Dartmouth presidential search gets off to inauspicious start

Dartmouth College is looking for a new president. The committee conducting the search has released its “Leadership Statement.” The committee describes this document as “an articulation of how Dartmouth’s distinctiveness provides an opportunity for the College’s next president to lead by defining excellence for higher education in the 21st century.”

The Statement rambles on for 25 jargon-laden, cliche-ridden pages (single spaced). Along the way, one encounters such turgid, poorly crafted prose as:

The Dartmouth community and the Dartmouth Board of Trustees are clear. They have been and remain committed to the whole.

As research universities in the U.S. turn toward their neglected undergraduates and begin to tinker with curricula and to emphasize pedagogy, Dartmouth is an attractive place to raid.

In the tenure of the next President, Dartmouth, once again, will need to stretch, to set its academic standards high, to pay competitively, even generously, to focus position by position and to provide the level of support that attracts and retains the very best.

The next President will make the broad strategic choices about faculty size and dimension and find and allocate the resources. Dartmouth’s strength, its core academic reputation depends on this next generation of presidential leadership.

One Power Line reader wonders “how competent candidates for Dartmouth’s presidency will react to the kind of writing that a good prof would not accept from a freshman.” But the Statement may perfectly reflect the kind of president the Dartmouth power elite wants, though certainly not the kind the College deserves.

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