Monday, March 31, 2008

Admissions Office Sends Out Letters Today

This year's admissions' numbers are in. Some facts:
  • A 16.6% increase in applicants over last year
  • An admission rate of 13.2%
  • 38.5% were valedictorians
  • Mean SATs: 726 for Verbal; 731 for Math; 726 for Writing
  • 43% are minorities—highest percent of admitted minorities in school's history
  • 14.8% are first generation college students
  • 51% are projected to need financial aid
  • 179 international students from 59 countries
  • 10 more women than men
The full press release is here.

Typo Eradication Advancement League

A couple of '02s have set out on a cross-country trek in the name of grammar. Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson are making their way across America, the Globe explains:

They seek, in short, to do for America's public signage what spell-check software has done for interoffice e-mail: smarten it up and make it easier on the eye. Their weapons: Wite-Out, markers, ink pens, tape, and nerves of steel.

"I figured, Steinbeck had his dog and Kerouac had his drugs. I'd have my typos," said the 28-year-old Deck of what he calls his Typo Hunt Across America tour.

You can follow their journey on their website, here.

P.S. Also in today's Globe: Dartmouth is one of three New England schools making an appearance at the Association of College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational.

P.P.S. Ironically, Deck's quote has a problem of its own: it's missing a comma after "dog" and before "and"—at least that would be the standard way of writing it.

SA Statement: Lee Cooper

Lee Cooper
SA Presidential Candidate

I am running for the position of Dartmouth’s Student Assembly President because I believe that a fresh, strong, and practical leader can make Dartmouth a more vibrant place by alleviating many of the chronic problems that plague our campus.

Campus controversies arise not merely ideological clashes, but more often are communication failures. As President, I will lead an Assembly that realizes and repairs the gaping holes in communication that exist not only among different social and academic spheres on campus, but especially between the student body, administration and alumni.

The average Dartmouth student has little interest in or respect for the Assembly, and I hope to transform that apathy into excitement by improving campus communications. Simple changes in the ways we collaborate and communicate will breed the transparency and efficacy that the Assembly has long strived for.

First, the Assembly must continue to develop and improve the programs that affect our daily lives. We can improve Greenprint by adding new stations, providing staplers at each printer, and allowing for color printing costs to be covered by flex accounts rather than Dash. We can offer laundry detergent in all ORL laundry rooms. We can place vending machines with over-the-counter meds in accessible campus locations such as Novak.

Similarly, we can work more arduously than ever before to rewrite college policies that would make any policy-maker’s head spin. Our current SEMP policy is too complex and impractical, with unrealistic regulations and a complete disregard for Greek houses’ desire to move towards sustainability. Additionally, the current system of outrageously priced parking tickets provides no incentive for students to register their cars, depriving the College of any revenues from the fines.

These sorts of student life improvements will continue under my leadership, but in no way are they my end goals.

I look forward to initiating institutional changes that will strengthen Student Assembly as an advocate for all Dartmouth students by bridging the gaps the divide us. To confront Assembly’s well-documented history of poor and unrepresentative membership, I propose a merger of Student Assembly and COSO. COSO serves as a representative cross-section of our campus and a merger would offer the Assembly the benefits of a diverse membership while offering COSO organizations a centralized forum in which to collaborate on projects and initiatives.

Finally, this campus is lacking a voice in the most important governing body of the College—the Board of Trustees. Countless universities across the country empower the elected student body leader with a seat on their Board of Trustees. This serves as both a gesture of transparency, as well as a practical step forward by infusing student input into the highest levels of governance. As SA President I will work tirelessly to gain a student voice on the Board of Trustees.

Dartmouth is at a historic turning point as the search for a new President commences just as alienated alumni challenge the College’s decisions over the governance structure. The student body needs a bold leader who can rise to the occasion in the face of these challenges. Dartmouth students deserve a student body president who will both push forward improvements in student life and provide a powerful advocacy voice for the entire campus. I hope to be that leader.

SA Election Under Way

Best quote so far?
[Stevenson] said that he is “the only person at [the Assembly] who isn’t there for ego or to bolster their resume.”


Stay tuned to Dartlog for candidate statements, coverage of the debates, and more.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Review Alumni Tackle Real-life Tragic Heroes

TDR Alumnus Benjamin Wallace-Wells has penned the cover story for the latest issue of the New York Times Magazine, illuminating the tribulations of Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole, the man charged with salvaging the Congressional GOP as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.  The story is a lengthy but worthwhile tragedy, in which the hero seems to have only a nominal chance of victory in November, and whose journey is plagued by episodes as formidable as the following:
Many conservative activists have become so dissatisfied with the party’s heresies, particularly on immigration and government spending, that as Cole’s staff took over, the committee’s fund-raising pleas were being ignored and, on at least one occasion, returned in an envelope stuffed with feces.

James Panero, meanwhile, gives us a piece that is in turns comical and dispiriting, about Larry Salander, a "gallerist" with a penchant for profanity whose efforts to invert the artistic market and give the works of old-masters greater worth than the Warhols resulted in the following:


It was an intriguing idea, but it left him in ruin. On the opening evening of a show he hoped would electrify the market, angry investors closed down his multimillion-dollar gallery. A restraining order prevented Salander from entering the gallery or selling art anywhere in the world. He now faces a criminal investigation and lawsuits from investors who say they were abused, collectors who say they didn’t get what they paid for, and artists who say they never got paid. He could be upwards of $100 million in debt. As our lunch filled the afternoon, Salander spoke for the first time about his plan to rescue the art world from bad taste, and how it ultimately destroyed him.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Daily D: VT Should Protect Dartmouth Students From Themselves

Verbum Ultimum is a real winner today. The Daily Dartmouth's Editorial Board argues that because Dartmouth students are prone to drunk driving, the state of Vermont shouldn't change its drinking age. Nice. Then, at the end, they throw in this little tid-bit:

Putting aside the disastrous consequences the new law would have for Hanover, unilaterally lowering the drinking age in any single state is a decidedly bad idea. At present, American society is not adequately equipped to deal with the repercussions of making alcohol readily available to high school students. While many proponents of lowering the drinking age point to Europe as an example of success, they fail to consider the deep cultural differences that make teenage access to alcohol incredibly more problematic in the United States. Namely, American teens are less interested in having a glass of red wine to match their dinner than shotgunning cheap beer in their parents’ basements.

