- Holly Benson '93 has jumped into the race for Florida Attorney General by entering the GOP primary.
- More amusingly, Dartmouth placed nineteenth in the Trojan(R) Sexual Health Report Card, a large leap from last year's position at #68. This has left Princeton bemoaning their continuing delince at slot #61 and the immature with a smile on their face when the University of South Carolina came in first. No, I am not going to make the easy joke there. The rankings are apparently based on availability of contraception and information disseminated to the students, not on the actual state of students' health.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The Dartmouth Association of Alumni executive committee voted to shorten the campaigning period for Board of Trustees and Association elections on Wednesday, moving forward with the recommendations of an Association committee tasked with exploring election reform. Although the committee was originally formed to pursue campaign finance reform, it found that such reform is politically untenable at this time.
Absolutely amazing. If "campaign finance reform" (read: keeping petition candidates from being able to spend sufficient amounts of money to get their name out there to get elected) was too hot to touch, I'm still not sure why shortening the campaign period by a full third is a good idea.
Association President John Mathias ’69, a member of the election reform study committee, said in an interview with The Dartmouth. “The reduction to four weeks was welcomed.”Well yes, welcomed by you and those who would rather pesky petition candidates stay out of your way so you can Harvardize this institution.
Thankfully, the article has some balance. Frank Gado '58 responded:
Don't worry about that, Mr. Gado. Candidates will be given more room to write personal statements, up from the current limit of 250! That's really a good trade off there. The AoA has kneecapped future petition candidates and given them a Band-Aid in the form of a few more lines in a Word file.
Frank Gado ’58, a former member of the Association executive committee who supported the organization’s 2007 lawsuit against the College, said that shortening the campaign period will negatively affect petition candidates.
“The group within the alumni that is seeking to challenge the establishment needs to get its message out,” Gado said. “How can it get its message out [in four weeks]?”
What's the logic behind all of this? Well, as David Spalding '76 put it:
“Yes, we believe that with a shorter election period and with the College providing more space for people to express their views, there will be less of a need for money in the elections,” Spalding said.It also makes it that much more difficult for petition candidates--who run entirely on their own dime, by the way, without the College's inherent advantages such as mailing lists--to get their message out. Combine this with "campaign finance reform" that will inevitably recommend putting a ceiling on the amount of money candidates can spend and we're looking at completely disenfranchised alumni.
Are you ready for the kicker? Get this:
The fourth guiding principle from the report, which stated that “petition candidates should never be disadvantaged by any restrictive election guidelines or rules promulgated by the [Association executive committee],” was changed to say that “no candidate should be ever be disadvantaged” by election guidelines, Mathias said.
The other guiding principles — that alumni should be given sufficient information about all candidates, that candidates should be allowed to share their opinions “without editorial review” and that elections should not be affected by the amount of money spent candidates — were accepted without change by the committee.Yet, this is exactly what has just been done. Don't be surprised if that last "guiding principle" is the next one to be implemented in the interest "fairness" or some such nonsense.
Monday, October 26, 2009
In a buck of tradition, no students touched the Homecoming bonfire on Friday or rushed the field at Saturday’s football game.
The D's article includes plenty of speculation about the reason for the failure of this old tradition.
Some things certainly did not change, however: four out of ten Good Sam calls resulted in arrests. Four more dangerous criminals off the streets, I suppose.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Keep in mind, this is the same Columbia squad that smacked Princeton around in New Jersey to the tune of 38-0 (and we play Princeton here in Hanover this year). The box score can be found here. Congratulations to the squad on a fine victory. Next up: Harvard.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Remember that interview where President Kim stated that he wanted students to "symbolically storm Parkhurst"? No? Well, it actually happened today.
Well, storm may be too strong a term. There was no property damage done and everyone was more or less civil. There were only two tie-dye shirts and one of them turned out to be a Ben and Jerry's t-shirt. Anyways, after receiving the Blitz in the previous post, I caught a lucky break when my midterm finished at 3:20. I was able to run back to my dorm and grab my camera and Dictaphone. I proceeded to swing back by Parkhurst and managed to catch the protesters as they were organizing. I counted twenty-six of them initially and the number varied throughout the protest, dropping towards the end.
