Friday, February 29, 2008

WFB and the Creation of National Review

More from Professor Hart on William F. Buckley, this time at the paleocon webzine Taki's Top Drawer:


Bill Buckley was many things, but centrally he was one of the great American journalists, whose historic achievement was the creation of National Review. Historians will look to his magazine when they seek to explain much that has happened to the America of our time. During the 1930s, Walter Lippman was an important journalist, and like Buckley wrote many useful books. But whereas Lippman explained and defended something that already existed, the reformist Progressive movement and the New Deal, Buckley brought into being something new, something that had no existence before—the modern conservative movement.

Through his public personality, and his distinctive prose style, he also gave conservatism a new public face—no longer Sen. Robert Taft, a man of integrity and intellect but someone who made Herbert Hoover look like Rudolph Valentino.

Continue reading here.

Goeglein Resigns

The AP reports:
Timothy Goeglein, who has worked for Bush since 2001, acknowledged that he lifted material from a Dartmouth College publication and presented it as his own work in a column about education for The News- Sentinel in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The White House said Goeglein has apologized for not upholding the standards expected by the president. A White House statement says the president was disappointed to learn of the matter and was saddened for Goeglein and his family. It said Bush has long appreciated his service and knows him to be a good person who is committed to his country.

UPDATE: Times roundup.

White House Caught Plagiarizing from The Dartmouth Review

Just last week Columbia announced that they would be keeping on staff a professor caught red-handed, guilty of extensive plagiarism. And now comes news of this. Timothy Goeglein, a top White House aide, has been caught plagiarizing from The Dartmouth Review. The article in question appeared in a small Indiana daily. Goeglein admits to taking passages from Prof. Hart's 1998 article in the Review, saying, "I am entirely at fault. It was wrong of me. There are no excuses."

Here is part of the plagiarized text, you be the judge:
A notable professor of philosophy at Dartmouth College in the last century, Eugene Rosenstock-Hussey, expressed the matter succinctly. His wisdom is not only profound but also worth pondering in this new century. He said, “The goal of education is to form the Citizen. And the Citizen is a person who, if need be, can re-found his civilization.”

He meant that, I think, in quite a large sense. He did not mean that you had to master all the specialties you can think of, but rather to be an educated man or woman, you needed to be familiar with the large and indispensable components of our civilization.

This does not mean you should not study other cultures and civilizations. It does mean that to be a citizen of this one, you should be aware of what it is and where it — we — came from. It can hardly be challenged that the United States of America is part of the narrative of European history. Europe is overwhelmingly the source, and some parts of Europe more than others: Our language, literature, legal tradition, political arrangements derive, demonstrably, from England. This Britain-America connection is central.

And here is the corresponding text from Prof. Hart's article, "What is a College Education?"
A notable Professor of Philosophy at Dartmouth, Eugene Rosenstock-Hussey often expressed the matter succinctly, “The goal of education,” he would say, “is to form the Citizen. And the Citizen is a person who, if need be, can re-found his civilization.”

He meant that in quite large a sense. He did not mean that you had to master all the specialties you can think of.

He meant that you need to be familiar with the large and indispensable components of your — this — civilization.

This certainly does not mean that you should not study other cultures and civilizations. It does mean that to be a Citizen of this one you should be aware of what it is and where it came from.

It can scarcely be challenged that the United States is part of the narrative of European history. It owes little or nothing to Confucius or Laotse or to Chief Shaka or to the Aztecs. At the margin it owes a bit to the American Indians, but not a great deal — corn, tobacco, some legendary material. But Europe is overwhelmingly the source. And some parts of Europe more than others: Our language, legal tradition, political arrangements derive, and demonstrably so, from England.

Several more paragraphs are copied just as baldly as these. In addition, it is now coming to light that he has plagiarized other articles in the past. It seems conclusive. The question now is whether or not the White House will take a more principled stand than Columbia.

P.S. Some pre-scandal info on Goeglein.

Update! Here is Jeffrey Hart's statement:
Bush was planning to go to war in Iraq within weeks after he took office in January 2001. This has been documented. He sold the invasion through lies about WMD. No one found even a tube of Chinese toothpaste in Iraq. A bit of plagiarism should not trouble this White House at all. The Dartmouth Review publishes a lot of very good material, and should take a bow.

Update III: Goeglein has resigned. The AP story is here. The current tally for the number of plagiarized columns he wrote is 20.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Buckley at The Dartmouth Review Gala

"I got to tell him once what I thought of him, almost, to his face," Rick writes below. Me too.

Like Rick's, my comments took the form of a toast—in this case, in April 2006, at the Union League Club, during the 25th anniversary dinner of the Dartmouth Review, to which he had given constant encouragement—and, from time to time, I later learned, financial contributions. (During the reception beforehand, Pat Buckley, who never altogether approved of Yale events, let alone of devoting her time to Dartmouth, demonstrated the extent of his support. "Peter," she said, "can you possibly explain why my husband has insisted on bringing me here?")


Read on to see what Trustee Peter Robinson said.

More on WFB

From the obit in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

"He followed Walter Lippmann as one of the great journalists of his time," said Jeffrey Hart, an emeritus professor of English at Dartmouth College who has been a senior editor at National Review for 39 years.

"Lippmann interpreted the New Deal to a wide audience. Buckley started the conservative movement and it reached its peak with the election of Reagan and, from Buckley's point of view, came to grief with the invasion of Iraq. He always had an independent streak and a genius for friendship.''


The whole thing here.

Veterans Recruit Fellow Veterans

More on President Wright's and several students' work to bring more vets to campus in today's Christian Science Moniter:

Jason Hord ran his own construction business before his Army National Guard unit deployed to Iraq in 2006. Six months later – after surviving a nearby hit from a rocket-propelled grenade – he found himself adjusting to life with one eye, wondering what to do next.

Mr. Hord is still recovering from a host of severe injuries, but at the urging of a college counselor he met at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, he made a visit to Dartmouth College here last week. He's now considering attending in the fall to study engineering.

[. . .]

During Hord's visit to Dartmouth, he talks with an admissions officer, Wright, and Samuel Crist, a marine who earned a Purple Heart in Fallujah and arrived here to study in the fall. As Mr. Crist leads him on a tour, they fall into conversation first about where they served and how they were injured. Then they turn to college life. Hord asks about the workload. Crist tells him, "there's definitely higher standards," and warns he'll have to prioritize when his professors assign impossible reading loads.

When he returns to Walter Reed, Hord will continue talking over his college options with counselor Heather Bernard.


Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Jeffrey Hart on the First Time he Saw Buckley

In 2005 Professor Hart published a history of National Review entitled The Making of the American Conservative Mind: National Review and Its Times. Below is an excerpt from an article he penned in The New Criterion at the time the book appeared.

Not long before the first issue of National Review appeared, I had a chance to see William Buckley, already famous for God and Man at Yale (1951), in action. A debate had been announced, to take place in Harvard’s Lamont Library, between Buckley and James Wechsler, the diamond-pure liberal editor of The New York Post. Later Buckley would aptly write that Wechsler was so pure a liberal that he ought to be on exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution, for tourists and schoolchildren to gawk at, as they did at Piltdown Man. He or someone else said that Wechsler was like a bronze bust of The Liberal that one might strike matches upon.