I wonder why that is? Is it possible that, in the states, drinking for drunkenness' sake has anything to do with the illicit nature of alcohol? No, of course not. According to the Daily D's brilliant analysis, the people most able to teach teenagers about responsible drinking are not their parents, but rather their post-21-years-old friends.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ludlow '06 on Podium for GS at U.S. Nationals

Libby Ludlow

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine -- Bellevue native Libby Ludlow finished third in the women's giant slalom as the U.S. Alpine Championships ended Wednesday in a steady snowfall.

The names of the first- and second-place finishers were almost identical, and so were their results, as Lauren Ross beat Laurenne Ross with a come-from-behind effort.

Lauren Ross had been fifth after the first run, but charged through the second heat to finish in 2 minutes, 15.22 seconds for both runs and overtake Laurenne Ross, the first-run leader who had a combined time of 2:15.31.

Ludlow, the 2004 U.S. giant slalom champ, World Cup veteran and 2006 Olympian who attends Dartmouth for one academic quarter per year, finished in 2:15.7

More here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lambert '90 to replace Merkel

Jim Merkel's replacement has been found. Kathy Fallon Lambert '90 will be the College's new sustainability manager. Among her bright ideas: indoctrinating the students as soon as they step foot on campus. Why not, it has worked for the NADs.

College press release here.

"Dartmouth Undying"

Dartmouth Undying has not responded to questions put to it by The Dartmouth Review, so check out today's article in the Daily D for more information on them:

A new organization opposed to the ongoing Association of Alumni lawsuit against the College has endorsed a slate of candidates for the upcoming Association elections. These candidates have said they would work to end the suit.

The organization, Dartmouth Undying, has drawn criticism from opponents who believe it has engaged in “push-polling” and who speculate that it has received assistance from the College.

Read on here.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Goeglein Still Plagiarizing, Beck '04 Weighs In


TDR alumnus Stefan Beck '04 weighs in at Pajamas Media on the plagiarism scandal involving Timothy Goeglein and Jeffrey Hart:

These words, along with several subsequent paragraphs, were cut from a 1998 Dartmouth Review essay by Professor Emeritus Jeffrey Hart. As a former editor of The Dartmouth Review and an admirer of Prof. Hart, I was disappointed by his reaction to Goeglein’s apology: “I told him I was flattered he’d used it. It doesn’t damage him in my estimation at all. I’m glad he spread the word.” He told the Review that it should “take a bow” for publishing material good enough to get noticed. (Now imagine your Merc’s been stolen, and a cop is patting you on the back for having owned such a desirable automobile.)

[. . .]

I doubt that Prof. Hart was aware, when he made his comments, of the extent of the cutting and pasting. According to Nancy Nall, Goeglein lifted lengthy passages from such distinguished writers as Eric Ormsby, Jonathan Yardley, and, believe it or not, the Pope. (The opening line of Goeglein’s tribute to William F. Buckley Jr., “Friendship, at its best, is a foretaste of heaven,” was taken, I just now determined, from Aelred of Rievaulx, the patron saint of bladder-stone sufferers. You can’t make this stuff up.) I don’t believe that Prof. Hart would have granted Goeglein the same indulgence had he known the truth. He’d have seen that, to borrow from Ms. Nall, Goeglein “is a man who simply thought he’d found the perfect place to satisfy his need to be an intellectual — a paper hardly anyone reads.”

Read the whole thing here.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

NRO Praises Wright

Here:
James Wright, president of Dartmouth College and a former Marine, has helped set up counseling services at military hospitals for wounded veterans, as reported in the Christian Science Monitor. The services are meant to facilitate entry into college for the vets, particularly when they are unable to return to their former work.

Wright was "simultaneously troubled and inspired" by the sacrifices of our men during the Battle of Fallujah in November 2004. He began to visit military hospitals, where the soldiers would ask him for advice. This prompted him to work with the American Council on Education to raise money. Now services are operative at several military hospitals and have helped over 100 former servicemen to go to college or take courses.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Changing the Guard

Nick and Thad had a great year at the helm of the paper. There were many memorable articles and issues. I think only David Brooks can rival Nick's ability to write consistently fresh and completely interesting editorials. It's a gift that, people who read newspapers can attest, few have, but Nick is undoubtedly one of them. Thad took over the presidency in the wake of the Indian scandal and has done great work on updating our archives, fixing the subscriber list, and just generally keeping our finances in order.

Good luck to Emily Ghods and Weston Sager (who will be Editor-in-Chief and President respectively); I know they'll do great.

Mathias: So, I do not think parity is a good idea at all.

I'm front-paging this anonymous comment from the post immediately below this one:


John Mathias recently had this to say about elections conducted by his fellow alumni, and the role of alumni in helping provide oversight of the College:

I have come to the view that "parity" is not a good thing, driven principally by the abusive electioneering and demagoguery of the last two petition trustees [Smith and Robinson/Zywicki?], the slating done by the Hanover Institute, the formation and financing of petitioner candidate slates by the Hanover Institute for election to the AoA EC, the acceptance by the Hanover Institute of non-Dartmouth financial support, the egregious misconduct of Trustee Zywicki (who should never have become a Dartmouth Trustee under any credible system of selection), and the ideas currently being advanced by the likes of Mr. Gale that alumni trustees should somehow "steer the Board"--among other things.