I learned the event wasn't widely publicized. It had been organized by Tim Bolger '10. As was made clear in my previous post, the point was to deliver a letter to President Kim, which one of the members of the protest was kind enough to Blitz to me and can be read in its entirety here. A quote or two to give you an idea of its content:
In the spirit of the students that took over Parkhurst in protest of the Vietnam War and built slums on the Green to protest apartheid, we accept your challenge to take on the world's problems as our own with the belief that as committed and passionate individuals we can promote positive and lasting change. Climate change is an issue of great urgency for which Dartmouth students are ready and willing to address, but we need your support. We envision a Sustainable Dartmouth as a place that produces no net greenhouse gas emissions, uses renewable sources of energy, models a cradle-to-cradle system for waste management, and promotes sustainable behaviors among its students, staff, and faculty. A Sustainable Dartmouth is integral to the mission and future of the College as a place to practice creative and experiential leadership that may be adapted to the world beyond.
And their demands--well, demands is definitely the wrong term to use. The way it's worded, it's almost more like it's a series of suggestions.
- Make the necessary investment that will hedge against the risk of high future energy costs, double our energy efficiency efforts, and replace our dependence on No. 6 oil with renewables.
- Appoint an Energy Research and Advisory Committee to help develop conservation and efficiency policies, raise the funds necessary for a transition to renewable energy sources, and build partnerships with the town, state, businesses, and other colleges and universities.
- Make sustainability efforts a core part of Dartmouth's next capital campaign.
- Provide more staff support for implementing these policies and programs through the Sustainability Office.
There is a true opportunity for leadership in addressing climate change and making sustainability an institutional priority at Dartmouth. We hope that you accept this challenge in partnership with students and that together we can create a more sustainable campus, community, and world.
When the clock struck 3:50 (apparently an allusion to this), somebody let loose a cry of "Leeroooy, Jenkiiins!" (yes, seriously) and we all walked up the steps and into Parkhurst.
Unfortunately for the intrepid protesters, President Kim was in a meeting and it was unknown when it would finish, most likely around five-thirty. The group elected to stick around and wait rather than just leave the letter for him. The secretary went to inform President Kim of the crowd outside his door and the sit-in commenced. One fellow remarked aloud that he felt like he should've shaved because he was going to be meeting the President.
I asked another protester, the same one who was kind enough to Blitz me the letter, why they were protesting. He told me it was about the administration's inaction on climate change. When I pointed out that we'd had several buildings built to be environmentally friendly, he said we could be doing, "so much more with our resources."
While we were waiting, people spread out into the hallway and settled into the chairs--and the floor--in the reception area. I glanced at the posters downstairs which I had briefly noted as we walked in. They were posters for the Dartmouth Sustainability Initiative, which can also be seen in Baker-Berry library. It struck me as a little odd that they were there to protest when the administration cared enough to put their posters behind glass in Parkhurst (Marissa Knodel '09, one of the protesters, is featured on the leftmost poster).
A ways into the sit-in, a slightly befuddled Senior VP Kadish met with the protesters and tried to talk them out of it. The group held firm and the aforementioned Marissa Knodel '09 informed Kadish that she had been in the office several times trying to schedule a meeting and had been told the earliest she could meet with President Kim would be the winter term. Kadish retreated a bit, telling the students that he really did, "appreciate what [they're] doing," because he, "stood right where [the protesters] are standing." He suggested the two groups huddle and work out a deal. It was no good; Bolger's group held their ground.
Somebody brought in Ben and Jerry's ice cream to fortify them while they waited. I considered running and grabbing something from FoCo when somebody whistled. Kim had emerged from his meeting. It was showtime.
