call to Inaction

Daniel Belkin '08 writes in today's Daily D that a recent spate of bad weather in Louisiana and New Hampshire means "we are feeling today the meteorological effects of an occasionally abusive relationship between man and nature."

I'm also feeling these effects: it's been quite pleasant in Washington, DC, for most of the fall and I'm perfectly content to let that stand.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Alumni Constitution Authors Defend Themselves

The weblog of the Alumni Governance Task Force has answered two alumni questions about their proposed new Alumni Association constitution, to be discussed this weekend in Hanover.

In one of the posts, John Daukas '84 attempts to dispell rumors that the task force is in cahoots with the administration:
The AGTF really has been operating independently of the College. We have had logistical support from the College, e.g. arranging our conference calls and meetings, but we have not been influenced by the trustees or administration. We really are an alumni committee that is pretty much willing to meet with, and has met with, alumni who have an interest in our efforts.
I'm sure that's true. But that's not exactly the complaint.

The charge most often made is that the task force is in cahoots with the Alumni Association and Council esablishment--and that they seek to maintain or even expand College influence over the alumni by diluting the leadership with administration allies. As Scott Glabe '06 explained in the last TDR, the popularly-elected Alumni Association leadership would be replaced by an expanded and renamed Alumni Council--only half of whose membership would be elected.

Even if they're not collaborating, the AGTF proposal as explained so far has at least the potential to be far more undemocratic than the current scheme. But the constitution's defenders have yet to explain themselves, so this weekend's discussions will be vitally important.

Is Edsforth Still Employed?

The Daily Dartmouth reports today that the illustrious Ronald Edsforth, who was at some point in the not-to-distant past teaching a class titled "War and Peace" (and maybe in charge of the War/Peace program, which I believe was recently eliminated), organized a protest at a debate on torture and extra-judicial killings. "Torture and extra-judicial killing are not legitimate policy options," a flier he was distributing read. "They should be condemned by all as barbaric, illegal and immoral."

This is obviously a much more complex issue than Edsforth would have anyone believe. I wonder what his thoughts are on the ticking-bomb scenario, whereby the U.S. has a in custody a terrorist who knows the details of an imminent attack that will kill thousands of American civilians? He won't talk, so what does the U.S. do? Is torture in that situation a viable option? The answer may not be clear, but it is certainly open for debate--and, indeed, it is a debate that should be encouraged. Can anyone in good conscience deny that?

Regarding extra-judicial killings: How does Edsforth feel about the targeted killing of high-ranking al-Qaeda officers (or even low-level grunts)? If a U.S. sniper has al-Zarqawi in his cross-hair, and he'll escape unless the soldier pulls the trigger, what should the soldier do? Again, some people may not think we should kill terrorists in that fashion, but to discourage people from attending a debate aiming to illuminate the complexities and nuances of these questions is galling.

I thought Edsforth was canned my senior year, but I recall that there was some student grumbling about it (and I think Edsforth himself shamelessly tried to organize a petition, which I guess if he's still around was successful). Anyway, if there were any question about whether he should remain at Dartmouth, this protest should settle it. To say that these issues are simply beyond debate, are "not legitimate policy options," shows a casual disregard for the premise of free inquiry and open debate, a core value all professors should respect.

(Also, that Edsforth was "delighted" by the protest turnout--a whopping ten people--is just another sign that he's disconnected from reality.)

Monday, October 17, 2005

A Proud Moment for Buzzflood

Dartmouth is in the news again, this time credited in the New York Times with inventing beer pong.

Johnson '73 on the Alumni Election

Scott Johnson '73 has a column up on the Daily Standard this morning on the upcoming Alumni Association election. For those that need a reminder, the election will be held Oct. 23rd at 11am in Alumni Hall, and you have to both hold a degree from Dartmouth and be there to vote.

If you've been living under a rock, more information about the petition slate of candidates can be found here, and the new constitution under discussion can be found here.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

On English

I noticed something interesting in this week's (London) Spectator. Brendan O'Neill, in his article on the decline of Britpop (non-suscribers—shame on you—may find it here), refers to Oxford and University College London as 'Ivy League universities.' Previously I've never seen the term applied to any university apart from the Ancient Eight, so to speak. I thought Britain had it's own set of collegiate nicknames, Oxbridge, red brick, and so forth. Perhaps the term 'Ivy League' is migrating to the UK, and coming to designate any high-caliber university.