So, I do not think parity is a good idea at all.
....
By john mathias '69, at 11/16/2007 9:53 AM

Posted by Anonymous AnonymousMarch 12, 2008 8:22 AM

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dartmouth Undying: We Know Your Head Hurts, Just Trust Us

Us thinking about you.


I've commented before how John Mathias, Jr. '69, nominee for AoA president, doesn't have a high opinion of his fellow alumni's intellectual caliber. He's commented multiple times over at the AoA's blog about how his poor fellow alumni get duped by the forces of evil (this paper and others) into thinking preposterous thoughts. You know what? He's right. Honestly, it's obvious to all of us in the know (like Mr. Mathias and myself) that the proposed constitution didn't hurt the chances of petition trustees. Can't you all see? Making the petition candidates hand in their petitions before the official candidates are announced actually works in their favor! We (Mr. Mathias and myself) can't believe you would actually think that petition candidates decide whether or not to run based on who the official nominees are! Obviously they've been planning to run for years—ever since women were admitted actually (which just goes to show how extreme they are in the cases of Messrs. Robinson, Zywicki, and Smith). Also, there's all this talk about Dartmouth becoming Harvard-lite; a sort of Pepsi to their Coke. Well, we love Pepsi! Sure, when we were younger we liked Coke. We really wanted to 'drink' Coke after high school graduation, but sometimes—even when you put in your best effort—life hands you a pile of rocks and you have to end up drinking Pepsi. But you know what? Pepsi starts to grow on you, and pretty soon you become a Pepsi partisan. In fact, the only thing not to like about Pepsi is that it doesn't taste like Coke, if you catch our drift. So all of this Harvard-lite talk is nonsense—once we have more world class research institutions set up in Hanover the rest of the world will be calling Harvard Dartmouth-lite. Who will be laughing then? But this beautiful dream will never be realized if we, as alumni, keep getting bogged down in details of votes instead of just voting how our representatives at the Alumni Council vote. Now there's a smart group of folks; only one of them voted against the constitution. You know what that tells us? They know what's best for everyone: petition candidates and real candidates alike. Unfortunately, the alumni of Dartmouth get duped all the time into thinking that we want to change Dartmouth. Preposterous! You know what brings more change? More elections! That's right, we're fighting for the forces of good folks, Mr. Mathias and me, we're doing it; we're walking the walk. We know this stuff "seems really complicated" and is "all very confusing." We know you all have been tricked before, but we're here to tell you 'Don't get tricked again!' It's easy. Just vote for who we tell you to. Is it really that hard to understand?

Hat Tip: Jake Baron '10

Sorority Housing

6 Webster Ave.

This managed to slip through the cracks at the end of last week:

The Office of Residential Life is considering the purchase of five properties from the College’s Real Estate Office, two of which could become new physical plants for Alpha Xi Delta and Alpha Phi sororities. The properties — located on East Wheelock, North Park Street and South Park Street — may also be used to house an eighth sorority, which could appear on campus next year.

The locations are still rather far from the center of campus (from what I gather), but they are able to house more students than the previously proposed houses on South Park.

Full article here.

Monday, March 10, 2008

God and Man at Dartmouth


Bob Englehart on why God is an alumnus of Dartmouth, here.

Hockey Updates

The men's team got thrashed 6-0 by Cornell on Sunday night. Their season is over. The women have advanced into the final eight of the NCAA tournament; however, they are the eighth seed, so they will be taking on number one ranked Harvard in Cambridge next Saturday. If they win that game, they will advance to the frozen four—hosted by the University of Minnesota Duluth this year.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Dartmouth Falls Just Short of Podium at NCAAs

We were just four points short of third place; Dartmouth has been in the top five for five years in a row. Press release below.

For immediate release
March 8, 208 [sic]

CHODOUNSKY'S SLALOM THIRD PACES BIG GREEN TO FOURTH AT NCAA
CHAMPIONSHIPS

BOZEMAN, MT – Senior David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) closed out his stellar Dartmouth career with a third place finish in the men's slalom Saturday at the NCAA Men's and Women's Skiing Championships, pacing the Big Green to a fourth place finish in the team standings.

Chodounsky, who won the NCAA slalom title as a freshman in 2005, sat in sixth place after the first run, but vaulted three places in the second run to finish 1.05 seconds behind Denver's John Buchar, to took the title in 1:42.10. Denver's Seppi Stiegler, the younger brother of U.S. Ski Team star Resi Stiegler, was second. The title was Buchar's second of the championships: he won the men's giant slalom Thursday.

Other Dartmouth finishers were freshman Ace Tarberry (North Conway, NH) in 19th place and sophomore Francis Fortin-Houle (Repentigny, QUE) in 30th.

In the women's slalom earlier Saturday. . . Big Green sophomore Hayley Jones (Whitehouse, NJ) was the Big Green's top finisher, just missing All America honors in 11th place. Senior Michelanne Shields (Colorado Springs, CO) was 20th; freshman Courtney Hammond (Mercer Island, WA) was 23rd.

Dartmouth, the defending national champion, held it's fourth-place slot from Friday to the final team standings – best among Eastern schools competing in the Championships. Denver, which stood in second place going into Saturday's slalom, rode Buchar's win, Stiegler's second, and Lathrop's third to overtake rival Colorado for the team title. Denver finished with 649.6. Colorado was second with 619, Utah was third with 550, just four points better than the Big Green with 546. This is the fifth-straight year that the Big Green has finished in the top five.