What happened on the appointed night in an auditorium at Lamont Library gave a preliminary indication of at least one of the many qualities that would render Buckley famous and National Review successful: Buckley’s bravura. The auditorium was jammed, his entrance buzzily awaited. Then down the aisle he proceeded with his wife Pat, she very tall, wearing an enormous leopard hat and large bag, also leopard. Buzz from the audience. At the podium, after thanking the host for his introduction, Buckley observed, with an elfin grin (soon a signature feature), that he was very pleased to see Professor Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., there in the audience. Then he added, “His many books would be dangerous if they weren’t so boring.” In his bow tie, Arthur looked Arthurish. Laughter. Not hostile. And the Harvard students loved it. Buckley’s entire performance was Byronic, rakish, and marvelous. His intonations were unique, though today familiar. They seemed something gorgeous, maybe out of the English fin de si├Ęcle, Beerbohm, Beardsley.

Whatever sober points Wechsler might have made, he was obliterated by the stylistic contrast and, ink-stained wretch that he obviously was, slunk back to the then-liberal New York Post. Right there, I saw the conservative movement being born, and liberalism made otiose. Right there was the esprit that caught the attention of early National Review readers—especially the young.

This was no stuffed-shirt or classroom policy wonk. This had nothing to do with the dismal science and its green eye-shades. This was great theater.


Read the whole thing.

WFB: The Dartmouth Review Extends Condolences

William F. Buckley Jr. accomplished many things in his life, large and small. One of the smaller things touches us near here at The Dartmouth Review. It was with seed money provided by him, that this paper was founded back in 1980. The establishment of The Dartmouth Review not only provided Dartmouth students and alumni with an alternate source of news, it also touched off the creation of similar papers at campuses across the country. It is with special thanks to Mr. Buckley that this paper exists.

The Dartmouth Review extends its condolences to the friends and family of William F. Buckley Jr. in this time of mourning.

William F. Buckley Jr., "Scourge of Liberalism," Dead at 82

From the New York Times:
William F. Buckley Jr., who marshaled polysyllabic exuberance, famously arched eyebrows and a refined, perspicacious mind to elevate conservatism to the center of American political discourse, died Wednesday at his home in Stamford, Conn.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

ORL Foresees an On-Campus Housing Shortage

ORL (the Office of Residential Life) mailed out a letter from Dean Redman today concerning a potential housing shortage next year. First among the students affected are five-year Thayer students and 'super seniors', neither will be able to apply for any on-campus housing. Because of planned demolitions, ORL also anticipates only being able to house 675 seniors next year. This total includes CFS housing. In the letter Redman said that this is about one hundred fewer seniors than has been typical in the last few years; he also was confident that the off-campus housing options are sufficient enough to absorb this change. Two thoughts:
  1. The timing of the letter has caused some complaint. I am unfamiliar with the off-campus housing market, but from what I've been told students who want decent housing need to start looking about a year ahead of time.
  2. Potentially more troubling for the College than the annoyance of some seniors, however, is the annoyance of seniors who publicly accuse the College of not being able to house them because of a priority on graduate education. One of the residence halls already destroyed (Hinman Hall), was destroyed to make room for the Tuck School Living and Learning Center—a residence hall for grad students. Of course, this will never be an issue if enough 09's are able to easily find off-campus housing for next year. Yet it is a bit of a gamble on the administration's part; this is precisely the sort of thing a petition candidate could point to if he wanted to make a point about the administration's priorities

The Daily D's article can be found here.

The Power of Eloquence

Professor Hart has an Op-Ed in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the faulty assumption that the ability to speak eloquently and the ability to 'get things done' are mutually exclusive. He notes that many of our most celebrated presidents were gifted speakers, including JFK, FDR, and Lincoln. About Lincoln:

On March 4, 1861, Lincoln wanted to urge the Southern states not to secede. His future Secretary of State William Seward submitted this sentence, which Lincoln then turned into one of the most famous passages in American oratory:

The mystic chords which proceeding from so many battlefields and so many patriot graves pass through all the hearts and all the hearths in this broad continent of ours will yet again harmonize in their ancient music when breathed upon by the guardian angel of the nation.

Not bad. Seward certainly was an able writer.

But Lincoln made much more of it, adding alliteration, changing "proceeding" to "stretching," changing "guardian angel of our nation" to the far superior "better angels of our nature," along with other careful touches:

The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living hearth and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

"Over this broad land" is masterful, its inclusiveness suggesting union. Lincoln was gifted; he had studied the King James Bible, Shakespeare and, very importantly, Walt Whitman, memorizing passages from "Leaves of Grass," responding to its rhythms and vast inclusiveness.

Read the whole thing.

Frost Lectures Transcribed for the First Time

James Sitar '01, a grad student at Boston University, recently unearthed multiple lectures given by Robert Frost at Dartmouth from Rauner. The lectures were part of the mandatory "Great Issues" course. Sitar transcribed the lectures as part of his dissertation. The first transcription to be published is from the lecture "Sometimes It Seems as If."

In this performance from 1947 that Frost entitled "Sometimes It Seems as If," he celebrates the ampliative nature—and "extravagance"—of figurative language and poetry. He uses poems by other poets—ranging from Shakespeare and Christopher Smart to Coventry Patmore and Walt Whitman—as well as some of his own to illustrate poetry's unrivaled power to give voice to the human spirit. Readers will also hear Frost speaking about his life and friends, sharing anecdotes to captivate and entertain his audience. Woven through these stories and lessons exist echoes from Frost's essays and notebooks. We see different sides of the most famous American poet: the contemplative, the associative, the defensive, the speculative, the assertive, and the humorous. In performances such as these, we get an accurate portrait of Frost as a poet and person, complete with all of his well-known complexities.

Here are the first few paragraphs of his lecture:

[Frost:] That wasn't censored. [Laughter] I never see any reviews in advance either (of my books), and I seldom see them afterward.4 [Laughter] I take these things as they come. A scientist lately came out of his laboratory to say some things about science and poetry. As I understand it, he said that "we all ought to follow science; it's so interesting nowadays, so much more interesting than anything else, but the guide to life would still have to come from ... " (he was afraid) "from religion, poetry, literature." (And he’d been trying to ... don't quite know how he means. Whether he means by ... he wouldn't of course mean by precepts, would he? Not by precepts.)

There are many precepts in poetry; they always stick in my mind. I’ve lived by them to a certain extent, lived in the spirit of their creed, and found some other strength according to my need. But I wonder if he didn't mean that it was a kind of general guide in a way to take life. It's full of precepts, controversial precepts that nobody would dispute. And you learn to have to live with controversial precepts and not dispute them, and you do that by living with poetry. I’ve always made considerable claims for poetry—in my heart I suppose—and made some rather humorous ones with my friends. I had to ... or else, you know, or else. [Laughter] But I would claim them in the spirit of poetry.

Now there's two ways to take the world that are safe. One is as a joke, take it humorously. Learn to take a joke and so learn to take the world by the help of jokes. You’ve got to do that because one knows that from the people he knows. He knows the kind of people who don't, and how lost they are. Then there's a still better way—not better, another way—side-by-side with it, perhaps a little—one might claim (if he was claiming a lot for poetry, you know), claim a little higher. But to take poetry right is to take life right.

Read the whole thing.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Straw Poll

In an article in today's Daily D a student claims that the new wireless network "Dartmouth Secure" is slower than the previous network "Kiewit Wireless." I've found the same to be true. Is that universal, or has someone had the opposite experience? Comment below.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Was Wright Forced Out?

A reader, smelling something amiss, writes in:

In his Community Letter of February 28, 2007, President James Wright wrote:
Some people have claimed that one of the new trustee's assignments will be to elect the next president. This statement will likely prove to be correct—someday. For now though, to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of my retirement are premature. While I may look my age, I am not yet ready to act it. In my thirty-eighth year at Dartmouth, I have things yet to do and I enjoy immensely doing them. So let us hold off on the transition planning.

