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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:

greenberg.jpgUdi Greenberg is an Associate Professor of History. His research and teaching, which have been recognized as exceptional by those within as well as outside of the Dartmouth community, focus on modern European thought and how European intellectual, political, and religious currents have both precipitated and been impacted by important change across the globe. As a young historian whose expertise spans national borders in a time in which a sense of internationalism is crucial to understanding almost any problem of importance, Greenberg serves as a model for the sort of vigorous and relevant scholar in whom the College should be proud to invest. The fact that he is a dynamic educator in the classroom is the icing on the cake.

A brief sketch of Greenberg’s family history provides a clue as to why Greenberg ended up taking the professional path that he did. Greenberg’s Jewish grandparents escaped the persecution of Nazi Germany and ended up in South Africa, whose apartheid government was willing to accept a number of Jews. The racism rampant in South Africa did not sit well with Greenberg’s father, so he left South Africa and settled in Israel, where he met Greenberg’s mother and where Greenberg himself was raised and educated. Motivated by his family’s past to understand how historical circumstances shape the fates of individuals, groups, and nations, Greenberg received his B.A. from Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2002 and his Ph.D. from the same institution in 2010. His first exposure to academic life in the United States took place at UW-Madison, where he spent two years, and UC Berkeley, where he spent one. Greenberg was then hired by Dartmouth as an Assistant Professor.

The marrow of Greenberg’s scholarship is illustrated by his first book, The Weimar Century: German Émigrés and the Ideological Foundations of the Cold War, published by Princeton University Press in 2014. By deftly employing his skills as an international, political, and intellectual historian, Greenberg examines the impact which five German émigrés, who were active in the debates surrounding the failed Weimar experiment, later exerted during the formation of a new international order after the Second World War. These men — Protestant political thinker Carl J. Friedrich, Socialist theorist Ernst Fraenkel, Catholic publicist Waldemar Gurian, liberal lawyer Karl Loewenstein, and international relations theorist Hans Morgenthau — carried the seeds of German democratic thought with them to the United States, and they later influenced the American policy that rebuilt postwar Germany and set the tone for the Cold War. Greenberg argues that the course of European history in the latter half of the twentieth century, as well as the global fight against communism, had roots in the largely forgotten-about Weimar period. For his efforts, Greenberg was selected from a field of 65 first-time authors as the winner of the 2016 European Studies Book Award.

Historical religious strife, or the abatement thereof, keeps Greenberg’s research schedule full at present. His current project examines the evolution in the relationship between Europe’s Catholics and Protestants, who for centuries found every excuse to argue, skirmish, and even wage war. But during the late 1950s and early 1960s, much of this animosity was replaced by relative peace and harmony. Greenberg identifies a heretofore overlooked reason for this easing of tensions: specifically, he points to the end of European colonialism and the resulting competition between Catholics and Protestants to influence how the the rest of the world would be shaped by imperialism. A new era, however, brought new challenges that would require Christian cooperation — Islam, communism, and revolutionary currents in former colonies. Once more, Greenberg seeks to demonstrate how entire groups of people have experienced and effected change alongside shifting historical moments.

Greenberg has gained renown on campus for his pedagogy; as the recipient of the Jerome Goldstein Award for Distinguished Teaching, he was deemed by the Class of 2016 to be Dartmouth’s best professor. He has taught courses on Nazism, WWII, Modern Germany, the Nuremberg Trials, and an Introduction to Modern Europe. Students will be able to see him in action this spring in either “WWII: Ideology, Experience, and Legacy” or “Modern European Thought and Culture.” Experience Greenberg while you can — as a recent winner of the prestigious ACLS Burkhardt Fellowship for Recently Tenured Faculty, he will be spending the 2019-2020 academic year at UC Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Religion in order to further his research.

Addendum: In the spring of 2013, I took a course offered by the German Department titled “Beyond Good and Evil.¨ Designed to provide a broad survey of various topics relating to German history, art, literature, and culture, it featured a lecture by a different guest professor nearly every week. Udi Greenberg’s lecture, which focused on the Nazi period, was the highlight of the entire term and possibly the most riveting hour I spent in class during my undergraduate years.

