Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bloomberg Takes to Hanover; Boloco for All!

In the continued spirit of President John Sloan Dickey's "Great Issues" concept, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will take a break from the sweltering heat of the Big Apple on July 16 to speak in Moore Theater at the Hop. Bloomberg, who successfully amended New York City's term limit laws in order to run and serve for a third term in 2008, will discuss his experiences as a politician, businessman, and philanthropist.

In a blitz to both undergrads and graduate students, President Kim explained that the lecture is intended to "provide the entire sophomore class with a shared experience that sparks campus-wide conversation and debate about important issues of the day." The President elaborated that the talk is the first in a Dartmouth Presidential Lecture Series.

Although space is limited, and it is assumed that a seat at the talk is a hot commodity, President Kim is nonetheless sweetening the deal with free Boloco burrito vouchers for those in attendance. Additionally, students at the lecture will be asked for feedback "as part of our strategic planning we examine ways to incorporate a shared intellectual experience into the Dartmouth summer schedule in future years."

What better to spur Dartmouth students into a continuation of intellectual discourse than free Boloco?

Not to be outshone, President Kim will deliver his own lecture on July 29th in which he will discuss "the importance of developing 'habits of the mind' that are key to success in life. "

Bloomberg's lecture will take place at 11:15 a.m. on July 16th, with Kim's at 4 p.m. on the 29th.


John said...

It seems like Dartmouth's view of its mission has changed since I was an undergraduate. President Kim has already said he's working to "increase the (presumably financial) value" of a Dartmouth degree, and now he's going to address the sophomores on the habits of mind that lead to success in life. Sounds like the kind of upwardly-mobile seminars you can get a lot more cheaply on a given weekend at your local Radisson! Will he be offering personal investment software next?

When I was an undergraduate, Dickey et al tended to stress how a liberal education was something other than professional training. This may not have been the best advice for those (like me) who were there flying coach -- in an early job interview, the human resources rep, learning I'd majored in English, said "what did you waste four years for?" but there at least was a certain integrity to it. I still do English pretty well, but much of the Economics I might have learned then would surely be out of date.

Anonymous said...

Early job interview?

Didn't everybody just get a job in their Dad's company back in those days?

John said...

Sure, some did, but for those who weren't going to, a "liberal education" was maybe more of a luxury than we were being led to believe. I'm not at all sure that John Sloan Dickey (a Nelson Rockefeller catspaw, I'm told) understood that.

DartBored said...

"Great Issues" - brought to you by Bud Light and Go Daddy. Here we go!

Anonymous said...

"It seems like Dartmouth's view of its mission has changed since I was an undergraduate."

Either it has or it hasn't. Why not just compare mission statements instead of making assumptions?

John said...

It may be that I'm really, really old and decrepit here, but "mission statements" are a fairly new (and pretty silly, in my opinion) development. I'm not aware of Dickey having a specific one, but I do recall an especially vapid statement that a liberal education is supposed to "liberate you from the meanness of mere existence". Hah! A trust fund'll do that, too!

But naturally, mission statements in and of themselves say nothing of what an institution is really there for. Robert Reich '68 would probably say, for instance, that irrespective of mission statement, an Ivy is there to serve as a tax-advantaged haven for wealthy families' money and accumulate extravagant endowments, thereby adding to the prestige of the folks who serve on Boards of Trustees and the like.

Anonymous said...

Well, you're the one talking about "Dartmouth's view of its mission." Do you think people would have written down that kind of thing back in the 1960s, or should we just accept your old memories as an accurate account?

If you wanted to know about what the institution is really there for, I wonder why you would speculate about its view of its mission....

John said...

Well, since you ask, here is the mission statement in its entirety: "Dartmouth College educates the most promising students and prepares them for a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership, through a faculty dedicated to teaching and the creation of knowledge."

This is about as close to meaningless bromide as you can get, so I really do think that two questions come up: first, what in fact is the College's view of this mission statement? Probably (as is not unusual for the insiders in such a case) utterly cynical. second, what is the College's real mission? This is one of the questions I've been posing here in recent days, and certainly one respectable answer would be Bob Reich's.

Anonymous said...

Let's stop adding new questions until we answer the old ones, shall we?

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