The latest edition of the Alumni Magazine [not online] contains an interview with Jim Wright concerning his announced retirement only eleven months after he wrote the above. Some notable quotes:

"I've got the best job in the world right now."

"You know, the interesting thing is that we haven't spent a lot of time thinking about what we're going to do next."

"I have health. I have energy. I enjoy immensely what I do."

"I"m not running away from anything, I'm reluctantly stepping back."

Does this sound like a man who is voluntarily retiring?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Disciplinary Action

Many of you are probably aware of the big news from Columbia University this week. Madonna Constantine was accused of multiple cases of flagrant plagiarism earlier this week by Columbia. This received national attention, in part, because it was on Constantine's door that a noose was found in the fall. This all led to today's news:

Columbia University’s Teachers College will not dismiss Madonna G. Constantine, the professor it charged with plagiarizing numerous works by another professor and two former students.

The college said on Wednesday that it had penalized her, but declined to discuss how. But on Thursday, Marcia Horowitz, a spokeswoman for the college, said the action stopped short of Dr. Constantine’s firing. “She is still a tenured professor at Teachers College,” Ms. Horowitz said. “She will remain on staff.”

In one case Constantine had lifted 20 pages, near verbatim, from one of her doctoral students. This brings me to an article in today's Daily D. Apparently SAPAs (Sexual Abuse Peer Advisor) are pushing for the COS review committee not to amend its standard for the proof necessary to determine guilt. The committee is determining whether the judicial body should change the current standard of "preponderance of evidence" to "clear and convincing evidence." The SAPAs are most exercised about a change that would allow the accused to question the accuser.

It will be impossible to find the perfect balance between protecting the innocently accused and punishing the truly guilty. Surely, however, that balance is somewhere in between Columbia's lenience and Dartmouth's relish in prosecution.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Go See Julius Caesar

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is a play that lends itself to political statement. I’m sure my high school English teacher was not alone when, in the lead up to the Iraq War, he thought it an opportune time to teach this particular play. It came as no surprise then, when the Dartmouth Department of Theater announced they would be performing Julius Caesar this winter.

Yet, after seeing tonight's show, I was pleased to find that director Jamie Horton decided to stage the play in a mostly straightforward manner—I don't need anyone to browbeat me with what the significance of the play is, or should be; I'm perfectly happy teasing that out on my own. I'll have more complete thoughts about the performance and the play itself in the next issue of the paper. For now, let me urge you all to go see it. The chief players are all adequate, and Wheaton Simis '08 played Cassius beautifully. Also, the chances to see Shakespeare in Hanover are few and far between; one should jump at every opportunity.

Boston Globe Correction

Correction: Because of reporting errors, a Feb. 10 Page One story on efforts to boost the payout of the GI Bill inaccurately described James Wright, Dartmouth College president, as a Korean War veteran. Wright served in the US Marine Corps from 1957 to 1960, after the war had ended. The story also erroneously described Senator James Webb of Virginia as the only member of the Senate with a son doing combat service in Iraq. James McCain, a son of Senator John McCain of Arizona, was also deployed with his Marine unit to Iraq.

The correction is for the article linked to in this post.

P.S. Also, I've posted an interesting article by Slate's Jack Shafer about "corrections" in the Nota Bene section. —A.S.

Hurricane Season

S&S has recently outfitted their vehicles with amber lights, in order that they might be more visible after sunset. There have been some other changes as well:

In addition, Safety and Security vehicles will be equipped with an even brighter set of warning lights, which will be used to warn students about dangerous situations, such as hurricanes.[italics added]

Is there a history of hurricanes in Hanover that I'm not aware of?

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?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Princeton to Offer a Gap Year

There was an interesting article in the Times yesterday about Princeton's reconsideration of foreign study. Princeton currently manages to send about 30% of its students abroad; that is the second highest in the league after Dartmouth's 60%. (More information on that can be found here.)

According to yesterday's article, Princeton is in the process of creating a program that would send up to 10% of the incoming class on a Princeton-overseen gap year. Tuition would not be charged, and those in need may even receive financial aid from the school in order to participate. Princeton's president hopes to have the program up and running by the fall of 2009.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Movies! —with Non-Human Animals

>Date: 19 Feb 2008 19:49:34 -0500
>From: Dartmouth Animal Welfare Group
>Subject: MOVIE NIGHT FRIDAY!
>To: (Recipient list suppressed)


************************
* Join us for a Movie Night *
* this FRIDAY *
* @ 5PM *
* Carson L01 *
*************************

* With FREE Ramunto's pizza! *

Blitz in your movie ideas!
The only requirement is that they involve (non-human) animals in some way.

(e.g. Legally Blonde, Beethoven, King Kong, The Lion King, Ace Ventura, Shrek, Instinct, Ratatouille....)

Because 'animal' is just too open to interpretation.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Visualizing Dartmouth's Alcohol Policy

Dartblog has a telling graph illustrating alcohol infractions at Dartmouth compared to the other Ivy League Schools. We reported on similar but more extensive information last fall.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Trustee Heals World With Capitalism, Not Bureaucracy?

Somebody at ABC has realized that good things can come out of the free market - something that T. J. Rodgers has known all along.

Board to Give AoA 45 Days Notice

The Dartmouth Review has learned that the College will not seat new Charter Trustees on the 22nd of February. If and when the Board decides to continue, they have agreed to give the AoA 45 days notice. The pdf of the court notice is here:

JN.Board.AoA.PDF

UPDATE: The College has also posted the pdf on their website.

New Charter Trustees on the Way?

As Dartblog has already mentioned today, we are rapidly approaching the 22nd—the date, before which, the Board of Trustees promised not to seat any new Charter Trustees. They announced that in a joint notice concerning the Dartmouth Trustee Elections:

Respondent Trustees of Dartmouth College previously advised the Court that its Board of Trustees would not elect new Charter Trustees until the earlier of February 1, 2008 or resolution of the above captioned litigation. In order to give the Court more time to rule on Respondent's pending motion to dismiss [no longer pending], Respondent has agreed to defer further the date on which new Charter Trustees will be elected until the earlier of February 22, 2008 or resolution of the above-captioned litigation. Accordingly, Petitioner Association of Alumni of Dartmouth College does not find it necessary to resubmit its Motion for Preliminary Injunction at this time. Counsel for the parties have agreed to continue to discuss timing issues and will alert the Court promptly if it becomes necessary for Petitioner to resubmit its Motion for Preliminary Injunction.


The above was submitted on the 17th of January. Will the Board brazenly move forward in seating new Charter Trustees? In all probability, we shall know in a week's time.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Nathan Empsall '09 wrote a letter to the D defending himself against classmate Lucy Stonehill '10's editorial last week that criticized his behavior in a class discussion, but the editorial board chose not to print it. He blitzed us an electronic copy of the letter.

About the letter, Nathan writes:
The D has refused to let me respond to Lucy Stonehill's op-ed "See You in Hell," even though the column made my identity as the unnamed classmate painfully obvious to those who know me well or were in the class. According to Editor-in-Chief Katy O'Donnell, "The campus dialogue on this issue has run its course--at least in the Opinion page of The D--and the Opinion editors must also consider space constraints and other logistical minutiae." I readily admit that I took several days to reply, but I find that a poor excuse to deny a man his defense when attacked.

The letter:
Though she was courteous enough not to mention my name, I was the classmate taken to task for "religious zeal" in Lucy Stonehill '10's column "See You in Hell." Though I was at first surprised – I hardly recognized our discussion from her description – I am now grateful. Her column has given us the chance for a rare but valuable public discussion of religion. With this response, I would like to explain just what was said in class, and examine an unfortunate disconnect between atheists and people of faith.