It’s been over a month since Phil announced — for reasons that utterly escaped me — that the College would soon complete its investigation into alleged Title IX violations by three professors in the PBS department:

Biron on Hanlon re investigation.jpg

We are still waiting.

Addendum: Somehow someone somewhere developed a communications strategy regarding the three PBS profs. I’ll be damned if it makes any sense so far.

Or should I have said the elbow and the …? In any event, two weeks ago the Office of Communications was quick to tout the Paralympic participation of Staci Mannella ‘18:

Staci Mannella Paralymics Comp.jpg

But somehow the story omits to note that Staci is suing the College:

Staci Mannella Comp.jpg

This type of error occurs due to a lack of institutional memory, when high turnover in a department erases the recollections that would prevent mistakes.

The Japanese gave a name — kaizen — to the continuous improvement that is the hallmark of any well run business (and evolved mind, for that matter). Most important in the process is an understanding that anyone in an enterprise can have good ideas; a manager should actively encourage people at all levels of a hierarchy to sing out when they see a way to make things better:

Kaizen Chart1.jpg

As an example, I could walk you through my childcare center and describe the many people who participated in the evolution of each aspect of it.

I don’t know if there is a Japanese word for continuous decline, but it there is one, it applies to the Hanlon administration. As we discussed last week and yesterday, Phil Hanlon’s reaction to Committee on the Faculty Chair Stephen Brooks’ energetic efforts to improve the lot of the College’s professors (see this nine-page memo filled with good ideas) was to ostracize him. What bad management. Just the opposite of what was needed.

An organization advances not only because of significant improvements, but also because of myriad small forward steps. Brooks worked hard to identify problems that impeded members of the faculty, and then he put solutions in place. Here’s a simple example from the aforementioned memo:

Take a Prof to Lunch.jpg

A small change to the College, but one that will allow a productive office hour meeting between a student and professor to spontaneously and easily become a shared meal. Phil Hanlon should join me in congratulating Stephen Brooks for recognizing that this kind of change can improve the academic lives of students and faculty members. However, instead, Phil pushed Brooks to the sidelines. How pathetic.

A junior at Hanover High, Dakota Hanchett, voices support for firearms in an opinion piece in the NY Times:

NYT Gun Counterargument.jpg

Following our post last week about Committee on the Faculty Chair Stephen Brooks’ resignation in protest against Phil Hanlon’s obtuse and inefficient approach to management, a faculty member sent me a memo that Brooks had distributed on February 6. It lists the many changes that the members of the Committee on the Faculty and the administration recently put in place to make faculty members’ administrative lives easier:

Brooks Memo re procurement.jpg

Brooks’ e-mail above directed readers to further detailed descriptions of the administrative changes that had been put in place: they can be found in this nine-page memo.

Most important is Brooks’ emphasis on simplifying time-consuming, administrative processes in order to save faculty time and aggravation. In pursuing these goals, Brooks and his committee are in good company:

Google Rules Comp.jpg

The concept is not a difficult one. If you make employees’ administrative responsibilities simpler, they will have more time to do the critical things (like teaching and research) for which you are paying them.

Addendum: Imagine if the administration adopted the same spirit in regards to the parking problem — thereby making it easier for faculty members to come to campus on short notice in order to interact with students.

The Valley News picked up on a point that I missed in my post on Rebecca Biron’s departure from the Dean of the College job: Professor Biron was appointed in June 2015 to a four-year term (beginning July 1, 2015). Per the recent announcement, she is leaving her position to return to work as a faculty member a full year early.

Maybe she just really, really missed teaching.

President Hanlon seems to have no ambitions for Dartmouth beyond becoming a Big Research University™. That lack of institutional vision and je ne sais quoi appears to extend to the sputteringbeforeitevenbegan capital campaign. But given the sad state of the College today, it is no surprise that donors are less than enthused about opening their wallets.

With massive tax cuts, the stock market near record highs, and an ebullient outlook on the economy, one would think that 2018 would be the time to set — and meet — ambitious targets for fundraising. Yet, as this space has already reported, the target for the capital campaign was recently revised downwards to $2.0-2.4 billion, only a modest increase (adjusting for inflation) on the $1.3 billion goal of the previous campaign that was announced in 2004. Combined with an interminable quiet phase and the news of last year’s fundraising meltdown, it is clear that the Call to Lead has not been answered.