Has anyone else noted similar usage?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Post-Yom Kippur News Wrap-Up

The Daily Dartmouth had a write-up of Wednesday night's Review-sponsored Mansfield / Travis debate on manliness. The article ignores a lot of the substantive points in favor of the more "controversial" segments, but at least the D covered it, unlike last year's Victor Davis Hanson / Ronald Edsforth debate.

We'll be posting some sort of record of the debate on Dartlog -- video, audio, transcript, what have you as soon as it is available for those of you who weren't able to make it to 105 Dartmouth on Wednesday.

In other, less relevant news, Intel has ranked Dartmouth #4 on its list of "Most Unwired College Campuses."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Reminder -- Vote

If you have a Dartmouth degree, you're eligible to vote in the Alumni Association elections this Homecoming. The elections, as well as a discussion of the proposed new constitution, will be held Sunday October 23, at 11am in Alumni Hall. You must be present at the meeting to be able to vote.

As we've previously noted, a petition slate of candidates headed up by Dean Spatz '66 and Joe Asch '79 will be running for positions on the executive committee of the Alumni Association. Check out their website and Scott Glabe's recent article for more information on the importance of the election.

Monday, October 10, 2005

NADs vs. Columbus

Apparently upset with events 513 years ago, members of Native Americans at Dartmouth are protesting the celebration of Columbus Day on the Green with their annual midnight drum circle.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

New TDR Online

The newest issue of The Dartmouth Review is now available online. In this issue:

--Noah Riner's Convocation Speech and the Controversy Surrounding it.
--William F. Buckley on Church and State
--Scott L. Glabe interview Bill Kristol
--Freshman Emily Ghods reviews Ken Levin's "The Oslo Syndrome."
--Plus, Week in Review, The Last Word, and Barrett's Mixology.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Zywicki to Speak on Trustee Race

Alumni Trustee Todd Zywicki '88 will be speaking to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni on his "adventures with the Dartmouth Trustee election."

Our very own Laura Ingraham > Miers

So says Richard Miniter over at NRO! Nice Review shout-out.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Stevenson Defends Constitution Proposals

Josiah Stevenson '57, Chairman of the Alumni Governance Task Force, defends his group's proposals for a new Alumni Association constitution in today's Daily Dartmouth.
In its twenty months of analysis and deliberation, the AGTF has not been influenced by the College Administration or by the Board of Trustees in any way.

Discussions about how alumni nominate trustees have been going on for years, ever since the multi-candidate balloting system was instituted in 1990.
He goes on to explain that, in AGTF's view, the current alumni Trustee election system actually favors petition candidates:
The current system allows petition candidates to collect signatures two months ahead of the balloting, while restricting communications from the Alumni Council-nominated candidates, effectively allowing petitioners to campaign while nominated candidates must remain silent. Is it fair to allow some candidates to promote themselves before others can do so? This is not an issue of politics, but of equity.
Stevenson suggests that the proposals should not be hammered through at the next Association meeting, as was unsuccessfully attempted in 2003 with the last "reform" attempt. Instead, he says a vote should be held next spring—though it could still come up for a vote this time around.

Monday, October 03, 2005

JBHE rankings

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education recently released several studies on the presence of African-Americans in America's elite universities, including the College.

Here, JBHE notes that Dartmouth has seen a 9.3% decline in the number of black freshmen in the entering class from 1994 to 2004, the largest negative shift in the Ivy League (though Yale showed a bigger absolute decline). The journal does, however, note the major flaws inherent in their ranking method.

JBHE also adds that Dartmouth has the second-highest percentage of African-American faculty in the Ivy League, at 4.1% (the College only trails Columbia, with 6.4%; Princeton is last of the Ancient Eight at 3.0%).


Alumni are expressing growing concern about the proposed changes to the Alumni Association's constitution which would place additional burdens on alumni Trustee petition candidates.

Andrew Getraer '86 wrote to the Daily D to express his discontent:
I did not vote for the petition candidate in recent Trustee elections; I did not vote at all. But if the leadership of the College chooses to act in such a patently disingenuous, manipulative and anti-democratic manner to rig trustee elections I will be sure to vote from now on -- and to vote solely for any petition candidates who manages to get themselves on the ballot.