Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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Just what we need: a Professor in Transnational Feminism. And please note that in this, um, broad field, the College is looking for someone with a particular emphasis in Asian transnational feminism:
I guess that Dartmouth has no need to do anything about the fact that most classes in the Economics department are oversubscribed.
Addendum: Can we expect that the faculty will soon be enriched by additional Professors who focus on Latinx, African American, Native American, and Indo-European Transnational Feminism, too? Or are those people already on the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program payroll?
For a fuller understanding of the SAE case, and especially the constitutional issues surrounding the hand-in-glove cooperation between the Town and the College in derecognizing SAE and preventing the brothers from using their physical plant, the Fraternal Law newsletter, published by the Manley Burke law firm, is a good place to start (scroll down to the highlighted headline at the end of the second page of the attached file).
An alumnus wrote in when he alerted me to the Manley Burke analysis:
The article is by far the best summary of the legal process that SAE has been going through. It’s also a chilling look at how ideologically perverse the Hanlon administration is in its efforts to use Moving Dartmouth Forward as a Trojan horse in grinding away the Greek system. I’m sure that the senior societies are next in their sights (if not already under the gun).
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
Sean Callan, who penned the piece re: SAE for Manley Burke, is a Dartmouth ‘90.
Below is every word of The D Editorial Board’s carefully researched and written editorial concerning the Hanlon administration’s plan to expand the size of the undergraduate student body by 10-25% (I know, I know, the official decision has not yet been made, but let me tell you, at the Trustee level it’s an all-but-done deal. The administration doesn’t “study” things that it doesn’t already want).
Congratulations to the Editors for producing a thorough argument, one that I hope will garner the undivided attention of the committee reviewing the question:
The members of the committee studying a larger College are Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Elizabeth Smith, Dean of the College Rebecca Biron, College Trustee Dave Hodgson ‘78, Economics Professor James Feyrer, Biology Professor Mark McPeek, Religion Professor Reiko Ohnuma, Mathematics Professor Scott Pauls, and French and Comparative Literature Professor Andrea Tarnowski.
A goodly number of readers have sent in pics of yesterday’s balloonfest on the Green. Phil is pulling out all the stops to convince the College’s donors of his administration’s intellectual vitality. Balloons are front and center in his effort, and word is that a large bouncy castle was in place for the exclusive use of eight-figure contributors:
Does anyone think that balloons will increase the likelihood that alumni will pony up? Will bread and circuses be next?
Addendum: A professor writes in:
Is there a better metaphor?
Seriously, folks. Is spending tens (hundreds?) of thousands of dollars on tents, white tablecloths, fancy food and hot air balloons going to inspire our richest alumni to give money to the College? Wouldn’t innovative programs and proof that the administration is running a lean, well managed operation constitute stronger arguments that students would get a better education if alumni gave generously. However, for Phil that’s hard to do.
Addendum: An observer of the College writes in:
This is lazy fundraising at its finest, what fundraisers do when they need to feel as if they are actually doing something, but in reality aren’t doing much! If they are pounding the pavement, meeting face to face and getting pledges, they don’t pull stunts like this.
Fundraisers have legit parties for two reasons: actually kicking off a campaign when they know the goal will be hit, so they want to further energize the base; or they are celebrating a campaign’s successful completion. Have either of those two goals been met?!?
Addendum: And an alumnus does, too:
I wonder if any of the big hitters in town this weekend played a round of golf…
If you have been curious about the fancy cars, the big tents and the extra lighting on Baker, then wonder no more. Phil Hanlon has convened a Presidential Summit: The Call to Lead, a significant event in the run-up (or is it limp-up, in both senses of the world limp) to the always-on-the-horizon capital campaign. This is his latest effort to reverse the sharply declining trends (here and here) in alumni donations.
The heavy hitters are in town, and methinks that Phil is under the gun this weekend. Either he secures some seriously large pledges, or he will have to start thinking of retirement (or the Trustees will certainly start thinking about it for him).
The administration is parading all of its leaders in an effort to wow big donors. But who knows if Phil will be talking honestly in the presidential keynote address today about his 100-year, Michigan-on-the-Connecticut vision for the College, the one that doesn’t care a wit about today’s students, faculty and alumni:
The last group of speakers includes some of the College’s most prominent alumni. I hope that they have been talking to faculty and students on campus to take the pulse of Phil Hanlon’s Dartmouth. With fundraising in the doldrums, you have to figure that the big donors are now regularly talking among themselves in concerned tones.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
This is what happens when you can’t look someone in the eye and explain why you want them to give you $20,000,000.
