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People who have the ability to separate themselves from the pack by their originality and courage to innovate will always find admiration in this space. After yesterday’s equipment review, this recent Atheltics department press release gives you an additional sense of what Coach Buddy Teevens ‘79 has accomplished on the academic side of Dartmouth football:

Dartmouth had 18 teams that earned Public Recognition Awards, tying for third with Villanova, trailing only fellow Ivy League member Brown (20) and Holy Cross (19) of the Patriot League…

The 1,284 teams publicly recognized for high achievement include 827 women’s teams and 457 men’s or co-ed squads. The award is given to teams that have an APR [Academic Progress Rate] among the top 10 percent in their respective sport…

The Big Green is also tied for first in the nation with seven teams who have appeared on this list each year since it first began 13 years ago, matching Yale for the top honor. Those seven Dartmouth teams are: women’s basketball, football, men’s golf, women’s lacrosse, women’s rowing, women’s swimming and diving, and women’s tennis. No other school has more than four. [Emphasis added]

No offence to the other sports on the list at the end of the quotation, but you would not expect to find the football team winning an academic achievement award along with these private school sports (all save women’s basketball). But there the team indeed is, to the benefit of all the players. Let’s hear it for Buddy Teevens’ deep coaching.

Addendum: Dartmouth football is one of the teams that equipment maker Riddell is working with to test a new helmet equipped with communicating sensors that measure the force of hits in real time:

If the sport of football is to continue, it needs people like Coach T.

Catapult1.jpgAt first I thought that some very athletic women were participating in a football team conditioning drill. Who else would be wearing a sports bra on Memorial Field? But, no, it turns out that the form-fitting halter tops on these Dartmouth varsity players hold a highly accurate GPS tracking unit in a small pouch just below the neck. The device, made by Catapult, an Australian company, can measure a thousand points of data per second: everything from acceleration, impact, speed, yards logged and so on. As one Team Canada hockey coach put it, “Catapult eliminates an athlete’s or coach’s personal perception of workload. The data is a true objective measure of the effort put forth.”

In other words, a coach can both assure in real time that athletes are getting a sufficiently vigorous workout, and that they are not surpassing their maximum workload. The information is allowing coaches to precisely tailor practices to keep athletes fresh. The software has even been adapted to position players like football linemen and soccer goalies, whose mobility profile is different from that of most other athletes.

Catapult has 1500 pro teams using its device, everyone from Australian rugby squads to the Cowboys and Packers, the Bruins and Canadiens, the Celtics and Golden State Warriors, and European soccer clubs like Chelsea and Bayern Munich.

The next frontier: selling live data to broadcasters, who might track players whose work rate is higher than others, or whose hits are the hardest, or who are showing tension as measured by an accelerated heart rate.

Whatever you do, don’t laugh at these guys:


This University of Alabama video describes how the Crimson Tide uses Catapult’s technology:

Addendum: As always, Buddy Teevens ‘79’s football team is on the cutting edge of technology, either because it’s buying in new innovations or developing them itself in the case of the Mobile VIrtual Player (MVP).

Addendum: An alumnus writes in to note that the football team is not the only College squad to wear, er, um, the latest in sports tracking technology. The ruggers do, too, though their equipment is made by VX Sport:

Rugby in VX trackers.jpg

Forgive me, but in this instance I just can’t help but recall the Lumberjack Song.

Addendum: Another alumnus writes in:

Not to take anything away from our innovative Buddy, the DRFC has been using GPS load monitoring devices since 2012, thanks to a gift in memory of Paul Darling ‘66 USMC by his teammates.

Credit where credit is due.

Richard Kersting Comp.jpgOn the seventy-fourth anniversary of the Day of Days, let’s give thanks to a Dartmouth man who died in the Battle of Normandy. Richard Kersting ‘42 landed on D+3, and before he was killed by a landmine on July 26, 1944, he performed an act of heroism that was sufficient for General Mark Clark to nominate him for the Medal of Honor.