I apologize for the somewhat lousy quality of the videos. My camera isn't the best and people weren't speaking particularly loudly. The group scheduled a meeting with President Kim for tomorrow morning at 8:00. I headed back to my dorm, only to encounter this lady on the corner of Wheelock and Main, which is a favorite for folks who want to protest something.
To be clear, the lady has nothing to do with the protest at Parkhurst, I just found her day-glo sign, which is nearly as big as she is, to be humorous.
Subject: Sit-in at presidents office
So, something really cool is going down today to protest Dartmouth's
inaction on climate/sustainability issues.
We will be sitting-in at the President's office and giving him a document
outlining our concerns.
We'll meet in front of Parkhurst at 3:40 TODAY.
Please invite your friends or teams or whatever. We should represent all
groups on campus and we should make that place overflow!
3:40, Parkhurst. You'll be at robo anyways, so misewell stop by!
Below is whole list of 350 (Climate awareness events)...
TODAY (Thursday), 3:40pm in front of Parkhurst
Talk with President Kim. We will give President Kim the attached letter,
which will be signed by the chairs of numerous environmental organizations
TONIGHT (Thursday), 6:00 - 8:00pm, International Climate Awareness Event
Free food! (GUSANOS!)
Live music! (Cfunk lite + DMC's co-chair, Billy Corbett. Also featuring
members of Clusterfunk including DMC's very own Marc Shapiro and Tim Bolger)
Free raffle for prizes like Ipod shuffles!
Saturday, 3:20pm- ~5pm, International Climate Action Day, 350
1) Capture the flag/CO2 game (BLITZ MATT DAHLHAUSEN FOR MORE INFO),
2) 350 demonstration/photo (BLITZ TIM BOLGER FOR MORE INFO),
3) table and provide information/graphics about Dartmouths energy
and carbon footprint. (PEOPLE FROM ENVS80 AND OTHERS, BLITZ TIM BOLGER IF
CAN HELP OUT/NEED TO BUY MATERIALS.)
I'm a little surprised at their concern about Dartmouth's "inaction" on climate issues. I mean, we slipped from an A- to a B+ in the green report card, but I'd hardly call that inaction. The McLaughlin and McClane-Fahey clusters received gold LEED ratings. Kemeny and the Haldeman Center garnered silver ratings and even the Floren varsity house was built to LEED specifications (it received a silver ranking as well). Even if they haven't worked out as well as people had hoped, that's still quite a bit of money spent over five buildings. Short of letting our powers combine, I'm not sure what more they want the College to do.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
This leaves us fifth in the Ivy League in sustainability behind Brown, Harvard, Penn and Yale, and ahead of Cornell, Columbia and Princeton.
To aid the College in its quest to regain its former grade, I hereby pledge to take shorter showers in the dark.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
In case you haven't been around campus lately (or are subscribed to the D and keep wondering who the guy is who appears in "The Still North" every so often), the so-called "Sun God" is Jonathan Recor MALS '10. If you've missed his antics, you can now find nineteen videos of them under his account. For example:
Why is he dancing around campus at all times of the night with a lightsaber? Well, as he puts it on his video descriptions:
Mission: These impromptu performances are intended for people who recognize that life isn't as serious as we sometimes make it out to be. As such, our mission as a collective student body is to have fun and let loose the emotional energies and stresses of our lives to form a meaningful and creative performance that builds from the foundation of our humanity.
There's also a much more detailed explanation on his Facebook group. To each his own, I suppose.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
This week in Women in Leadership...
"Title IX CEOs"
Would the financial meltdown have been as severe had women held the top leadership spots on Wall Street?
Does participation in intercollegiate athletics provide valuable preparation for competition in the boardroom?
Here's a great article:
Wednesday night, 6-7pm. Morrison Commons in Rocky
Apparently the Y chromosome may lead to financial crises. Here are some fun quotes from the article linked to in the Blitz:
Second, and again generalizing somewhat, women are more collaborative and less competitive in business than men; they'd be less likely, for example, to push an untested and poorly understood financial instrument so as to be seen as a Master of the Universe, or gobble up another company just so their merged entity would be bigger than the company of someone they wanted to best.
