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Dartmouth has a wealth of experienced professors who lead their respective research fields, while also working closely with students — inspiring them in the classroom and leading them in laboratory environments. And while at Dartblog we talk frequently about problems that need to be fixed at the College, there are still many bright spots. Our professors deserve more recognition for their achievements. As such, this is one of a series of posts that shines a spotlight on the best professors in Hanover:

Nate DominyA.jpgNate Dominy is a professor in the Department of Anthropology and an adjunct professor in the Department of Biology at the College. His anatomical research primarily concerns how humans and other primates have evolved to acquire food — a key force that has shaped who we are as a species.

Dominy’s journey to academia began as an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins, where he would complete a double major in Anthropology and English Literature. He took advantage of a program that allowed students to do research at the medical school, teaming up with an Anatomy professor and joining a trip to Costa Rica at age 18 to study monkeys (his job was mostly to catch the tranquilized animals with a net as they fell out of a tree). His love of that work has never left him.

As a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Hong Kong, Dominy continued to study primate evolution and the impact that food collection and eating has on human biology. His major work during that time contrasted four species of primates in Uganda which have trichromatic color vision, just like humans, with monkeys with only bichromatic vision (red-green color-blind). The research showed that the primates who see like humans sought out leaves and fruit that were distinguishable by the ability to see those colors — likely an evolutionary advantage we developed for this reason.

Dominy earned his Ph.D. in 2001, then did a postdoc at the University of Chicago before spending six years teaching at UC Santa Cruz. He came to Dartmouth in 2010 as an associate professor, and he earned full professor status in 2015. As a relatively young faculty member, Dominy already has an impressive h-index of 32, according to Google Scholar. He has also won the John M. Manley Huntington Award for Newly Promoted Faculty.

Dominy’s focus on primates gathering food resources has taken him all sort of places, including up into trees. The research consensus on human evolution holds that once our feet and legs changed to accommodate bipedal standing and walking, our species had to give up climbing trees. That turns out not to be entirely true. While there has been an anatomical trade-off for humans, Dominy researched communities in Africa that hunt and gather in the rainforest. The people of those communities climb trees constantly to collect honey — proving that early humans likely didn’t have to give up all tree mobility when they shifted to standing on two feet. You can learn more about this idea from Dominy here:

The most cited paper (800 citations in the works of other researchers) that Dominy has co-authored examines when and how early humans began to eat starchy foods like tubers, roots, and bulbs. To solve the question, he looked at the enzyme amalyse as a clue. To break down starchy foods, humans today have as many as sixteen copies of an amalyse-producing gene, while other primates have just two. Evidence suggests those copies began to multiply in the last 100,000 years, which shows how we likely have forced an evolution on ourselves by eating more starch over time. More here:

Dominy typically teaches a range of introductory and intermediate courses like Anthro 6, Anthro 20 and Anthro 40. This fall he’ll be adding a brand new course, Anthro 70: Experiencing Human Origins and Evolution, where students will learn about human evolution in southern Africa and then participate in a three-week trip to South Africa after the term ends. The course will be funded by President Hanlon this year, and if successful, Dominy hopes alumni will pick up the bill thereafter.

Meanwhile, Dominy is going full circle in encouraging his undergraduates to do research. Just last week, Samuel Gochman ‘18 published a study overseen by Dominy that looked at the preferences for alcohol consumption of aye-aye primates in a controlled experiment.

Dominy’s wife, Erin Butler, is a Neukom Fellow at the Thayer School.

Addendum for the kids: Dominy has also penned an academic style paper on why Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer would benefit from his glowing nose. He wrote that the article was “inspired by my daughter Eleanor, who likes to ask why.”

Addendum: An alumnus write in:

Nice article on Nate. I believe he was recruited by Buddy Teevens ‘79 to be the academic advisor to the football team. He is also leading a Dartmouth Alumni Travel trip to Borneo (to see the orangutans and other primates), Bali, and Komodo Island (dragons, of course) in the fall of 2017. Come join us!