In addition to being educated as a combat engineer, Kersting also underwent Ranger training — you might call him a liberal arts soldier. And beyond that background, he played football at the College, where he said that he assimilated important lessons from head coach Earl (Red) Blaik, “Coach Blaik taught us to think while in motion, never leave an opening for the opponent, keep an eye on the ball and cash in on the other guy’s mistakes.” And that’s just what Kersting did in Normandy during a small battle where a combination of bluff, daring, good shooting, and no little luck led him to receive the Distinguished Service Cross (I can’t find any information on what happened to his Medal of Honor nomination). Here is his citation:

For extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy on 11 July 1944, in France. Second Lieutenant Kersting and the men with him, while proceeding on foot in advance of a tank, encountered about 40 enemy soldiers. A running fight developed with the Germans resisting from house to house. Second Lieutenant Kersting led his men in an assault in which 10 of the enemy were killed and the remaining Germans took cover in one of the houses. Then, while covered by the fire of the other soldiers and the tank, Second Lieutenant Kersting though exposed to enemy fire, fearlessly made his way to the door of the house, kicked it in and called to the Germans to surrender. Led by their officer the Germans laid down their arms, came out of the house and surrendered. As the last of these soldiers left the building, Second Lieutenant Kersting observed the muzzle of a rifle protruding from another door in the same building. He pinned himself to the wall as a shot was fired at him and then killed the enemy soldier who had fired the shot. The aggressive leadership and personal bravery displayed by Second Lieutenant Kersting reflects great credit on himself and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Armed Forces.

Kersting graduated from McGuffey High School in Oxford, Ohio in June, 1937, before he was 16 years of age. He had been class president for three years, president of the Glee Club, and he had worked on the school paper and the yearbook. He competed in football, basketball and track. Before coming to Dartmouth, he had briefly attended both Ohio State University and Miami University. Kersting left Dartmouth just months prior to graduation to enlist on April 24, 1942 as a private in the U.S. Army. He had planned to return to Dartmouth after his military service to continue his pre-med studies.

Addendum: Richard Kerstin lies buried at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy. Plot: H Row: 5 Grave: 29.

Addendum: This description comes from a carefully researched profile of Richard Kersting’s short life and military service written by Ted Bracken ‘65. It is part of a series by Bracken concerning Dartmouth men who died in Normandy in June and July of 1944. He assembled the portraits as background for the Class of 1965’s journey to Normandy in June, 2016. The trip was planned and led by Professor Tom Long ‘65 of George Washington University, whose course on the Normandy invasion Bracken audited in the first half of 2016. The trip had logistical support from the Alumni Travel Office (special thanks to Robin Albing T’81), and research was conducted in the months prior to the June 4-12, 2016 trip in Rauner Library, and the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.

Addendum: Ted Bracken writes in:

As with the other four Dartmouth lads interred at Colleville-sur-Mer, a DUSA “challenge coin” has been placed reverently in the soil in front of his grave marker.

Our neighborhood listserv is hosting a spirited debate about the Mama bear and her four cubs, who seem to have taken up residence in the broader Mink Brook area. Positions run, if I may paraphrase, from “Live and let live; after all, they were here first” to “Off the critters now; people over predators.”

What we do know is that the little ursine family (Dad has not been spotted, and it is unclear whether he is contributing child support) seems to be comfortable watching high school students play baseball, wandering in neighborhoods in broad daylight, mooching around people’s doorways and in their garbage, and even coexisting with hikers in the woods.

However the sow does not like free-ranging dogs, and she’ll produce a barking sound, growl, and even make a false charge towards canines that are strolling too close to her with their owners. Otherwise, no aggressiveness has been noted, even when Mama bear is with her babies and humans are nearby:

Hinsley and the Mama Bear.jpg

Hanover Deputy Fire Chief Michael Hinsley (above) has spent more time than anyone observing our new, for-the-time-being-at-least neighbors. He knows them pretty well, as he told the Valley News last spring:

“They are not afraid. They don’t run away,” Hinsley said. “You are not going to save these bears. When you break into a house with four kids, you are done.”

Hinsley said the bears go on porches, force through doors and sit in chairs around fire pits.

The town has used harassing tactics, such as loud cap guns and shooting the bears with paintballs, in hopes of to scare them away, but to no avail.

“These bears have no interest in going anywhere,” Hinsley said.

The conversation-stopping phrase in the what-to-do-about-the-bears? debate is, “They are wild animals!” — as if the bears might, by their very nature, go on a murderous spree at any time. But is that fearful reaction to their presence a justified one?

