Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Harvard Forced Out by Administration

This from today's (occasionally) Daily D:
Andy Harvard, director of the Outdoor Programs Office, stepped down on Friday, according to an e-mail sent by acting Dean of Student Life Joe Cassidy. Several students and alumni associated with the Dartmouth Outing Club, however, said they were confused about the suddenness of Harvard’s departure and believed that Harvard likely did not step down voluntarily.
Perhaps the most inadvertently hilarious claim was that "Palmer and Polashenski said many members of the DOC were “shocked” by Harvard’s departure and upset by the secretiveness surrounding the resignation." This from a segment of campus known for its opacity in things like selecting croo members and spreaders of goodwill. Nonetheless, the question is still out there: why was Harvard forced out? Especially when 76% of DOC members wrote to Dean Crady expressing their support for him.

P.S. See the comments for more from DOC insiders. Also, if anyone knows the precise reasons for his dismissal, blitz me.

P.P.S. Here is Davenport's Op-Ed, and a pdf of Polashenski's letter.


C&T Forever said...

Word is that Andy Harvard was not liked by Holly Sateia, long-time Dean of Student Life, recently appointed VP for Institutional Diversity and Equity, and yet another 30+year veteran of Dartmouth's stodgy, in-grown administration (motto: "If you have too much imagination to work for the Federal government, come work for us!).

Harvard was as close as the College got to an administrative superstar in terms of motivating student to do great and original things. He had real world business experience and he loved the outdoors. No wonder he didn't fit in!

We should fire the rest of the administration and keep Andy.

yours in the out-of-doors said...

Andy was an accomplished mountaineer whose personal experiences inspired students. And a published author, important in academia:


DOC Benton said...

This is more than a confidential personnel issue. It concerns the attitudes of the Dartmouth administrators. This in today's D by the president of the Mountaineering Club, Mark Davenport '10, with my bold italics for emphasis:

"I met an administrator from Reed College on a rock climb in Nevada this past spring break. It turned out he was the director of Reed’s Outing Club. When he discovered that I was part of a group of thirty undergrads managing our own trip without direct administrative oversight, he was flabbergasted. “That just doesn’t happen,” he said.

He was right, and that’s why our Outing Club is so special. Without rattling off all the things the various sub-clubs accomplish, I can say that the DOC is flourishing, and everything is student-run. This student leadership is a singular tradition in American higher education — one of which we are very proud and one in which we are humble to take part.

This past Friday, the administration undermined that student leadership. They did so by forcing out Andy Harvard, the director of the Outdoor Programs Office. Under Andy, the DOC experienced a small renaissance, due in no small part to his careful direction. The student leadership of the DOC has a partnership of sorts with Andy and his colleagues in OPO: we bring the ambition and the grand schemes, and they keep us grounded in the work of funding, risk management and other crucial aspects of outdoor trips. Andy was a masterful senior partner, comfortable “being in the position of power, without being in a position of control,” as Chris Polashenski ‘07 put it.

Andy’s dismissal, then, is a mystery to DOC students. Despite attempts to contact College administrators when rumors of his impending termination came up, we are still in the dark. The administration’s silence is a clear and troubling signal: the student leadership has been cut out of the decision-making process.

I’ve been looking for the right word for this administrative secrecy. Disrespectful, alarming — it is both these things; going even further, it is completely alien. To dismiss someone as valuable as Andy Harvard without a word to the numerous affected students is simply not how things are done in the DOC. If you’re not a hiker/climber/boater and this last point seems academic, I ask you this: what would Freshman Trips be like if they were not exclusively student-run? With its intrusion, the administration has set a precedent of top-down control, and I fear the worst.

Who pushed Andy out? I think, tentatively, it was the Office of Student Life. That I am so uncertain only shows how unexpected this administrative intrusion has been. No DOC student knows which obscure tier of the college bureaucracy to confront; presumably, then, the anonymous administrators don’t know very much about us either. And yet they have done real damage to the prolific partnership between the DOC and the OPO. I’d like to believe they have students’ interests at heart, but the inscrutability of the thing reeks of office politics.