UCLA WiFI.jpgThere was a time not too long ago — about 30-40 years in the past — when Dartmouth’s information infrastructure was the envy of academe: John Kemeny had written BASIC with eager undergrads; other schools logged onto the Dartmouth Time Sharing System (DTSS) over phone lines at a blinding 300 baud; and the College earned Wired Magazine’s Most Wired Campus award more often than not. As late as 1998 we won Yahoo! Magazine’s award for best campus technology, and in 2002 Wired profiled us for a ground-breaking roll-out of an all-campus WiFi network. No more.

This past weekend on a visit to UCLA I could connect in one click to the campus UCLA-Roam WiFi network and download Jane Got Her Gun from iTunes in 2:30. Look at the download/upload rates to the right. Meanwhile at the College this week, each time I connected to the Dartmouth Public network (even if I did so at ten-minute intervals), I had deal with an annoying splash screen (below) and click on a “Continue” button in order to connect to a slow-as-digital-molasses network where I might even now still be downloading Natalie Portman’s latest movie. How the data rates (and the mighty) have fallen:

Dartmouth WiFi comp.jpg

When prospective students visit the College, they leave with a poor impression for any number of reasons.

This summer’s Olympics will be fun to watch, especially the rugby. Maddie Hughes ‘15 could well lead the U.S. to victory in the 7’s:

QB Dalyn Williams ‘16’s pro dreams looked slight when he was waived by the Bears a week ago, but it seems that he has now been picked up by the Packers — the current home of Jacob Flores ‘16.

Addendum: Turns out that this is not happening after all. Dalyn had a good workout yesterday with the Pack, but after that effort the team chose to not offer him a contract.

Jake Tapper ‘91 continues to do good work for CNN:

And Senator Kirstin Gillibrand ‘88(D-NY) addressed the entire convention:

Have I missed anyone?

Addendum: Elle Magazine has a nice portrait and interview with Reverend Leah D. Daughtry ‘84, whom the piece describes as the Democratic convention CEO — “lead strategist, event manager, and problem-solver.” Daughtry performed the same function in 2008:

Leah Daughtry.jpg

Josie Harper, Dartmouth’s Director of Athletics and Recreation from July 2002 until her retirement in June 2009, was on the College’s staff for close to 27 years. She was the first female AD at an Ivy League school. Harper joined the athletics department in 1981 as the women’s lacrosse head coach, a position that she held for 11 seasons. Last Tuesday in the Valley News she weighed in on l’affaire Patton:

VN Josie Haper Comp.jpg

I wonder where all of this is going to go.

Addendum: One observation in Harper’s letter bears analysis:

The day Amy Patton was forced to resign from Dartmouth College as the head coach of the women’s lacrosse program was truly a sad day for the vast majority who have played and coached in this program. [Emphasis added]

We can all agree that Patton was a fine coach in many respects, but the precise phrasing in Harper’s letter leaves room for us to also understand that a small number of players (and coaches?) had legitimate grievances concerning her treatment of them — hence Patton’s justified dismissal.

Addendum: Six members — Blake Hamblett ‘17, Kristen Hinckley ‘17, Lauren Maiorano ‘17, Taryn Deck ‘17, Courtney Weisse ‘17 and Kelly Dolan ‘17 — of the women’s lacrosse team wrote a letter to the Valley News on July 26 about their experiences with Coach Patton:

The Legacy of an Incredible Coach

In response to recent reports in the press about our former head coach, Amy Patton, we members of the Dartmouth women’s lacrosse team would like to share our perspective regarding her departure from the program. Our story is quite different from what has been publicized.

To Amy, being a member of the team meant more than simply being a lacrosse player. Amy prioritized recruiting girls who would embrace our traditions and culture rather than simply recruiting talent. We chose Dartmouth because, as aspiring and ambitious women, we knew that being a part of a program led by Amy Patton would develop us not only into great student-athletes, but also into great individuals. Amy promoted this by maintaining an unwavering faith in the potential of her players; she saw more in us than we saw in ourselves, and nothing is more empowering.

While winning games is important to our program, Amy always believed that character-building came first. Amy helped us recognize that success is never defined by awards or stats, but by growth in who we are as women.

Upholding personal values of integrity, respect, high standards and pride is paramount in Amy’s life, and she expected the same from us. Led by her example, we learned how to hold ourselves and others accountable to the highest standard and how to put the team before individual goals.

