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The Town and the entire Upper Valley have been riveted regarding the fate of the sow and her three cubs who have set up shop within Town limits. The bears have been through our own garbage a few times, and they walk around during daylight hours like they own the place (which, I guess, by right of ancestry, they do; though, to date, nobody has suggested that the Town and College be abandoned in favor of the original animal inhabitants).

Last Wednesday State of New Hampshire wildlife officials (um, Bruce, that’s State with a capital S) said that the bears would have to be put down after they attempted to enter a Hanover home, but the outcry against this plan was widespread and immediate. Fortunately, for the bears at least, Governor Sununu himself intervened (we really do live in a small state), and the current plan is to capture the bears and take them on a long ride to a forest far, far away.

That effort is now in motion, and a bear trap has been set up a few hundred yards from our house (let’s just call the actual site a secure, undisclosed location in order to to discourage onlookers). As you would expect, one of Dartblog’s staff photographers (my wife, Elizabeth), was on hand. The trap is unattended, though the presence of the long white cord would seem to indicate that for it to work, a State official must give the cord a short, sharp shock:

Bear Trap1.jpg

The contraption has already elicited interest from one of its intended guests — a one-year-old bear cub (Elizabeth watched him for about twenty minutes):

Bear Trap2.jpg

The bear entered the trap, but there was nobody there to spring it, so he (I think) walked away:

Bear Trap3.jpg

And returned to the forest primeval (sort of):

Bear Trap4.jpg

The task facing State Fish and Game officials is somewhat complicated by the need to capture all four bears. It seems that at the present time, the trappers simply want the bears to become used to the trap. In and out the furry creatures will go — with impunity — for now. If the officials capture only one bear, there is a risk that the others will shy away from the trap. Perhaps if they habituate the bears to the trap, and then in a few days load the box up with food, all four will enter and they can be seized together. Or perhaps the State will add several other traps in an attempt to effect a mass capture. Stay tuned.

In February we did a four-part series on College Pulse, a smart survey app created by a team organized by Terren Klein ‘17. What a great tool for poll-taking: quick turnaround, large sample size, low cost. We used one of CP’s surveys to determine just who voted and how following the May 9 vote on Article 9.

We’re happy to report that CP has just won a grant of $100,000 from Accelerate NH, an incubator program organized by Alpha Loft. CP and two other companies divided $300,000 from the Millworks II venture fund. The Union Leader reports:

Survey collector

Dartmouth College senior Terren Klein says he hates taking surveys. Why give up personal information for nothing in return?

He’s not alone.

“Over the past couple of decades, response rates are declining on both the Dartmouth and national level,” Klein said during his Startup Shindig presentation Tuesday. “The same national universal health survey that received 80 percent response in 1996 received 28 percent this past year.”

So how did Pulse conduct 115 surveys in 16 weeks with 45 percent average response rate and an active user base of 92 percent of the Dartmouth student body?

By making it fun - and making it pay.

After students complete a survey on Pulse they can see how their responses stack up against their peers and can break down the results by a variety of demographics, including gender, group affiliation, class and major.

They also collect credits that can be exchanged for gift cards from Hanover-area companies, which pay $500 to advertise on the platform. Pulse expects to increase the fee as the size of its user base increases, Klein said.

The company also plans to make money by licensing the platform to high schools and other universities for $2,000 a month and by conducting surveys on behalf of academic researchers, think tanks, media groups and corporations.

Pulse (http://collegepulse.net) outperformed the survey software Dartmouth has been using, Klein said, and it’s less expensive than the competitors it aims to disrupt.

“For organizations, such as universities, the collection of student feedback plays a crucial role in the mission of the college,” he said. “Administrators depend on accurate student feedback in order to make informed decisions.

How cool to be able to say that I knew Terren when he was just an undergrad.

I was strolling up Tuck Mall when my companion, a Government professor, exclaimed how beautiful is the tree standing between Fahey and Russel Sage dorms:

Tuck Mall Tree.jpg

Some careful photo cropping — to center the American elm (Ulmus americana) in the image — makes it stand out in all its majesty. Long may it live.