Dartmouth returns to Hanover with one NCAA champion: junior Glenn Randall (Collbran, CO), who won the men's 10-kilometer freestyle cross country race on Wednesday. The Big Green also garnered six All American nods: in addition to Randall and Chodounsky, seniors Elsa Sargent (Orleans, VT) and Susan Dunklee (Barton, VT) and freshman Rosie Brennan (Park City, UT) all notched top-10 finishes in cross country. Brennan is Dartmouth's only double All American, with top-10 finishes in both the freestyle and classical technique races.

Playoff Hockey

>Date: 08 Mar 2008 21:59:33 -0500
>From: Dartmouth Sports Network
>Subject: Listen to Dartmouth Men's Hockey tomorrow at 7pm!
>To: (Recipient list suppressed)

Rather than drive 6 hours to Cornell tomorrow to see the follow up to Dartmouth's 5-3 victory over the Big Red,

Tune in to 99Rock at 99.3 on the FM Dial, AM 1340 WDCR or listen online at www.dartmouthsportsradio.net

Game is at 7pm tomorrow, a do or die situation for advancing in ECAC play.

Friday, March 07, 2008

XC Skiing Continues to Place Well

I just received this from the team's PR guy:
For immediate release
March 7, 2008

DARTMOUTH WOMEN DOMINATE CROSS COUNTRY; BIG GREEN MOVES TO FOURTH PLACE

BOZEMAN, MT – With all three women finishing in the top 10 of
Friday's cross country race, the Big Green of Dartmouth have moved up
to fourth place in the team standings at the NCAA Men's and Women's
Skiing Championships.

Senior Elsa Sargent (Orleans, VT) posted her best-ever NCAA finish,
taking fourth place in the 15-kilometer classical race at Bohart
Ranch. Sargent was followed by classmate Susan Dunklee (Barton, VT)
in sixth place and freshman Rosie Brennan (Park City, UT) in seventh.
Colorado's Maria Grevsgaard won her second race of the championships,
taking the classical race in 55:04.6. New Mexico's Polina Ermoshina
was second; Denver's Antje Maempel was third.

In the men's 20-kilometer classical race, Big Green junior Glenn
Randall, who won the men's freestyle race Wednesday, finished 11th.
Sophomore Patrick O'Brien finished 32nd and freshman Nils Koons was
35th. Alaska-Fairbanks' Marius Korthauer, the runner up behind
Randall in the freestyle, won Friday's classical in 1:03:07.6.
Colorado's Kit Richmond was second, followed by Vermont's Juergen Uhl.

With their top-10 finishes, Sargent, Dunklee, and Brennan all earned
All America honors. "The women skied really well," said Big Green
head coach Cami Thompson. "The guys would like to have skied better,
but this was a very good day for us."

Colorado, which led the standings after the first day of competition
but fell behind Denver after Thursday's giant slalom, regained the
team lead Friday with 483 points. Denver stands in second place with
465.5, and Utah is third with 429. On the strength of Friday's
performances in cross country, the Big Green moves up to fourth place
with 412.

Board Files Answer to AoA's Petition

I'm front-paging this anonymous comment from an older thread.

The Board of Trustees has filed its answer to the alumni lawsuit. [On Feb. 29]

Notable: the Board is finally asserting the Statute of Frauds as a defense.

RSA 506:2 says "No action shall be brought to charge an executor or administrator upon a special promise to answer damages out of his own estate or to charge any person upon a special promise to answer for the debt, default or miscarriage of another, or upon any agreement made in consideration of marriage or that is not to be performed within one year from the time of making it, unless such promise or agreement, or some note or memorandum thereof, is in writing and signed by the party to be charged or by some person authorized by him."

The plaintiff has written memoranda referring to the nomination of eight trustees. There is no writing that refers to twelve trustees or half of the elected trustees.

UPDATE: I've put the full language of the statute into the post, per the first comment.

P.S. There's some debate over whether the abridged language of the statute made it easier to read. Since I'm not a lawyer, whenever there is a disagreement I will err on the side of the unabridged text.

Administrative Note

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the reading period, which will be followed by finals and spring break. Posting will be light over the next few weeks.

Part III: In Which the King of Jordan is Implicated

In the comments below Eli Perle (whose sole job seems to be promoting Eisenstadt's blog) writes:
Good research on your part, but it still leaves some unanswered questions. M. Thomas Eisenstadt just posted another blog that looks deeper into Callahan and found some intriguing connections between him and King Abdullah II of Jordan. Maybe you guys can find out what really happened at the Phi Delt house in '83-'84? The rabbit hole is getting deeper....

He then links to this post by Eisenstadt. Quite Frankly, this whole thing seems rather ridiculous to me. Point by Point:

  • Does Hart spell E R-H’s name right in the book? We’re still - at best - left with a Dartmouth English professor who neither cites his sources, nor even spells the name of his subject correctly. If an Ivy League English prof. can’t check the spelling of one of his esteemed colleague’s names correctly, it begs the question about the value of a Dartmouth education.
1. Yes, the name is spelled correctly in the book.
  • Was Hart actually a student of E R-H? (we know he taught at Dartmouth, but the DR [sic] says he and E R-H probably didn’t overlap). In and of itself, this doesn’t corroborate that the Citizen quote was widespread, only that Hart used it more than once. The trick is to find someone else who remembers the quote.
  • If he wasn’t a student, what’s his original source for the ‘96 quote? The DR [sic] can just ask him.
2/3. Yes, Hart was a student of Rosenstock's. TDR has an article here.
  • The DR [sic] now puts the blame squarely on Callahan and/or Birzin, suggesting that they copped from Hart. Fair enough, but then I ask again, why would the Callahan quote be such a personal one “from his father?” If a man lies so cavalierly about his own father, what else is he lying about? His own resume? His own trackrecord at Dartmouth? Do we really want this guy representing us at the State Department working in anti-terrorism? We’ve been asking around the National Security community, and indeed, Callahan has a stellar record protecting America (and yes, even contributing to Bush/Cheney in 2004). If Hollywood was to depict a handsome, daring, athletic, patriotic, articulate diplomat, they couldn’t do better than Callahan. To read the Birzin piece in particular, the guy is one part Tom Cruise and one part Matt Damon (minus, of course, the Sarah Silverman thing).
4. I'm not putting the blame on either Callahan or Birzin because I don't think there's anything blameworthy going on. Just because the guy wanted to verify the aphorism his father told him does not make him a plagiarizer. I don't understand why you were so nonchalant about Goeglein, and yet you're pressing this so hard. This is bordering on sophistry.
  • ….But, what happened at the Phi Delt house? The Birzin profile spends considerable time talking about Callahan’s experience cleaning up his frat, Phi Delta Alpha (not to be confused with Dartmouth’s Alpha Delta Phi [sic], the inspiration for the film Animal House):

    Just before he took the reins as president, Phi Delt was put on social probation by the administration for a series of behavioral incidents and infractions by its members. Callahan was faced with the difficult task of finding a way “to reconcile the house’s objectives with the legitimate concerns of the Administration.”

    What’s interesting is that the general dates of that time period coincide with Jordan’s then-Prince (now King) Abdullah hanging out at the frat:

    Royalty visited Phi Delt in the 1980s. Prince Abdullah of Jordan hung out at Phi Delt in 1983, while visiting close friend George ‘Gig’ Faux ’84.

    Best as we can tell, Callahan took over as Phi Delt president from Gig Faux the next year and had to clean up “the mess.” I have no reason to doubt Callahan’s loyalty to his country, but should a high-ranking State Department expert on counterterrorism be old frat buddies with the King of Jordan? As one of our strongest allies in the reason, maybe that’s a good thing. But it begs the further question of if the young Prince had anything to do with the “behavioral incidents” at the Phi Delt house and what exactly did Callahan do to “clean it up”?

5. A house being put on social probation is not uncommon. For instance, if a house has extra unregistered kegs at a party, then they'll be put on probation. There's probably a 50/50 chance that any given fraternity president would have to deal with his house being on probation. Also, I don't follow how Callahan followed Faux as president of Phi Delt since they were both '84s. Faux is currently the President of the Phi Delt Corporation, but that is different than being the student president of the fraternity.
  • Has anyone tracked down Birzin, Callahan or Hart to get to the bottom of this?
6. There is nothing to get to the bottom of here. To reiterate, I don't think anyone plagiarized or was plagiarized in this instance.

Higher Ed Endowment Spending

Inside Higher Ed has obtained many of the reports that schools sent to the Senate Finance Committee about endowments. Article here.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Prof. Hart on Rosenstock

I was reading through the preface of Prof. Hart's Smiling Through the Cultural Catastrophe (published in 2001) when I came across this on Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy. This seems to corroborate the speculation that Rosenstock's maxim about the Citizen was often repeated in class.

[Rosenstock] had two phrases he repeated so often they remained in a student's mind.

He would say, "History must be told." He explained in various ways that history is to a civilization what personal memory is to an individual: an essential part of identity and a source of meaning.

He also said that the goal of education is the citizen. He defined the citizen in a radical and original way arising out of his own twentieth-century experience. He said that a citizen is a person who, if need be, can re-create his civilization.

Randall on the Podium

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Hart Essay Plagiarized Again?

In a blog post entitled "In Defense of Plagiarism: Why Tim Goeglein Got Thrown Under the Bus" blogger M. Thomas Eisenstadt claims a lot of things. He goes out of his way to praise plagiarism, for instance. But the one thing that caught this blog's attention was the assertion that Professor Hart plagiarized his article from Thomas Callahan '84.

Here’s the bombshell: A further Google search would imply that Hart plagiarized HIS quote from Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Callahan - complete with the exact misspelling of Rosenstock-Huessy’s name. Callahan’s father is the original Dartmouth student who quoted his then post-World War II professor, Rosenstock-Huessy, a German intellectual who emigrated to US in 1933. Callahan, the younger, is a true Republican patriot - who’s served his country on the frontlines in Rwanda, Sudan and Afghanistan. Compare that to Dartmouth English teacher Hart, a founder of the Dartmouth Review who was a Nixon and Reagan speechwriter (he was likely fired by Nixon, or at best couldn’t hack it), and is now… get this… supporting Barack Obama.