By challenging us daily, Amy taught us that nothing comes easily. She rewarded hard work, integrity and discipline, and would never compromise to accommodate those who did not share these convictions. She taught us that there are no rewards without effort. And, in the same vein, she showed us the importance of a growth mindset, that mistakes and criticism should be regarded as learning opportunities, and constructive feedback as a sign of support. These life lessons have made us better teammates, classmates, co-workers, and, ultimately, better versions of ourselves. They are qualities that we will rely on years after we leave Hanover.

Amy built a culture of excellence, pride and growth around the program. It is no coincidence that more Dartmouth parents and alumni appear at away games than the home teams’ fans. Amy created a lacrosse family that transcends the game itself. Being a Dartmouth women’s lacrosse player is not easy, but if you persevere, you will graduate with a lifetime support system of hundreds of amazing women all connected by Amy.

It is possible that Amy may have been misunderstood by those who never had the opportunity of putting on a jersey for her. So it is imperative that we define Amy Patton’s legacy for what it is — an incredible coach, mentor and someone who upheld the Dartmouth way — on the field and off.

Blake Hamblett, Kristen Hinckley, Lauren Maiorano, Taryn Deck, Courtney Weisse,
Kelly Dolan

Members of the Dartmouth women’s lacrosse team

In the most recent issue of Lacrosse Magazine, a letter signed by “The Current Dartmouth Women’s Lacrosse Team” was published:

Lacrosse Women's Letter.jpg

Given that there is at least one whistleblower on the team who took issue with Coach Patton’s behavior, the reader must question whether all of the members of the team signed the letter.

The article accompanying the letter included the following quote:

“We feel that the report released by Dartmouth was not representative of our voices as players regarding our experiences with and respect for Amy,” Blake Hamblett [‘17], a senior defender for the Big Green, wrote in an email to Lacrosse Magazine.

I wrote to Blake to see if she has obtained the “report” on Coach Patton that led to her dismissal. Nothing has been circulated by the Athletics department; to do so would be a violation of Patton’s legal right to privacy. Blake responded promptly that she had not seen the College’s investigatory report; she was referring only to the press release issued by the Athletics department.

Sources indicate that the department’s investigation into Amy Patton’s behavior was the first of its kind in memory. The fact that the investigation took place at all, and that the conclusion was so decisive — dismissing Patton virtually on the spot — leads one to believe that its findings were corroborated by multiple team members and its implications were clear cut.

Athletics Director Harry Sheehy is not a political guy, but in this instance he had the option of discretely offering Patton one last season before she “moved on to a new opportunity” or fêting her “retirement” from Dartmouth — actions that might have been possible had the investigation not uncovered serious misbehavior. Apparently easing the 26-year-veteran College coach out the door with a graceful, final-lap exit was not an option.

In addition, the Athletics department’s announcement of Patton’s departure was unusually direct, as if to communicate to observers in the lacrosse world that she is not a coach that another school would want to hire.

The “Current Dartmouth Women’s Lacrosse Team” letter published in Lacrosse Magazine defending Patton and the fact that some of the players are being investigated by the Town of Hanover Police may indicate something of the atmosphere inside the program (Psych 1 students will recognize the idea of identification with the oppressor). No doubt such an environment makes it difficult for the whistleblower to remain active with the team. We can only applaud her courage.

There has been no indication that Patton is contemplating litigation.

We can agree that it must be tough to stencil bicycle-lane symbols onto the pavement all the livelong day. So what’s a civil servant with the soul of an artist to do when there’s a little spare paint on hand to add to the stencils that must be placed every few yards? Here’s what: Image #1 displays the standard bike lane stencil as ordained by the Town of Hanover Public Works Department: unisex, schematic and humorless; Image #2, au contraire, appears to depict a cyclist sporting an English bowler; Image #3 shows a visiting Mexican in a sombrero; and Image #4 has the rider in a headdress, possibly Native American?

Bike Lane Comp.jpg

Bravo. I rarely fail to smile as I pedal by.

Addendum: Needless to say, I could not possibly divulge the location in Hanover of this burst of creativity for fear that the forces of orderliness might intervene.

Harmeet Dhillon1.jpgFor some reason the College Communications Office’s new organ, the Dartmouth News, did not report on the fact that Harmeet Dhillon ‘89 delivered the invocation on the second day of the Republican convention. She sang her prayer in Punjabi and then translated it into English. Among her thoughts:

Please give us the courage to make the right choices, to make common cause with those with whom we disagree, for the greater good of our nation.