Addendum: The College works hard to keep our remaining elms alive.

Following the illegal entry of KDE sorority on Wednesday night in which a miscreant left a violent and threatening message, many of the sisters are considering moving out of the house. They fear for their safety. The D reported on the contents of the message:

According to sources familiar with the incident, the message was found in the house’s basement. The perpetrator’s message described entering the house, accessing sisters’ personal possessions and committing vulgar and offensive acts inside the house with said possessions. The message called the sisters vulgar names, and the perpetrator threatened rape and continued surveillance of the house.

The message itself was written on a refrigerator in KDE’s basement, and images of it are circulating around the campus. However the widely held consensus among students is that the message should not be published on-line. However, in case anyone recognizes the handwriting of the intruder, here are the first two lines of the threatening text:

KDE Cropped.jpg

A number of people have wondered about the gender of the author. Does the handwriting strike you as coming from a man or a woman? Additionally, it seems to several folks who know KDE’s house that the writer knew details about the inside of the house quite well.

In the wake of the incident, letters have gone out out to the campus from various people and groups concerned about sexual violence on campus:

  • Dean of the College Rebecca Biron and Provost Carolyn Dever (letter)
  • Student and Presidential Committee on Sexual Assault (letter and the College’s Title IX resource guide)
  • Greek Leadership Council (letter, link to Sexual Assault Peer Advocate Facebook page)
  • Student Assembly President Ian Sullivan and Vice President Matthew Ferguson (letter)

Addendum: The D has a full report on the incident here. As does the Valley News.

Addendum: The Town of Hanover Police Department has now issued a press release about the investigation and varied safety recommendations:

KDE HPo Press Release.jpg

Duthu CIP.jpg

Better late than never, I guess, but when one sees the words “it is clear” in the context of a hotly disputed controversy, one should keep in mind that the authors are at least an argument short of supporting their position.

The Alumni Magazine notes a story that played in the Times:

Rich Student.jpg

As this space has reported, we give aid to fewer of our students than any other Ivy — and we boast about it! — even though we have approximately double the endowment per student of Brown, Columbia, Cornell and Penn.

In the Times latest ranking, out yesterday, our Pell grant share is 13%, and we rank 43rd in the nation for overall access — even though thirty of the schools ahead of us have smaller endowment/student resources than we do. We rank sixth in the Ivies; Penn is behind us in 45th place, and Cornell ranks 79th.

EBA's Closed.jpgAlthough the closure of EBAs was presented as a bolt out of the blue, Hanover oldtimers report that the restaurant has been suffering badly for several years, and the closure had been expected for a while. The reason: the College’s interminable, six-week, Thanksgiving-to-New Year’s break.

This misguided policy, enacted by the Kim/Folt administration, had as its goal to save energy costs by closing the College for an extended period, and also freeing many students from the burden of a quick holiday trip home during the fall term. However, it has caused serious collateral damage. As I wrote in a November 25, 2016 post:

Carol Folt’s endless six-week Xmas break has now begun, a destructive exercise that serves to further compress each of the College’s already-short four quarters, and supposedly reduces some heating bills, while letting more students go home for Thanksgiving. Are those our highest priorities?

While we might think of the foreign students who are marooned in Hanover for a month and a half, or have our hearts go out to Town merchants whose sales drop during the extended hiatus, the folks who really suffer from the lengthy break are the College’s students. Are nine-and-a-half-week quarters long enough for good learning? [Emphasis added]

The negative effects on students’ academic lives were apparent very early on. And the writing was on the wall for EBAs well before Domino’s opened up in Lebanon. You see, a business cannot easily survive a six-week dead period — over 10% of the year. Sales plummet, but rent and staffing costs don’t change much. Students had previously been in town during much of that period, and Dartmouth’s and visiting varsity teams used to pour into the restaurant for loud and lucrative events. No more. And there goes your annual profit.