I promised earlier not to prattle on about the DOC’s work — I’m reneging. I can speak for the club I know: in the last two terms, the Mountaineering Club has traveled thousands of miles, climbed tens of thousands of vertical feet, taken out close to a hundred undergrads on beginner climbing trips and taught seven PE classes on rock and ice. All of this was student-organized, by just one sub-club of the DOC.

Look farther, and you’ll see a new sugarhouse and greenhouse at the Farm (designed and built by students), a new cabin that rivals the Moosilauke Lodge in size and elegance (ditto) and the incredible ski program, which brought Dartmouth its first NCAA championship in decades.

All this is a testament to the students devoted to the DOC — but absolutely none of it would have been possible without the wonderful partnership we have with Andy Harvard’s OPO.

Now he’s been pushed aside, and I’d like the administrators responsible to look at that list of DOC accomplishments and answer this: last year, what happened under your watch?"

DOC Benton said...

Another opinion, from the student who led the drive to construct the new Harris Cabin, a "junior" version of the Ravine Lodge:

"Friends and Family of the DOC,
It is with supreme disappointment, confusion, frustration, and anger that I write to inform you that Andy Harvard was fired from his position as Director of Outdoor Programs this morning. While I cannot characterize the
sentiment of every student or recent alum, I believe I can very accurately say that Andy had and has overwhelming support and respect of the students
of the DOC, and that this decision was made in direct conflict with student opinion.

Before this abrupt ending, Andy spent the past 4 years championing student ideas, ensuring programs had the financial and logistical support needed, and sheltering our endeavors from an administration which does not always understand. Andy was not by any means perfect, and I will leave it to others
to point the finger as much as they please, but more than any other person
I’ve seen, Andy fully understood, and was fully comfortable with the way the DOC works. His vision for the outing club is a club which is entirely student run; a club in which students not only lead the trips, but also choose, train, and approve their peers to lead future trips, under criteria that they, not lawyers, write. One where students not only lead the
projects, but decide what projects should be done, where students not only are given responsibility, but take it and nurture that responsibility as a prized gift. Andy’s vision meant that all one needed to do with a new idea
was walk into Andy’s office and convince him that you would follow through with it to the end. He fell in behind you with unwavering support, scraping money out of the corners, dealing with dozens of meetings to try to gain support from administrators, and all the while allowing you the freedom to
make mistakes and learn from them. Above all he was comfortable being in the position of power, without being in a position of control. Simply put, Andy
trusted students to handle themselves in a way that encouraged them to live
up to that trust. Somehow he was able to allow nearly complete student autonomy without compromising the safety standard we subject ourselves to,
the hard work and play ethic, or the coherence of our programs. In doing this, Andy Harvard enabled us to take responsibility for ourselves in a way that some call ‘growing up’ and treated us as the emerging adults that all
college students are. For me, this was the most important part of my college education.

Andy’s legacy will include many things which could not have happened without his support. The farm, which became the DOC’s newest club during Andy’s
time, has access to the space they need in the farmhouse, a new greenhouse which will become a blend of student laboratory and outdoor education facility, an outdoor bread oven that is becoming a gathering point for
dozens of students, and a sugar house for students to smell that maple sap boiling each spring. They’ve started a CSA program where they sell shares of
their produce to the community, expanded the intern program, and even filled in the mud puddles in the parking area with some new gravel. CnT has its
first new cabin since Great Bear III in 1991, is developing a skill bank that could be used to build another, and has reworked its leadership structure to better accommodate the variety of skills coming into the program. The ropes course that Brian had been trying to get built for years finally got approved and built. Freshman Trips are seeing record participation, and more people than ever are getting to experience the magic
of being on the summer work crews. The DOC as a whole has augmented
adventure fund for amazing student trips and work has begun to quantify the student lead way the DOC does business. Add in an NCAA skiing title, and the
dozens of things I’ve forgotten, and you’ve got enough accomplishments in 4
years that it’s hard to believe it was all a coincidence.

