The Dartmouth Review 6.10.2007 Volume 27, Issue 13 (PDF)

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Dartmouth’s Only Independent Newspaper
Volume 27, Issue 13
June 10, 2007
The Hanover Review, Inc.
P.O. Box 343
Hanover, NH 03755

Campus Administrators

Should Dean Carol Folt be the College’s next President? Page 3
A retrospective on President James Wright over the past four decades, pages 6
Dean of the College, Thomas Crady, on SEMP, COS, and athletics, pages 8 and 9
Dartmouth Professors: the good, the bad and the ugly, pages 2, 5, and 10


Page  The Dartmouth Review April 4, 2008

Great Books Make A Comeback
choosing classes—and a coherent set of classes—difficult. a Western Civ. program. It has a kind of great books focus
“No wonder it’s very difficult and incredibly confusing,” he but not really in the Western Civ. We include some clas
Higher education reform has become a popular topic said. “1600 courses and you only elect to take 36 of them. sic books from Asia as well.” He went on to explain how
the new Program would relate to the current two-term
amongst both pundits and intellectuals; ever since Allan That’s a huge challenge.”
One glaring fault is that the ORC doesn’t mark out classes humanities sequence offered to freshman. “We now have
Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind, books on what
is wrong with the university and how to fix it have flooded that teach based on canonical texts. He said, “I don’t think a two term humanities sequence—the great books of world
literature. This would be a six
the market. Of the many critiques offered by these books, students are aware that parts of the
course sequence with a humanities
one in particular is in the process of being addressed at
a social science sequence,
disDartmouth: the curriculum.
science sequence. So

Curriculums at universities and colleges have been a
satisfaction on how they were that those freshman
popular source of criticism for more than the last century.
There was a time when the raging debate in academia
freshman interested have the opwas whether or not to teach living foreign languages, e.g. are unchanged; they are changed
portunity to have a kind of comprehensive core experience
French. By 1920, however, John Erskine, first of Columbia very slowly over eons, kind of a permanent curriculum.”
Murphy went on to contrast these with other kinds of in the liberal arts.”
University then of the University of Chicago, had come to
“But then there are other big parts of the ORC that
At the Program’s website (at http://www.dartmouth.
the conclusion that the university was straying too far from
Murphy has compiled reading
its foundational texts, the ‘great books.’
Columbia, Chicago, St. John’s,

Erskine’s crusade met with varying degrees of success.
He also has preliminary sugBoth Chicago and Columbia still have core curricula, while
great book courses already
other schools have done away with any requirements at all,
Brown for instance. On the complete opposite end of the Students, I think, end up taking classes that are ever-chang- offered at Dartmouth. Those would be the second aspect
spectrum from Brown is St. John’s College, which even ing, so even though they might seem up to date, turn out of the Program’s curricular focus. “The other curriculum
uses the great books to teach things like chemistry and to be out of date quickly and would have rather focus more thing is called the Touchstones in Liberal Arts, and that’s a
mathematics, i.e. learning calculus by reading Leibniz and on the part of curriculum that isn’t changing, so that their proposal for a new minor. . . .I’ve culled out about 30 great
college education isn’t that out of date.” This is the place, books courses from the 1600 in the ORC and set forward

Dartmouth’s current system of distributive require- he claims, for the Daniel Webster Program, “I think that’s some examples of ways to group them thematically.”
Dartmouth’s curriculum is not the only focus of the
ments falls somewhere in between Columbia and Brown. what our curricular initiatives attempt to do—give students
As previously alluded to, the second component
The system tends to encourage students to go about fulfilling
of the initiative is an annual
their requirements freely
lecture and conference. The
but haphazardly. Professor
Janus Lecture will occur
James Murphy has set up an
during the spring term and
initiative called the “Daniel The Abrahamic Faiths:
Epic Literature in Comparison:
an ancient-modern conferWebster Program” to pro- Asian Literature 62: Topics in Classical Hebrew Literature
Classics 5: Epics of Greece and Rome
ence every fall. Professor
vide a good alternative to English 10: The King James Version of the Bible I
Asian Literature 62: Topics in Classical Arabic Literature
Murphy’s own background
the often incoherent set of Government 63: Origins of Political Thought
Italian 33: Dante: The Divine Comedy
is in contrasting problems
classes used to satisfy the Religion 4: Religion of Israel
English 19: Anglo-Saxon And Scandinavian Epic and Saga
from both ancient and
current requirements.
Religion 5: Early Christianity
English 28: Milton
modern perspectives. I