While it’s too late now for EBAs, the College should think of changing back to a calendar that better supports student learning. Quarters that include a decent reading period before exams would be a good place to start.

Addendum: The Valley News reported extensively on EBAs sudden closure: Owner: Everything But Anchovies Was No Longer Profitable (Video with Radio Jingle) and Hanover ‘Institution’ Everything But Anchovies Abruptly Closes Its Doors After 38 Years and Readers React to Closing of Everything But Anchovies. The first story has the restaurant’s immortal jingle: 643-6135!

Rockmore A&S.jpgMath/CS Professor Dan Rockmore is an interesting, outside-the-box-kind of guy — proof that a mathematician can, in some cases anyways, have the soul of a poet. He has assembled and edited a collection of essays about the various liberal arts diciplines that came out yesterday, What Are the Arts and Sciences?: A Guide for the Curious. Rockmore wrote the piece on math, and twenty-three present and two former Dartmouth faculty colleagues described their own fields. In an interview with Inside Higher Education, he details the genesis of the book:

The book came from two separate but related ideas. I was enjoying reading E. H. Gombrich’s A Little History of the World to my son — and learning a lot! And I thought that it would be great if there were an analogous book that was something like a walk through the world of ideas, hopefully written in the same friendly, open and inviting manner for a broader but similarly motivated audience: the curious and eager learner of all ages.

This fed into a related constant little obsession of mine, which is an astonishment around how generally people of all ages have very little understanding or awareness of what it is that others do in their work, be they lawyers, marketing executives or bankers. This is especially true about academics — just what is it that a math professor does all day? And moreover, even within the academy, it’s true among academics. The art historian may well have no idea of what the sociologist does all day and vice versa. What is it that they are studying?

I’ve devoted a fair amount of time to trying to break down those kinds of walls here at Dartmouth, and this book is a piece of that, but with a broader audience in mind. I’m a firm believer in the idea that most people are generally curious about the world of ideas and that all they need is a nonthreatening and friendly entree, and that we’d all be better off if that curiosity could be embraced, addressed and fostered.

Beyond the intrinsic intellectual interest of this work, I hope that it will have functional benefits. Where else can a reader get a good taste of the varied ideas that animate the faculty of an Ivy League school? One author of a piece in the book suggested to me that it should be sent each year to all students admitted to the College.

In addition, let’s hope that it is read widely by the College’s faculty. I have often been struck by how few of their colleagues Dartmouth professors know — particularly outside their own division. A work that helps profs build bridges among themselves could have longterm benefits for the school.

Rockmore seems to be making a side speciality of gathering the thoughts of fellow scholars into thought-inciting displays of one kind or another. His exhibit of the mathematical formulae cherished by esteemed scientists opened in late March at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Forbes gave it a laudatory review:

Titling his project Concinnitas, and producing it using a traditional fine art printing technique, Rockmore reflects the mathematical interest in beauty back on the realm of art. The fact that these formulae do not readily reveal what is beautiful protects them from the readymade criticism that beauty is too easy. On the contrary, these aquatints lend beauty unexpected layers of complexity.

Rockmore is the Director of the Neukom Institute for Computational Science, and holds appointments as both Professor of Mathematics and also Computer Science at the College. In addition to his scholarly work, he is a frequent contributor to the HuffPost and he has three articles in The New Yorker. Take a look at his complete CV here. (By taking the time to peruse Dan Rockmore’s accomplishments, you will understand, or not, why he didn’t even merit an interview in the recent Dean of the Faculty search. Was he overqualified?)

Addendum: The following Dartmouth faculty members present and past contributed pieces to Rockmore’s book: African-American Studies (Derrick E. White); Anthropology (Sienna Craig); Art History (Ada Cohen); Astronomy (Ryan Hickox); Biology (Amy Gladfelter); Chemistry (Jon Kull); Classics (Roger B. Ulrich); Computer Science (Thomas H. Cormen); Ecology (Mark A. McPeek); Economics (Christopher Snyder); Engineering (Vicki V. May); English (Thomas H. Luxon); French (Andrea Tarnowski); Geography (Richard Wright); Geology (William B. Dade); History (Robert Bonner); Linguistics (James N. Stanford); Mathematics (Daniel Rockmore); Music (Larry Polansky); Philosophy (Adina L. Roskies); Physics (Miles Blencowe); Political Science (Russ Muirhead); Psychology (Thalia Wheatley); Religion (Susan Ackerman); Sociology (Janice McCabe); Theatre (Daniel Kotlowitz); Women’s and Gender Studies (Ivy Schweitzer).