According to Wikipedia, eight people were killed in the lower 48 states over the last 18 years due to attacks by wild black bears. The fatalities in New Jersey, Utah and Tennessee were the first on record. As a basis of comparison, notes that, “In the 13-year period of January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2017, canines killed at least 433 Americans.”

Alligator.jpgBut even though the old legal principle holds that, “Every dog is entitled to a first bite,” perhaps Fido is not the appropriate analogy here. What if we were to think about the Hanover bears in the way people in the southeastern United States consider their alligator population?

The fearsome-looking reptiles have killed nineteen people since 2000. Yet there seems to be no call to hunt down and destroy them all, out of a fear that they might hurt more humans. People in that part of the country have adapted and learned to take precautions. As I recall from my own visits, the rule is to consider that there may be gators wherever there is water, even on golf courses:

Of course, if a gator attacks a human, it is hunted and killed forthwith — the gator, I mean — but otherwise laisser vivre is the order of the day.

What if we tried that tack for a while in Hanover?

Addendum: Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling of the Valley News has a long piece in The Atavist Magazine about the ongoing conflict between bears and humans in a libertarian camp near Grafton, N.H.: Barbearians at the Gate: A journey through a quixotic New Hampshire town teeming with libertarians, fake news, guns, and—possibly—furry invaders. Prior to describing a wild bear attack on a woman living near Grafton, he noted:

For a long time, Ursus americanus didn’t rank on locals’ list of worrisome fauna. Though the black bears’ habitat included some 90 percent of New Hampshire, they gave humans a wide berth. Attacks were exceedingly rare; the most recent was in the mid-20th century, and the last fatal one in 1784. Statistically speaking, and not only in New Hampshire, a person was (and still is) much more likely to suffocate in a giant vat of corn than be killed by a bear.

Addendum: A reader writes in:

Having recently moved from Wisconsin to southeastern North Carolina I can aver that you are correct about the local attitude towards alligators. We have been advised that we should consider every body of water to have alligators in residence. Somehow the populace survives despite the proximity to alligators and a plethora of poisonous snakes. We worry a bit about our dogs.

I hope some means can be found to relocate the Hanover bears before they become too addicted to “civilization.”

I wrote a first post about the campus parking crisis on October 20, 2009, and the issue has been on professors’ minds for much longer than that. But as far as the College’s senior administrators go, they already seem to have solved the problem to their liking. Why do you think they call it PARKhurst?

Parkhurst Parking.jpg

If the muckymucks had to drive round and round the campus looking for parking like everyone else, they might have focused on the problem sooner, don’t you think?

Addendum: Yes, Virginia, the President does have two parking spaces at Parkhurst. Rumor has it that he always travels with a Presidential limousine and a back-up limousine in case of breakdowns. He learned to do this from Trustee Jeff Immelt ‘78.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

Are you telling me that Man About Campus Phil doesn’t walk the 1/3 of a mile to his office?

Color me shocked.

Addendum: And another:

Those signs scream: “Power, Privilege and Attitude”.

The Swiss most certainly have it knocked in any number of respects. Their Alpine lakeside cities have to be among the world’s most gracious urban environments. I stopped off in Lucerne to see a supplier — profiting from the airlines’ standard policy of allowing a change of flights of up to twenty-four hours to count simply as a layover, and not two separate legs of an itinerary. The train from Zurich airport to Lucerne is just over an hour:

Lucerne Lakeside.jpg

With such lovely weather, I couldn’t help but indulge in a swim: the top five feet of Lac Lucerne had to be over 70° yesterday, but diving down below that depth was more than bracing.

Switzerland still works, despite its safe haven currency’s spectacular gyrations over the last decade against the surrounding zone’s euro:

Swiss Franc v Euro.jpg

My host explained to me that when the abrupt jump against the euro occured at the end of 2014, the nation responded by lengthening the work week from forty to forty-two hours.

Addendum: Meanwhile in France, a rotating series of strikes continues in protest against Emmanuel Macron’s modest labor market reforms.