Julie Bolcer, the spokeswoman for the city’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner, said Mr. Rago suffered from the inflammatory disease sarcoidosis, which affected his lungs, heart, spleen, hilar and mediastinal lymph nodes. “The manner of death is natural,” Ms. Bolcer said.
Sarcoidosis is the formation of tiny clumps of inflammatory cells in one or more organs of the body, according to the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research. Chronic inflammation can lead to permanent thickening or scarring of organ tissue.
In a separate piece, the Editorial Board wrote:
Joe was a brilliant journalist who died too young, but we were fortunate to have worked with him and benefited from his intelligence, his curiosity and a wit that informed and enlightened readers and all of us who knew him as a friend.
Emily Yoffe has written a thorough and incisive series of articles in The Atlantic on the subject of campus sexual assault. Anyone interested in the subject should read Yoffe’s work, given that the Trump administration seems to have changes on the way:
The series has the hallmarks of a piece that was edited repeatedly and with great care.
Needless to say, the topic is highly controversial, with a split between different opinions that does not seem to follow the usual ideological lines. To wit:
Addendum: Christina Hoff Sommers has penned a shorter article in the Chronicle of Higher Education: Protecting Due Process in Sexual-Assault Cases on Campus.
When Phil Hanlon announced on September 23, 2016 that the Irving Oil family was to contribute $80 million towards a $160 million energy institute at the College, I had already heard rumors about the institute for several years. Irving was to give half of the total amount; the rest was to come from other donors. However, I raised my eyebrows when the announcement noted that at that point — seemingly after several years of effort — only $33 million had been raised from various, non-Irving contributors:
One would think that Phil would have raised the entire $160 million amount prior to the big announcement — especially for a signature project like the energy institute.
Smelling a rat (as I am wont to do), I decided to keep tabs on fundraising for the energy institute. On June 6, I wrote to Diana Lawrence, the College’s amiable spokesperson (one of twenty-two people in the Office of Communications) to inquire about the institute’s progress:
Even though no numbers were forthcoming in Diana’s response, it was good to see that ten months after the initial announcement, fundraising for this important project was “ahead of schedule.”
However — um, with the Hanlon administration, there is always a “however,” don’t you think? — the following item recently appeared in the September/October 2017 issue of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine:
As the math-minded among you will have already noted, if $47 million remains to be raised to reach the $160 million target, then only $33 million has been raised to date beyond the Irvings’ initial $80 million gift — which means that not a penny has been donated over the last year to the energy institute. And even if Bob Lasher’s Advancement division had planned to raise no money at all during the first year of public fundraising for the energy institute (very unlikely), it was inaccurate for Advancement to tell Diana (and for Diana to tell me) that fundraising was “ahead of schedule.”
As we have noted previously, Phil is just a terrible fundraiser (here and here). I mean, we are smack in the middle of the endless quiet phase of a capital campaign that is supposed to bring in about $2.5 billion, and Phil can’t scare up $47 million over the course of a year for the campus initiative that is closest to his heart?
The man that Phil hired to run fundraising at the College, Bob Lasher ‘88, is terrible in many ways, too (here and here) — which leads in turn to the conclusion that Phil is also an awful judge of character and an indecisive manager who can’t cut loose an under-achieving subordinate (See also: Dever, Carolyn).
Will the Trustees ever act in the face of such expensive incompetence?
Addendum: I checked with the folks at the Alumni Magazine regarding the accuracy of their figures. They confirmed the numbers after consulting their notes, which dated from the end of July (when they fact-checked their information and closed the fall issue).
An active shooter was reported yesterday at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. A man from Warwick, R.I. allegedly shot his mother four times in the stomach area, killing her. She was a patient in the DHMC intensive care unit. The shooter’s step-father was in the room, too, but was not harmed:
The hospital was evacuated, and the local schools were locked down:
As of yesterday evening, the man was being held at the Lebanon Police Station, where he was being questioned by the Major Crimes division and representatives from the NH Attorney General’s office. He had been apprehended while trying to flee from the hospital.
The Valley News now has a full report on the incident. The paper notes that, “Travis Frink, 49, will be arraigned Wednesday in Grafton Superior Court for the first-degree murder of Pamela Ferriere, of Groton, N.H.”