Murphy explains that Religion 8: Introduction to Islam
German Studies 44: The Faust Tradition
asked him about his areas of
part of the genesis for the
research: “My first book was
Project came from his Eastern and Western Ethics in Comparison:
What is a Good Human Life?:
about theories of labor and
time on the Committee Asian Literature 83: Topics in Chinese Literature and Culture Religion 23: Jewish Philosophers of Religion
work, comparing ancient
On Instruction. “There are Classics 3: Reason and the Good Life: Socrates to Epictetus Philosophy 12: Medieval Philosophy
and modern theories. My
1600 courses in the ORC Government 6: Political Ideas
Religion 29: Kierkegaard and Religious Existentialism
second book was on the
[Organization, Regula- History 74: Intellectual History of East Asia
Russian 36: Tolstoy and the Problem of Death
theory of positive law from,
tions, and Courses] and Philosophy 11: Ancient Philosophy
History 74: Intellectual History of East Asia
again, an ancient and modthe distributive require- Religion 10: Religions of China
Russian 35: Dostoevsky and the Problem of Evil
ern perspective.” The first
ments give you very little
conference next November
guidance. You could meet
them put together a more coherent general education.”
Socrates and Rousseau, an
them in any number of ways. I served for four years on the

The Program has more than just one focus though, ancient and a modern.
Committee On Instruction that oversees curriculum. We
as Murphy explains, “It’s got a curricular focus and sort of
The Hopkins Institute, an alumni group, has long been
were presented with a survey that Dartmouth did in the late
an enrichment thing that has a conference-lecture focus. looking to have renewed priority placed on the Western
90s of graduating seniors. That survey was very disturbing
That’s what our first event is, the Janus Lecture on April 4. Canon. Though Professor Murphy’s program doesn’t strictly
and troubling because the majority of graduating seniors
[Anthony] Kronman is coming on April 4, and that’s going cover just Western thought, he remarked that the Institute
expressed high dissatisfaction on how they were advised in
to be about education reform and in particular an argument was a great example of how alumni groups can construcchoosing courses. The results were so disturbing that the
about the importance of the great books of humanities tively engage the College. The Institute has also provided
college even set up a new position,
in education. I’ll be responding to the Daniel Webster Program with financial support; the
the dean of advising, that Cecilia
Kronman’s talk and then introducing Manhattan Institute and other College sources have also
Gaposchkin holds. She’s done a lot
some of the initiatives in the Webster contributed funds.
to try to re-vamp, re-invigorate, reprogram.”

Interest in emphasizing the great books has been simenergize the advising process so that
Kronman is a former Dean of Yale mering for some time, but where did Professor Murphy get
students feel a closer connection with
Law School and now teaches in Yale’s the idea for the fall conference? It “was a faculty seminar
their faculty advisor. She’s got faculty
“Directed Studies Program”—an led by Ned Lebow. He had a seminar about five years ago
involved in the orientation process.
optional set of core classes for Yale called ancient and modern perspectives in international
The College in a sense recognizes a
freshman, which focus on the great relations. His own work in teaching often involves Greek
real serious problem here.”
books. Kronman will in large part be and ancient perspectives. We’d get together and present