The saga of the Hanover sow and her four little cubs has grown more complicated. As the Valley News has noted, Mama bear is now sporting a GPS tracking device, and various governmental bodies are following her progress as she moves from one site to another. She seems to settle into a limited area for 4-8 hours and then move on to a new location. Each “C” number below represents a spot where she and presumably her cubs were to be found hour by hour from May 28-30 — the GPS tracker reports in hourly. The athletic complex at the top of the image lies directly behind Hanover High:

Bear Map 2018B.jpg

The Town’s and NH Fish and Game’s original plan had been to wait until the snow cleared from the northern part of the state, trap the five bears, and then take them upstate for release. But a new wrinkle has appeared in the situation. It seems that there are more bears around than just this one family, as Andrew Timmins, Bear Project Leader for New Hampshire Fish and Game, reports in a letter sent on Thursday to people living on the front lines of this complicated interspecies conflict:

Hanover Bear Timmins letter.jpg

Who says that life in rural New Hampshire is boring?

Addendum: The view from my back porch on Thursday evening:

Bear May 31, 2018.jpg

The Mama bear’s GPS collar is clearly visible.

Addendum: An article in the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript reports:

May has been an active month for the state’s population of 5,000 bears, likely due to the late spring this year, Rob Calvert, a New Hampshire Fish and Game biologist and wildlife damage specialist, said Tuesday. While springtime brings a boom in bear sightings as they come out of hibernation, the population in the state remains about the same, Calvert said.

Economics Professor Doug Irwin continues to be the press’ go-to guy regarding trade policy. The Wall Street Journal published an extended interview with him today: Why Trump’s Protectionism Is Futile: The president is wrong to attribute industrial decline to foreign competition, and the rising dollar is likely to cause the trade deficit to rise.

Doug Irwin WSJ Illustration.jpg

Irwin’s book, Clashing over Commerce: A History of US Trade Policy (Markets and Governments in Economic History), made The Economist magazine’s list of best books in 2017.

Addendum: If you can’t get behind the paywall, here is some help.

In an editorial entitled: Dinesh D’Souza? Really?, the Times slammed President Trump’s pardon of Dinesh D’Sousa ‘83:

The handful of pardons that President Trump has granted so far may appear to be scattershot, but they’re beginning to show a distinct pattern — not just of who he believes is worthy of mercy, but of how he thinks about the justice system as a whole and about his power to bend it to his will.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump pardoned Dinesh D’Souza, the right-wing troll known for, among other things, posting racist tweets about President Barack Obama, spreading the lie that George Soros was a Nazi collaborator and writing that “the American slave was treated like property, which is to say, pretty well.”

In 2014, Mr. D’Souza pleaded guilty to making illegal campaign contributions, although he claimed that he had been targeted for political reasons. Last year, President Trump fired Preet Bharara, the federal prosecutor who handled Mr. D’Souza’s case. “KARMA IS A BITCH,” Mr. D’Souza exulted on Twitter Thursday, with his trademark graciousness. Mr. Bharara, he added, “wanted to destroy a fellow Indian American to advance his career. Then he got fired & I got pardoned.”…

Michelle Goldberg chimed in with a NYT column, Donald Trump Presents: ‘Celebrity Impunity’, in which she called D’Sousa “a huckster and a sexist weasel” and a “gutter-dwelling troll.”

The Times added a profile of D’Sousa: A Look at Dinesh D’Souza, Pardoned by Trump. And to its credit, the Gray Lady allowed D’Sousa to defend himself: Dinesh D’Souza, Pardoned by Trump, Claims Victory Over Obama Administration.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

Andrew McCarthy, former Assistant US Attorney in New York, has a better informed review of the D’Souza pardon than the intemperate editorial rants at the NY Times:

D’Souza was the target of a politicized prosecution. He was charged with multiple felonies in an effort to imprison him over a regulatory offense that is normally settled with an administrative fine.

We’ve been here before. The College ends a long-cherished tradition, and puts forward an excuse for its decision that is just laughable:

Commencement No Names in Programs 2018 Comp.jpg

Come again? In an era of digital typesetting and high-speed printing, when the date for Commencement is set years in advance, this year the administration can’t find a printer in the way that it has always found a printer in the past. Mon oeil, as the saying goes.

Two years ago, the College announced that diplomas would not longer be distributed to graduates at the June 12, 2016 Commencement, as had always been joyously the case:

Commencement Diplomas Pre-2016.jpg

I ran a post about that disappointing decision on June 3 of that year, having learned about the change at the crack of dawn on June 2, which means that the powers-that-be had made their decision no later than June 1.