At the College, where she majored in Classics, Dhillon was Editor-in-Chief of the Review, and after graduation she went to law school at UVA. She has been active in Republican politics (she was head of the nation’s largest Federalist Society chapter) and, perhaps uniquely, she was a board member of the ACLU for three years (the ACLU represented several Review staffers during the Bill Cole affair). She runs a small company, Sea Ranch Woolworks, that makes knitted goods from the wool produced on her 300-acre farm, and she also runs a law firm, Dhillon & Smith LLP, that she co-founded in 2006.

In 2013, Dhillon ran for vice chairwoman of the California state GOP, won by a landslide, and since then she has become the public face of the state GOP. Dhillon has the support of Charlie Munger Jr. — who is an important GOP contributor, a Stanford physicist, and the son of Warren Buffett’s renowned partner of the same name at Berkshire Hathaway. When she was elected, Munger said, “As she’s proven, she’s a rising star in the party and she’s also a sharp cookie and highly able. One has to distinguish, she was elected on her merits,” he added. “She got there in spite of being a woman, in spite of being Sikh. She’s the first woman vice chair in party history. There was no royal road paved for her.”

Addendum: In fairness to the College’s media, the estimable Alumni Magazine ran a thorough profile of Harmeet in its May/June 2013 issue.

Laura Ingraham ‘85, an alumna of the Dartmouth Review, spoke at the Republican Convention, too:

Addendum: Not a word on the College’s website about Laura’s speech either.

Dartmouth has a wealth of experienced professors who lead their respective research fields, while also working closely with students — inspiring them in the classroom and leading them in laboratory environments. And while at Dartblog we talk frequently about problems that need to be fixed at the College, there are still many bright spots. Our professors deserve more recognition for their achievements. As such, this is one of a series of posts that shines a spotlight on the best professors in Hanover:

John Carey.jpgJohn Carey is the John Wentworth Professor in the Social Sciences in the Government department. His research on the success or failure of democracies based on their political and electoral structure is of particular relevance to American observers after this crazy week at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Carey’s eventual path to Dartmouth took an early detour on a salmon fishing boat in Kasilof, Alaska. After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard in 1986 with a certificate in Latin American Studies, Carey went with some buddies up to Alaska to make a good paycheck working the summer fishing season. He loved working and living as a crew member of one boat, and he returned for the next four summers as well. As salmon prices peaked, Carey even considered buying a permit to start his own operation — but both he and Dartmouth are thankful that he decided against it.

Instead, Carey served for a year as a legislative assistant in Washington, D.C. for then-Senator John Kerry before earning his Ph.D. in political science from UCSD. After teaching stints at the Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, the University of Rochester, Washington University in St. Louis, and Harvard, Carey came to Hanover in 2003. Since then, he’s been an active teacher, researcher, and leader. After serving as chair of the government department from 2009 to 2015, Carey is now on both the Committee Advisory to the President (CAP) and the Institutional Review Board for Arts & Sciences.

At UCSD Carey began to analyze Latin American democracies and dictatorships — often a fine line. There he coauthored Presidents and Assemblies: Constitutional Design and Electoral Dynamics with Matthew Shugart, one of his professors. The book, which has since been translated into six languages, critiqued the popular notion that democracy could have survived in some countries if only they had had a parliamentary system with less power wielded by a single president. Carey’s two pieces of scholarship with Shugart (the other is: Incentives to cultivate a personal vote: A rank ordering of electoral formulas) have been cited 3,499 and 1,858 times respectively in the works of other researchers).

Carey noted in the first work above that not all presidential-based democracies are created equal, an argument he’s still making. Earlier this year in The Washington Post, he described how the United States was designed specifically to have a relatively weak presidency compared to other countries, even accounting for the creeping gain in power under the last two administrations. As Carey says, Ecuadorians or Colombians would have much more to be worried about from electing President Donald Trump than we do — a comforting thought during this election season.

Carey has also researched the effects term limits have had both in Latin America and state legislatures here at home. Unfortunately, none of his findings indicate that term limits encourage a more citizen-influenced (rather than career-politician) legislature or make the elected bodies more effective institutions. Rather, term-limited politicians simply look for the elected or appointed office that they can jump to next, and they tend to work to gain favor with the gatekeepers to those jobs rather than with the people who elected them.