Meanwhile, let us take a look at the most recent capital campaigns of our Ivy League peers:


The standard length of the public phase of a campaign seems to be five years, with the quiet phase typically lasting around two years. Phil’s campaign is anticipated to end in 2022 (though who really knows), so the length of the public phase tracks well with Dartmouth’s peers. The 14-year gap between starting dates seems pretty standard, too. But Hanlon’s quiet phase has been far longer than the standard two years, so we know something is amiss.

In school-specific observations, I found it interesting how absurdly long — and ambitious — Cornell’s most recent capital campaign was. And Princeton, uniquely, does not have particularly ambitious capital campaigns, though it may not need them with its sky-high alumni participation and monster endowment. Moreover, I must say, most of these capital campaigns have uninspiring names, so it is hard to fault Phil too much on this front. (I did like the theming of the Yale campaigns, though that may simply be a function of my forthcoming matriculation at the Law School.)

Next up, let us compare how these schools have adjusted their fundraising goals over time, looking at the last two campaigns for each. The numbers have been adjusted for CPI inflation, so this picture presents a comparison in real dollars. The orange bars for Dartmouth represent the upper and lower bounds of the $2.0-2.4 billion range. How do things look for the College?


Not good, it seems. Penn (+109%), Cornell (+211%), and Harvard (+97%) have all aggressively moved the goalposts upward between their two latest capital campaigns. Granted, Harvard had a somewhat longer gap between its two campaigns, and Penn and Cornell’s latest campaigns were longer than the standard, but these numerical targets do speak to their respective ambitions. Columbia (-18%) did not raise the dollar target between its two campaigns, but it wants to raise the money in a much shorter period of time. Brown (+77%) is striving, too, with a new, aggressive goal only a few years after the previous campaign ended.

And Dartmouth comes out near the bottom of the pack. At the high end of $2.4 billion (+41%), it would just about match Princeton’s (+43%) and Yale’s (+39%) increases, while the low end of $2.0 billion (+17%) would truly be pathetic. We are really nowhere near the jumps logged by Harvard, Cornell, Penn and Brown. Recall, too, that the College is in dire need of these additional funds: the faculty is underpaid, the infrastructure is overtaxed and crumbling, and students cannot get into classes.

We could do better, but only with real leadership.

Addendum: Jan Rock Zubrow, who was co-chair of Cornell’s gangbuster capital campaign, has a son who is a ‘17. Maybe we should put a Dartmouth parent in charge of fundraising?

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

Should Phil take an unscheduled and immediate early retirement it would be not be too optimistic to suggest that the projected numbers for a Dartmouth Campaign could quickly be revised upward. Of course, that would also include Bob Lasher stepping down from his less than inspiring role. The new Campaign could be renamed HALLELUJAH FOR DARTMOUTH. It would be an appropriate choice given the present state of affairs in Parkhurst. “Lead, follow or get out of the way” works best as the marketing slogan of choice. I leave it to others far more informed than I with regard to Dartmouth’s present and future needs to restate the Campaign’s priorities.

Wonderful profile in The Times of Chris Zablocki ‘10 — extreme marathoner, budding doctor, failed Marine, wild guy, typical Dartmouth Man:

Chris Zablocki.jpg

GEB.jpgDominica’s Seaworld Guest House, which our small group used as a base for our daily swimming-with-whales sorties, was a quirky establishment with even quirkier architecture. Its curious, three-door entranceway put me in mind of the phantasmagorical drawings of M. C. Escher, especially because once you had access to one door, you could lean over and undo the locks on the two others. In some manner, the layout made sense, but there must have been a better way to design the space. To get to the second floor you could either enter through the middle door or take the right hand door and then ascend yet another stairway inside the building. Go figure.

Dominica Doors.jpg

The capital city, Roseau, was a scruffy place. One could expect that this year’s piles of construction debris and garbage would be in the same place next year.