The power of Greyskull not only transforms Cringer into Battle Cat, it grants sub-prime mortgages as well. Don't worry, though, the government will have fixed all this machismo investing through Title IX legislation.
Might it be that 10 or 15 years from now, when Title IX will have spawned a whole generation of women with experience in intercollegiate athletics, we'll see women behaving as competitively in the boardroom as they did on the soccer field, softball diamond or basketball court?So the problem was that men were too aggressive and the question posed is whether women, because of their moderating tendencies, would have mitigated the financial crash if they'd been in top leadership positions. How do they get to those top leadership positions so they can exercise their tendencies? By becoming more aggressive thanks to sports. Did I miss something here? The amusing part is that the article was written by Paul R. Portney, who is, according to the article, "Dean of the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona, where he also holds the Halle Chair in Leadership."
October 14, 2009This is unfortunate, especially President Kim's note about her, "administrative caliber." Do keep in mind that while serving as Dean of the Faculty, Carol Folt let our philosophy department become a shell of its former self (for example, we're losing Prof. Sinnott-Armstrong to Duke in the coming spring). Let's hope that soon to be Acting Provost Folt will be better at her new job.
Dear Members of the Dartmouth Community,
I am delighted to announce that Dean Carol Folt will serve as Acting Provost (effective October 26) as we search for a permanent Provost. Carol also will continue as Dean of Faculty. We are very fortunate to have someone of her academic and administrative caliber who is willing to take on this additional responsibility at this critical time for Dartmouth.
The Dartmouth Professor of Biological Sciences, Carol is an internationally-recognized environmental scientist, an award winning teacher, and an astute administrator. Known for her work on metal toxicity, she is the Associate Director of Dartmouth's interdisciplinary Superfund Basic Research Program, which has received over $40 million in federal research awards. Carol has served as one of Dartmouth's senior academic leaders since 2001, first as Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Dean of Faculty(2001-2004), then as Dean of Faculty since 2004.
Provost Barry Scherr, who is stepping down after eight years as Provost, will continue working closely with Carol through the transition, and overseeing our reaccreditation self-study through December.
With her deep understanding of our mission, and her experience across academic, administrative, and financial affairs, Carol has been a key advisor since my arrival in Hanover. Going forward, her guidance will be valuable as we work together as a community to address financial challenges and discuss our future. Dean Folt has played a critical role in overseeing the strategic growth of the Arts & Sciences faculty, and in launching creative cross cutting programs and institutes, including the Neukom Institute for Computational Science, the Institute of Writing and Rhetoric, as well as new programs in digital humanities, sustainability science, and professional ethics. She developed numerous partnerships with the graduate and professional schools, such as with the Amos Tuck School of Business to teach classes in business for undergraduates, with the Dartmouth Medical School to enhance graduate student recruitment and training, and with the Provost's Office to enhance K-12 experiential science education programs in the Upper Valley.
I want to thank Carol for her willingness to take on this additional responsibility and look forward to her leadership and guidance over the coming months.
Jim Yong Kim
With how long Provost Scherr remained in his position after President Kim reappointed him, one wonders how Dean Folt will hold onto her new post.
Friday, October 09, 2009
October 9, 2009
Dear Members of the Dartmouth Community,
As we settle into the new academic year, I want to express appreciation for the warm welcome you have extended to my family and to me. With the celebration of Convocation and Inauguration on September 22, many of us had the chance to reaffirm our commitment to each other as members of the Dartmouth community, and to the pursuit of excellence in education.
In less challenging economic times, you might expect that my first letter to you as president would focus largely on our aspirations for the coming year. But these are not normal times. I am writing today to update you on Dartmouth's financial picture, and the difficult work we face in continuing to bring the College's finances into balance.