Stonehill spent much of her column accusing me of "regurgitat[ing] memorized snippets of Sunday School 'fact' that leave no room for alternate interpretations" without ever actually telling the reader what my arguments were. It should be understood that the assignment was not just to "read and analyze the Genesis creation story", but to compare that story with another culture's creation tale and understand the distinct traditions. Stonehill insisted on a very literal reading of the Biblical text, which, if accepted as the only proper interpretation, would lead students to believe all Christians believe something that they in fact do not. I did not dismiss her literal reading, but I did try to broaden the discussion by adding the metaphorical interpretation held by many mainline Christians and the academic view that Genesis has four authors and two creation stories. This is what Stonehill dismisses as "obscure religious reasoning" and "isolated, irrelevant examples." How, I ask, can including multiple perspectives be considered "rigid close-mindedness?"

Stonehill's main argument, that religious zealotry has no place in the classroom, is well taken. Unfortunately, in implying that all religion is religious zealotry and focusing the majority of her column on our discussion, she distorts her otherwise valid point. As has been noted in subsequent opinion pieces, we all have different individual perspectives that shape who we are and how we contribute. This diversity can enrich both academic and cultural discussions. Lucy's background and beliefs, whatever they may be, are a welcome addition to the classroom, as should be my own Texas roots and Episcopal views.

This brings me to my larger point, that there is an acute lack of understanding between atheists and people of faith. I do not mean to imply that Stonehill is an atheist – I don't know what her beliefs are – but her article is an effective springboard for the topic. She argues that personal "creeds" should be checked at the classroom door. This suggests that faith is like a winter coat – something that can be worn when appropriate, but shed when things get a little too warm. I beg to differ. My faith is not a lens through which I view the world, but the actual eyes behind that lens, irrevocably attached to the head. I can no more set aside my belief in God than I can set aside my belief that the earth revolves around the sun.

I am reminded of two friends who experienced a painful breakup. Though neither realized it at the time, they grew apart because of faith issues – one was a devote Christian, the other an atheist. The atheist asked the Christian to make certain sacrifices of faith that seemed reasonable, and was offended by the Christian's refusal to make those sacrifices for the sake of their relationship. The atheist did not realize that the existence of God is not something we choose to believe, but something we see when we look around us, as real as the Collis porch. Spirituality is not another idea in the world, spirituality is the world, and we can't prioritize anything above that no matter how much we may want. The only difference I see between telling a Professor I slept through a midterm but still expect an A and telling God I forgot about faith for a few hours but still love Him (or perhaps Her) is that God matters more than any professor.

Yet just as there are things atheists do not understand about people of faith, there may well be things I do not understand about atheists. I will happily discuss the topic with anyone so inclined.

I should also note that I have never called myself a "priest-in-training." While I do hope to become an Episcopal priest, seminary is years away. Given the matter's seriousness and the unpredictable nature of the future, it is something I try not to talk about very often.

Just as I believe in evolution, I also believe that adherence to a particular faith is not a pre-requisite for a happy afterlife. It is in that spirit that I say, no, Lucy, I will see you in Heaven.

New AoA Slate Announced

The AoA's nominating committee has announced their slate of candidates for the coming spring election. The consequences of the vote will be significant, for if the proposed candidates are elected then the lawsuit will surely be dropped.

The Association of Alumni Executive Committee's Nominating Committee, comprised of Bill Hutchinson '76, Kate Aiken '92, Cheryl Bascomb '82, and nonvoting secretary David Spalding '76, has announced the following slate of nominated candidates for the 2008 Association of Alumni election.

Executive Committee Officers: President - John H. Mathias Jr. '69; First Vice President - Cheryl A. Bascomb '82; Second Vice President - Douglas H. Keare '56, '57Th, '57Tu; Secretary/Treasurer - David P. Spalding '76. Executive Committee Members: Marian Zischke Baldauf '84; Veree Hawkins Brown '93; John S. Engelman '68; Ronald G. Harris '71; Kaitlin Jaxheimer '05; Otho E. Kerr, III '79; Ronald B. Schram '64

In addition, the Nominating Committee agreed to nominate any other incumbents who wanted to stand for releection [sic]. As a result, the Nominating Committee announces that these current members of the Association of Alumni Executive Committee are nominated for reelection: Executive Committee Officer: Second Vice President - Frank Gado '58; Executive Committee Members: Martin Boles '80, Marjory Grant Ross '81, Alexander Mooney '93.


Note that those on the Nominating Committee didn't nominate anyone to run against themselves—while they did nominate people to run against other Executive Committee members standing for reelection.

More on the Vi(she)nary in Residence

“Eve Ensler is my ‘She-ro.’”

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bill Doesn't Survive Committee

The New Hampshire House of Representatives Commerce Committee has voted down the bill that would give them control of Dartmouth's Charter by a 14-1 margin. Rep. Mooney, who introduced the bill, said she would try again in another session.

The Daily D's article here.

Also, I interviewed Mooney in November; that interview is here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Because We Don't Really Need Civil Liberties

I am Officer Rivieri!

UPDATE: Rivieri gets suspended (transfered to a paying administrative job), story here.

Culbert's Replacement Found

Joe Malchow is reporting that a replacement for Sheila Culbert has already been found:

Holding forth on its specious view that the problem is the medium, not the message, Dartmouth College has just hired a seasoned public relations expert as its Vice President for Communications, a job held by Bill Walker until the constitution was defeated and by Sheila Culbert until she elected to leave the administration to run a preparatory school.

Diana Pearson, who formerly worked for TIME, Newsweek, and most recently for Martha Stewart Omnimedia, will be anointed the doyenne of 7 Lebanon Street in March of this year. She will oversee the College’s public relations efforts, which at the moment are focused on the court case regarding democracy and parity on the Board of Trustees, James Wright’s legacy, the upcoming Association of Alumni election, the presidential search, and several other matters.

Culbert was Wright's right hand until she left in mid-December to become the head of the Loomis Chaffee School in Connecticut.

UPDATE: The College has just released their press release here.

Eve Ensler

“I was surprised more people weren’t here."

Ensler may have been surprised by the turnout, but I know one rabid fan who loved the whole thing.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Read this Yarn


20080208fitznote.jpg

I've already exhorted readers of Dartlog to read Nick's piece on Fitzgerald once before, but if you haven't made your way over to it, then I hope this post will convince you. Some choice excerpts:

The story of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1939 trip to Dartmouth for Winter Carnival is proverbial, even if the best known version has it simply that the novelist got very drunk in Hanover. Even this condensed form has appeal: the man of letters who does not uphold the supposed dignity of his profession is both comic and tragic. Yet an investigation of the Budd Schulberg papers, recently acquired by Dartmouth College Library, reveals a tale that, fleshed out, gains still more gravity and comic appeal.

It’s a yarn that Schulberg ‘36 related many times in publications, at conferences, and in fictional form in his 1950 novel The Disenchanted. Like any drinking story, it seems to alter with each telling to provide maximum entertainment, usually through emphasis but occasionally in presentation of facts. (Did Schulberg really take Fitzgerald to Psi U or simply feint in that direction?) But Schulberg, the acclaimed novelist of What Makes Sammy Run? and Academy Award-winning screenwriter of On the Waterfront, tells it well each time. What follows is the ‘39 bender according to Schulberg, which is drawn from several accounts and rendered using a combination of quotation and paraphrase. His is the controlling view, since he stuck by Fitzgerald more closely than anyone else during their brief excursion.


