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.
The Latest Posts
The Wall Street Journal notes the current wonderful environment for academic fundraising:
And, in fact, donations to Tuck are at a record level: gifts this year of $31.1 million were the highest ever, and the Tuck Annual Giving (TAG) campaign broke its own record for a third straight year.
Needless to say, the article’s observation applies at the undergraduate level, too, which puts into even sharper relief Phil’s failure to bring in the spondoolicks.
On recent trips I’ve brought back a pain Poilâne from Paris: a long-lasting loaf that makes wonderful toast for about ten days. But bread is not today’s subject. A few weeks ago I didn’t have much time to travel across town to the Poilâne bakery at #8 rue de Cherche-Midi in the 6ème, so I thought to drive. Bad idea. As Google Maps made clear, in Paris biking is often the faster way to go:
Twenty-one harried minutes in a car versus nineteen minutes of whirring exercise on a bike — not to mention that with a Vélib one does not have to spend time parking at either end of the trip. Even over a distance of more than three miles, what’s not to like?
Addendum: In our area of Paris, Vélib bikes are often unavailable. We are in an elevated section of town, so I imagine that people like to coast downhill away from our neighborhood rather than ride up to the northern part of the 16ème. And the Vélib system still struggles with hordes of damaged bikes.
Addendum: The Vélib folks recently announced that from October 2017 through March 2018 all of Paris’ bike stations would be modified to double their capacity, and that a new generation of bikes would be introduced (with 30% of them having electrical assist). Hallélujah!
After winning their last three games by a total of five points, the football team demolished Sacred Heart today: 29-26. The boys are now 5-0. All kidding aside, we trailed by 26-14 with less than six minutes to play in the third quarter, but the guys pulled out another victory by showing grit and good execution. Read the Athletics department press release here and the Valley News story here.
We’ve noted the erstwhile ursine residents of Hanover, but a friend sent me the below video of two big felines that he described as bobcats. He photographed them last week behind the Dartmouth Regional Technology Center in Centerra Park in Lebanon. A rough estimate for the male was 40 pounds (he appears at the 0:58 mark), but whatever these cats weigh, I would not want one angry at me:
Addendum: In 2011, a mountain lion was killed on a highway in Connecticut — having walked 1,500 miles from South Dakota. The cats are back.
Addendum: A member of the faculty writes in:
Four years ago, I returned to our home on an island in southwest Florida just before dusk and looked out across our pool enclosure to see what looked like a boxer dog — but with cat ears. I called the police to see if they might know what it was, and the officer on duty replied, “Oh yes, of course. It’s a bobcat.”
Curious, I went the next day to our wildlife center and learned that after a long absence, bobcats have returned to this island, where they are now the alpha predator (helping keep raccoons in check). They are also very shy and will not attack you unless it is a female and you threaten her kittens.
So bobcats are surviving from the snows of New Hampshire to the tropics of Florida.
Thor Mayleben ‘21 was grabbed by the Hanover Police after courageously touching the bonfire. Here is his story in his own words:
I’m a kid from Minnesota who went to an all-boys catholic military high school that also had many many strong traditions that students tried fearlessly to uphold. I couldn’t let down my classmates and alums here at Dartmouth.
I started running around the bonfire with all my classmates as we all debated running up and touching it. We were all a little spooked about the fence, but after I saw one of my classmates run up and touch the bonfire with a flag around his back, I knew that no fence was too high for a Dartmouth student. I bolted into the ring of fire (the fence) and slapped a log. I ran around a few times looking for an escape and hopped three police officers. The moment I made it back to the crowd, the spectators didn’t move to give me room. I ran into a few of them, and then the police grabbed me.
I’ll have a court case coming up in November where hopefully I can find an alum who is a lawyer who is willing to help with my case. Until then I am receiving a lot of support from Gofundme. I have not received an official charge yet, but I believe I face charges of Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest.
If you have any other questions please let me know. I would love for the word to get out to the alums; hopefully there is someone who could help.
Any financial or advisory assistance that folks can provide to Thor would be appreciated. You can make donations to Thor on GoFundMe here.
Addendum: As of today, Thor has received donations totalling $631 toward his goal of $1,500.
Addendum: Today’s D has an editorial about how to make the Homecoming bonfire “more safe” [sic].
Addendum: Alumnus Dr. John Baldwin ‘55 writes in:
Somehow, to this Vietnam Purple Heart, Bronze Star Major US Army, Thor the Fire Toucher is just another example of a dumb freshman kid going to a once-great college. To have the balls to start a GoFundMe collection for his bail and fine is frankly pathetic. Those who donate should think about SPCA, Wine Country Fire victims, Houston rebuilding or perhaps their own IRA accounts. Sorry, just not a hero in my book.