As you can see from this short clip, Eisenstadt is quite the character: even more outrageous comments after the jump. His assertion against Hart rests on two facts: (1) that both Hart and Callahan misspelled Eugen Rosenstock Huessy's name, and (2) they both quote Rosenstock's aphorism. Here is the article on Callahan:
“My father was class of 1947 at Dartmouth and used to quote to us one of his favorite professors, a philosophy professor named Eugene Rosenstock-Hussey: ‘The goal of education is to form the Citizen. And the Citizen is a person who, if need be, can refound his civilization.’”
And here, again, is the section from Hart's essay "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.'
First, as a commenter pointed out on Eisenstadt's blog, the article on Callahan was written by Lisa Birzen, an '03. She would have been a freshman in 1999, and Hart's article was previously believed to have been published in 1998. In fact, The Dartmouth Reveiw often publishes Hart's essay in its freshman issue in the fall. The essay dates back to at least 1996—as far as our issues are archived online—and perhaps further. As far as his name goes, I'm guessing Eugen is often misspelled as Eugene—and neither is Huessy an easy name to remember how to spell for non-German speakers (I'm sure Eisenstadt has some experience with this). The dating of the articles makes it clear that Hart didn't plagiarize from Callahan. Or does it? Eisenstadt insists that the most plausible explanation is that Hart plagiarized some earlier work of Callahan's not online.
More likely is that Callahan - or his father - had written that quote somewhere else (maybe nowhere Googlable - maybe in some Dartmouth paper) and Hart had copped it.
It does seem clear from the irregular capitalization (Citizen) that Birzin or Callahan lifted the aphorism from Hart's piece. What doesn't seem clear, however, is why that might be considered plagiarism. For instance, if one were to read my recent review of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" and saw the line "This was the noblest Roman of them All" and then reproduce that line while only referencing Shakespeare, it's rather clear that that would not be a case of plagiarism.

Similarly, Rosenstock was a well regarded professor from the late 30s through the 50s; it is no surprise then, that at least two of his students (Callahan's father '47 and Hart, who matriculated in 1947) would be struck by a favorite saying of his. I don't think Callahan made up his story. He probably just googled it to get the wording right and came across Hart's essay. There is a major distinction here. Goeglein peddled Hart's original thoughts on the western canon as his own. In the second case Hart reported Rosenstock's original thoughts, and Callahan reported Rosenstock's original thoughts. In this case, no one seems to have been claiming someone else's thoughts for their own, i.e. Callahan didn't plagiarize.

So did Callahan (another Bush administration official, by the way) plagiarize from Hart too? It seems to me like copying and pasting a maxim does not fall under the category of plagiarism, especially if it's attributed to the originator.

What do you think? Comment below.

P.S. More here.

Glenn Randall '09 Wins NCAA Championship

From left to right: True, Sinnott.

Glenn Randall '09 won the men's 10k freestyle today at the NCAA cross country skiing championships in Bozeman Montana. This win is a big deal not only for Dartmouth but also for American cross country skiers because all too often the title goes to nordic imports on scholarship at the western universities. The men's cross country team has been extremely strong of late. Both Mike Sinnott '07 and Ben True '08 (who has taken the winter off to train with Sinnott in Idaho) were standouts, are current members of the U.S. under 23 team, and possible members of a future Olympic team. Congratulations.

UPDATE: I received a blitz from the team's director of communications, who notes that the other two Dartmouth skiers competing in Bozeman are Nils Koons '11 and Patrick O'Brien '10. The youth of the team bodes well for the future. Here is his article on today. He also sent along a picture of Randall from this year's Winter Carnival:

More on the Frost Lectures

Frost with students in library
Vox of Dartmouth has more on the transcribed lectures:
Nuggets of intriguing information can be found throughout the transcript, such as Frost’s admission that he doesn’t often use the word beauty “because I got sort of a fear of it, I think,” and his description of the poem “A Drumlin Woodchuck,” as “my most Vermontly poem.” He also noted that Ezra Pound objected to the word “tessellation” in Frost’s poem “The Ingenuities of Debt.”

College Archivist Peter Carini, who helped Sitar with some aspects of the project, credits the Dartmouth alumnus for turning an excellent idea into a reality. “Frost had an eclectic style of speaking, and he didn’t take a straight line,” he says. “Transcribing it and making sense of it all is a significant piece of work.”

Also, the link I gave to the first published transcription is no longer good. Use this link instead.

More on the Housing Shortage

The Daily D's opinion page has seen a continuation of the housing discussion. Yesterday, Rachel Bernhard '08 raised the point that it made no sense to punish seniors, who are one of two classes on for all three terms.

I certainly sympathize with sophomores and juniors who have an erratic and often-changing D-plan. I’ve applied for housing from a different continent, I’ve changed my D-plan after the deadline, and I’ve been without a consistent roommate since freshman year. It sucks.

However, why should someone who may be on-campus once during the fall-winter-spring year have a stronger claim to a nice room than I do? Why can’t ORL help seniors find places that accommodate their needs? Trying to find, say, a single within walking distance of campus that costs something comparable to College housing with six months notice is more difficult than it sounds.

In today's paper, Corey Chu '08 gives seven proposals for alleviating the housing crunch. Here are a couple of the suggestions:

Second: create temporary housing. Although Treehouse-quality housing may incur mixed opinions, a sufficient number of students would likely choose sub-par on-campus housing over no on-campus housing at all. Let students have that choice.

Third: build dorms with more than four floors. If the College is constrained by too little building space and too many students, then the next logical step would be to expand vertically. If each additional floor could house about 20 additional beds, four additional floors distributed throughout the campus would be the rough equivalent of a standard dorm. If the College can work with the Town of Hanover to allow construction of bigger dormitories, we could house more students with the same amount of building space.

Chu also claims that the Mass Row dorms will be out of commission when the 10s are seniors. If that's true, it's pretty grim news.

P.S. Chu seems to misunderstand the new Princeton proposal in proposal #5. Their plan will not take 100 freshman off-campus, but rather give them a gap-year—in effect, postponing their enrollment for one year. This would alleviate the housing crunch only in the first year it was implemented.