I assert that it was not, nor was it a coincidence that he was fired. Andy promoted bottom up student leadership in a world which increasingly promotes
top down staff driven activities.
Andy strove to bring the outing club to
new levels of excellence, pushing the envelope with administrators who expected him to maintain the status quo at most. Andy felt the need to make up for lost time during the previous director stumbles, and spent the
reserves that endowment funds had generated during years [of]inactivity heavily,
but also fundraised to replace funds he spent; both activities which brought the capabilities of the outing club up overall, and drew criticism from his superiors. In his drive to push things forward, Andy rubbed some people the wrong way (see Bernie’s email last week), made mistakes, or didn’t play the politics right, and I don’t mean to overlook these faults, but at the base what he has done for the club is to solidify and build upon what we hold dear. I greatly suspect and fear that his vision for a club which is student run and which expands and changes to always better itself, more than the
flaws of his methods, is why he was fired.

Given the way student input has driven most every change in OPO/DOC over the past few years, the decision to remove Andy stands apart as an alarming development in the wrong direction. As far as I can see the administration
solicited no student input on this decision, ignored any they received, and, citing legal concerns, has gladly kept students in the dark about the entire
process leading to this decision. Unsolicited, some students and recent alums who had heard rumors about the goings on in advance deluged the Dean’s office with emails, phone calls, and in person visits last week. Nearly every person who held a position of DOC leadership as a student during
Andy’s time that was reached wrote a passionate email. Many of these were over a page long, supporting Andy and the way he has supported student lead activities, and more than anything asking for a voice. Last I tallied over 76% of all DOC and member club officers over the past 4 years had written
in, and probably more who didn’t tell me. I cannot say that the emails fell on deaf ears, as I was assured privately they were read, but I can easily say that the student input was ignored, and I have heard of no replies. I
have been assured that the Dean’s office has the long term interests of the club in mind, but I have a hard time imagining that they know more about the long term interests of the club than its student leadership does.

Regardless of whether Andy was the right man for the job, this mishandling of the organization I hold so dear, by midlevel Parkhurst types that none of
the current students had ever even met, setting it adrift once more without a director, has frustrated and angered me it a way I’ve not felt in quite some time. Reflecting on my time at Dartmouth, I cannot imagine the place without a strong director. I cannot imagine working on Harris cabin and not having the director stop out to see how things are going and bring us watermelon, and it irritates me to no end that the administrators who fired
him so rarely set foot at a DOC function that no one even knows what they look like.
Much more importantly, without a strong director to stick his neck out on their behalf, I fear that many students who walk into the office
one day with the hair brained scheme to rebuild a cabin (like me December 2004), revamp a broken leadership system, go climbing in Tibet, or develop an adventure fund will walk back out without starting that new chapter.

All of that lament, however, will not help the Outing Club, or that student with the new scheme wandering around Robinson Hall right now. On the eve of
the DOC’s 100th anniversary, again without a full director, lament seems the last thing we should be doing. Though Andy is, and will always be, a member of the family, the decision to remove him from his position seems about as
final as it gets. We alumni will have to do the job he strove, however imperfectly, to do ourselves. We must help enable the students to finish the
effort to quantify the way the DOC works, why it works that way, and show that it is not by accident. We must help the students push to ensure that their voice rings loud and clear in this new search process we are about to
begin, and that the new director will support the students above all else. We must do everything in our power to fill the void that is being left with someone who understands the DOC. We need to make sure that the next director
is not hired to maintain the status quo, or for their compliance, but rather
to continue to build the outing club, to enable it to be nimble enough to respond to the ever changing student interests, and to never allow it to rest on its laurels. Finally with our wallets, we must make sure that the
new director has the resources he or she needs to do all this.
If you have any doubt that that is what we are protecting, look at the
slideshow from this year’s DOC banquet;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-T16d-BU1M. We cannot risk this to an
administration of people who most students have never met, which ignores input, and works in the dark. Talk to your friends and classmates. Spread the word and let the college know. The alumni of the DOC are tired of these
rapid runs through directors. We are not going to allow our club to be mismanaged into compliance with a cookie cutter outing club model from other