Addendum: Right on time, Dan has a piece today in The Atlantic: Getting to Know Your Online Doppleganger.

Phil Hanlon’s characterization of the critics of Bruce Duthu as “external audiences” is drawing attention. Roger A. Gerber ‘59 wrote the following open letter to the President and the Provost:

Dear President Hanlon and Provost Dever:

As a long-time loyal Dartmouth alumnus I read with interest your message regarding the decision of Professor Bruce Duthu to decline his appointment as Dean of the Faculty. Since my wife and I had the pleasure of dining with Prof. Duthu and his wife, both of whom were charming and affable companions, on a Dartmouth Alumni cruise in the Caribbean a few years ago, I was particularly interested in the facts surrounding his appointment.

Your message attributes the opposition to the appointment of Prof. Duthu to “his membership on the Council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association [“NAISA”] that drafted a 2013 call to boycott Israeli academic institutions.” The facts are otherwise; Prof. Duthu is not merely a “member” of NAISA but is its Treasurer and is listed on its website as one of “the Council Members who wrote the Declaration of Support for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions.” Your message states that it was NAISA “that drafted [the] call to boycott Israeli academic institutions,” as though it were a passive institutional act, but the NAISA website lists the Council Members “who wrote the Declaration of Support…” It is thus somewhat misleading to say that the protests were “due to his membership” in NAISA.

An undergraduate group, Dartmouth Students for Israel, has published an open letter to the campus regarding Bruce Duthu and the BDS movement. The missive is an appropriate counterpoint to Phil Hanlon’s repeated assertion at the faculty meeting yesterday that opposition to Bruce Duthu comes entirely from outside of Hanover (go to the extended for the full text of the letter):

On May 19, 2017, the Native Americans at Dartmouth (NAD) organization sent out an email to the Dartmouth community “to address statements made against the appointment of N. Bruce Duthu as the Dean of Faculty, and to emphasize [their] full support for his appointment.”

In it, NAD defended Duthu’s support for BDS, a campaign that targets the State of Israel with academic and economic boycotts, advances divestment from Israeli corporations and has a long-term mission of getting international sanctions imposed on the country.

BDS has three goals: (1) to end the Israeli “occupation” of the West Bank, (2) to grant the “Right of Return” to all Palestinians, and (3) to give Palestinians equal rights in Israel. The first makes no distinction between disputed holy Jewish areas, such as the Old City of Jerusalem, and other regions in the West Bank. The second supports a policy that would lead to the destruction of the Jewish state qua Jewish state. The third falsely implies that Palestinian-Israelis in Israel do not have equal rights.

BDS unfairly singles out the State of Israel for human rights violations and inaccurately argues that Israel’s “occupation” of the disputed West Bank is illegal. It demonizes Israel and holds the country to a double standard.

Its success necessitates the elimination of Israel. The founder of the BDS movement, Omar Barghouti, has confirmed as much, declaring: “Definitely, most definitely, we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.”

The interpretation of BDS as an antisemitic movement is widely held, and is endorsed by Dartmouth Students for Israel.

Thumbnail image for Faculty Meeting Protestors May 22, 2017.jpgIt was hard not feel depressed after the two-hour long faculty meeting yesterday. Weak leadership can wear down even the most optimistic entrepreneur.

