Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Issue Online

The latest issue of The Dartmouth Review is now online, focusing on John Sloan Dickey
* A look at the Dickey Center
* The War and Peace Center: Part of Dickey's Legacy
* The Stem Cell Debate at Dartmouth
* Week In Review and Last Word

And Much More!!!


hoppy said...

To repeat a comment posted elsewhere:

Emily writes in the latest number that "For Dartmouth College, one president stands out above the rest: the College’s twelfth president, John Sloan Dickey."

Doesn't she mean the eleventh president, Ernest Martin Hopkins?

Dickey was good, but he served for a shorter period and during much, much less troubling times than Hopkins' two world wars; was not as beloved or outdoorsy; does not have a building named for him; and built the Choates, for crying out loud. The Choates. Hopkins built Baker Library. There is no comparison.

W. Aubin said...

Alright Ernest, stop trying to boost your rep on teh Internetz.

Opinion is opinion.

Anonymous said...

How does one back the claim that Hopkins was more outdoorsy than Dickey?

The important question is how do we fill both their shoes?

Ernest said...

@ anonymous: Hopkins had a summer house on the Maine coast.

Maybe he was less outdoorsy though. Dickey was painted wearing flannel and a hunting jacket. But he still built the Choates, and the River Cluster, and Gilman. Yecch.

And Tucker and Wheelock stand out above both of them. Opinion is not forgivable when it's wrong.

The shoes to be filled are Wright's, not those of the presidents of the mid-twentieth century. Old school.

Anonymous said...

A query for Frank Gado regarding the presidential symposium.

Why would the slight shift in emphasis from a small university focused too much on research -- if Dartmouth really has sunk to that, an assessment that is debatable -- back to a small university focused on the undergrad require a "radical reform"? It sounds more like a slight shift in emphasis to me.

What makes you think there are no examples of the success of the "hermaphrodite" model, the undergrad-focused small university with grad programs limited to the sciences? Are you familiar with Dartmouth? Should readers suspect that you want Dartmouth to radically abandon its historic professional schools and just try to imitate places like Amherst and Williams?

Anonymous said...

The professional schools are a red-herring. The fundamental question Gado and others pose is, independent of faculty scholarship ("research"), should undergraduate professors also be responsible for educating graduate students?

Dartmouth has an impossible challenge imitating Harvard, Duke, Stanford, U.Michigan, U.C.Berkeley, Rice, etc. a long list. It does not need to imitate Williams and can become a beacon for truly-liberal education. However, a "slight shift in emphasis" will require a "radical reform" in attitude reqarding prestige and priority.

Fly-fishing in the College Grant is more "outdoorsy" than summering on the Maine coast. Agreed that Tucker is pre-eminent in the panoply of the great three (or four if one includes Wheelock).

Anonymous said...

8:47: We set our sights too low if we want to fill the shoes of Wright, or Freedman, or McLaughlin.

Is there another Tucker/Hopkins/Dickey out there? Would we know him (her) if we saw him (her)? Would we have the wisdom and courage to choose such a person? Or will we play it safe with a politically and academically-correct candidate?

Anonymous said...

Weren't Tucker, Hopkins, and Dickey safe and correct choices in their times?

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced that shifting the relatively small number of science profs who educate grad students off that job will require "radical reform."

Dartmouth occupies a small category between Williams and Duke. The evil trends Gado sees couldn't move Dartmouth into Duke's category of full research university even if they were intended to do so. It seems that Gado has bigger changes in mind than shifting the emphasis of a few profs. He wants to take Dartmouth back to its Williams days.

Relative to What said...

"He wants to take Dartmouth back to its Williams days."

Better to be a superior to Williams than an inferior to Duke. Those who disagree with this are those who believe Duke is superior to Williams, for whatever measure of size, money, national prestige, or basketball, and therefore are happy thinking being between them is somehow better than Williams.

If one believes that both Williams and Duke are superior in differing dimensions, then certainly outcompeting Williams in one dimension (liberal arts undergaduates) would place Dartmouth above being second to Duke in other dimensions (graduate researchers and 3-point shooters).

Anonymous said...

But if Dartmouth stays in its own category instead of trying to shed programs and students in order to fit into Williams's, it won't be compared directly to either Williams or Duke.

Gado doesn't seem to think the third category occupied by Dartmouth, the small, undergrad-focused university, exists at all. If he did, he would call on the new president to reemphasize undergrads in areas where Dartmouth might be slipping. Instead he wants a radical change.

Anonymous said...

How do you define "small" and "under-grad focused", and what tangible measures do you implement to counter all the natural pressures for it to become larger and less-focused?