Kyle had a rough outing, giving up nine hits and four runs in four complete innings — even though he had seven strikeouts. From the start he was hit hard, including two dingers. He threw 81 pitchers (59 for strikes, with lots of foul balls) at 22 batters, and he only breezed in the third inning. Not his usual smooth game; Kyle seemed to leave many pitches hanging at the top of the strike zone. Nonetheless, while he did not come out for the fifth inning, he departed with the Cubs only down 4-3. But the night was still young.
ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian gives his take on Kyle Hendricks ‘12:
The College comes out shining.
Kyle Hendricks ‘12 will start for the Cubs tonight at 8pm in the deciding Game 5 of the Cubs/Nationals NL Division Series. The teams play in DC. Recall that Kyle started Game 7 of the World Series last year. Should we call the unflappable Hendricks “Kool Kyle”?
Jim Wilson and Dom Candido, members of the Hanover Country Club Advisory Board, have circulated a letter destined for Phil Hanlon. The missive makes the case for retaining and improving the College’s golf course, and its subtext is that the College has poorly managed the course for many years now:
Beyond the intrinsic foolishness of closing the golf course, the idea of announcing such an obviously controversial move at the start (or maybe near the start, or at some point not too far from the start) of a capital campaign borders on the boneheaded. Of course, you could say the same thing about the timing of the betrayal of AD, studying a massive increase in the size of the student body, looking at building huge new dorms in the heart of College Park, choosing a BDS-signing Dean of the Faculty, and on and on.
Does Phil realize that when you do violence to things that are dear to the alumni, they won’t give money to the College? Most everyone else does.
As this space has predicted too many times to cite, Provost Carolyn Dever has left her position as chief academic officer. She wasn’t pushed. She was given the boot many months ago. Ask any professor you happen to see just how ineffective Carolyn was (see this post from almost two years ago). Her last day as Provost will be November 22, at which point she will become a member of the College’s faculty. Oh, joy:
The College’s full press release is here. Note the absence of any tangible achievement by Provost Dever, other than the usual diversity and inclusion pap.
1. Why didn’t Provost Dever leave for a job at another school? Word is that for many months she has been interviewing all over the country (while getting paid all over Hanover). She even made the shortlist for a number of senior positions, but she never grabs the brass ring. Obviously the hiring committees at other institutions have a better nose for managerial talent than Phil Hanlon.
2. What will her salary be as a Dartmouth faculty member? My sense is that we’ll only learn the answer to that question when the 2018 IRS 990 form comes out. But I bet that Carolyn was savvy enough — and Phil clueless enough — to negotiate a contract that would continue to provide her with her Provost’s salary even if she goes back to teaching. What a waste of more than $783,890/year — her total salary in 2015:
I sure hope that she doesn’t get to keep the Provost’s spacious residence at 3 Clement Road in Hanover (note the lovely stone wheelchair ramp leading up to the front door – one day I’ll find out what that cost):
Why did we hire her?: Sources tell me that members of the search committee did not rank her at the top of their short list. But Phil picked her anyways from the lower ranks. Though he hides it well, Phil is as diversity-besotted as anyone: look to his selection of Carolyn, Bruce Duthu, Bob Lasher, Rebecca Biron, etc. His criteria for hiring has little to do with what an administrator can accomplish; he cares about skin color, orientation, and gender more than competence — and he has said as much.
We can’t have hired Carolyn for her record at Vanderbilt. People at Vandy say that she was certainly not held in high esteem by the faculty there.
4. Who will Phil choose to replace her? I bet Bruce Duthu. Just kidding. And as a rhetorical answer to that question, who would want to replace Carolyn as part of the tottering Hanlon administration? Would you hitch your wagon to Phil’s? After all, a post-Phil President might want an entirely new team, and anyone associated with Phil will be considered the fruit of the poisonous tree.
Perhaps Professor of Physics and Astronomy Martin Wybourne could serve once again as Interim-Provost, a position that he held prior to Carolyn’s arrival in Hanover? But will he take one for the team and come back from his current sabbatical?
Maybe the Trustees will pick an heir apparent, someone who can become President when Phil finally leaves Dartmouth?
All in all, a poor show by the administration, but quite consistent with everything else that it has done since Phil hit town in June, 2013.
Addendum: An alumnus writes in:
Professor Dever’s greatest contribution to Dartmouth is her resignation as Provost. Obviously, she could not find a new job worthy of her talents… or lack thereof.