But at last we must not be arrogant, bitter, or intractable. We must eloquent and persuasive, we must be the institutional memory which remembers
just what our traditions are, and we must assemble those traditions into a single vision for the outing club which we can communicate clearly to any
outsider, and which we can give to the current students to nurture. My
earnest hope is that our new dean, Tom Crady, will represent a turning point in administrative handling of the Outdoor Programs Office. I hope he will
work with students and alumni to ensure that the foundations of the way our club does business are honored, and that he will provide to the next director real support that is needed to integrate our unique and integral
program into a college that increasingly doesn’t understand. Our job is to take the action necessary to let him know just what the Outing Club’s vision
is, how important it is to us, and that we will stand firm this time to make sure he will honor it. Our input has not been invited but we will give it. We will tell the students of their clubs proud history and enable them to
defend it as I know they will. Only this way we will ensure that the DOC is and will continue to be the largest, oldest, most active, strongest, and, most importantly, student run outing club in the world.

Chris Polashenski ‘07

Anonymous said...

Welcome to post-parity Dartmouth!

Another Chubber said...

The DOC cabins were in a perilous state due to years of neglect, even at a time of record student involvement. Among other things, Harvard sought to address this.

Apparently monies that are not used in any budget year are carried over as "reserves". Harvard elected to use these reserves fromn the DOC budgets to address critical needs.

He also was gaining increased alumni financial support, through vehicles like Friends of the DOC and Friends of the Ledyard Canoe Club. The College bureaucrats are not willing to have such Friends groups get out ahead of their own control, through the annual Dartmouth College Fund. In fact, an inquiry to the Alumni Relations office will show there is a "moratorium" on new independent "Friends" groups. We would not want alumni having such direct involvement supporting students!

Welcome to the era of disenfranchised alumni, and diminished students. Hail the deans.

Imp Unity said...

Relax, everyone. The alumni council will spend ten minutes on this at the next meeting in December - as it should.


If the "parity" slate had won, the Dartmouth administration would never make bad decisions. Trustees have direct control over matters like these, and obviously it wouldn't have happened if John Mathias didn't have Todd Zywicki bound with duct-tape in his basement. 9/11 was an inside job! Wake up, sheeple!

One of the Sheeple said...

Super Duper: If the trustees demanded more accountability from the Administration, there would be better decision-making, fewer truly-bad decisions, and less politically-correct statement-making by senior administrators that leads inevitably to embarrassment and back-tracking.

Of course, for that to happen, alumni need to demand more accountbility from trustees. The last vote indicates we do not wish this level of involvement and responsibility for ourselves. So we will get what we want, and must live with the consequences.

Sad Days said...

Actually, this is what happens when the Trustees allow an incompetent moron to be President. He then fills his adminstration with people even less competent than he is, and they in turn drive out the innovators whose real competence threatens them.

No, and Yes said...

James Wright is no incompetent moron.

That said, he has presided over a senior administration, somewhat populated even before his term began, with true sheeple, having a herd instinct towards the status quo of elite academia, and a real fear of competent innovators who challenge them.

A Fellow Imp said...

Imp Unity is correct. The Supreme Council will deem all is well next December. This will be declared by its leaders, and followed by a unanimous vote, so it must be so.

Amous said...

Not voting unanimously would be a sign of dis-unity and disloyalty. We cannot have that. Diversity is good in all things, except of course diversity of thought.

Imp Unity said...

With sheeple in the administration and on the supreme council, we need, in order to preserve our valued Unity, sheeple on the search committee.

off topic said...

The trustees have no idea this decision has been made. So far it's between the administration, Andy, and students.

Anon. 6:49, your precious "parity" (a P.R. invention if I ever heard one) still exists. There are still as many alumni trustees as charter trustees. The board has not expanded yet. So you might be living in a "post-parity" world, but Dartmouth is not.

On Topic said...

Off Topic: The issue is not and has never been "parity" per se. Rather it is one of accountability, and thanks to the alumni vote, what little there was has been further diminished in the eyes of the establishment. The alumni governance debate, the trustee election discussions about a controlling bureacracy, and the Outdoor Programs firing are related. Open your eyes.

off topic said...

"The issue is not and has never been "parity" per se. Rather it is one of accountability"

NOW you tell us!!!

"thanks to the alumni vote, what little there was has been further diminished in the eyes of the establishment."