The global economic crisis has created significant challenges for every institution of higher learning, but Dartmouth remains committed to providing the finest education in the world. Our priorities are clear: to enable the best students to attend Dartmouth, regardless of their financial means; to continue to attract superb faculty who are both great scholars and great teachers; and to build on our reputation as an exceptional place that offers a personalized educational experience for leaders who will shape the future.
Generous friends, parents, and alumni have once again enabled Dartmouth to act according to its priorities. The level of giving held up extraordinarily well over the past year, despite the recession. However, unprecedented volatility in global financial markets caused substantial losses in virtually every part of our endowment in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009.
Here is an overview of key financial metrics for fiscal year 2009:
* Dartmouth's endowment fell 23 percent to $2.8 billion (a decline of 19.6 percent due to investment performance, with the balance as a result of spending from the endowment, somewhat offset by new gifts to the endowment).
* This loss of $835 million equates to approximately a $50 million reduction in annual operating revenue available to the College.
* Long-term endowment performance, however, has been excellent. Dartmouth achieved an 8 percent annual return over the past decade, when the performance of the broader stock market was flat, placing it in the top 5 percent of all endowments and foundations.
* Dartmouth increased its rate of endowment spending several years ago to support key initiatives including enhanced financial aid, additions to the faculty, and critical facilities projects.
* Endowment spending of $227 million represented 32 percent of Dartmouth's revenue last year (total revenue of $701 million) and, after tuition, was the largest source of revenue for the institution.
* We are making conservative projections about future endowment performance. Given these projections and the decline in the value of our endowment, contributions to Dartmouth's budget from the endowment will be flat or will decline over the next several years relative to fiscal year 2009 -- further reducing revenue to fund operations.
Prospects for Recovery in the Endowment
* While the stock market has recovered somewhat in recent months, college and university endowments, because of their asset allocations, generally have not rebounded as quickly. Dartmouth's endowment, with only 26 percent of assets invested in public equities, is no exception.
* We do not expect our endowment to return to its fiscal year 2008 level of $3.66 billion for quite some time.
Fundraising Progress and Goals
* The Dartmouth College Fund raised $38.1 million in fiscal year 2009, down from the record $42.2 million raised in the previous year. Alumni participation remained high at 46 percent, off just one percentage point. The Fund provides unrestricted dollars which directly support financial aid, faculty and academic programs, athletics, the arts, and service opportunities for students around the world.
* Volunteers are hard at work to meet our $40 million goal for the fiscal 2010 Dartmouth College Fund.
* The Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience is now raising the final $60 million necessary to meet its $1.3 billion goal, which we anticipate achieving by December 31. These gifts are generally restricted to specific priorities, and are not available to fund general operating expenses.
Efforts announced last February to cut the operating budget have affected all parts of the institution. These efforts have included reducing the work force and holding compensation flat for most employees. These were not easy actions for the campus community. While these actions produced meaningful savings and helped address the immediate shortfall in the budget, they are not enough to cover the gap we face.
No single path will be sufficient to address these serious financial challenges. We will proceed on three fronts:
* First, we will reduce expenses. This must be done thoughtfully. We will work collaboratively and creatively to arrive at innovative solutions. We will be called upon to make some difficult choices.
* Second, we will aim to increase philanthropic giving to Dartmouth, in part by continuing to demonstrate to donors that we are using our resources efficiently and effectively.
* Third, we will pursue new initiatives that build upon the strengths of Dartmouth and produce revenue while addressing the evolving needs and potential of our students and of society.
As we address these challenges, we will seek campus input widely, through meetings and forums, and will continue to communicate with you in the weeks and months ahead. Meetings are already underway with the Arts & Sciences' faculty Committee on Priorities and with the institution-wide Budget Committee.
In my Inaugural address, I spoke of pursuing our most cherished goals not only with passion, but also with a tough-minded practicality that will allow us to deliver on those goals. I am confident that we will overcome these financial challenges and realize our aspirations, and that the character of this community will not just sustain this institution, but enable Dartmouth to continue to thrive.