I am sorry she is still on campus and back to teaching Jane Austen (Austen’s plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security). Hmmmm!… Clearly Dever lacks in both ‘Sense and Sensibility,’ has no powers of ‘Persuasion’ and her ‘Pride and Prejudice(s)’ have gotten in the way of her achieving any semblance of career success as an administrator. Perhaps we should rename College Park… ‘Mansfield Park’ and put up a plaque honoring her insensitivity and ineptitude with regard to all things Dartmouth.
It is surprising, based on the long list of accomplishments presented in the announcement of Dever’s return to teaching, that she was unable to find a new position at another school. Or is it? I’d be interested to know what other schools thought of her resume, and whether or not she was offered any positions.
Addendum: A professor writes in:
The question is whether we will get someone serious to replace her — not a diversity feminist appointment. What we need is someone who knows what they are doing with a serious resume with past achievement and high salary!
The College has taken a principled stand: it will appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court the Hanover Planning Board’s denial — subsequently supported by a decision by Grafton County Judge Peter Bornstein — of the College’s application for planning permission to build a large new fieldhouse next to the Boss tennis center:
The Office of Communications issued a short statement last week about the appeal:
The College believes that the New Hampshire Superior Court decision of Sept. 21 significantly and mistakenly expands Planning Board discretion in the review of building projects. The potential impact of the decision extends well beyond Dartmouth and is relevant to others in the state committed to responsible development based upon clear and definite standards of design and review. We are concerned about appropriately defining the scope of a planning board’s power to interpret and apply zoning and planning regulations. It is for this reason that we intend to appeal.
I commented on the matter on January 9 this year:
The issue here is one of property rights. The landowners who own homes next to the College’s institutional district have no right to assume that the pretty “sunken field” across the street from them will remain green and untouched for eternity. Dartmouth had already built Thompson Arena, the Boss Tennis Center and the Scully-Fahey stadium in that area, and the Town’s zoning ordinance does not stand in the way of an additional facility. While Hanover’s overall planning ordinance does take into account the Town’s aesthetics (maximum building heights; no commercial buildings in residential neighborhoods, etc.), the Planning Board itself does not sit in arbitrary and unlimited judgement on the look and impact of individual new buildings. It is duty bound to uphold the law. That the Board now arrogates to itself such a subjective and unfettered power should put fear in the hearts of citizens.
Put a different way, when an individual owner or an institution like the College wants to build on a property, it deserves to be able to understand the legal limitations on development by consulting the relevants statutes, building codes and zoning laws well before it spends time and large sums of money on planning and design. To do all of this work and then face a citizen’s planning board that judges if a structure is “harmonious and aesthetically pleasing” is a process that is both inefficient and open to endless abuse.
On the other side of the equation, the people who purchase land next to the institutional district should accept that they do so in the full knowledge of the College’s legal rights to build as enshrined in the law. They probably purchased their homes at a discount because of this specific location.
For the neighbors now to plead that they find the fieldhouse building too large — when it fully complies with zoning regulations — is akin to the paradigmatic first-year-of-law-school case wherein people build a house next to a hog farm and then sue over the smell. They knew what they were getting into, and so did the College’s neighbors.
This dispute is decidedly not a town-gown issue. It involves only the respect of a property owner’s right to rely on the clear terms of the written law, and not risk having a project upended by a citizens’ board that caves into pressure from noisy, NIMBY neighbors.
Addendum: If the Supreme Court upholds the Hanover Planning Board’s decision, the consequences will be certain: businesses will shy away from Hanover out of a concern that late in the planning/permitting process, the untrained and unrestrained citizens on the Planning Board can derail a project on little more than a whim. De gustibus non est disputandum is certainly true when a citizens’ board can wield unrestrained power based on no more than their personal sense of aesthetics.
This space has written before on the Town’s aggressive alcohol enforcement and the supposed changes that happened in calendar year 2015. We’ve used Clery Act statistics (see here and here, for example) to track the wax and wane of both Town’s and the College’s liquor law enforcement. With statistics out for the 2016 year, let’s take a look at the new numbers and compare them to the rest of the Ivy League.
Here’s a snapshot of arrests by law enforcement and disciplinary actions by the College from 2001 onward. Arrests and disciplinary actions in 2016 are both down slightly from 2015, but still hugely up as regards College discipline from what we might call the Jim Kim period (2009-2012). Of course, there’s no reason to think that student behavior has changed, but the College’s posture towards enforcement surely has:
The trends in College enforcement are interesting. Disciplinary action by the College dropped throughout the 2000s only to rise again under Phil Hanlon’s Moving Dartmouth Forward initiaive. Meanwhile, the number of arrests in 2016 — while still substantial — is lower than at any point besides 2011-2012. But how do we compare with the rest of the Ivy League?