So it's less than zero, I guess? But the trustees haven't changed. They are still 8:8:2 charter:alumni:ex officio. Is it just your feelings that have changed?

"The alumni [']governance['] debate, the trustee [']election['] discussions about a [']controlling['] bureacracy, and the Outdoor Programs firing are related."

That's the silliest thing I've read on Dartlog in months. The Dean of the College doesn't care how many trustees there are or who nominates them.

Next you're going to tell us the trustees are the ones who changed the size of the soup bowls in Thayer - Watch out, Chu or Robinson or Haldeman is snooping around the dining hall with a set of calipers! And let's spend our meeting time firing that beloved Andy character while we're at it.tyywkpuxt

Imp Unity said...

Is Off Topic trying to tell us that the Board is not going to go through with its board-packing plan? He seems like the type of person who would know this stuff.

Or is this just another round of Pummel the Losers?

On Topic said...

@Off Topic:

You said: "The Dean of the College doesn't care how many trustees there are or who nominates them." That is the most unenlightened thing that I have read on Dartlog in months.

All those underling deans sure care that they have a president who allows them to continue their nefarious ways. And they, like everyone else, understands the relationship between presidential actions, and what directives do or do not come from the Board. Are your eyes really that tightly shut?

Anonymous said...

In related news, the College is thinking about tearing down the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge: http://thedartmouth.com/2008/07/15/news/moosilauke/

Get set to have it replaced by another new hospital wing, kind of like the two new dorm clusters.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Moosilauke's replacement will be complete with the aesthetic blandness, clicking timed fluorescent lights, and slamming doors that were the McLaughlin cluster's signature.

Anonymous said...

Ouch! I remember those slamming doors well. Kind of like the minimum security prison I'm in now.

on topic said...

ps to Off Topic: The problem is not one of Chu, Haldeman, and other trustees snooping around the dining halls measuring soup bowl sizes, as you seem to think we fear. In fact, the opposite... that they have primarily accepted whatever the administration tells them and meet with students only in pre-arranged dog-and-pony shows. A lot more direct, and unscripted, interaction between them and students is warranted. Otherwise they will remain as out of touch with students as the unknown mid-level deans seem to be, judging from some of the prior posts here by students and recent graduates.

nostradamus said...

The likely approach to a replacement lodge at Moosilauke will be to hire some big-name architect, review the favorite ski resorts of 2-3 administrator types, ask the outing clubs from city schools about their architectual best practices, and ignore both student and alumni input after asking for it. It will look like something from a Disney version of Heidi in the Alps.

Truth Be Told said...

On Topic is on topic!

How can the trustees "oversee" and judge the effectiveness of the President if they don't look into the day-to-day running of the College. They should not interfere, but they should investigate thoroughly and regularly.

On Top said...

Truth: Thanks for the vote of confidence. Now let's return to the initial question: What is going on between the Outing Club and the various deanships?

Anonymous said...

I thought all you "Dartmouth-is-going-to-hell-in-a-hand basket" Chicken Littles complain that Dartmouth is rampant with bureaucratic bloat, and that all these administrators need to be fired immediately. Now you wax poetic about how much good Mr. Harvard did (something I am certainly willing to believe), and how much he will be missed.

Well, which is it? Is Dartmouth headed for destruction because it has too many administrators, or perhaps, just perhaps, do many of them help to make Dartmouth the great place it is?

aganhv said...

Harvard has direct and positive impact working with students. He also has a specific job with tangible responsibilities. The bloat comes from those "above" him, the deputy assistant dean reporting to the assistant dean reporting to the real dean, at any time with one or more of these positions filled by an "acting" placeholder.

Read the student letters again closely. The bloat we alumni want to see gone are these nameless-faceless ones that students rarely see and who do not comprehend student concerns.

Chicken Little said...

Let me paraphrase Anonymous 9:30:

If there is one good admininstrator, they must all be good and, if they are all good, there can't be too many.

Dean-o-Rama said...

“Student Life” at Dartmouth consists of the various student clubs and organizations located in Robinson Hall (the DOC, the newspaper, WDCR, etc.) and some space for student activities in the lower level of Collis.

It also consists of eleven bureaucrats who occupy multiple floors on the upper levels of Collis with their busy-work. What do all these people do?