On June 11, The D quoted College spokesperson Diana Lawrence as saying “the primary reason for the decision not to give out diplomas during the ceremony was the risk of inclement weather and the threat this posed to the diplomas.” Ha! On the day before Commencement when The D reported the story, its reporter noted that the risk of precipitation on the following day was only 20%.

Amazing how the College can forecast the weather twelve days in advance. can’t do so on my iPhone.

So what really happened in 2016? I reported:

Sources from inside the administration tell me that the real reason diplomas will not be handed out is that students who have not finished all of their requirements, to their public shame, receive only a white sheet of paper — and this group of blank paperpushers is disproportionately populated by underrepresented minorities.

Quel embarras for the College. Embarrassing on two counts. Firstly, because all of the deans and administrators and support staff who the College pays to assist people of color are spending more time filling students’ heads with nonsense about safe spaces, microagressions, oppression and such, and not nearly enough time providing academic support so that students can pass their classes. And secondly, because in this era of rampant grade inflation, Dartmouth is accepting a great many students who are nonetheless unprepared to do passing-level work at an Ivy League level.

Since when does the embarrassment of the minority drive decisions at the College? Actually, there is no need to answer that rhetorical question. It’s been a long time. That said, shouldn’t people learn at some point in their lives to accept the consequences of their actions. If you don’t have enough credits; you don’t get a piece of parchment with printing on it. Whose fault is that?

Diana Lawrence wrote to me yesterday that students can have their name in the program with their class if they are close to meeting the requirements for graduation:

In recent years, the commencement program has included all students who have had their degrees conferred by the board of trustees in the current academic year, as well as participants (students who are within four credits of degree completion and identified as such in the graduation list).

I expect that the decision to end the printing of names in the Commencement program comes from the same place as the choice to stop giving out diplomas — the fear of hurting the feelings of students who have not completed their degree requirements.

That’s not a good excuse.

Addendum: An alumnus sees through the printing explanation:

This is ludicrous. They have a beautiful print office at Dartmouth. They print our class newsletters on new digital printers (and save us a lot of money over the other local print companies). I have a feeling that someone doesn’t know how to order the program print job properly.

Addendum: An alumnus/parent writes in:

As the father of a graduating senior, I think this is outrageous. For $300,000, the College could at least give me the satisfaction of seeing my kid’s name in the program book at graduation.

Addendum: A member of the faculty writes in:

I received an email about this subject last weekend while attending graduation at one of Dartmouth’s peer schools. I laughed out loud when I got the email. This school has the same number of days between finals and graduation and still manages a beautiful program.

As someone who will be grading seniors finals this year, I know how the system works. There’s a shorter deadline for final grades for graduating students and Dartmouth will know by June 7 the grades of all potential graduates. Every single college in the nation is in this predicament with graduation shortly after the term ends, and with some seniors’ graduation status dependent on their final term grades.

Something strange is going on that has nothing to do with Dartmouth’s official explanation.

The NYT reports:

Trump Pardons Dinesh Comp.jpg

Politico is asserting that D’Souza’s pardon is a signal to members of the Trump campaign staff and administration that Trump will have their back in the event that Robert Mueller’s investigation leads to convictions and jail time.

Addendum: A senior faculty member comments:

We should be concerned that Dartmouth is frequently mentioned in connection with the likes of Dinesh D’Souza and Laura Ingraham. This reinforces many people’s conviction that Dartmouth is an incubator of right-wingers.

Addendum: A longtime reader comments:

Dartmouth should be proud to claim the likes of Dinesh D’Souza and Laura Ingraham as alumni, unless, of course, the College is not interested in viewpoint inclusiveness and diversity.

Addendum: The senior faculty member responds:

During the height of controversy over the Vietnam War, the College was known as having the most conservative student body of the Ivy League (despite the Parkhurst events). Dartmouth students used to vote largely Republican. That has changed, and our undergraduate political complexion now more closely matches our peer schools. But the many transitions of the 70s and 80s spawned the Review and the likes of D’Souza and Ingraham. Call it political diversity, but the lingering reputation doesn’t help us with many prospective progressive students and their parents. Is this one reason why, as you have so well and frequently pointed out, Admissions since Kim has had to game the system?

Actually, all schools game the admissions process now.