Jim Yong Kim
Several things of note: it's good that he acknowledged that there would be, "some difficult choices" to be made. Hopefully this means that Kim isn't afraid to fight through bureaucratic red tape in order to alleviate the budget shortfall through, say, downsizing a department or cutting a sacred cow office or two (like OPAL, the office that, in the words of former Dean Tom Crady, doesn't need to, "justify its existence," because everyone just loves it). He directed the U.N.'s World Health Organization, so Parkhurst shouldn't pose as much of a problem.
Maybe it's a good omen; we play Yale tomorrow and a little karma might help.
You'll probably be reading about this in the D tomorrow in the space where an advertisement could have been placed. Seems like someone isn't happy with good old Joe Asch '79. This seems to continue the trend of Ivy papers making weird decisions with the advertisements they choose to run.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
Dear Members of the Dartmouth Community,
I'm writing to let you know that Provost Barry P. Scherr has decided to return to academic work at Dartmouth after eight years in his current role. I intend to appoint an Acting Provost very shortly, and will then initiate an expedited search for a permanent successor.
I am pleased to also report that Barry has agreed to continue to lead Dartmouth's reaccreditation process through the end of this calendar year, for the remainder of his time as Provost and then as Provost Emeritus. He will work closely with his interim successor and me to ensure a smooth transition as we drive forward the budgetary and strategic initiatives that are so critical to the advancement of Dartmouth's academic mission and student experience. Once this transition process is complete, Barry will take a long-delayed sabbatical to complete several scholarly projects.
While I had previously asked Barry to stay on to help with the presidential transition, and he had generously agreed, we both feel that we've made rapid progress over the last few months and with the new academic year well under way, now is an opportune time for Barry to follow his heart and return to academic life. I am especially grateful for the support and guidance he provided to me from the very day I joined the Dartmouth community in March and certainly understand his desire to focus more fully on his academic interests in the years ahead.
Barry has served the College with great distinction for 35 years, and we appreciate the many contributions he has made to all facets of Dartmouth life. As Associate Dean for the Humanities, he played a major role in establishing the Leslie Center for the Humanities, and as Provost he helped to create the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL). Barry has had a special interest in Dartmouth's international profile and has worked closely with the Dickey Center on several projects. A strong supporter of the arts at Dartmouth, he has encouraged innovative programming at both the Hood Museum and the Hopkins Center for the Performing Arts. He was instrumental in enabling the Library to acquire several major archives, including those of Pilobolus, of Professor Errol Hill, and of Budd Schulberg. Barry put in place the office of Vice Provost for Research, which has come to offer greater oversight and support for the critical research that takes place here in Hanover. I know that Barry takes special pride in the strong leadership that he has managed to attract to the areas that report directly to the Provost and that are vital to the academic and intellectual vigor of the institution.
Barry also has had a distinguished career as a scholar and teacher since joining the Dartmouth faculty in 1974. He is the Mandel Family Professor of Russian and has chaired both the Department of Russian and the Program in Linguistics and Cognitive Science. He also helped found the Program in Jewish Studies. His teaching interests have included 19th and 20th century Russian literature, comparative literature and film. He has authored or edited some 12 books and has published more than 70 scholarly articles, along with several dozen contributions to reference works. His research over the years has ranged widely over Russian poetry, 20th-century Russian prose, and Russian film, with some of his more recent writings focused on issues of translating poetry between English and Russian.
I feel fortunate to have had the chance to work closely with Barry since the announcement of my presidency. I have come to value and admire the immense intelligence and dedication Barry brings to all that he does. He reflects the finest traditions of Dartmouth. Please join me in thanking Barry for his steady hand and tremendous service in leading Dartmouth College to where we are today.
Jim Yong Kim
President, Dartmouth College
Interesting. As Joe Asch '79 pointed out over on Dartblog, it'll be interesting to see if Sylvia Spears' position as Tom Crady's replacement will last a similar length of time.