P.P.S. If the administration knew a housing shortage was coming, why did they tear down all of the treehouses?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

New TDR Online

In this issue of The Dartmouth Review:

Monday, March 03, 2008

How to Avoid Incompetence

Jennifer Bandy has an interesting post up over at Dartblog. She was one of the students fortunate enough to sup with the Trustees over the weekend. On the whole, the recent trend of more trustee/student interaction is very positive—as was Haldeman's encouragement of the students to ask the trustees at their table tough questions. This, however, is a bit disconcerting:

My favorite moment of the luncheon was when Mr. Carson asked the students at the table if any of us ever had a truly incompetent professor at Dartmouth. He clearly expected to hear “no” and to make the point that to maintain a high level of quality, they aren’t always able to supply the quantity desired by students. Indeed, Carson seemed taken aback when the students noted that in fact we have all experienced such a professor during our time at the College. Instead of expressing regret over this situation and a commitment from the Board to continue searching for dedicated and talented professors, he blamed the students. He suggested that if we utilized the Student Assembly provided course guide, we would never take classes with incompetent professors.

As any student can attest, the SA Guide is far from the be-all and end-all of separating the professorial wheat from the chaff. Even a cursory stroll through the guide shows that the students who comment on classes or professors are students who either hated the prof. or loved the prof. This makes sense. Though SAD tries its best to get students to review all their classes, only about 5-10% do so. And the only significant motivation for reviewing is either to wish the professor harm or to wish him well. Case in point:

I will never take another class with [redacted]. I feel sorry for myself that I had to go through her class during my first term in college.

And from a different review of the same professor and class:

[redacted] did a great job of connecting all of the students -- she really created a free discussion atmosphere, where everyone could voice their opinion and really LEARN and UNDERSTAND what others were saying. The free-writes really helped me to get into writing.
The point is not that the guide is worthless, but that it's a rather laughable the trustees would chastise students for not making proper use of it.

Gado in the Valley News

The Valley News printed an Op-Ed from AoA Executive Committee member Frank Gado '58. Because it is not available online, I have reprinted it in full below:

DARTMOUTH NEEDS TO DEBATE ITS FUTURE
FRANK GADO
For the Valley News
2/29/2008

FOR DECADES, Dartmouth alumni have manifested such extraordinary devotion to their alma mater that, not altogether jokingly, the devotion has been likened to a cult. How remarkable, then, that an insurgency is raging among these same alumni. What accounts for it?

In a Valley News commentary Feb. 4, "Dartmouth's Critics Misunderstand the College Experience," professor of government Richard Winters credits the successive victories of alumni trustee candidates nominated by petition instead of by an establishment committee to "a coalition of Ĺ’losers' who have little in common with each other" but are infuriated by singular causes. As instances, he cites the suspension of a fraternity, the precipitate decision to eliminate the swim team, a decline in legacy admissions, losing seasons in football, "and so on." The contention has a certain professorial logic, but is it true?

Suppose it were. Would Dartmouth's trustee elections then be unique? As professor of government, Winters should know that majorities in all elections are typically an aggregate of minorities. But quite aside from this fact, his facile explanation is inaccurate. As a leader in "the movement," I have heard from hundreds of Dartmouth alumni. None fits Winters' categorization. Particular grievances vary, but the underlying concern is a constant: the changing nature of Dartmouth and how it affects the quality of its education.

Despite his coalition-of-losers theory, Winters seems aware of the reason for alumni disquiet. Of the six italicized "claims" he tries to refute, the first three restate one issue: the adverse effects on undergraduate education caused by research university policies. To his credit, Winters does not introduce the canard that Dartmouth has long been a university in all but name because it has professional graduate schools. No one is proposing elimination of those separate entities.

Instead, like us, Winters focuses on the growing emphasis on published research for the college faculty. He pronounces it beneficial. We see it as detrimental ˜ and Winters' own arguments support our case. Before I proceed in rebuttal, let me emphasize that I do not oppose research per se. A good teacher remains intellectually involved through an entire career; his or her enthusiasm for learning is at least as important as the subject matter itself. But what drives a research university is the unending quest for grants, in areas of inquiry directed by particular interests of the money providers (usually the federal government) and by career pressures ˜ not by intellectual curiosity for its own sake.

Does the nature of the research matter? Of course it does. Certain fields are "hot" at different times. Half a century ago, physics was at the top of the research hierarchy. Today, it is biology ˜ or, more accurately, special areas of biology. Outside the sciences, the current rage is for economics. When salaries and promotions are tied to research "productivity," faculty outside the favored studies (such as the humanities) tend to imitate what is remunerative in more rewarded disciplines. The plaque that clogs the arteries of scholarly activity in disciplines not well suited to the scientific model is directly attributable to the influence of "research" policies.

In his Leslie Conference address, President Jim Wright proclaimed as Dartmouth's new mission the "production of new knowledge" (presumably superseding the old mission, teaching undergraduates). This "new knowledge" assembly line is expensive business, however. One example: When President James Freedman set Dartmouth on the university course, he cut the faculty teaching load by 20 percent. Subsequently, reflecting the new emphasis of Dartmouth U., teaching duties in the sciences have been reduced by another 25 percent, with grants cutting teaching obligations still further. Today, it is the rare faculty member who meets classes for more than 18 weeks a year.

Curiously, as professorial classroom presence shrinks, the curriculum swells. Winters' own department has doubled in faculty since his arrival in 1969 but tripled the number of seminars. The inescapable logic: Staffing of lower division courses has diminished. Unreined, a faculty rewarded primarily for publication will shape the curriculum to serve its own interests rather than those of students. Seminar topics tend to mirror the professor's special professional focus, and the students who elect that seminar often abet the professor's investigation. The mitosis in Dartmouth's doctoral programs also cited by Winters illustrates the same drift.

Winters asserts that alumni do not recognize the reality of today's Dartmouth, that undergraduate instruction has clearly improved. One of the places he bids us examine is the English department. But in the day of "inferiority," freshman English ˜ which introduced students to the Old Testament, Shakespeare, classical tragedy and Milton ˜ also developed writing skills. Today, despite various inducements (including the teachers' choice of "fun" subjects) that failed to lure most of the English department to such plebeian instruction, the teaching of writing has been turned over to adjuncts and administrators. Has the cause of education gained?