Addendum: The reader replies:

I see the “senior faculty member” has replied, arguing that the College won’t get its fair share of bright, “progressive” applicants if it continues to be identified with antediluvian conservatives like D’Souza and Ingraham. If any applicant cares enough to Duckduckgo events of the past few years at the College, e.g., the BLM library caper, etc., and the administration’s response to same, there should be no confusion about the College’s dominant ethos.

Addendum: A young alumnus writes in (thoughtfully):

In response to the “senior faculty member” and the “longtime reader,” there is nothing wrong with viewpoint inclusiveness and diversity. I imagine there are some extremists who would argue that Dartmouth should be embarrassed by Paul Gigot, but I have yet to meet one. D’Souza, however, is in a different class: he has trafficked in racist memes about former President Obama, advanced the debunked rumor that George Soros was a Nazi collaborator, and promoted wild, unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about both the Neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville and the mass shooting in Las Vegas. I would argue that such activities are as embarrassing to the College as anything that was said to Rick Perry during his infamous visit to campus…more so, in fact, since D’Souza doesn’t have youthful indiscretion to use as an explanation.

By the same token, Ingraham has embarrassed herself in her interactions with David Hogg and her dismissive “shut up and dribble” comments.

There’s nothing for the College to be embarrassed about in having graduated prominent conservative thinkers. Prominent conservatives who don’t appear to think, however, are a different story.

The work of Professor Charlie Wheelan ‘88’s Golf Course Advisory Committee puts into relief what is great about Dartmouth and what ails her. The committee’s report on various options for the course’s future contained pregnant thoughts:

Several alumni have made specific offers regarding contributions (totaling over $10M) to continue golf course operations and/or build a new clubhouse. It is our sense that these contributions are not fungible and therefore would not materialize if the course were closed.

A fair interpretation of the above will contain two ideas: generous alumni would be happy to contribute large sums of money to creating a golf course of which the community and they could be proud; and the money they would donate would never go to the College otherwise. The world “rathole” is sometimes evoked in these discussions.

Planning for a new course layout and clubhouse is moving forward, and one imaginative design provides for three six-hole links (Loops A, B and C). In addition, several existing holes would be abandoned in the thought that the College would want the space near the Dewey parking lot for some type of expansion (see red arrow):

Golf Six-Hole Plan.jpg

However, it is tough to know exactly what the College is looking for because the administration — despite Carol Folt’s strategic plan and after Phil’s five years in Hanover — has no active Master Plan concerning Dartmouth’s direction. There was a Master Plan prepared in 2002, but everyone seems to agree that it is no more than an artifact today. That Plan did have the germ of an idea of what types of buildings were to go on the slope and plateau above Dewey — student residences (and you think the River Cluster is far from campus) and academic facilities:

Master Plan 2002 Dewey Area.jpg

As for the hundreds of cars currently in the Dewey lot, nothing is said.

In any event, the course is far from dead, and Charlie Wheelan said at yesterday evening’s meeting that more discussions would be taking place with EVP for Finance Rick Mills in the near future. Fingers crossed.

Addendum: The College has a chance to distinguish itself in this situation. We could end up with a lovely golf course that would attract talented varsity athletes, and also a first class clubhouse that would be a must-see stop on most alumni visits to Hanover.

Addendum: There has been talk of a large building in the Dewey area for the College’s new Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies. Given the parlous state of the campus at the present time, a large project of this type seems ill-advised.

So what to do about DDS? After decades of decline (students were not obliged to buy meal plans until about 1999), any intelligent observer has to conclude that the College is not temperamentally equipped to run a huge food service operation (or pretty much any business that competes with the private sector).

That proposition is certainly true regarding the hotel business, and several years ago the College wisely gave the running of the Hanover Inn over to the Pyramid Hotel Group, an independent operator. This decision came after decades of million-dollar losses and deferred maintenance, a neglect that culminated with a massively expensive renovation project (over $50 million according to some reports). Today the Inn is far better managed than it was when directed by people chosen by Parkhurst.