Financial contributions to Friends of the DOC help students buy materials to build things like Harris Cabin and the new Sugarhouse at the organic farm. Contributions to the annual fund pay the busybee salaries. Choose wisely.

The Student Lifers said...


We do lots of good things, judging from the link you provided.

First, our leader the associate dean spends his time "Work[ing] extensively with the Dean of Student Life." The upper dean must have a lot of time to spend, as her only reports are an administrative assistant, a business manager, and the single associate dean. It seems a long way from the Dean of the College.

Among our tasks, we are reponsible for:

"maintaining and creating important College traditions" (students cannot be trusted with that.)

"Oversee the facilities within the Collis Center, Robinson Hall..."
(no need for the Facilities FO&M department here.)

"Coordinate social and educational programming for the campus community."
(not sure what this is, but it takes two of us to do it.)

One of us "Supervises all of the Collis Information managers" while another "Supervises Collis information desk and box office student staff." Yet a third person "also helps manage daily operations of the Collis Information Desk."

We also have an accounting assistant who "Serves as the link between the various financial needs of the organizations and the sometimes-confusing College Accounting System policies to make sure all the forms of financial paperwork go through the system smoothly."
(You think we would help student treasurers by giving them Quickbooks, instead of forcing them to use a department budgeting system where student-earned revenues are recorded as negative expense, and there are no balance sheets so students find it impossible know how much money their club has).

We also have someone to "assist the accounting assistant".

Want to know more? Read our PR. Just please do not get into a meaningful conversation with any of the students leaders of the clubs under our control.

Each of us is a nice person. We are not responsible for the bureaucratic culture around here.

Deano said...

Some honesty from an Administrator! Have you ever before seen a job description with only two areas of responsibility:
1. Overseeing the office.
2. Kissing the boss's ass.
Kudos for setting a great example for students in how one gets ahead... they will be well prepared for mid-level government careers.

The Student Lifers said...

We also organized the wonderful Kick @$$ Party a few years back. We are working on a follow-up, but it takes time. We have not gotten the help we need from students because hundreds of them were braving the winter snows to put a roof on that expensive Harris Cabin. It is hard to program students in the Collis basement when they can sneak out to their own place.

comment said...

To be fair, the Dean has to oversee a number of independent multimillion-dollar business as well as student life, such as the Country Club and the Skiway.

Deanomite said...

Actually, "Comment", the Skiway and the Hanover Country Club are NOT the responsibility of the student life Deans of whom we are speaking. These entities report to the offices of the Dean of the College, who seems able to cover a bit more ground. They also have professional general managers and separate advisory boards.

Student Life is focused exclusively on the "social programming" (their words) of students, as Sesame Street does for children.

The Residential Lifers said...

Hey, don’t forget about us, the separate but equal Office of Residential Life:

Fraternity/Sorority Deans:
6 employees + 5 students

Residential Education Deans:
13 employees (8 who live in student dorms)

Residential Life Finance:
2 employees (not to be confused with the Finance Staff)

Residential Operations:
8 employees to oversee the custodial staff (not to be confused with the Facilities Dept.)

Housing Operations:
3 employees to run the room lotteries

And the Dean of Residential Life himself, who oversees among other things the Class of ’60 Art award and manages the Office of Residential Life diversity initiatives, which are separate from the Office of Pluralism diversity initiatives managed by the Dean of Student Life.

We need the Dean of the College to appoint a coordinator in his office to insure that the initiatives in Residential Life and in Student Life are, well, coordinated.

The Residential Lifers said...

Hey: Don’t forget about us in the Residential Life deandom, totally separate from Student Life. We include:

13 employees responsible for residential “programming”, not to be confused with Student Life’s social programming. We call it “education”, not to be confused with the classroom. 8 of us provide adult supervision by living in student dorms.

6 employees responsible to fraternity and sorority “programming”.

8 employees in residential operations, to oversee the custodial staff. (not to be confused with the Facilities and Maintenance staff). Those of us who actually live in the dorms cannot do this; it is a different skillset.

3 employees in housing operations, to run the room lotteries.