The Class of 1986 Valedictorian (the only one) Erik Hagerman was the object of a tough-to-pin-down profile in the New York Times on March 10. No mention of the College or of Erik’s academic achievements in Hanover, just an emphasis on his self-imposed ban on following the news while Donald Trump is President. The article leaves you wondering if the author, Sam Dolnick, a member of the Ochs/Sulzberger family, thinks that Hagerman is eccentric, mentally unbalanced, or just someone who is responding rationally to the irrationality of Donald Trump being President:

Erik Hagerman NYT.jpg

Shying away from the news — which most of us follow like a soap opera (do we really benefit from endless up-down pans of Stormy Daniels?) — has its attractions. I have long since given up tracking the day-to-day tribulations of the Middle East, convinced that the problems there had no solution (though I did audit a Dartmouth course a couple of summers ago: Jews and Arabs in Palestine-Israel: Past and Present). For the same reason, many years ago I stopped following events in South Africa and Northern Ireland, only to be shown that even seemingly intractable problems have workable solutions.

One might just say that Erik is more creative than most. He made big money, or so it seems, in high tech marketing. At his last job, with Nike, his title was senior director of global digital commerce. Now, in addition to assiduously not following the news, he has broken free of the reflex to go to work every day, and he has dedicated himself to restoring a 45-acre plot of land in Ohio, the site of a former strip mine, on which there is a lovely, blue lake.

Let’s check back in November 2020 and see how he is doing.

Addendum: A 2009 profile of Hagerman described him as follows:

Depending on when and whom you ask, Erik Hagerman is either a creative executive with an art problem, or an artist with a creative executive problem. As a creative executive, he’s designed online user experiences and led creative teams for companies ranging from the small and startuppy (PlanetRx, Cuil) to the large and behemothy (Wal-Mart, Disney). He is currently Vice President, Creative for, a startup search engine. Prior to joining Cuil, he was Vice President, Creative at, where he led marketing and site design and built and managed the user experience team. As an artist, he builds sculpture and assemblage out of mostly salvaged materials and found objects, including salvaged lumber, wooden foundry molds and used wooden toy building blocks (pics here). Hagerman recently moved his art-making operations into a superfantabulous warehouse space in Brooklyn, NY, which would be awesome except for the fact that the company he recently joined is located in Menlo Park, CA. Is this awkward? Yes it is. He holds a BA in History from Dartmouth College and an MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Magdalen College, Oxford University, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar.

Addendum: A close observer of the College writes in:

I read the article when it appeared online, and when I read the comments to it, was struck by how many supposedly progressive NY Times readers were contemptuous of a person who clearly, to me, exhibited the traits and appearance of someone on the autism spectrum. The photos were as good as an assessment by a qualified mental healthcare professional.

But Hagerman’s extreme sensitivity to sensory stimuli and demands that the world—or his world, anyway—accede to his remedies for it—ought to have been instructive to, at least, the reporter who shared physical space with him and who is presumably trained to be observant, and I thought the not-terribly-subtle exposure of Hagerman to ridicule, which rainethed down pretty ungently, was in the circumstances rather shameful. Isn’t that what NY Times readers expect from Trump’s deplorables, in general?

Addendum: A reader writes in to note that Erik Hagerman’s father, Fritz, was frequently in Hanover for the selection and training of candidates for the national rowing team. Fritz Hagerman was medical advisor to the U.S. team over many decades. He passed away in 2013.

Egypt 1800-1700BC.jpgTurin’s Egyptian Museum styles itself as the finest outside of Cairo in terms of the quality and comprehensiveness of its works. Textiles over three thousand years old, ancient wood carvings, and endless elegant statuary make for a visit that is enjoyable for its sheer beauty, in addition to being a key to a cultural record. However the highlight for me was something that I find all too rarely depicted in the art of any culture: affection between couples. The Etruscans, I recall, produced innumerable funerary urns showing married people at leisure, but who else did so? The Torinese museum seemingly had examples from each era of Egyptian history. In our politically correct era, close observers will note that the couples were presented as equals — at least in their gestures towards each other: clasped hands and arms around shoulders are carved in perfect, romantic symmetry:

Affectionate Egyptians.jpg

The sculpture on the upper right was made of steatite and serpentine in the Middle Kingdom in the late 12th-13th Dynasty (1800-1700 BC). On the lower right, the piece was part of a banquet scene from the 18th Dynasty (1539-1292 BC), and on the lower left, the limestone carving hailed from 19th Dynasty in the New Kingdom (1292-1190 BC).