One can’t but help conclude that alcohol enforcement in Hanover, both by the College and by the Town of Hanover Police, is overzealous compared to our peer institutions. While Dartmouth has the smallest student population in the Ivy League (but not for long, if Phil gets his way!), it still leads in arrests by a wide margin. Consider that even with supposedly less aggressive enforcement by Hanover Police, more students at Dartmouth were arrested on alcohol violations than at Cornell and Penn combined, despite those two schools having nearly six times the number of undergraduates. In fact, only 48 students in the rest of the Ivy League were arrested in 2016 compared to 40 at the College.
The numbers look slightly better in terms of institutional disciplinary action. Dartmouth is still far and away ahead on a per capita basis, but Penn seems to have fairly vigorous enforcement as well. And because of Penn’s much larger student body, it’s ahead in absolute terms.
Why does this matter? Alcohol enforcement by the College, though it may be a nuisance to students and a waste of institutional resources, is not really that much of an issue in the grand scheme of things. Unless someone is both stupid and unlucky enough to be hit by the hard alcohol ban multiple times, the impact is minor.
Arrests, however, are more problematical. Beyond the cost both in time and money of dealing with an arrest, they could very well have long-term consequences. In particular, as we’ve pointed out, applicants to law schools are often required to disclose arrests even if their record has been expunged or sealed.
It’s clear that Dartmouth is still the outlier here. What is the administration’s and the Town’s goal in hammering students. When will they ever learn the lessons that most of the other Ivies understood long ago: using a stick just won’t have much effect on this problem.
More changes are in order.
Addendum: The abovementioned disclosure requirement, to the best of my knowledge, does not typically exist for employment or other graduate schools. Law schools have the most stringent disclosure requirements because of the character and fitness requirement of state bar associations, which will also ask about records that have been expunged or sealed.
While a minor character and fitness issue such as an a alcohol violation typically does not preclude admission to either law school or the bar, it’s still a barrier, especially if it’s recent, and when compared to other candidates who might have an unblemished record, despite years of excess in a place like, say, New Haven. Does anyone really think the reason that not a single Yale student was brought up on university disciplinary charges regarding alcohol in 2016 is because Yalies don’t drink?
A newly minted alumnus writes in (and sends a lovely picture):
This email may be a few weeks late, but I enjoyed reading your staunch defense of the Hanover Country Club. I’m an alum (‘17) who has never picked up a driver, let alone played a round of golf, and still believes that losing the golf course would tear off one of Dartmouth’s most beautiful places. I remember when, my freshman fall, an upperclassman first led me on a run up Rope Ferry Road to the course and Pine Park. After a few visits, I fell in love with the whole area. Coming from Minneapolis, a city with a trail system that runs through parks, skirts lakes, and winds along the river, I felt at home on HCC’s rolling hills and Pine Park’s snaking paths.
I ran on the club grounds around three days a week during 15X and loved every moment. During my rough times on campus, I’d jog or walk the course to let the fall leaves, clear blue sky, or pine-green mountains free my mind. Few places like it exist anywhere. The HCC is a campus jewel-awash in color during the fall, sparse and silent in the winter, and an earthly paradise of green during the spring and summer. How could we ever give up anything so beautiful?
Addendum: Was John Keats writing about the golf course?
A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth
A joy forever until Phil Hanlon gets his hands on it.
Addendum: I have reproduced the above photograph as it was sent to me. Would a psychoanalytically-inclined member of the Art History department note the heavy shadows in the foreground of the pastoral image as indicative of an encroaching threat?
When a school is on a roll, its name crops up in a positive light everywhere, like this Wall Street Journal article:
Jeff Blackburn ‘91 is currently Senior Vice President of Business Development and Digital Entertainment at Amazon.com. He leads the teams responsible for Amazon’s content and advertising businesses including Prime Video, Amazon Studios, IMDb, Amazon Music, and Prime Photos. Jeff is also the head of Amazon’s M&A, investments and strategic business development efforts worldwide. He worked on the IPO for Amazon and has helped build the company for over 19 years, reporting to Jeff Bezos and part of Amazon’s Senior Leadership Team since 2006.
Jeff probably needs the services of a competent MBA or two now and again.
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
Subscribe by Email
This website reflects the personal opinions of its authors. Any e-mails received may be published along with the full name of the sender. If you wish otherwise, please say so.
All content appearing at Dartblog.com should be presumed copyright 2004-2017 its respective bylined author unless otherwise noted or unless linked to original source.