20080208fitzletter.jpg

[. . .]

“As we got on the plane, we were still talking,” Schulberg recalled, “We were talking about Edmund Wilson, we were talking about communism, we were talking about the people we knew in common, like Upton Sinclair and Lincoln Steffens. All of this was going on and on. And it would have been great fun if we didn’t have this enormous monkey—more like a gorilla—of Winter Carnival on our backs. We got to sipping champagne through the next hour or so; it was very congenial. It was really fun, I thought, and then we cracked the second bottle of champagne. We went on merrily talking and drinking. Every once in a while we would say, ‘You know, by the time we get to Manhattan we’d better have some kind of a line on this Winter Carnival.’ And we tried all kinds of things; we really did try.”

In Manhattan, they stayed at the Warwick Hotel, where they worked for a bit on the story, to no real end. “Scott,” he said, “You’ve written a hundred short stories, and I’ve written a few: I mean between the two of us we should be able to knock out a damn outline for this story.”

“Yes, we will, we will. Don’t worry, pal. We will, we will,” said Fitzgerald.

[. . .]

We now know, of course, that Fitzgerald was not tired but three sheets to the wind.

Having more or less survived the faculty ordeal, the pair proceeded back to the Inn, where Schulberg encouraged Fitzgerald to take an invigorating nap. He lay down on the bottom bunk, and Schulberg, believing Fitzgerald asleep, snuck off to visit some fraternity chums. Sitting at the fraternity bar not long after this escape, Schulberg felt a tap on his shoulder. It was Fitzgerald.

“I don’t know how he got there or found me, but he did. And he looked so totally out of place. He had on his fedora and his overcoat. He was not in any way prepared either in his clothing or his mind for this Winter Carnival weekend.”

Supporting him by the arm, Schulberg walked Fitzgerald out of the house and down Wheelock street. He seemed suddenly to regain his energy and suggested having a drink at Psi U.

“And when we got to the Inn.... I tried to fool Scott. I was trying to get him back in the room. I said, ‘O.K., Scott, here we are,’ and he realized what I was doing and got very mad at me. We had sort of a tussle and we fell down in the snow, kind of rolled in the snow.” After this was resolved, they decided to visit a coffee shop.

“[At the coffee shop] it was humorous in a way because there were all those kids enjoying Winter Carnival, and everybody was so up, and we were so bedraggled, so down, worried, in despair.” Suddenly, Fitzgerald went into his element, and told “this marvelous detailed, romantic story of a girl in an open touring car (he described how she was dressed). Over the top of the hill is this skier coming down, and she stops the car and looks at him. Scott described it immaculately well.”

Having finished the coffee, they proceeded back to the Hanover Inn, on whose steps loomed—“as in a bad movie—or maybe in the movie we were trying to write” —none other than Walter Wanger, dressed in a white tie and top hat “like Fred Astaire.... He was not a tall man, but standing a step or two above us and with a top hat, he really looked like a Hollywood god staring down at us.”

“I don’t know what the next train out of here is,” Wanger intoned, “but you two are going to be on it.”

“They put us on the train about one o’clock in the morning with no luggage,” Schulberg remembers,” They just threw us on the train.”

The Post, Once Again

Hopefully the last post about the Post for a while: Revolving Door.

Wright and GI Bill of Rights

More in yesterday's papers: the Globe has an article about how the administration has stonewalled the new GI Bill of Rights.

The Pentagon and White House have so far resisted a new GI Bill out of fear that too many will use it - choosing to shed the uniform in favor of school and civilian life.

"The incentive to serve and leave," said Robert Clarke, assistant director of accessions policy at the Department of Defense, may "outweigh the incentive to have them stay."

Such administration objections infuriate the lead advocate in Congress for upgrading GI Bill benefits, US Senator James Webb, Democrat of Virginia. Webb, a Vietnam veteran and the only serving senator with a son who has seen combat in Iraq, said he simply can't understand why veterans struggling to pay for higher education is not on the nation's political radar screen, particularly in the presidential primary season when the war and the economy are both at the center of the debate.

[. . .]

One key player is James Wright, president of Dartmouth College, who believes the current GI Bill is outdated and an insult to combat veterans. A Korean War veteran from a working-class background who tapped the GI Bill to launch his academic career, Wright has helped begin a privately funded program in coordination with the American Council on Education to offer college counseling to veterans and help them find financial aid to supplement the GI Bill.

Efforts by Wright, other academic institutions, and individual philanthropists, such as billionaire financier Jerome Kohlberg, who last year announced a $4 million scholarship fund for veterans, are helping a few soldier-scholars. But only a few.

"There's a moral imperative for us to provide for veterans, and there is a practical benefit to educating these men and women who have served their country," said Wright, who last week announced that he will step down at Dartmouth but plans to continue his advocacy for GIs and an enhanced GI Bill. "For us to be failing to live up to that responsibility is unconscionable."

Fulbright Scholar Degraded by Working in a Bookstore

President of the 2006 class, Jennifer Krimm, in yesterday's Post:

Want Fries with that Frustration?

Sunday, February 10, 2008; Page B08

When I was turned down for a purely administrative job at a nonprofit because the other candidate had a master's degree, I knew that there was something very wrong with the economy. Since reading the Jan. 21 front-page story "Highly Skilled and Out of Work," at least I know that there are others like me.

I moved to Adams Morgan in October convinced that my stint studying al-Jazeera in the Middle East as a Fulbright scholar, my internship at the White House, my public relations experience in Kuwait and my Ivy League education in government and international relations would give me an edge. Yet after months of searching for a job eight hours a day, every day, my savings are gone, I cannot pay the rent and I cannot afford to eat anything more elaborate than fried potatoes a la Tabasco.

Frustrated with the resume-eating abyss that is USAJobs.gov, I sought out career counselors, who advised me to go to the offices, resume in hand, and introduce myself to potential employers. They didn't warn me, however, that Brookings Institution security guards would throw me out of the building for not having a job number on my resume. I learned the hard way that Washington does things a little differently.

I worked my way to Dartmouth College from a Kentucky public school, where one of my advisers told me that a private school was a waste of money because "women only get married and drop out." I ignored that advice and tried harder, working my way to and through Dartmouth. So it's hard for me to ask for help. After a month of heartbreak and frustration, I finally decided to suck it up and ask my contacts for assistance. They tried, but to no avail. I then asked my White House intern friends for help, but since I had changed political sides after my internship, they were not willing to help me.

Looking at my Dartmouth investment banking and consulting friends, I am starting to think I may have made the wrong decision coming to Washington as an idealist. My dreams of someday starting a nonprofit to foster Western and Middle Eastern cultural understanding and to reform public diplomacy through media -- maybe those are dead dreams in this city, especially in this economic slump.

I scored a temporary job long enough to pay my phone bill. Tired of potatoes and fearful of eviction, I am waiting to see whether Borders thinks I'm qualified to work as a cashier. Next on the list are Starbucks and McDonald's. The next time you are craving fast food, keep in mind that an Ivy Leaguer might be asking, "Would you like fries with that?"

When I was turned down for the administrative job, I seriously considered standing at the top of the Farragut North Metro Station during rush hour in a suit, resumes in one hand and a poster listing my qualifications in the other. I haven't done it, but like the economy, I haven't reached rock bottom. Yet.

-- Jennifer Krimm

Washington

I've put my favorite parts in italics. Comment on your favorites below.

Her stellar resume is here, and her blog "Perceptions, Impressions, and (Mis) Conceptions" is here.

(Hat Tip: IvyGate)

UPDATE: A reader writes in to the Post.