Perhaps like me you once held the illusion that scientists were more rigorous that the average denizen of higher education, and that they did not go in for fads and foolishness. Cast off such sentiment. The rambunctious folks that make up the Molecular & Systems Biology group at Geisel are going to let ‘er rip from April 16-20:

MSB Therapy Week.jpg

Therapy dogs? Who says that nobody rages anymore?

Addendum: Geez. How about a hike on the Appalachian Trail?

Addendum: An observer writes in:

Please note that this is not even for undergrads, but for graduate students who are supposedly adults, and for staff and faculty who are definitely supposed to be adults.

At least activities won’t include workshops on implicit bias and how to recognize and deal with microaggressions…

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

If you find out who dreamed up the fun-filled week at Geisel you will probably have the answer to your question… Someone who thinks touchy-feely therapy plus tacos are just what the world needs right now.

I thought your suggestion of taking a hike on the AP was the perfect answer. Take your dog with you. Dogs could also use the therapy of a hike. Those of us who have done this will swear to it’s therapeutic rewards. Can’t think of a better way to re-center.

Progress can be slow in some areas, but it is good to see the Hanover Police make its investigative procedures concerning sexual assault more supple:

Hanover Police YHOP Comp.jpg

Different commentators have called for colleges and universities to cease participating in the enforcement of laws against sexual crimes, and the argument can be made that institutions of higher learning became involved in the first place because traditional law enforcement has been an “all or nothing” avenue of complaint for people asserting that they were victims of assault. Perhaps now the road is open for the police to effect more intelligent enforcement, while at the same time ensuring that constitutional protections are afforded to the accused.

Congratulations to Town of Hanover Chief of Police Charlie Dennis for keeping us in the vanguard of progress. (I’m serious.)

Addendum: A reader writes in:

Speaking as a male, I find the new YHOP program frightening in its implications.

“Law enforcement participating in the You Have Options program encourage reporting of a sexual assault even if the person never intends to pursue criminal charges against the one who assaulted them.” What is the extent of the “reporting”? Does this mean merely saying “I was assaulted last night”, or does it include providing the name of the alleged assailant?

If the latter, does this mean a student can be (anonymously) reported to Law Enforcement, as having sexually assaulted someone? In that case, what precludes a jilted girlfriend or even a prankster, from making such an allegation, knowing the matter will go no further — except for the blackening of a name?

What if the accused is innocent? Has he any chance to defend himself before he considered guilty and must prove his own innocence? (Isn’t that a reversal of what we have come to regard as a vital protection for defendants?) (btw, technically — legally — there are no “survivors” or “victims” until a jury has delivered a verdict. “Believe the accuser” is an acceptable practice only in witch hunts.)

“Sexual assaults are one of the most under reported crimes in our nation and that must change.” What is the basis for that statement? If crimes are not reported, who can do anything but guess as to their number? Some studies report that 40% of rape claims are false; some SANE nurses report about half of those who first claim rape later retract their claims. Are those statistics any more reliable than the assertion frequently made that only 2 percent of rape claims are false?

And it is disconcerting to wonder if a police force might see a need to increase its statistics in order to avoid criticism by activists. I much prefer the Declaration of the Rights of Man — “Any man being presumed innocent until he is declared guilty…” — to what I have seen so far of YHOP.

I much prefer that people who perceive themselves as a victim of a crime file a complaint, even if they decline to press charges. Such an act, over time, gives the police a better understanding of our environment, and also allows prosecutors a more informed exercise of discretion in bringing charges.

Addendum: The Valley News has the full story here.

Tuck Dean Matt Slaughter (right) does a good job on CNBC discussing tariffs and access to the Chinese market:

Slaughter has a gift for breaking down complex problems into intelligible segments.



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