The meeting was attended by an unaccustomed group: about 50-60 students (at right) protesting in support of Bruce Duthu, who, they seemed convinced, was done in by people who could only see the man’s race — and not his inexperience and pernicious ideology. They spared the assembled faculty and observers the usual chanting, but they made up for it with finger snaps and catty, unbidden interjections throughout the meeting. Dean of the Faculty Mike Mastanduno kept his cool in an admirable fashion, ignoring the interruptions and waiting out the shallow heckling. Good for him. He ended his term as Dean gracefully.

As for the rest of the meeting, beyond the initial declarations of heartfelt support for Bruce Duthu and the counterpoint from faculty members who tried to get people to comprehend that Duthu’s support for a boycott of Israeli universities was a morally poisonous stance, the meeting was a litany of examples of how little the College has invested in its educational mission over the past two decades.

Too start off, Phil Hanlon took pains — after trumpeting “Dartmouth’s rising academic reputation” and the “amazing admissions outcomes” — to emphasize that Bruce Duthu has wide support among the faculty. Although he never harkened back to the 60’s and used the term “outside agitator,” that bogeyman was his clear implication. Duthu, at least in Phil’s mind, was the victim of the press and other outsiders; somehow the fact escaped his notice that the issue blew up only when Economics Professors Alan Gustman circulated his powerful letter of protest.

Religion Professor Susan Ackerman ‘80 (the same class as Duthu), pronounced to strong applause that, “This is the Dean of the Faculty, not the Dean of the Alumni.” She clearly was on-message: only those awful outsiders opposed Duthu, not the faculty.

Professor followed on professor with excoriations of “small groups of bloggers” (I wonder who?), the usual recitation of received death threats and rape threats (though none are ever reported, of course, to the authorities), “pressure and bullying coming from the outside,” and the mention of “a few wackos out there.”

Professor Sergei Kan, whose appointment bestrides the fields of Anthropology, Native American Studies, Jewish Studies and Russian Studies, attempted a retort, stating that Duthu’s support of BDS positions was “a big issue on campus” among many students and faculty, in addition to alumni, but he was a lonely voice against a chorus that wanted to blame only “outsiders.”

Dean Mastanduno closed the discussion about the Dean of the Faculty by concluding that l’affaire Duthu had “not been a good moment for Dartmouth.” It seems now that the ball will the thrown back to the same search committee that chose Duthu.

However later in the meeting, a suggestion from the floor led to a motion urging Duthu to reconsider his refusal of the Deanship. Because the motion had come without the requisite two weeks notice, it had to pass with a 75% super-majority, which it did in spades. The vote in favor was unanimous, but by my rough count at least a third or more of the faculty members in attendance did not vote. There was no tally of abstentions.

Mastanduno went on to talk about the capital campaign. The effort is focusing on 160 core proposals, which he said have met with an “unenthusiastic” response from the faculty chairs. (Methinks that anyone who has 160 priorities has no real priorities at all). The target for the capital campaign will be announced in September (the figure of $2.5-3.0 billion has been bouncing around for many months), but the formal launch will be in April/May of 2018, shortly before Phil’s five-year anniversary in Hanover. Mastanduno stated that the administration’s goal now was to generate enthusiasm for the campaign both on campus (“internally) and among alumni and other donors (“externally”) — an excitement that he did not feel existed on the campus “yet.” Good luck.

The rest of the meeting described challenges facing the College due to long-deferred actions that were now urgent. Mastanduno mentioned “severe space constraints” due to the fact, among others, that the Gilman/Dana renovation had been put off. In his witty way, he said that “a looming crisis has become a crisis.”

As a prelude to Government Professor Stephen Brooks remarks, Mastanduno mentioned the need to have the College be competitive in compensation “at every rank” — a state of affairs that was not the case today.

Brooks took over, and in his direct style noted how the College had been falling behind its peers compensation-wise in the U.S. News Top 20:

Faculty Salaries 2000-2016.jpg

However, he was happy to report that an addition to the raise pool of $1.4 million each year for the next four years was in the works, supplementary raises that had the potential to restore the Dartmouth faculty to parity with peer U.S. News Top 20 schools (no mention of the Ivy League).

