Dartmouth College

Notes on Dartmouth commencement ’15

Featured image Our youngest daughter was graduated from Dartmouth College on Sunday morning. We attended the commencement ceremony on the Green in Hanover, New Hampshire. Please forgive the personal nature and limited interest of this post. Herewith, as William Buckley might have said, a few random thoughts that accentuate the positive. Dartmouth holds the commencement ceremony outdoors rain or shine. Five years ago we attended commencement on the Green for our middle »

Committee takes on grade inflation at Dartmouth, Part Two

Featured image My post on grade inflation at Dartmouth prompted responses from two correspondents who are familiar with the situation at institutions comparable to the College. At one institution, grade inflation apparently is rampant, to the point that a student with a GPA in excess of 3.9 fell short of summa cum laude. I wonder what the cutoff GPA at Dartmouth is. My correspondent points to several factors that fuel the inflation »

Committee takes on grade inflation at Dartmouth

Featured image I wrote here about the problem of rampant grade inflation at Dartmouth. Last month, the College’s ad hoc committee on grading practices and grade inflation documented the extent of the problem and issued a proposal for addressing it. The committee’s proposal is thoughtful and worth reading. I want to focus here, though, on the problem of grade inflation. According to the report, the median grade at Dartmouth in academic year »

Meet Dartmouth’s new radical professors

Featured image Dartmouth claims to be “moving forward,” but its academic hiring reflects a commitment to marching in place to the drumbeat of the left. The latest issue of Dartmouth Life invites alums to “meet Dartmouth’s new faculty members.” We meet the new profs through one paragraph statements about “what engages their intellectual curiosity.” In too many cases, the answer appears to be leftism. Here is what Christian Haines, the one new »

Phil Hanlon’s sensible proposals for Dartmouth

Featured image Dartmouth’s president Phil Hanlon has announced several significant measures designed to curb student alcohol abuse, improve the College’s culture, and make it a more academically serious institution. The student newspaper summarizes them here. Not surprisingly, though, the best discussion can be found on Joe Asch’s Dartblog. The most publicized element of Hanlon’s plan is an on-campus ban on hard liquor. Hanlon, who impresses me as a data-driven guy, found that »

Dartmouth’s 9/11

Featured image Following 9/11 the New York Times ran Portraits of Grief profiling many of those lost in the 9/11 attacks. We can’t capture the magnitude of the loss, or the meaning of who and what we lost, but the Times’s focus on individuals made a contribution. Taking just one small slice, I want to retrieve from the series the Times’s portraits of Dartmouth alumni who lost their lives on 9/11. With »

Does leisure outstrip learning at Dartmouth?

Featured image Joe Asch reports that Mike Mastanduno, Dartmouth’s dean of the faculty, made this comment at a recent faculty meeting: More than I’d like to, I hear this: “It’s really hard to teach on Thursday morning because of what the students do on Wednesday night.” I hear that from faculty. What I never hear, and what I’d love to start hearing from students is, “It’s really hard to do what we »

Dartmouth Happy

Featured image My youngest daughter is a happy Dartmouth junior. She loves college and she loves Dartmouth. Outside of the classroom, her sorority is at the center of her life on campus. She loves her sorority sisters, and we understand why. They are outstanding young women. I therefore throw up my hands at the negative publicity a few bad apples have created on campus, and the administration’s surrender to them. If the »

Remembering Budd Schulberg

Featured image Budd Schulberg — writer, novelist, playwright, screenwriter — was born 100 years ago this coming March 27. Mark Steyn takes the occasion of the Schulberg centenary to look back in the column “What made Buddy run?” Please check it out. Schulberg died in August 2009 ago at the age of 95. His life cut through an almost unbelievable slice of American history, more than enough for two memoirs. In Moving »

All in for Dartmouth? I think not

Featured image Dartmouth’s new president Phil Hanlon spoke this evening at an event at the Dartmouth Club of Washington as part of the “all in for Dartmouth” campaign. Hanlon set a new indoor record for beginning sentences with the word “So.” Beyond that, he came across as a decent, sensible, and honest (for a college administrator) guy. Which is exactly how he was described to me by a friend (with a low »

Dartmouth’s embarrassing lack of regard for due process

Featured image Amanda Childress, a sexual abuse awareness coordinator at Dartmouth, asked this question at a University of Virginia conference on campus sexual misconduct: “Why could we not expel a student based on an allegation?” Childress explained: It seems to me that we value fair and equitable processes more than we value the safety of our students. And higher education is not a right. Safety is a right. Higher education is a »

What’s so great about America: Ayers vs. D’Souza

Featured image On Thursday night unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers and Dinesh D’Souza engaged on the subject “what’s so great about America?” at Dartmouth College courtesy of Young America’s Foundation and sponsored by The Dartmouth Review. They met on stage before a large audience at Spaulding Auditorium in the college’s Hopkins Center. Katie Pavlich calls it a “must see debate.” Ann Kane provides an interesting assessment here. The Right Scoop offers this rundown »

Dartmouth doubles down on unserious leftist academics

Featured image Dartmouth College has a new provost, Carolyn Dever. The provost is a key, perhaps the key, player at an academic institution. She creates and maintains academic standards and sets the academic direction of the college. She determines which departments and areas of studies will be winners and which will be losers. In my day at Dartmouth, the provost was Leonard Reiser, a physicist who participated in the Manhattan Project. He »

Interdisciplinary studies, ASA style

Featured image I wrote here about the American Studies Association (ASA), which recently voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions. I hoped that Steve would chime in, and he has. In my post, I noted that the ASA’s upcoming annual convention is devoted to the theme of “The Fun and the Fury: New Dialectics of Pleasure and Pain In the Post-American Century.” (emphasis added) In his post, Steve pointed out that ASA has »

Dartmouth rejects academic boycott Israel

Featured image An outfit called the American Studies Association (ASA) has called for a boycott of Israel’s academic institutions. You can read its boycott resolution here. The ASA consists of approximately 5,000 members. 1,265 of them voted on the resolution, with 66 percent of them supporting it. If the ASA’s resolution doesn’t tell us all we need to know about this organization, the title of its upcoming annual meeting does. It’s called »

Brown puts Dartmouth to shame

Featured image Years ago, I mentioned to a prominent Bush administration official with an Ivy League background that my daughter was applying to Dartmouth and Brown. “They’re equally bad,” he responded. I was unwilling then, and remain so even now, to accept the idea that Dartmouth is as “bad” as Brown. But Joe Asch demonstrates that in one important respect Dartmouth is worse. Joe shows that Dartmouth is significantly more bloated, and »

A “downward death spiral” at Dartmouth?

Featured image In 2006, Peter Fahey, a former Dartmouth trustee wrote: Failure to adopt the new [Association of Alumni]constitution would risk dire consequences for the College. It would be a step down the road of allowing a radical minority cabal to take over the Dartmouth Board of Trustees. If this were to begin to happen, it could well lead the College into a downward death spiral. As Joe Asch reminds us, the »