We are playing a bit with the words here. My guess is most all of we alumni, even Gado, agree on Dartmouth's special niche. The challenge is to insure it is not intentionally, or worse, unintentionally abandoned in the desire to be like everyone else ("best practices"), especially on the more-prestigious university side of the balance.

another apologist? said...

There are people who classify institutions full-time. These categories are not nebulous.

Small is under 5,000 UG and 1,500 G/P.

UG-focused means few if any classes taught by TAs; better than 3:1 UG:G/P ratio.

Gado is concerned about more than the abandonment of the niche by the unintentional shift from a small university focused on the undergrad to one that is focused on research. Otherwise he would never have called for "radical reform."

Anonymous said...

“My guess is most all of we alumni, even Gado, agree on Dartmouth's special niche.”

I’m not so sure about this. This “special niche” is more myth than reality. It’s a meme. For some, it just means an over-sized prep school. Everyone has a few fond memories. So what?

“Gado is concerned about more than the abandonment of the niche…”

Why shouldn’t he be? We don’t really know what this “special niche” is other than it is not the alternative - a university. I’d say “radical reform” is in order.

Anonymous said...

What evidence do you have that the niche is a myth? Do you disagree with the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education?

Whether you are right about the myth, you are wrong that the alternative to what Dartmouth is now is "a university." Dartmouth is and has been for a long time a small university. The debate right now is whether it is still undergraduate-focused and, if not, whether reemphasizing the undergraduate requires "radical reform" or Gado is full of it.

Anonymous said...

Why 5,000 and 1,500 / 3:1?

It was once 2,000 and 10:0. More recently 4,000 and 10:1.

In fact the College's official position is still 10:1. (grads no more than 10% of undergrads)

In 10 years, what prevents the creep to 6,000 and 2:1? Without anyone then having a basis to understand what was lost.

Anonymous said...

While it may be a good thing to reemphasize the undergraduate, doing so requires "radical reform". A return to the good old days is not possible and is not what is needed. I don't think anyone here has described well what is needed other than to say we don't want to follow the trends of big universities.

Anonymous said...

3:1 refers to UG and all G[rad]/P[rofessional]. The ratio was never 1:0 if you count the pro schools, at least in your lifetime.

The numbers and ratios were picked arbitrarily to show that everyone has a general idea of what we are talking about. Gado's debate is about the undergraduate emphasis, not the particular enrollment at any given time. That is why it remains strange that he works himself into a dudgeon about radical acts. Shedding 2,000 undergrads or 200 grad students would be a radical change. Leaving the school as the small university it has been for hundreds of years while fiddling with its emphasis is not radical.

Anonymous said...

This is not about relative headcounts.

Anonymous said...

What is it about?

Posters here keep denegrating Gado for wanting radical reform, but never ask him what he envisions. Are they simply afraid of what they do not understand?

What reforms, or small tweaks, are we talking about? Let's be specific before we begin yeaing and naying in ignorance.

Anonymous said...

I won't speak for Gado, but I think it has to do with:

What is taught,
How it's taught,
Whom it's taught by,
What kind of students are accepted,
What the students do outside of class,
How technology is used,
How money is spent,
What administrators do,
What administrators don't do,

Frank, what is it?

Anonymous said...

"Posters here keep denegrating Gado for wanting radical reform, but never ask him what he envisions."

Frank Gado, what specific changes would you have the new president take to radically reform Dartmouth or the education it provides?

If all you want is change in the number of graduate students and a reemphasis on undergraduate education, why would you use either the word "radical" or the word "reform"?

Tim Dreisbach '71 said...

New Topic:

Dartmouth alumni, and current students if they care, may be upset that the football team this afternoon set a record as the first in College history with a winless season.

But no one should be upset with the athletes, especially the seniors, who have given their all. It would be great if students on campus would come out to show support when the team arrives home after what will surely be a long bus ride. Can anyone organize something on short notice?

Anonymous said...

Back to old topic:

Will football be part of the college after "radical reform"? Who cares anymore? Any students?

Football players over the past ten years should be glad they got accepted. Let's keep it this way or, even better, go to Division III.

Tim Dreisbach '71 said...

One thing about joining the NESCAC Division III schools... Dartmouth would be playing small colleges (vis-a-vis the discussion people were into above) and would no longer be in the Ivy League. Do you want that?

Getting the entire League to be Div III would do nothing to change our competitiveness within the league. Any other bright ideas? Do people care?

Anonymous said...

5:41: Those dumb football players should be grateful they got accepted. Right! Is it coincidence my word verification is "stain?"

Anonymous said...

No. The football players are smart. If we had lowered the standards to get a winning team, the guys we have wouldn't, in general, be on the team. Many would have been accepted as part of the overall pool, but most would likely be elsewhere.