An observer described for me how the transition took place from the Dartmouth-run/SEIU-controlled Inn to the one we have today (one that makes money for the College rather than losing it):

The Inn needed to officially “close” as a business for 24 hours to get out of the SEIU obligations. The entire staff “lost their jobs.” Then Pyramid invited everyone who wanted to work there to reapply. Pyramid interviewed and re-hired the staffers they wanted to keep, and the rest moved on to find employment someplace else. I heard that about half of the Inn’s former, SEIU employees were re-hired by Pyramid. But, going forward, this strategy relieved Pyramid from all obligations in Dartmouth’s SEIU contracts. Today the staff culture is much more upbeat and positive, and the customer service, guest experience and food quality are vastly improved from what they were before. I sense it every time I visit the Inn.

The alternative for DDS? As you would expect, there are well managed, competitive, private companies that can provide dining services to the College community, just as other companies provide things like computers, paper, phone services, buildings, furniture, and virtually everything else that Dartmouth consumes.

At the Student Assembly meeting regarding DDS, I suggested to Director Jon Plodzik that the College outsource dining service to a private sector business. It is fair to say that at that point he lost control of himself. He angrily asked what I was doing at a meeting for students, and while blocking me from speaking, he went on to say that he had worked at the food service units of Marriott and Sodexo, and, he said, we should be shocked to know that these companies expected him to send a 3% profit margin to the head office each month.

The horror. However that modest statistic means that students and their schools received 97% of well managed value from these companies. Are Dartmouth students getting that percentage today? Ask any undergraduate you happen to see for the answer to that question.

A few years ago, I looked at the issue of outsourcing the College’s dining function. Bon Appétit Management Company (BAMCO) seemed the cream of the crop, and I reported on a long conversation that I had with the director of student life at Cornell College regarding the transition at his school to Bon Appétit. Look at a simple list from among hundreds of BAMCO’s clients (sophisticated purchasers, if you ask me):

BAMCO Clients.jpg

And watch a video about the company:

Outsourcing dining services is where the College should be heading, unless we want to continue to have students who are almost universally unhappy with Dartmouth Dining Services, and who tell their friends in the outside world that dining at Dartmouth sucks.

Addendum: Let me ask a general question. How bad do things have to get at the College (underpaid faculty; declining infrastructure, poor fundraising, etc.) before the Trustees insist on the dismantling the life-sapping bureaucracy?

Addendum: The College’s student social justice warriors find themselves in a difficult situation here: if they support overpaid and under-working union members at DDS, they condemn themselves to substandard and over-priced dining at Dartmouth. They can’t have the best of two worlds in this situation. Are they willing to wait in line for hours in order to overpay workers (all of whom could get good jobs in the Upper Valley, where there is a severe labor shortage at present).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

The Review reports:

Review Memorial Day Comp.jpg

Does anyone at all admire Phil?

Addendum: An (angry) alumnus writes in:

Does anyone on the Board have the credibility to stand up to this poor excuse for a leader with regard to his behavior on Memorial Day?. It is time someone stood tall and proud. I can think of at least one who fits that description.

Our less than esteemed president who is supposed to be the epitome of a leader and a shining example of what it means to be a leader…especially at a school which now espouses producing leaders as one of its core goals, has become a laughing stock, a walking joke to anyone who believes in the value of true leadership. Is Phil so clueless and egotistical in his insensitive behavior that he expects to be above any criticism of his outlandish and disrespectful actions? Perhaps he believes that just wearing the mantle of President of Dartmouth grants him such status and not something he must earn.

It takes courage, humility and self sacrifice to be a leader. If judged by these standards our President exhibits none of these qualities. The devil is no longer in the details but now right in plain sight for all to see especially all those who wore the uniform, respected their flag, their country and their fellow soldiers and showed up when showing up was the right thing to do. A timely exorcism now seems in order for our ‘no-show’ president.

The Golf Course Advisory Committee will update the community and invite further input at their second public forum tomorrow night (Wednesday, May 30th) at 6:30 PM in Filene Auditorium (Moore Hall B13). The committee has made a great deal of progress in outlining options for Hanover Country Club and its future.

Here is the Committee’s draft report (which will be presented to President Hanlon and the Trustees in June), along with a description of the operations of the Taconic Golf Club at Williams College (a possible model for HCC).

A review of the history and challenges facing Dartmouth’s golf course, Pine Park, and the work done by the Committee thus far appeared the Summer 2018 issue of Here in Hanover magazine:

Here in Hanover re HCC.jpg

Addendum: The forum will also be broadcast online via a Zoom Webinar. Click here to register. After registering, you will receive an email with information on how to login and watch the forum.


Featured posts

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