Friday, February 08, 2008

New TDR: Fitzgerald at Winter Carnival

There's a new issue of The Dartmouth Review up online, inside:

The College's Homepage is a Bit Misleading

The College's front page still makes no mention of the court's recent decision to deny the College's motion for dismissal. A reader blitzed in and pointed out that, in fact, the front page still says the following:

Dartmouth has asked a New Hampshire court to dismiss the lawsuit seeking to block expansion of the College's Board of Trustees. The College's motion comes in response to a suit by the Dartmouth Association of Alumni.

More information about the lawsuit and the College's response

The Big Pink

>Date: 08 Feb 2008 11:30:29 -0500
>From: Sarah S. Parsons
>Subject: pink!!!
>To: (Recipient list suppressed)

come watch the girls hockey team v. RPI tonight at 7pm.

we are wearing pink jerseys (pretty much they are the coolest things ever) in support of breast cancer and they are auctioning them off after the game so its a great cause.
thanks

**pink attire is encouraged

Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Response to Yesterday's Anti-Religion Op-Ed

I just got a blitz from Nathan Empsall '09, who writes the Wayward Episcopalian blog, in response to my post on Lucy Stonehill '10's condescending op-ed in yesterday's D:
Thanks for your post on Stonehill's op-ed. I can assure you I am no religious zealot (she didn't name me, but it was obvious), as the conservative evangelicals, liberal mainline Protestants, athiest leftists, agnostic Democrats, and fellow NAS majors I know can attest. You will notice that Stonehill never actually describes my arguments or evidence, merely asserting their worthlessness. The full explanation of the class is this: I was actually making an academic point about the multi-author nature of Genesis, suggesting that it can be read metaphorically rather than literally and does not have to conflict with evolution. Stonehill was insisting on a narrow literal reading so that she could push the view that Genesis is a narrow and arrogant text. I did not dismiss her claims, I merely tried to broaden the discussion to include multiple interpretations of the text in order to better understand the diverse array of Judeo-Christian creation beliefs. That may not have fit into her agenda of discrediting faith, but it was very much an academic pursuit in that it prevents students from walking away thinking certain Christians believe things that in reality they do not. I ask, which is more zealous and close-minded? Insistence on one and only one valid interpretation, or a broader approach willing to take into account multiple perspectives? ...I have since learned that the professor who usually teaches the class even teaches the same interpretation of Genesis that I was advancing. I do agree with Stonehill's point about religious zealotry, but in her anti-religion bias, she used a non-zealous irrelevant example to smear a student, portray him as something he is not, and distort her otherwise valid argument.

And for the record, I have never said I am a priest-in-training. It is the career path I am looking at, but the discernment process will not start for years and the "training" years after that. Anything can happen, and I try not to talk about it much.

Nathan

So, yeah, both sides of the story.

The Dartmouth Online: Worthless

It's 8:30 on Thursday, why do they still have Wednesday's paper up? Most daily papers switch over at midnight, I can see them needing a little more time but 8 and a half hours more? Also, the most vexing thing about their newish website is how it's impossible to access archives more than a year old. As "America's oldest college newspaper" you would think that extensive online archives would be a good selling point. Does anyone know if they're going to try fixing the archive problem?

Whaley: They're Missing Out

From Inside Higher Ed:

“The exemption was originally purely for resource reasons,” said Lindsay Whaley, associate dean for international and interdisciplinary programs. About 200 out of the approximately 1,000 Dartmouth freshmen have been granted exemptions each year based on SAT verbal and, in recent years, writing scores. (The cut-off varies each year based on capacity and class size, but last year for instance students needed at least a 740 on both the verbal and writing portions of the test to qualify.) “In a sense, I think it was [perceived as] an honor to be exempted,” Whaley said of the student view. “There was a sense that ‘Wow, this is great.’ From a faculty standpoint, there was a sense that they’re missing out.”

I would observe that most students who have been through the writing program pointedly disagree. The program is a veritable repository of the dregs of the faculty.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Revamping the Primary Process?

Professor Samwick has a post up that endorses a move to 'approval voting' in presidential primaries.

Having watched the primary season unfold from a very nice vantage point, I think that the nomination processes would have been better served by approval voting. From a potentially long list of candidates, voters simply vote for as many of them as they find acceptable. The candidate with the most votes wins.

The main advantage of approval voting is that it allows voters the opportunity to express a preference for more than one candidate. The drawback to approval voting is that it does not provide voters with the opportunity to rank candidates within the set that they find acceptable. With approval voting, we wouldn't see primary voters having to worry about "wasting a vote" in expressing a preference for a candidate who has little chance of achieiving [sic] a plurality. There would be less pressure on candidates to drop out of the race if they don't "win" one of the early states. This is particularly important given how much weight the early primaries seem to have.


Read the whole thing for other ideas on how to improve the primary system.

N.B. This is the system Dartmouth has used in its trustee elections.

SAD: New Website

The Student Assembly is about to begin a long overdue overhaul of their website. Daily D article here.

Another Questionable Op-Ed in the D...

I disapprove of religious zealotry, to be sure, but does it really pose that large of a threat to the Dartmouth educational experience? I had no idea that our College on a Hill was overrun with Christian fundamentalists due to our campus being too tolerant of religion. Lucy Stonehill '10 calls out a religious classmate in her Daily Dartmouth op-ed today and writes:
If, however, [her classmate] had endeavored to detach his reasoning from his personal creed and emotion, he would have understood — if only minimally — the critical comments of his peers. Furthermore, he would not have had to frantically rack his brain in order to regurgitate the memorized snippets of Sunday School “fact” that leave no room for alternate interpretations of God’s benevolence. Such feeble attempts to defend the sacred book were blatant acts of religious apology — in other words, denial. More importantly, however, they solidified an already existing belief of mine — namely, that expressing religious zeal is antithetical to academic learning... The undue “tolerance” we have for the imposition of religion upon any secular educational institutions — let alone those with Dartmouth’s outstanding academic reputation — is a troubling phenomenon that can only inhibit learning.
It's not that I disagree with her, per se -- obviously, there's a huge difference between religion studies and religious evangelism, and it's generally agreed upon that religion should largely be kept out of public schools. But... is this a problem at Dartmouth at all? I feel bad for her classmate, even if he is a religious zealot and thus (it seems to follow...) worthy of our utter contempt.

A Note on Nota Bene

Dartlog is pleased to announce that the 'Nota Bene' section of this blog is up and running again after its long hiatus. Articles from the internet will be regularly posted in this section (on the right-hand side of your screen) for your perusing pleasure.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Post reports on College's Suit and Wright's Retirement

From today's Post, I quote in full:

Court Keeps Dartmouth Suit Alive

NORTH HAVERHILL, N.H. -- A New Hampshire superior court denied a request from Dartmouth College to dismiss a lawsuit by alumni unhappy with changes to the school's rules for governing itself. The trustees voted in September to double the number of board-appointed trustees, prompting a lawsuit by the alumni association. Separately, Dartmouth President James Wright announced that he will step down in 2009 after almost 40 years at the Hanover school.

Haldeman Denies Connection

Chairman of the Board of Trustees denies any connection between the timing of the court ruling and President Wright's decision to announce the timing his resignation:

“The governance issues had no impact on Jim Wright’s decision,” Haldeman said in an interview with The Dartmouth.

