Thursday, February 21, 2008

Road to Webster Avenue

Joseph Asch '79 has added some thought provoking concerns to the question about President Wright's replacement. The whole piece is well worth a read, but this excerpt is particularly intriguing:

Will the committee’s faculty members be among Dartmouth’s highest achieving scholars, or will our most rigorous professors be shut out of this process, as they are too often excluded from the College’s top administrative bodies? Will the trustees on the search committee include a petition trustee, or will they be picked from the block-voting loyalists chosen by Wright? Will alumni members represent a spectrum of views, or will they be party-liners from an Alumni Council that voted unanimously for a constitution that was rejected by 52 percent of alumni?

Finally, will the search be conducted by the Spencer Stuart headhunting firm, home of Wright hyper-loyalist Rick Routhier ‘73, a former head of the Alumni Council, or will the trustees run the search themselves?

3 comments:

alumnus said...

It is quite a tough call. The suggested presidents all have their merits but obviously demerits as well, which is why they are used as examples. A while back Drug Czar Bennett was the favored choice of the Review crowd but he is getting on in years. The important thing is that whoever gets picked, the BOT must follow the best practices of CEO recruiting, as exemplified by Dartmouth's peer institutions, and not fall into the pitfalls mentioned by the author.

Anonymous said...

One non-Dartmouth name that is coming up quite a bit is that of Morton ("Morty") Schapiro, currently the President of Williams College.

He would seem to have several things going for him. He is nationally known for his research into the economics of higher education (which seems like an unusually relevant academic specialty for a college president). He has been President of Williams for the past eight years (a school with some geographic and cultural similarities to Dartmouth, and one with an equal, if not greater, focus on undergraduate education). He is generally considered one of the most successful and popular presidents in Williams history. Finally, he was reportedly a finalist for the Dartmouth job back when Wright was selected.

If Schapiro was a strong candidate then, he must be even stronger now. The question is whether Schapiro would still be interested in Dartmouth. It seems likely that he is destined for a bigger and better-known school than Williams -- but at this point, he could probably find a bigger and better-known school than Dartmouth. Moving from Williams to Dartmouth might seem more like a lateral move than a step up.

Anonymous said...

But Morty's not a woman. The next president will be a woman. Guaranteed.