While the themes of democratic rules and structure continue to form the core of Carey’s work, he has branched out into some new areas. He and his fellow Dartmouth government professor Yusaku Horiuchi waded into the radioactive topic of campus diversity recently. Instead of a poll, their study used fully randomized conjoint analysis, which presented respondents with a pair of hypothetical candidates for student admission or faculty hiring and asked which one he or she would select. Each candidate was assigned a random “bundle of attributes” that includes race and gender, as well as academic resumes and other factors. Their results showed remarkable consistency in valuing diversity on campus, with slight differences among various groups.

Carey is also teaming up with colleagues Brendan Nyhan, Benjamin Valentino and Mingnan Liu on a unique study of “Deflategate” — the NFL scandal surrounding New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s alleged deflation of footballs to give an edge to his team. The forthcoming paper, using conversations Carey had with other Patriots fans, will show “how preferences and predispositions shape conspiracy beliefs” about the scandal.

Meanwhile, Carey has a full load of courses, usually teaching GOV 4: Politics of the World, GOV 26: Elections and Reform, and GOV 49: Latin American Politics. This fall, however, he’ll be leading the government foreign study program to the London School of Economics. There he’ll be teaching a new course on the ethical and policy considerations of foreign aid.

Addendum: In this video, Carey interviews Hendrik Hertzberg, a Senior Editor and Staff Writer at The New Yorker:

Addendum: Carey consults widely on the structure of electoral systems. In the last decade his clients have included: the United States State Department, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, L-3 Communications, Freedom House, the Kadima Party of Israel, and the Government of Bolivia.

Addendum: Carey communicated his love of the College to his sons: Joe Carey graduated from Dartmouth in 2015, and he is now learning to fly in the Marines; Sam, a math major, is an ‘18.

Addendum: An admiring alumnus writes in:

A former JV hockey player at Harvard, John is also the academic advisor to the hockey team, and he has been involved in Hanover youth hockey for many years.

A member of the faculty writes in:

Faculty hired 5-7 years ago were told explicitly that a couple of peer-reviewed articles and a book contract with a well-respected academic press was sufficient for tenure. I often used the word “humane” to describe the requirements for tenure, in that they rewarded both scholarship of a high caliber and teaching prowess. Dartmouth had a reputation as a place where work-life balance was valued, and the inconveniences associated with its rural location were offset by the benefits of raising children within a close-knit community.

Professors hired at that time are now coming up for tenure, having been mentored by department members whose curriculum vitae were far less impressive when they initially made associate. Some of my peers were pressured into service commitments that would have no bearing on tenure, and encouraged to take on projects (writing for anthologies and organizing conferences, for example) that would be time-consuming yet not lead to professional advancement. Recent tenure decisions have many members of my cohort scrambling for the exits—going on the market and taking on visiting appointments elsewhere—now that they understand that they were given a false impression of how different aspects of their trajectories would be evaluated.

I hate to say this, but many younger colleagues express regret at having agonized over their lesson plans and expended so much effort on honing their skills as classroom instructors, when a talent for teaching simply does not factor into tenure decisions. Phil Hanlon’s recent remarks on education only confirm what we already know, that Dartmouth is moving toward a corporate state university model wherein professors are retained for their “productivity”—quantity of publication over quality—and ability to bring in large grants, while underpaid adjuncts teach undergraduates.

The standalone graduate school announced in October cements Dartmouth’s movement in this direction, since teaching experience is mandatory for professionalization, and what are graduate students but an easily exploitable workforce?

I hope readers appreciate this carefully thought through and well expressed opinion. That Phil has tightened up tenure standards is a good thing — we have noted in the past that Jim Wright and his gang often granted tenure for political loyalty and social ties (to people who will be in Hanover for 30+ years stuck at the associate professor level) — but Phil’s search for prestige has gone too far: the word is out there now among tenure-track faculty members that Phil and Carolyn are looking only for prestige and publications, and teaching and mentoring students count for little or nothing.

Beyond that point, when the call goes out for faculty members to become involved in the new house system and in advising students, how do you expect junior faculty to respond? Phil is sending mixed signals here: get involved in the houses, but at tenure time don’t expect any credit for the time that you spend.