The realization that the College
talking about subjects that he touches our own work, and talk about the great themes of War and
was doing a poor job of advising its
on in his recent book, Education’s Peace from these ancient and modern perspectives—people
students, was driven home to ProEnd: Why Colleges and Universities from History, Religion, Philosophy, Government, and
fessor Murphy by his own in-class
have Given up on the Meaning of Classics. I thought, ‘Wow, that was really fun. It really
experiences. “And in my informal
provided a unique forum to talk to our colleagues in other
experience teaching Government
In the back of his book, Kronman departments. Maybe we could generalize this. It doesn’t
6—our introduction to political ideas,
lists the works the students in the just have to be international relations. We can get ancient
Daniel Webster, a man of letters
our kind of great books introduction
Directed Studies will read in a year. and modern perspectives on a variety of issues.’ So, that
to political science—I always get a couple dozen seniors in
The list is enough to set any humanities student drooling. was the inspiration.”
it every year who say, ‘I want to take this because I’m about
But that might be why it’s not an ideal set of courses, ac-
The Program is not meant as a replacement of the curto graduate from college and haven’t read these important
cording to Murphy. “[The Program is] Directed Studies rent system, whose defining feature is the freedom it gives
books.’ What we find among these seniors and recent
inspired, but it’s different. You know Directed Studies is to students. “It’s a system that promotes freedom, but like
graduates is a kind of buyer’s remorse, ‘now I realize the
very much humanities focused. One of the courses deals all freedoms they can be well or poorly used. So you have
courses I should have taken but now it’s too late, college is
with history and politics, but even that is largely humanistic the freedom at Dartmouth to get a great education, and you
over.’ There’s a lot of that remorse out there. I don’t think
in orientation. My sequences, if you go on the website, are have the freedom to get a less than great, or incoherent,
students are getting the guidance they need to put together
much more comprehensive with natural science and social education.” More than anything, the Program will add a
a coherent education.”
science sequences—which Directed Studies never really welcome voice when it comes to student guidance. Professor

Professor Murphy was quick to sympathize with stuattempts.”
Murphy continued, “That’s the price of freedom, but I do
dents, pointing to flaws in the design of the ORC that make

When I pressed Professor Murphy on what kind of texts think students can get better guidance to use that freedom

Mr. Erickson is a sophomore at the College and Execu- the course would teach, on whether it would focus on the more wisely in selecting courses—and that’s what we’re
Western Canon, he noted that the “program is not exactly trying to help with.”
tive Editor of The Dartmouth Review.
By A.S. Erickson


Sample “Touchstone Minors” for the Daniel Webster Program

April 4, 2008 The Dartmouth Review Page 


Greg Fossedal, Gordon Haff,
Benjamin Hart, Keeney Jones

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win
great triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than
to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy
much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray
twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
—Theodore Roosevelt

Emily Esfahani-Smith

Weston Sager

A.S. Erickson
Executive Editor

Michael C. Russell, Christine S. Tian
Managing Editors

Gregory Boguslavsky, Jared W. Zelski,
David W. Leimbach
Senior Editors

Mostafa A. Heddaya, Galen U. Pizzorno,
William D. Aubin, Jeremy M. Pham
Associate Editors

Adi A. Sivaraman Catherine Amble
Vice President


James T. Preston Jr.
Sports Editor

Tyler Brace, Kathleen Carmody, Michael R. DiBenedetto, Matthew D. Guay, Matthew Hartman, Nicholas
P. Hawkins, Cathleen G. Kenary, Cate Lunt, Nathan
Mathis, John M. Morris, Brian C. Murphy, Katherine
J. Murray, Kevin Parkman, Samuel D. Peck, Nisanth
Reddy, Alexander W. Vespoli

Mean-Spirited, Cruel and Ugly
Legal Counsel

The Review Advisory Board
Martin Anderson, Patrick Buchanan, Dinesh D’Souza,
John Fund, Jeffrey Hart, Laura Ingraham, Mildred Fay
Jefferson, William Lind, William Rusher,
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Sidney Zion
Lao Tzu quotes
The cover image is courtesy of the Dartmouth Library
Special Thanks to William F. Buckley, Jr.
The Editors of The Dartmouth Review welcome correspondence from readers concerning any subject, but
prefer to publish letters that comment directly on material published previously in The Review. We reserve
the right to edit all letters for clarity and length.
Submit letters by mail, fax at (603) 643-1470, or e-mail:
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Down the Lost Highway

President James Wright is grooming Dean of Faculty
Carol Folt to succeed him as President, and the Board—
compliant as ever—will almost certainly allow Dean Folt
to continue President Wright’s divisive policies. Of course,
all those that value the Dartmouth experience are relieved
to recall President Wright’s numerous failures in trying to
turn our school into a bureaucratic fiefdom of dwarfs. Now
in his last stand, we are hoping President Wright’s string of
losses continues in court, where there are already indications that the board-packing plan was a violation of contract.
Given that the Wright administration has something of a
predilection for dealing from the bottom of the deck, as
shown in the board-packing fiasco, the Review thinks that
Dean Folt should not follow in James Wright’s footsteps
and assume the throne at Parkhurst.