Brooks then moved on to faculty research stipends: currently $5,000/year for professors in endowed chairs, and $3,000 for other faculty members. Amazingly these amounts have not changed since 1995 — a period of time that saw an inflation rate of 62.69%. Fortunately, he said, Provost Dever was on the case, and an increase in faculty research allowances was an item in the capital campaign. He stated that the impact of increased budgets would be “immense.”

He concluded by announcing that efforts would soon be made to streamline procurement, support faculty telecom costs with a $50 allowance, improve faculty parking and expand computing support.

All in all, it was hard to escape the omnipresent sense that the College is cash-strapped, and that the capital campaign is needed to finance new investments and other improvements. The tone of the meeting made one painfully aware of two decades of poor leadership: even though on an endowment/student basis, we are twice as wealthy as Brown, Columbia, Penn and Cornell, we don’t have enough buildings, many are in urgent need of renovation, and the faculty is underpaid and does not have competitive funding for research. Oh, joy.

Let’s burst into song: Where does all the money go? Long time passing. Gone to administrators every million. When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn.

Addendum: In addition to the communication to the campus that Phil disseminated yesterday morning, he added a few lines to the e-mail that he sent to alumni:

However, as some of you may know, Bruce’s appointment has been met with significant opposition, particularly from external audiences… [Emphasis added]

An alumnus comments:

Hanlon’s statement that the opposition to Duthu came from “external audiences” is disingenuous. The most significant and public opposition to Duthu’s appointment came from Prof. Gustman, a senior, highly respected member of the faculty. Though we don’t know how many faculty agreed with Gustman’s stance, it’s likely that Gustman would not have spoken out so frankly if he did not feel that he had the support of many members of the faculty.

When Hanlon uses the term “external,” I think he is referring to you and Dartblog. He forgot that you are an alumnus and that there are thousands of alumni who agree with you on issues like this one. I guess Hanlon thinks alumni are an “external audience,” right up until it’s time for him to ask them to donate money to the College.

As does another:

Hanlon only gets worse. Blaming the Duthu fiasco on “external audiences” is a thinly veiled way of making Jewish alumni, students and faculty the villains in the eyes of the Duthu’s supporters. Instead of taking responsibility for his own incompetence, he’s blaming the Jews.

Whoever is doing his writing should be fired — maybe Duthu wrote the letter for him. Do Hanlon and Dever not understand that code words and phrases like “Israeli state, state of Israel, external audiences” all have incredibly negative connotations?

Instead of reinstituting quotas maybe Hanlon is attempting to keep Jewish enrollment down by appointing people like Duthu and inciting ill will towards the Jewish Community.

Hanlon hates bad publicity but his incompetence will keep it coming. I wouldn’t be surprised if the ADL had a comment about Hanlon’s letter.

Thanks for defending the true ideals of Dartmouth.

From an article in The Algemeiner yesterday:

Susannah Heschel, the chair of Dartmouth’s Jewish studies program, told The Algemeiner on Monday, “Most of my faculty colleagues at Dartmouth are very saddened by the news [of Duthu’s resignation].”

“I was very disappointed that so many people attacked Bruce rather than talking to him,” Heschel said, adding that she maintained anti-Zionists should be educated, not berated.

“I imagine the attacks against Bruce must have been very disheartening to him, and to the extent that those attacks came from the Jewish community and the Zionist community, I regret it very much and feel it was an error,” she said.

I tried, Susannah, I tried. In 2013 and 2017:

Duthu Email 2013.jpg

Duthu Email 2017.jpg

Never got an answer.

Addendum: A reader comments on Bruce Duthu’s BDS posture:

In a perfect world, a Dean of Faculty will be an exemplar of intellectual rigor and moral courage. He or she must be able to articulate what distinguishes legitimately-held, well-argued differences of opinion from dogmatic, lockstep, “cause du jour” reactions.

As has already been noted, Duthu stated what is apparently his current position on BDS but he has not retracted his signature from the 2013 document supporting the BDS movement which currently targets only Israel. So it’s impossible to understand exactly what he means by saying he fully supports the College’s position of not supporting academic boycotts.