What’s a young professor to do?

Addendum: A professor of some wit and no little achievement writes in:

“…a couple of peer-reviewed articles and a book contract with a well-respected academic press was sufficient for tenure.” Seriously? And what do they do in the second year?

Melanie Vangel.jpegAbout a month ago we ran a can-you-believe-this post about a student from Camden, Maine, a graduate of Loomis Chaffee, Melanie Vangel ‘18, who stole a dog named Fred from the Rutland dog pound. Melanie had been a starter for the soccer team over two seasons before being booted (haha, the best puns are unintentional) off the squad. In a recent disturbing turn for the worse, it seems that she has ramped up her life of crime to a new level, as the Portland Press Herald reported two days ago:

The State Fire Marshal’s Office has charged a Lincolnville woman with setting a vehicle on fire in Cape Elizabeth over the weekend.

Melanie Vangel, 20, was arrested and charged with two counts of arson and one count of unauthorized use of property in the incident on Saturday, in which investigators say she stole a van from Rockport, drove to New Hampshire, parked the van next to a garage at 2 Lights Terrace in Cape Elizabeth and set it on fire.

The 2014 Chrysler Town and Country was destroyed and the garage sustained several thousand dollars in damage. Vangel was arrested late Saturday night in Cape Elizabeth.

Investigators say the van was stolen either late Friday night or early Saturday morning from a location in Rockport. No one was injured in the incident.

Cape Elizabeth and Rockport police departments also were involved in the investigation.

To go from a varsity soccer player at the College to a thief and destroyer of property is sad. We can only hope that Melanie gets her act together.

Addendum: Melanie went to school in Cape Elizabeth before going to Loomis Chaffee. In the Fall of 2011 she was Cape Elizabeth’s Female Athlete of the Year.

Addendum: The D now has the full story.

BLM Hanover.jpg

They are out there every Monday — the Black Lives Matter crowd — united in their caring, and in their woeful incomprehension of how the world works. They want to end police violence against black bodies, and I hope against any bodies, but they say not a word about allowing police chiefs to fire the three of four cops on any force that chiefs know are loaded pistols — both literally and figuratively. Police unions are tough as nails, and to have a cop dismissed is well nigh impossible.

I expect that the BLM folks are opposed to the mass incarceration of black bodies, too. But do they have anything to say about the prison guards’ unions, who can be counted on to contribute massively to political candidates who do not want to reduce the prison population in America? The guards can see no further than their jobs and benefits. Black lives don’t matter to them.

Of course the root of the problem lies in the nation’s primary and secondary schools, particularly in inner city areas where so many black bodies are educated. How to fire sub-standard teachers, ones who will stunt the learning of their charges pretty much forever. Could it be that school principals don’t have the will to improve the quality of teaching, or is it almost impossible to fire teachers due the power of the teachers’ labor…. oh, you get my drift.

But do the BLM protesters?

I could go on, but suffice it to say that no coaches in the land would accept to run a team where they could not trade, bench or cut low-performing players. And no managers would attempt to direct an organization without the power to terminate sub-par employees. That observation, more than anything else, explains the parlous state of many of our institutions, and why they don’t serve our citizens very well, particularly African Americans.

Amy Patton1.jpgThe forced resignation of 26-year-veteran women’s lacrosse coach Amy Patton (known widely as “the General” — and not just for her name) continues to generate controversy. Players, alumni, friends of the team and players’ parents have been writing letters in support of Patton and objecting to her termination.

Now Dartblog has learned that several team members (but no coaches or other adults) are under investigation for a privacy violation. Responding to my inquiry, Town of Hanover Chief of Police Charlie Dennis wrote:

We currently have an active investigation looking into a Violation of Privacy, NH RSA 644:9. We received this information in June. This case involves some members (students) of the women’s La Crosse [sic] team. Violation of Privacy is a Class A misdemeanor. That is about all I can release now.

The New Hampshire law in question reads as follows:

NH 644 - 9 Privacy.jpg

Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,000.

The atmosphere on Patton’s teams has been commented on for some time, and as we quoted the other day, the Valley News noted in an article about Patton’s departure that the women’s lacrosse team’s assistant coaching ranks have seen high turnover during the past several years:

Patton experienced steady turnover among her assistant coaches during recent seasons. The program has had 10 changes to the assistant coach lineup since 2010, generally employing two at a time, plus a volunteer coach.