Dean Folt not only has the reputation of being one
of President Wright’s closest associates but, even then, of
being accustomed to getting jerked around on a very short
leash. Word has it that, in her diminutive way, she is far
too easily yanked around—by James Wright, by big donors
looking to micromanage their children’s grades, and, not
easily forgotten, the Chairman
of Dartmouth’s Board, Charles
“Ed” Haldeman.

Dean Folt has wagged her
way behind President Wright
from big speech to speech
and even tags along when
President Wright meets with
the big Kahunas on the Board
of Trustees. The latter point is
truly remarkable. We suppose
the Board can invite whomever
they want to their meetings,
but Board meetings have a
reputation of being insular and
secretive: Board members take an oath of office and generally cannot dish the goings-on of Board meetings out to the
public. Nobody knows what goes on during the meetings
except the Board, which includes the President as an ex
officio member. The assumption is that only Board members should attend Board meetings. Not being President,
Dean Carol Folt can be no more than someone else’s date
in attending.

As it is, bad news travels fast, and the catastrophe of
Dean Folt’s achievements has been spreading beyond the
Board room. In a recent poll conducted by Dartmouth Undying, a group of alumni who are critical of the Association
of Alumni’s suit against the College, one curious question
was included in the poll: what is your attitude towards Carol
Folt. Now why would they want to know that? We can only
imagine the responses given to that loaded question. We
have heard, for instance, in private conversations that at least
three current faculty members are categorically opposed to
Dean Folt’s promotion. One of these faculty members has
the audacity to describe himself as a good friend of Dean
Folt’s. So who needs enemies?

But people who do not know her well—or who swoon
when confronted with chichi political fashions—will
undoubtedly love the idea of Carol Folt as president:
Dartmouth names its first woman president at the same
time that the nation puts forward its first serious female
candidate. She’s a scientist (remember why Lawrence Summers got the boot at Harvard: in your face, Larry!); she’s
well published; she knows the right people. It’s great. And
yet, like President Wright, she has stated absolutely no core
vision for the direction this College should take, and again
like Wright, there’s no action in the way she works, there’s
just reaction. What have been Dean Folt’s major initiatives
here at Dartmouth? What has she added to the College in
her 24 years here? Seniority does not an executive make.

Indeed, it seems more accurate to say that Dean Folt
has subtracted, not added, to this campus. More star professors have left this campus under Dean Folt’s reign as
Dean of Faculty than ever should under the tenure of one
Dean. In one case, the faculty member left as a direct result
of Dean Folt’s interference and violation of his academic
freedom. We direct your attention to the Arthur R. Virgin

Professor of Music Jon Appleton. In 2005, when students
complained about receiving grades below an A in his Music
3 class, Dean Folt took it upon herself to nullify the grades
of all 76 students, and grant each student mere credit for
the course instead. For the record, the breakdown of grades
was as follows: 30 As, 25 Bs, 15 Cs, and 4 Ds—which might
strike a reasonable individual as rather fair-minded. Allegedly, Dean Folt’s office was influenced by a phone call from
a large donor, who just happened to be the parent of one
very peeved student.

Dean Folt’s misguidance extends beyond violations
of academic freedom; her sketchy judgment also seems
to violate the basic dictates of a liberal arts education. In
2005, the College’s sole professor of rhetoric left for Virginia
Tech due, it is said, to administrative neglect and abuse.
His frustrated efforts to promote a rhetoric and writing
center for the College between 1995 and 2005 forced him
to conclude that Dean Folt is “utterly ignorant of the role
of rhetoric within a liberal arts tradition.” Ignorance of this
sort is probably inexcusable in the Dean of Faculty, but
personal resentment is absolutely unacceptable: Professor
Kuypers said that in 2005 Folt
“resolutely stated that…were
she to have extra [resources and
funds], she would not give any
to speech.”