So — is he lacking in intellectual rigor or moral courage; is he merely expedient; or is he a garden-variety hypocrite?

But he’s further said that individuals have the right to take their own stances on such contentious positions.

OK. As an individual, does Duthu support extending the BDS boycott to China? If not, why? If yes, when will he call for that and encourage his colleagues in NAISA to join him?

It seems to me — as I hope it would to any thoughtful person — that a candidate for Dean of Faculty should be able to clearly articulate the arguments necessary to answer those questions.

Bruce Duthu ‘80 has withdrawn from consideration for the post of Dean of the Faculty. The below was circulated this morning:

Duthu Withdrawal letter.jpg

And Phil and Carolyn followed up immediately with a note, too:

Duthu Withdrawal Hanlon letter.jpg

I wonder what was the straw that broke the administration’s resolve: faculty consternation (to be expressed at today’s meeting of the faculty); alumni upset; the potential for the story to break into the national press?

Addendum: Phil needs to do his homework better with his appointments. L’affaire Duthu is but a reprise of l’affaire Tengatenga.

Addendum: A longtime Friend of Dartblog writes in:

As for your possible explanations, I think the one about the national press makes most sense now:

http://www.newsweek.com/dartmouth-dean-accused-anti-israel-bias-colleague-611113

Where Newsweek goes, can the Times be far behind?

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

You draw your own conclusion. Duthu’s step down is attributed to pressure from external audiences. How about the Professor not being willing to disavow a statement in favor of a policy the college condemns? How about a flawed search process? So, the cabal of “external audiences” has now set back the causes of diversity and inclusion and interdisciplinary study.

Hanlon Dever1.jpg

The astounding thing about the recent search for a new Dean of the Faculty — the one that led Phil Hanlon and Carolyn Dever to choose BDS-signatory Bruce Duthu — is that our two most powerful administrators had the fix in right from the start. Though the College’s professors successfully insisted that the Dean be someone from the current faculty — a person inculcated with the importance of Dartmouth’s teaching/scholarship mission, rather than an academic from a huge research university like Michigan or Vanderbilt (the stomping grounds, of course, of Phil and Carolyn) — our professors could not insist that actual merit be the primary factor in choosing the new Dean. And so, it wasn’t. Want proof?

Here are four accomplished scholars and acclaimed Dartmouth teachers whose names were on the list of applicants for the Dean of the Faculty position, either because they put their own names forward or because they were nominated by others. Though each one of them could be described objectively as far more accomplished and experienced that Bruce Duthu, none of them was even granted an interview in the search for a new Dean:

DoF applicants1.jpg

Clockwise from left to right:

Dan Rockmore: From his Neukom Institute profile (he has been the director for six years): Dan came to the College in 1991, after completing his undergraduate work at Princeton University and earning his Ph.D. at Harvard University. In 1995, he was one of 15 scientists awarded a five-year Presidential Faculty Fellowship from the White House for excellence in education and research. He is a member of the external faculty at the Santa Fe Institute and since 2005, Dan has directed its Complex Systems Summer School. The Institute is the pre-eminent center in the world for research in complex systems, the discipline that brings to bear computational methods for investigations into the structure of evolutionary phenomena. At Dartmouth, Dan holds appointments in two academic departments, Math, and Computer Science. In his deep commitment to interdisciplinary study, Dan is poised to continue and further advance the interdisciplinary nature and scope of the important work that the Neukom Institute is doing. See his personal webpage and CV.


Andrew Samwick: Director of the Rockefeller Center since 2004, Samwick was profiled on Dartblog’s Guide to the Stars. Google Scholar notes Samwick’s h-index of 36.