2 employees to oversee the finance and HR needs of our group (not to be confused with the Finance and HR departments of the College).

And 2 employees in the Dean’s office itself, to oversee the Class of 1960 Art Award and the “Office of Residential Life diversity initiatives”, which are not to be confused with the Office of Pluralism diversity initiatives in the Offices of Student Life. Maybe the Dean of the College’s office needs a coordinating dean to, well, coordinate the overlaps between Residential and Student Life deans.

Undying said...

Lifers to the left of me; lifers to the right of me. Where's McKinsey when you need them?

comment said...

If Andy Harvard [under Dean of College] is the issue, why are you talking about student life [under separate administration]?

Deanomite said...

@Comment: No separation! Andy Harvard reported to and was fired by the one and only one Deputy/Assistant/Associate Dean of Student Life, who is also the Acting Dean of Student Life. Student Life gets away with this because of the uneven management hierarchy. Dean of the College Crady has a very wide scope with many reports, and things drop through. Student Life has very few reports and has abundant time to play busy-body.

E J said...

I disagree with Mr. Polashenski's assessment of the situation, and doubt he intended his email to be posted in the blogosphere. I think that Andy likely resigned in the face of administrative opposition to his goals. I think we should give him that dignity of his resignation and remove the posting of Mr. Polashenski's letter. It has no place in the public domain and can do nothing but harm to the DOC's future.

DOC alum said...

If EJ stands for Earl Jette, why not say so. The comment above is consistent with his recent public email to all DOC alumni. Otherwise skip the initials completely.

@EJ: If Chris Polashenski did not want his letter generally known, he would not have sent it to the hundreds of people on the same DOC alumni list. He has made it known that he would also like publicity in places like the D. Why do you think this blog is any different, and why do you to presume to be the censor?

Rather than worry about how this publicity is harming the DOC, one should worry about how the lack of visibility allows the bureacracy to do worse.

Most important of all, if the goals of the Outdoor Programs director differed from the goals of the Administration, this is in fact a policy dispute and not an individual HR problem. It is very disturbing to see the same person who offers that there is a policy dispute also suggest that it be buried. Growing mushrooms should be kept out at the organic farm.

wanting information said...

EJ said "I think that Andy likely resigned in the face of administrative opposition to his goals."

The tone sounds like EJ knows Mr. Harvard personally and has some inside insight. He should say more about those goals, and the administrative opposition.

(optional) said...

"In fact, an inquiry to the Alumni Relations office will show there is a "moratorium" on new independent "Friends" groups."

Look, this is standard and good policy by Dartmouth. It should encourage "Friends" groups within its own system so that it can coordinate fundraising -- and both sides can benefit from that coordination. There is nothing worse than a "Friends" group sapping the strength of a more important schoolwide campaign, unless it's a "Friends" group completely dying out because it can't compete.

(required) said...

There is nothing worse (or uncompelling or more pathetic) than "a more important schoolwide campaign" that is unable to compete with independent "Friends" groups, without the administration intentionally putting those groups at a disadvantage to its own priorities.

ovpjv said...


"Dying out"? We are talking about pre-birth abortion here, where the doctor and not the mother wants to be the decider.

(required) said...

"unable to compete"? Why should competition be allowed? Look around at the best practices in the industry: "friends" groups are always prohibited from competing with the main campaign at the best and best-run schools. It's the incompetent or insignificant schools that let the chips fall where they may, and that carelessness is part of what allows them to remain insignificant. Raising money well is part of being a top school, public or private.

(required) said...

There is nothing worse than a poster who steals the pseudonym of another. But maybe this is a best practice in an industry not comfortable with competition, of projects or ideas.

still wanting info said...

"Andy likely resigned in the face of administrative opposition to his goals."

This is the heart of the matter!!! What? Why??

Tim Dreisbach '71 said...

Administrative support for the DOC and outdoor programs starts at the top, something to be considered in the search for a new president.

Tim Dreisbach '71 said...