Winters claims that "a significantly better research and publishing record" proves his case: using Panglossian logic, he declares, "For undergraduates, this is the best of all possible worlds: Great teachers plus great minds equal great classes." But is a longer curriculum vitae proof of a great mind or a great class? The evidence is missing. Indeed, some of the dullest classes I endured in graduate school were taught by pedestrian intellects with elongated bibliographies.

Back in the unglorious days of 1969, Winters writes, his department had only "one superlative instructor (the legendary 'Zinger)." But Vincent Starzinger, it is worth noting, wrote just one book during his entire career. His monumental reputation instead derived from his brilliance in challenging students to think, and in employing the broad base of scholarship. He directed his intellectual vitality at a range of heterogeneous students, not just government majors. It is that kind of mind, operating with that kind of passion, that Dartmouth should be seeking and rewarding. The Winters model turns in a rather different direction.

At this critical moment in its history, Dartmouth should benefit from vigorous debate about its future course. Unfortunately, supported by faculty like Winters, the administration has tried to blast such debate by asserting that dissent harms the college. Among its ordnance of pernicious petards is the allegation that dissent has caused Dartmouth's drop in U.S. News and World Report rankings. This is dangerous nonsense. The very universities Dartmouth wishes to rival are currently arenas of conflict regarding, in part, the consequences of their research model; none trembles from apprehension over the effects of debate.

In my view, Dartmouth's best prospect for distinction is the cultivation of the possibilities of undergraduate instruction, focused on the liberal arts. Taking the research university as a template is a grave mistake. "Life's follies," Samuel Johnson reminds us, "stem from the attempt to emulate that which we do not resemble."

America's Critical Prometheus?

Last fall, the Library of America released a two volume set of Edmund Wilson's collected books and reviews from the 20s, 30s, and 40s. I've been making my way through the books as time permits, skipping around from review to review, in a rather hodge-podge manner. The one book of his I've read from start to finish is Axel's Castle, which fascinatingly traces the roots of modernist literature through French symbolism. He's a eminently readable chronicler of literature, especially of the modernist movement.

Michael Weiss '02 reviews both of the recently released volumes and, in addition, looks at how Wilson's reflexive Marxist sympathies informed his writing. Here are the first couple of paragraphs:

Edmund Wilson has been an object of saintly veneration and nostalgia by those old enough to remember when literary critics were arbiters of how people spent their time between meals and work. Who now, in the age of the hatchet job and the shrinking Books section, speaks of 'permanent criticism,' the criticism that endures because it ranks as literature itself? The Library of America has just published Wilson's collected works in an elegant two-volume set spanning the critic's most productive decades—the 20s, 30s and 40s. Coming a year after Lewis Dabney's definitive biography, the resurrection of such sorely missed volumes as The Shores of Light, Axel's Castle and The Wound and the Bow surely qualifies an 'event' publication. Now there's a term the owlish sage of Red Bank would have loathed to no end.


It's a shame, though, that Wilson's magnificent study of socialism, To the Finland Station, has been left out of this series because it represents not just the yield of seven years of hard study, for which he learned German and Russian, but also the culmination of one of the lesser examined leitmotifs of his interdisciplinary and breathtaking oeuvre: his political radicalism.

Read the whole thing.

P.S. James Wolcott also ponders the decline of book reviewing as an art form.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Ouch!

The trustees announced today that tuition is going to rise 5% next year for undergraduates and 6% for graduates in the medical and business schools.

They also announced that Al Mulley '70 will chair the search committee for President Wright's replacement. The statement from Ed Haldeman '70:

As announced in February, James Wright will step down as president in June 2009 after eleven years of outstanding leadership. The Board of Trustees is grateful for the time he has provided to conduct a search for Dartmouth's 17th president. A presidential search once fully launched normally takes six to nine months to complete a comprehensive identification process to attract top candidates. I have appointed Trustee Al Mulley '70 to lead the search process. We will both be working together to ensure the search is as open and inclusive as possible while also taking the necessary steps to respect the confidentiality of candidates. A search committee will be announced following the June Board meeting.

The Trustees will now begin to develop a statement of leadership criteria for the next president to guide the search committee. The Board believes that it is critical that all Dartmouth constituencies have an opportunity to provide their input during this initial stage of the search. We will meet with community members on campus and locations beyond Hanover and establish a web site to collect comments and suggestions for the committee's consideration. Al and I look forward to these communications and to providing periodic updates as the search progresses.

In other news, the Board announced that their affirmative action plan is showing progress. The number of women and minorities are up across the different faculties.

Bela Fleck Makes a Stop in Hanover

Bluegrass fans were treated to a show from one of the genre's legends last night. Bela Fleck is known not only for his virtuosic banjo playing, but also for his tendency to seek out genres other than bluegrass in which to showcase the banjo as an instrument. He did just that last night, teaming up with Chick Corea for a night of banjo and piano duets. I was too slow off the blocks to score a ticket, but Nathan Empsall has a post up about the concert.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Michael Gazzaniga on Bloggingheads

Former Dartmouth Professor Michael Gazzaniga '61 is on Blogginheads today with an hour-long interview that covers cognitive neuroscience and the law, determinism, the left-brain/right-brain split, and more. Gazzaniga is a pioneer of cognitive neuroscience. He left Dartmouth for the University of California Santa Barbera—shortly after he was awarded a lucrative grant from the National Science Foundation.



UPDATE: I have it from an unimpeachable source that Gazzaniga did not, in fact, take the grant with him to California as I had previously reported.