So, would a "radical change" be to abandon the Ivy League, something that was created for athletics. What would happen if Dartmouth dropped football or joined Division III? Is the Ivy League tag too important to be unique or "special"?

Anonymous said...

USNews has just released its annual list. Those who defended Dartmouth's low Forbes ranking will now have trouble saying it is the methodology. USNews, which has previously listed Dartmouth in the top 6-9 spots, has dropped the institution to #54. Some of this is due to the inclusion of many more non-US schools. But notably many US universities, both public and private, were ranked higher.

One commenter questioned the list's credibility, wondering about Dartmouth's low rank, and that neither Williams or Amherst made the list at all. Perhaps that is because they, and other small excellent liberal arts colleges, were not on the list. The shame is that Dartmouth could be on "their" alternate list at or near the top, rather than #54.

It is a shrinking globe, and Dartmouth will fail if she tries to compete with others at their (research university) game. She needs to keep focused on what makes her special. Being all things to all people will fail, as we have seen by proven by multi-branded GM.

Anonymous said...

USN&WR is just recognizing what others have seen before:

● Earlier this year, Forbes ranked us 127th, and pointedly observed that we (along with the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown, and Cornell) are coasting on our reputation.

● Dartmouth dropped from 48th to 54th place on the London Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2008. In this ranking, Dartmouth had the lowest rank of the eight Ivy League schools, 27 places behind Brown University, the second-lowest-ranking Ivy.

When you have leadership of the likes provided (or not provided) by Jim Wright (as the "D" put it: "Dartmouth finds itself in a period of sleepy stagnancy. The College is plagued by administrative bloat, a shortage of faculty in the most popular departments, and the neglect of student interests and concerns...") you can only expect drift and decline.

The amazing thing is the parochialism of so many observers who opine that all is well.

Pray for first-class new Pres.

Anonymous said...

Dartmouth has not dropped in the U.S. News list. This is the first time U.S. News has ever put out this list, which is international.

Dartmouth is going to be compared to Duke, Stanford, Harvard, and other research universities whether it wants to or not. Reducing the number of science grad students will not change that. Only dropping the three professional schools, none less than a century old, can do that.

If Dartmouth is a square peg, it has to fight for the use of a square hole. Was it 1996 or 1997 that U.S. News had a new one-time category for small universities, or student satisfaction, or something like that, and Dartmouth was #1?

The 1883 season was also winless at 0-1.

Anonymous said...

"Dartmouth is going to be compared to Duke, Stanford, Harvard, and other research universities whether it wants to or not."

Or it could simply refuse to play the rankings game and stop providing the rankers with the data, as other liberal arts programs have begun doing. No need to touch the adjunct professional schools.

Hard to call 1883 a season, being a single contest, lost 3-5 to another "small but we love it" liberal arts institution, Williams College.

Anonymous said...

I think those schools that "refuse to play the rankings game" make themselves appear whiny and petulant. And they still get ranked according to publicly-available data.

Forbes said...

"Admittedly, there is an inherent absurdity in ranking colleges and universities with mock precision from first to 569th. The sort of student who will thrive at Williams might drown at Caltech, to say nothing of West Point. And it is possible to get a “Harvard” education at the University of Minnesota, just as it possible to get a “University of Minnesota” education at Harvard. When choosing a school, it is important to match the student to the school."

Is it whiny to refuse to participate in the absurd?

Anonymous said...

Even with an 0-10 record, Dartmouth ranks higher than a dozen others:


Anonymous said...

How many ranking points would we gain for each football win?

Anonymous said...

Read the post again. You get ranked whether or not you "participate." Do you think studios with lame movies wish critics didn't mention them in any "best-of" or "worst-of" lists? Of course. But that doesn't mean the movies weren't released or that they can't be qualitatively ranked and compared to other movies. Are you a moral relativist?

Anonymous said...

6 rank points per win, just like a touchdown.

With 9 wins, we'd move up 54 places and be tie with Harvard in both victories and rankings. With a 10-0 season, we'd own it all.

Which just goes to show how ALL of these ranking systems are, well, absurd. Alabama rules.

Anonymous said...

I'm giving money to Boise State, so my kids get in.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone need to give to Boise State to get his kids in? Does BS turn away anyone?

Inside Higher Ed says "U.S. News & World Report on Friday announced a new, worldwide set of university rankings — which is really a repackaging of the international rankings produced this year in the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings. In some cases, U.S. News is arranging the rankings in different ways, but Robert Morse, director of rankings at the magazine, said that all data and the methodology were straight from the Times Higher’s rankings project, which is affiliated with the British publication about higher education. Asked if his magazine was just paying for reprint rights, Morse declined to discuss financial arrangements."

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