Addendum: The Lebanon Food Coop in Centerra responded to a call yesterday saying that the store was not being evacuated; a manager there said that business was taking place as usual with lots of shoppers and no reason to close down. My own business, located immediately behind the Co-op, did not close either.
Addendum: As of Thursday, the Valley News has a detailed report on the incident.
We neither gained nor lost anything in the 2018 U.S. News ranking:
Phil breathes a sigh of relief that our longterm downward trend has stabilized for the time being:
We stayed at #11, tied with Hopkins (which moved down a notch) and Northwestern (which moved up). Caltech replaced Hopkins at #10.
In happier news, we regained our Best Undergraduate Teaching slot at #2 (up from #7 last year, which had been a precipitous drop).
In Best Colleges for Veterans, we were #2 behind Stanford. In the Best Value Colleges & Universities, we were #7. And in the 2018 High School Counselor Rankings of National Universities, we tied for #5.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
The real ranking is done by the College alums and students and their ranking overall is low enough to cause them to stop sending the college any more money. That’s the vote that counts.
Beyond the internal stories of temper tantrums, disorganization and silly turf battles, let’s look at the College’s fundraising disaster (here, too) from the perspective of people on the receiving (or giving) end: prospective donors who deal with Bob Lasher ‘88 and his ever-revolving team. Read with care the thoughtful depiction below by a wealthy alumnus who spent time with Lasher after having met with people in the Advancement office. It recounts part of the reason why Phil Hanlon’s capital campaign is still only on the horizon well into his fifth year in Hanover.
In my own business we use secret shoppers who go through the sales process and report back on what it is like to be treated as a customer. That’s where the rubber hits the road, and if Phil and the Trustees have any faith in Lasher after reading this vignette, well, heaven help us and the College.
By the way, this donor did not approach the Advancement office as a secret shopper. She only contacted Dartblog after the dispiriting experience of dealing with Bob Lasher ‘88:
Note also Lasher’s depiction of Phil Hanlon’s unvarnished vision for the College. Reduced to its essence, Phil has no more imagination than to turn Dartmouth into Michigan-on-the-Connecticut. And he does not care if today’s students, faculty and alumni disagree with his plodding ideas.
We are in big trouble as long as Phil and his team are in town.
Addendum: An active alumnus writes in:
I wouldn’t know Bob Lasher if I tripped over him. I am over at Centerra easily a couple of dozen times a year and in group meetings, and Lasher can’t be bothered with low-class peons like me who help get him more givers than almost any other class (over $1M)
I was barely an agent back in the Carrie Pelzel era, and she gladhanded me with the best of them. We have 10 top givers in our class that are supposed to be courted by the elite of the fundraising team, and if you asked me, I would say they do nada. Advancement is an area that needs a change a lot faster than Parkhurst, and almost as fast at the 22-person PR group.
Addendum: Lasher’s sales technique, if it can be called that, would be cited in a Tuck class as a model of what not to do. How many fundraising faux pas did he make in his interaction with a potentially significant donor? Hint: It’s not always about you, Bob.
Government Professor Vincent Starzinger — the Zinger — passed away on Wednesday at the age 88. He terrorized several generations of Dartmouth students with a bruising classroom style that is today only recalled by Economics Professor Meir Kohn. And like Kohn, Starzinger’s classes were always full:
The Valley News has a more complete obituary.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
The Valley News obituary is woefully incomplete. Starzinger’s most incredible talent was memorizing the Freshman Book, and then greeting you by name when you passed him on the Green. Not just those in his classes — every freshman!
Addendum: An alumnus refers me to an Alumni Magazine profile of Maine Senator Angus King ‘66, in which King is quoted:
King’s interest in politics was immediate. He recalls, in detail, the lectures of longtime Dartmouth government professor Vincent Starzinger. “I remember him using the movie The African Queen to explain the two different views of natural law,” King says. “Humphrey Bogart wakes up in the boat to see Katharine Hepburn dumping his gin out into the river, and he’s very upset. He says to Hepburn, ‘It’s only natural, ma’am, that a man should want to drink every now and then.’ That’s one view of natural law. Hepburn said, ‘Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are here to rise above.’ That’s the other view of natural law. It has been 50 years and I remember every word of that lecture.”