In contrast, while the men’s team has seen the departure of head coach Andrew Towers in favor of Brendan Callahan three seasons ago, assistant coach turnover was about half what it was at the women’s team. Some turnover on the men’s team would not be unexpected, given the arrival of a new head coach.

Patton resigned, according to the College’s press release, after the conclusion of an investigation into her conduct:

This decision followed an inquiry that led college officials to conclude that Patton engaged in conduct inconsistent with the standards of Dartmouth Athletics and that change is in the best interest of the program.

The inquiry, which began in April in response to a grievance and expanded based on information that was received, included interviews with Patton, current and former team members, assistant women’s lacrosse coaches, and other athletic department and college staff.

Of course, the College is bound, as are all employers, by rules limiting what it may say about employees. Should it violate disclosure rules, the NH Department of Labor would descend on the Athletics Department in a heartbeat (as I like to say: believe me, I know). However, a dismissed employee, though at theoretical risk of a lawsuit for slander, is free to comment at will.

Sources indicate that the ongoing police investigation relates to some form of harassment of the whistleblowing player whose complaint led to the investigation that culminated in Patton’s departure.

Addendum: Members of the Friends of Dartmouth Lacrosse Women’s Advisory Board (Josie Harper ‘47a, Jane Kirrstetter Ingram ‘78, Roseanne Byron McSween ‘84, Mary Page Michel ‘87, Martha Boss Bennett ‘89, Marianne Bocock Doyle ‘92, Jenny Edwards Wood ‘95, Suzanne Gibbons Owen ‘01, Kate Killen Haffenreffer ‘04, Margo Duke Simpson ‘07, Elizabeth Bennett Heritage ‘10, Shannon MacKenzie ‘11, Elizabeth Calby ‘14) have written a three-page letter to President Hanlon, Trustee Chair Bill Helman, and the Dartmouth Athletics Advisory Board detailing what they see as a deeply flawed investigation leading to Coach Patton’s departure. They describe the inquiry and its methods as “grossly unfair,” “intimidating and unprofessional,” and “unethical.” Among many other concerns, they charge that students were threatened with being prevented from graduating if they did not cooperate with investigators. AD Harry Sheehy is not a listed recipient of the letter.

Addendum: A former Dartmouth lax player comments:

Along with other Alums of the Dartmouth WLAX program, I am deeply upset by this news. I wonder if this investigation or even this press release would have been handled the same way if this were a male coach of women athletes? Likely not. In addition, over-involved sports parents and their offspring who blame others (including coaches) as a way to ease their own insecurities and disappointment has sadly become the new normal nowadays.

The lessons I learned from Amy P. (not all of them easy) have stayed with my today and informed my leadership at work, the way I live, and the way I parent my own kids. I am saddened to hear she is leaving Dartmouth and worried/wondering whether female coaches of women athletes today are fully allowed to do their jobs in ways that push and grow student-athletes for their greater good and for the team’s greater good?

Addendum: A male athlete from a recent class writes in:

I wanted to comment on the Amy Patton resignation and the article suggesting it was a brave move by Harry Sheehy. I can assure you that the Women’s Lacrosse alumni base are furious with this outcome. There were three specific players that led the campaign against Amy, all of whom were known to be weak contributors on and off the field. The player that filed the initial complaint has never passed her annual conditioning test, and she also filed a bullying suit against a teammate in high school.

Players, alumni, and their parents have sent (literally) hundreds of e-mails to Phil Hanlon and the board this weekend writing that they are withdrawing all support for Dartmouth (read: financially).

The team and recent alums were never contacted by Sheehy (the majority were not) and feel the investigation was totally one-sided. Amy Patton was an iconic lacrosse coach for over 26 years at Dartmouth and she deserves far better than a one-sided investigation because of a disgruntled player. This is a gross example of a spoiled athlete who didn’t deserve the privilege of playing for Dartmouth. I think your readers should know the full story.



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  • October 9, 2009
    D Afraid of a Little Competish
    So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
  • September 4, 2009
    How Regents Should Reign
    As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
  • August 29, 2009
    Election Reform Study Committee
    If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…

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