Summary of What Exactly the Court Ruled On

The College raised three points in their motion for dismissal. The judge denied all three. Here's a 'cliff notes' version of his decision:

  1. The Board’s action in 1891 was legitimate because it was ratified by both the Board and the Association.
  2. The Association has established sufficient evidence “to proceed with a claim for an implied in fact contract."
  3. The Association has an established claim in promissory estoppel.
From what little I understand about lawsuits*, this current ruling means that if in the 'actual trial' the Association of Alumni can prove that all three of the above points are 'actually' true then they are entitled to relief. At this stage the judge has basically assumed that all three points are true; the Association's job is now to prove that they are, in fact, true.

*Not much.

UPDATE: There's some confusion on whether the Association will have to prove all three points or just one of them. See first comment.

Op-Ed on Financial Aid Repackaging

This is significantly less exciting than the news over President Wright's resignation and the recent court ruling on the College's Motion to Dismiss, but still worth mentioning: The Daily Dartmouth published an utterly baffling editorial today in the opinion section about Dartmouth's recent improvements in its financial aid policy.

Tina Prapotnik '09 writes:
"... Dartmouth still remains out of reach for many students capable of succeeding here. The new financial aid plan — though a major improvement to its predecessor — is still far from making a Dartmouth education universally accessible. In fact, this plan’s mass appeal will make a Dartmouth degree even more elusive; a growing and increasingly competitive applicant pool will ensure that Dartmouth remains one of the most exclusive American institutions."
And:
"Let’s stop pretending: The new plan does not make it much easier for students to be here. For every student who has succeeded at the Dartmouth admissions roulette, there are seven who have not. That number will be even higher or the Class of 2013."
And:
"The new financial aid initiative helps ameliorate — but not eliminate — the role that financial need plays as one of many factors determining whether a student can become a part of the Dartmouth community. A student can have it all; he may be a great person, a great scholar, a great athlete and a great community activist. Still, he may not have the opportunity to attend Dartmouth. The College’s limited capacity and opaque admissions process continue to buttress the insurmountable walls of our ivory tower."

So... the new financial aid plan can't solve the problem of Dartmouth's exclusion of economically-disadvantaged applicants because the admissions process is still *academically* exclusive? Nobody is trying to make Dartmouth "universally accessible" to everyone in the world -- if Dartmouth did not employ a selective admissions process, its quality of eduation would suffer greatly. Rather, the new financial aid plan aims to make Dartmouth "universally accessible" to everyone in the world bright enough, and qualified enough, to gain acceptance to the College.

The author seems to miss the point: the goal of the new financial aid package is not to make it "much easier for [mediocre or reasonably good] students to be here", but to make it "much easier for [excellent, regardless of economic background] students to be here." Honestly, is promoting meritocracy so wrong?

Of course, theories abound as to how economic background may influence how "qualified" a college applicant appears, but the author makes no mention of them: she conflates economic exclusiveness with academic exclusiveness with no explanation for her reasoning.

P.S. Does Tina Prapotnik '09 even exist? Her name, or any variation thereof, does not appear in the Dartmouth Name Directory, and a Google search yields only the D article and a few quiz bowl sites. I'd guess that this is a handy pseudonym for some staff columnist at large (a la "Sandra Himen"), but the other search results seem to indicate otherwise...

UPDATE: The Daily D spelled Praprotnik's name wrong. —A.S.

College Buries News of Court's Ruling

The College now has its take on the court's decision online; yet it still has not linked to it from its homepage, as is customary with news concerning Dartmouth.

Monday, February 04, 2008

GRAFTON COUNTY DENIES COLLEGE'S MOTION TO DISMISS

This news came down from the court before President Wright announced his intention of resigning in the summer of 2009. The motion, just now coming to light, was actually released on Feb. 1. Needless to say, the College's delay in informing the Dartmouth Community (the College itself has yet to do so) looks like a ploy to get Wright's retirement in the news before the court news, thereby steming speculation that this is what finally drove Wright to his decision. The court's opinion can be downloaded for parsing here:


College.Motion.Denied.PDF

Letter from Haldeman

In addition, here is a letter from the Board Chair Ed Haldeman '70 concerning President Wright's announcement.

Dear Members of the Dartmouth Community,

Jim Wright has informed the Board of Trustees of his intention to step down as Dartmouth's President in June 2009. For Jim, this will mark a total of 11 years as President and 40 years at the College, which also included distinguished service as a Professor of History, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Provost.

Throughout that time, Jim has been a tireless advocate for Dartmouth. Jim's passion and vision have helped Dartmouth build on its rich and unique heritage to remain the pre-eminent undergraduate liberal arts college in the country, while becoming an even more vibrant and diverse community of learning and scholarship.

Jim's leadership has strengthened Dartmouth in many ways. He spearheaded efforts to enhance the student and academic experience - strengthening interdisciplinary studies, expanding off-campus programs, keeping Dartmouth at the forefront of using technology in the classroom and expanding both undergraduate and professional school faculty. His commitment to undergraduate education helped significantly lower the student-faculty ratio and raise student satisfaction to an all-time high.

During Jim's tenure, Dartmouth attracted a record number of applicants. The class of 2011 is one of the most talented and diverse in Dartmouth history. Jim also made it a personal priority to ensure that Dartmouth could attract superb students without regard for their financial means by more than doubling the amount of money we spend on undergraduate
financial aid.

As anyone walking around campus can attest, Jim also presided over a dramatic revitalization of our facilities. More than a billion dollars will have been invested in new and renovated buildings during his presidency. This has included nine new dormitories as well as spectacular new academic centers, social spaces, and sports facilities. Finally, Jim has worked tirelessly to ensure that Dartmouth has a strong financial foundation on which to continue pursuing its mission. Jim and Susan's constant travels for Dartmouth have helped the College to double both our annual fundraising and the College's endowment, which now stands at $3.75 billion. The progress in this area was highlighted by two recent milestones: December proved to be the best month of fundraising in Dartmouth's long history, and in January, the College announced that we had raised more than $1 billion toward the $1.3 billion goal of the "Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience."

It won't surprise anyone who knows Jim that he still has much he intends to accomplish at Dartmouth. His ambitious goals for the remainder of his presidency include the successful completion of the capital campaign, further expansion in the size and quality of the faculty, breaking ground on the new dining hall to replace Thayer, the Class of 1953 Commons at the McLaughlin Cluster, the Visual Arts Center, and the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center, and a variety of initiatives to continue enhancing the student and academic experience.

Finding the best possible person to build on Jim's legacy at Dartmouth will obviously be a top priority for the Board in the coming year, and we will discuss the search process at our next meeting in March. I will provide you with more information on the search process following the board meeting, but I can assure you that hearing the views of faculty, staff, students, and alumni will be a critically important part of the search process.

Both Jim and Susan - who herself has served Dartmouth for nearly thirty years, including in her current role as the Director of the Montgomery Endowment - have enriched Dartmouth and generations of students in countless ways big and small. On behalf of the Board and the entire Dartmouth community, I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to Jim and Susan for all they have done and continue to do for Dartmouth and its students. Jim's tenure is not over - and his legacy has not been written - but both are as strong and vibrant as Dartmouth is today.

Sincerely,

Ed Haldeman '70

President Wright to Step Down in June 2009

Ed Haldeman '70 just sent out a community-wide blitz with the following letter from President Wright:

Dear Friends,

I am writing to let you know that I have informed the Board of Trustees of my intention to step down as President of Dartmouth in June of 2009, following commencement and reunions. By that time, I will have been at Dartmouth for 40 years as both a faculty member and administrator - having served as Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences, as Provost, and, since 1998, as the 16th President of the College. It has been an extraordinary experience that I shall always cherish, and a true privilege about which I feel a profound sense of humility.