Professor of Computer Science Dave Kotz: From his faculty profile: David Kotz is the Champion International Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Dartmouth College. He recently served as Associate Dean of the Faculty for the Sciences for six years and as the Executive Director of the Institute for Security Technology Studies for four years. During the 2008-09 academic year he was a Fulbright Research Scholar at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore India. His research interests include security and privacy, pervasive computing for healthcare, and mobile computing. He has published over 100 refereed journal and conference papers and obtained over $65m in grant funding. He is an IEEE Fellow, a Senior Member of the ACM, a member of the USENIX Association, and an elected member of Phi Beta Kappa. See his CV here. Google Scholar notes Kotz’s h-index of 66.

Professor of Chemistry John Kull ‘88: From the 2012 College announcement of his appointment as Dean of Graduate Studies: An internationally known structural biologist and biochemist, Kull joined Dartmouth’s chemistry faculty in 2001. His research in structural biology and biophysics focuses on the mechanism of molecular motor proteins and the proteins involved in the regulation of bacterial virulence. Kull teaches undergraduate chemistry, biochemistry, and biophysical chemistry, and has supervised graduate students in the Department of Chemistry and the Molecular and Cellular Biology programs. In 2010, he was awarded the Dean of the Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentoring and Advising.Kull graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth in 1988 with a double major in chemistry and biology and earned his PhD in biochemistry in 1996 from the University of California, San Francisco. Following a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in San Francisco, he moved in 1998 to the Department of Biophysics at the Max-Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany. There he continued to use X-ray crystallography as a tool to study structure-function relationships in force-generating proteins. He returned to Dartmouth as an assistant professor in 2001, was promoted to associate professor in 2007, and to full professor in 2012. This July, Kull was appointed to the Rodgers Professorship at Dartmouth College, a new faculty chair endowed by former trustee T.J. Rodgers ‘70. Kull has published his work in a number of high-profile journals, including Nature, Cell, Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He recently began a five-year term as an editorial board member for the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Roughly 50 undergraduate and graduate students have performed research in his lab, which receives funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Kull is now the Dean of the School of Graduate and Advanced Studies. Google Scholar notes Kull’s h-index of 24.

My guess is that Phil and Carolyn directed the Dean of the Faculty search committee to conduct a first-level filter: no need to interview white guys; they were not an option. As I reported following the faculty meeting on May 9, 2016, Phil stated with little equivocation that he had already laid out his search priorities:

My history in dean searches is probably relevant here. In my day I have conducted nine dean searches, all of them national searches. In every case I insisted that the search process generate a deep, talented, diverse pool of internal and external candidates from which to choose. In five of those cases I hired an internal candidate; in four of them I hired an external candidate. Of the nine, only two of the deans I hired were white males; four of them were people of color. So, that sort of tells you what I am looking for in the search… [Emphasis added]

Amazing that Phil could not even grant the four meritorious professors listed above a courtesy interview. At least he should have done so as a matter of respect. But then Phil is not big on such soft skills, which is one of the many reasons why faculty morale in Hanover is at an all-time low today.

Addendum: I expect that other notable members of the faculty were in the running for the Dean’s position, but if they didn’t meet the race criteria, they probably weren’t interviewed either. The above names are the only ones of which the news has come to Dartblog; there may be many others but they haven’t been discovered.

Addendum: The press release announcing Duthu’s appointment listed the members of the search committee:

Kathryn Cottingham, professor and chair of biological sciences, and Mona Domosh, professor of geography, co-chaired the search committee that recommended finalists for the dean’s job to Hanlon. The other members of the committee were: Robert Bonner, professor and chair of history; Graziella Parati, professor of Italian literature and language and director of the Leslie Center for the Humanities; Steve Swayne, professor of music; and Peter Winkler, professor of mathematics and computer science. [Emphasis added]

Note: Very often search committees are enjoined from ranking their list of finalists.

Our Hanover house is a very, very, very fine house with a cat and dog in the yard. We built it in 1999-2000 after tearing down a 1920’s structure that was ridden with asbestos. It is a little larger than most of the other houses in the neighborhood, but we made it fit with the help of some good landscaping and the use of traditional materials and architecture. I think that it looked wonderful on Friday:

Hanover House.jpg

The flowering trees in Hanover are in full bloom now. Quite lovely.

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