My correspondent also noted a February 29, 2008 Valley News column by Frank Gado ‘58:
Back in the unglorious days of 1969, [Government Professor Richard] Winters writes, his department had only “one superlative instructor (the legendary ‘Zinger).” But Vincent Starzinger, it is worth noting, wrote just one book during his entire career. His monumental reputation instead derived from his brilliance in challenging students to think, and in employing the broad base of scholarship. He directed his intellectual vitality at a range of heterogeneous students, not just government majors. It is that kind of mind, operating with that kind of passion, that Dartmouth should be seeking and rewarding.
The 1778 painting of the Maiori shoreline by Joseph Wright of Derby ( 1734-1797), Grotto by the Seaside in the Kingdom of Naples with Banditti, Sunset, that we looked at yesterday was painted from within the cave at right. Today the space serves as a capacious parking lot (cue Joni Mitchell), and local lore has it there there is a large body of water deep inside it. And at the far end of the Maiori beach stands a substantial Norman watchtower, that is today a fine restaurant: La Torre Normana.
However note how the tower in the below photograph hugs the coast when seen from Joseph Wright’s grotto. I snapped the photo of the beachscape while standing directly in front of the cave. The tower only projects into the sea when viewed from a position on the beach much closer to it (right).
The artist took a liberty in depicting the tower in silhouette jutting out into the sea:
Addendum: As I noted in a previous post, Darby’s Rangers (no relation to Derby) landed at Maiori on September 9, 1943 as part of the Allied invasion of Salerno.
As per usual at this time of year, Dartblog’s HQ has transferred to Maiori on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, but not before we took some Italian friends to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In Gallery 246, we, well, I, spotted a 1778 painting of the Maiori shoreline by Joseph Wright of Derby ( 1734-1797): Grotto by the Seaside in the Kingdom of Naples with Banditti, Sunset. I snapped two photos of the work with my iPhone 7, the first using the ProCam camera application, and the second using Apple’s standard app. I did not adjust the shots using any of the software features of the apps; it was just point and shoot:
Neither of the two photographs, as I judged when standing in front of the painting itself, does the work justice. From the evident distinctions between them, you can see for yourself that the camera lies.
The MFA has its own photographic reproduction of the painting on its website:
Hard to choose between them all, especially because I can’t compare the MFA’s image directly with the painting — though the MFA’s image does have the most balanced and even palette. I expect that the shot was taken with a professional DSLR camera rig and serious lighting.
In an open Letter to the Editor in the Valley News, more than fifty former varsity golf team members protested the idea of closing the Hanover Country Club. They offered their help in getting the place run right:
The complete list of signatories:
Lee Birchall ‘02, Andrew Pisacano ‘02, Vivian Lee ‘03, Jeronimo Esteve ‘03, Kathy Birchall Gardner ‘04, Shannon Rogers ‘04, Jeremiah Daly ‘04, Greg McSweeney ‘04, Stephen Gruber ‘05, Kenan Yount ‘06, Chaki Kobayashi ‘06, Tony Papadopoulos ‘06, Mark Christman ‘06, Annie Daher ‘07, Hayley Stevens Vanbragt ‘07, Ann Kapusta ‘07, Matt Uretsky ‘07, Stephen Reyes ‘07, Charles Kettering ‘07, Elizabeth Dupuy ‘08, Elizabeth Wegener ‘08, Jamie Wallace ‘08, John Mitchell ‘08, Christopher Crawford ‘08, Eric Crawford ‘08, Lauren Strickler John ‘09, Tory Sheppard Gammal ‘09, Rob Henley ‘09, Alex Abate ‘09, Alex Olshonsky ‘09, Dave Putney ‘10, Shunsuke Aonuma ‘10, Dan Egan ‘10, Katie Gulemi ‘11, Davis Mullany ‘11, Marietta Smith ‘12, Peter Williamson ‘12, Teddy Overton ‘12, Emily Hyman ‘13, Julie Campbell ‘13, Colleen Caroll ‘13, James Pleat ‘13, Andrew Jankowski ‘13, Owen Lynch ‘13, Kathryn Kennedy Bleday ‘14, Sarah Knapp ‘14, Evan Sterneck ‘14, Joey Maziar ‘14, Jane Lee ‘15, Charlie Edler ‘15, Lilly Morrison ‘16, Harry Boling ’ 16, Charles Cai ‘16, Dylan Rusk ‘16, Tara Simmons ‘17, Jamie Susanin ‘17, Sean Fahey ‘17, Scott Jaster ‘17, Jeff Lang ‘17.
Addendum: I wonder if Bob Lasher ‘88 has removed the above names from his Rolodex for the ever-upcoming capital campaign. He should.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
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…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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