At this moment, I am filled with rich memories - memories jarred by the quick passage of time and marked by the good fortune I feel. They are memories of the students in my history classes with whom I have learned, the faculty colleagues who bring to this College a remarkable commitment to teaching and research, the dedicated staff and administrators who daily contribute to the strength of Dartmouth, alumni and alumnae whose loyalty and support of our College are legendary, and this current generation of students who daily energize me - and Dartmouth - anew. I am continually inspired by memories of Presidents Dickey, Kemeny, McLaughlin, and Freedman. And, I am grateful to the Trustees with whom I have served; they are remarkably generous and selfless contributors to the work of the College.

But between now and June of 2009, I do not intend to dwell on memory - as enjoyable as that is. There is still much to do. Over the next months I will work to achieve the goals of the "Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience"; advance our pending capital projects; grow our faculty and support their priorities; implement our Sophomore Summer initiative; help Dean of the College Tom Crady and our students address the need for new social spaces; help recruit the Classes of 2012 and 2013 - and position Dartmouth to continue enrolling and educating the most talented students in higher education. Finally, Susan and I hope always to maximize our time with current students, sharing in their aspirations, being inspired by their accomplishments, and cheering their artistic and athletic endeavors.

By June 2009, I believe we will have made substantial progress on many of the strategic priorities I think most important for Dartmouth. And, as much as I enjoy serving Dartmouth in my current role, I believe that every institution can benefit from periodic new leadership and fresh ideas. I am announcing my decision now in order to provide the Board with ample time to organize and pursue a search for my successor. I will not be part of the search process but I stand ready to do whatever the Board requests to assist with recruiting Dartmouth's 17th President.

Beyond June 2009, I plan to spend much of my time continuing my work supporting
wounded veterans and encouraging returning servicemen and women, to whom I feel a great sense of gratitude, to pursue higher education. I intend to reacquaint myself with the study of history, and will take some time organizing my papers and archives as well as pursuing some writing projects. Susan and I will also take the time to catch our breath, enjoy some travel, and spend more than fleeting moments with our seven grandchildren.

For now, Susan is in the midst of an exciting schedule of visitors invited by the
Montgomery Endowment, which she directs, and is completing thirty years of service to Dartmouth working with students and encouraging their dreams.

Of course during this time and forever more, Susan and I will do whatever we can to
advance the work of this College on the Hill. That is a story that has no end and a
commitment that has neither conditions nor boundaries.

Thanks to so many of you for your personal friendship, energy and encouragement. Over the next 16 months and for the lifetime that will follow, Susan and I look forward to continuing to work with you and expressing our appreciation for all that you do.

Sincerely,

James Wright

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Grab your Shovel; Head to the Green

>Date: 03 Feb 2008 13:41:36 -0500
>From: Winter Carnival
>Reply-To: WCC
>Subject: SAVE A DARTMOUTH TRADITION
>To: [redacted]

Hey kids, we're facing a SCULPTURE EMERGENCY. We need your help to save this Dartmouth tradition!

A few devoted souls have put countless hours into the sculpture, but we're now running 2 DAYS BEHIND SCHEDULE. Opening ceremonies is a on Thursday - we need to get going!

Grab some friends and head out to the Green @ now for 20 minutes, an hour, whatever - even just a few buckets helps a lot!

We'll see you out there!
The Chairs

Friday, February 01, 2008

Prof. Hart Profiled in the Valley News

The Valley News has an excellent profile on Professor Hart in today's paper.

Lyme -- Jeffrey Hart sat at his kitchen table in slippers, reading Barack Obama's words aloud. The retired Dartmouth professor, a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, wore on his shirt an artifact of the 1900 Republican presidential ticket -- a McKinley-Roosevelt pin.

“I am not opposed to all wars,” Hart intoned, quoting a 2002 speech before the Illinois State Legislature in which Obama, then a state senator, had warned of the perils of invading Iraq. “I'm opposed to dumb wars.” Looking up from the page, Hart nodded his approval.

“Very Burkian,” he said, referring to the 18th century Irish political writer Edmund Burke, hailed by many as the founder of modern conservatism. “Prudential. A sense of history, and what we're up against there.”

Hart wore another campaign pin on his shirt: It displayed a now-familiar rising sun, and the words Obama '08.

The 2008 presidential campaign has not been short on surprises, some of which have confounded the physics of the political universe: former Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Lieberman endorsing GOP front-runner John McCain, or Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Capitol Hill veteran, spurning the Clinton machine to support Obama's upstart candidacy.

But even in this unsettled campaign season, the conversion of Hart -- speechwriter for two Republican presidents, former writer for the National Review, and patron saint of the notorious Dartmouth Review -- to Obama's banner is cause for a double take. Nancy Hart said she believes her husband is emblematic of a larger class of old-school Republicans disenchanted with the status quo.

“People who are disgusted with Bush,” she said. “A lot of them are.”

I encourage you to read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Numerous blogs take notice. Andrew Sullivan, Andrew Samwick, Snarksmith, The New Republic's Plank, and the Drudge Report.

UPDATE: The guys at Powerline reminisce about Prof. Hart.

Kevin Bacon Plays Pong at AD

Having not ponied up the money to go see him at the Hop, I was unable to attend the after party at AD—and reading the short notice about Bacon in the Daily D earlier this week did nothing to make me regret my choice. Yet seeing pictures of a B-side movie star in the basement of AD piqued my interest:

2008-01-29-kevinbaconpongnew.jpg


Julia Plevin '09 has a piece up at the Huffington Post chronicling the event:

After viewing several carefully snipped movie clips, Bacon himself came out on the stage to accept the framed certificate that is the Dartmouth Film Society's award. I could not help but wonder what he was thinking as he accepted this award; "great, I can add this to my resume under the 'Awards Received' section," or "some actors accept Emmys, I accept certificates...what is my life coming to?" Either way, he feigned gratitude and attempted to make a speech, but cut it short by saying, "like politicians, my best speeches are written for me. I'm better at the question and answer part."

The awkward recent Dartmouth alum [Michael Amico '07] picked up on cue and transitioned into the Q&A part of the evening. His first question was not so smooth, "So here you are, Kevin, accepting this award at an Ivy League institution when you did not even go to college. Do you regret your decision to never obtain higher education?" The irony was that Bacon stars in the infamous college movie, Animal House, that is based on one of Dartmouth's most disgusting yet most alluring and popular fraternities. Bacon claimed that he did not regret his decision because he knew what he wanted to do with this life and did not need to spend four years "discovering" his passions. As a junior with no idea what I want to do after college, I fully respect and admire Bacon's decision. He did claim that sometimes he "felt like a dummy" and the whole snotty Ivy League crowd chuckled with an air of arrogance.

[. . .]

There was an after-party at the very frat that was made famous in Animal House. The party was for ticket-holders only and the frat looked cleaner than it ever had before. There was a real bar serving legitimate beers instead of Keystone Light and an array of little sandwiches. Students were standing around mingling as Bacon made his entrance. He was short, but all his vanity paid off because he was quite attractive for a forty-something. The president of the fraternity took him on a tour of house and the crowd followed. The tour ended in the basement where the theme song of Footloose was playing in his honor. While Bacon did not seem interested in the music or dancing, he was willing to play a game of pong, the official drinking game of Dartmouth College. Bacon seemed to have a knack for the game and even sunk the ping-pong ball into a cup of beer with his paddle a few times. I have never seen so many people watching a game of pong. Students swarmed around, taking photos with their cell phones and laughing. He probably thought us students were so lame, but we were excited to have a Hollywood star taking part in classic Dartmouth drunken revelry
Read the whole thing here.

More pictures of Bacon, paddle in hand, at IvyGate.

(Photo courtesy of the Huffington Post.)