Dartmouth fills a void, sort of

Dartmouth has announced that it will finally hire a Shakespeare specialist to replace the legendary Prof. Peter Saccio, who retired in 2005. The College has selected Brett Gamboa from the graduate program at Harvard.
It’s great that Dartmouth is filling this void. However, its failure to do so sooner meant that students like my daughter never had the opportunity to take a Shakespeare course taught by a Shakespeare specialist. To her, the news of Gamboa’s appointment was bittersweet.
It’s also unfortunate, in my view, that Dartmouth hired a newly minted professor rather than an established star. I agree with Jeffrey Hart that Dartmouth should have spent what it takes to hire a leading light to teach its Shakespeare course.
Gamboa may become a star; after all, even Prof. Saccio was newly minted at one time. But at that time, he was, in effect, an apprentice to the excellent Prof. Hunter. Thus, when I took the Shakespeare course, I had both two Shakespeare specialists — Hunter and Saccio. When my daughter took the course, there was no Shakespeare specialist in the classroom.
Another sign of decline at Dartmouth.


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