The link in the prior posts fails to go to the direct comment. I will repeat it here in its entirety, as the other thread is pretty-much exhausted:


Among all the inputs into the search committee, that of Coach Buddy Teevens stands out... that there be a great match between the candidate and the uniqueness of Dartmouth. As the coach recognizes in his own recruiting, that includes a true appreciation of the outdoor setting. While President Wright may have had that to some degree, the current bruhaha over Outdoor Programs and the letter from DOC leaders suggests that not all in the Administration have the same understanding.

John S. Dickey was a noted outdoorsman, as well as an international thinker. But this appreciation goes back further, as evidenced in the words of President Hopkins:

"I would insist that the man who spends four years in our North Country and
does not learn to hear the melody of rustling leaves or does not learn to love
the wash of racing brooks over their rocky beds in the spring, who has never
experienced the repose to be found on lakes and rivers, who has not stood
enthralled on the top of Moosilauke on a moonlit night or has not become a
worshipper of color as he has seen the sunset from one of Hanover's hills, who
has not thrilled at the whiteness of the snow-clad countryside in winter or at
the flaming forest colors of the fall n I would insist that this man has not
reached out for some of the most worthwhile educational values accessible to
him at Dartmouth."
-Ernest Martin Hopkins,
President of Dartmouth College 1916 - 1945

When was the last time a Dartmouth president stood atop Moosilauke... AFTER SUNSET? Make that a requirement for any new candidate!!!

(optional) said...

There is an input form for the presidential search.

doc benton said...

It is interesting that President Hopkins referred to "the man who spends four years" at Dartmouth. The "Men of Dartmouth" have lost something, and it is entirely unrelated to co-education. Rather it is that, unrelated to gender, they should be regarded by the Administration, and should respect themselves, as complete adults, not adolescents, not "young persons in need of social programming", and not "coddled students in the process of breaking strings to parents" (Read this recent Opinion in the D regarding parental and administrative oversight.)

Harvard (Andy, not the University) treated students with the view of Hopkins. As noted in the letter above by Chris P. (the one some say should be censored), Andy allowed "you the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. Above all he was comfortable being in the position of power, without being in a position of control. Simply put, Andy trusted students to handle themselves in a way that encouraged them to live
up to that trust. Somehow he was able to allow nearly complete student autonomy without compromising the safety standard we subject ourselves to, the hard work and play ethic, or the coherence of our programs. In doing this, Andy Harvard enabled us to take responsibility for ourselves in a way that some call ‘growing up’ and treated us as the emerging adults that all
college students are. For me, this was the most important part of my college education."

What a shame that those in control of the Student Life department apparently do not share this philosophy, or have the courage to trust in students. Maybe these administrators need an extended Outward Bound course, or simply to experience for themselves a trip lead by a DOC student; they might learn something.

Truth Be Told said...

Andy was fired; there is no doubt about that. Ask him yourself, if you are not certain. I did.

Plenty of Truth on this Thread said...

Truth: as for the "dignity of his resignation" that some above mention, there is a much greater dignity in standing up for what one believes, in this case it appears to be students, than in kowtowing to bureaucratic demands.

C&T Forever opened this discussion with a statement that "Andy Harvard was not liked by Holly Sateia, long-time Dean of Student Life, recently appointed VP for Institutional Diversity and Equity." Her title may have changed, but not the agenda. All the many activities of the DOC's various clubs, participated in by hundreds of students from many different backgrounds, which all grew and flourished under Andy Harvard, were still not diverse enough for the Collis crowd of administrators. One insider even observed that a part of Andy's failure was that "he was doing things that had never been done before."

The VP for Institutional Diversity and Equity position should go to someone with expertise in managing a stock portfolio, to look after the new billions the college is raising.

Truth from the Past said...

Why would the VP of Diversity have a say in the firing of an employee reporting to the Student Life area? Even if she was formerly in charge there, that is no longer the case. Rumor has it she was unhappy with the hiring philosophy within Outdoor Programs, which placed competence as a higher priority than ethnic status. One supposes the Diversity Tzar can stick her nose into anyone's tent.

Remember, when Sateia was in charge of Student Life, she overrode the obvious choice of David Hooke, outdoorsman, competent administrator, and historian of the Outing Club, to replace retiring Earl Jette and selected a politically-correct woman with little outdoor background, no management experience, but an advanced degree in kinesiology; she only lasted 2 years.

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