Now that Professor
Kuypers is gone and student and
alumni pressure, via petition
candidates, continues, Dean
Folt has had a change of heart
and her office has decided to
found an Institute of Writing
and Rhetoric after all. It makes
you wonder if her opposition to
fund the Institute in 2005 was
prompted by a resource problem, or by a personal problem:
her personal antipathy to Professor Kuypers—if true, that
type of behavior has become a pattern at the College in
the past few years. Specifically, if professors, great people
in their fields and often in life, take a stand against the
administration in any way, they are punished in one of two
forms: by the denial of tenure—like Kuypers—or the denial
of research funding. Is this the attitude…is this the policy
we should expect of the future president of the College?

And it doesn’t stop there: while Dean Folt has been
on board, all-star professors have been hitting the pavement. Down the lost highway, as Hank Williams would
say. Professor Michael Gazzaniga, Professor Allan Stam,
Professor Jon Appleton, Professor Jennifer Richeson, and
Professor Amitabh Chandra, to name a few—we won’t go
into the depressing specifics of each professor in this short
editorial, but we can say that future Noble laureates are
included on this list, and that they were allegedly driven out
of Dartmouth due to the “lack in intellectual leadership,”
to quote Professor Appleton once more.

You know that Dartmouth is experiencing a crisis of
leadership when the tenure of the last president, James
Wright, was marked more by a hold-the-fort mentality than a
liberal look into Dartmouth’s past and future, and the tenure
of the president before him, Freedman, was marked by a
mean-spirited vendetta against this paper and free speech
in general. Here is a chance to renew our leadership, and
the College should embrace that opportunity: search for
a President who is truly bold, innovative, imaginative and
prepared to challenge the politically correct canards of
this shop-worn academy. Dartmouth needs a President
who is wholly devoted to and can once again establish the
hallmarks of a liberal arts education. The College needs
someone fresh, outside the ranks of the status quo and off
the leash.

Sometimes, under some circumstances, an exceptional
executive can gather the flock together, retire magnanimously and gracefully, and ask his Board to name his proven
protégé as his successor. Is James Wright such an executive?
Some like to pretend he is; the rest of us know better; the
rest of us know that this is the time for President Wright
to ride off into the sunset, down that lost highway.


The Dartmouth Review wants to hear from you!
Write to us at

Page  The Dartmouth Review April 4, 2008

The Week In Review
Tuition goes up with
financial aid benefit

The board recently decided to mimic last year’s 5%
tuition increase with yet another, raising tuition $1,725 for
the 2008-2009 academic year. Tuition comprises $36,690 of
the $47,694 yearly Dartmouth students need for room, board,
mandatory fees, and —of course— classes. Every student
at Dartmouth will feel the increase, but some worse than
others: Dartmouth Medical School students will experience
a 6% increase and Tuck School of Business scholars take
the cake with 6.1%.

At the same time, the College has pledged several
enhancements to its “need-blind” admissions policy. First
and foremost, any student whose family makes less than
$75,000 will now get a free ride. International students will
now be elegible for need-blind admissions, as well. Also, all
students on financial aid will be given one leave term with
“no earnings expectation,” i.e., a term whose expenses and
expected earnings are paid by Dartmouth, leaving the student
free to do as he or she wishes. Perhaps most importantly,
all student loans will be replaced with scholarships.

The price tag on the new financial aid package is $61
million a year, an eventual $10 million increase. How will
Dartmouth pay for it? Besides the college’s Campaign for
the Dartmouth Experience, which hopes to provide $150
million of financial aid, trustees have approved a 6% increase
in distribution from the endowment.

On a related note, the college’s 2008 Affirmative Action
Plan has recently been approved by the Board of Trustees
after noted increases in faculty and staff diversity across
the Arts and Sciences, Medical School, Thayer School of
Engineering, and Tuck School of Business. The plan was
proposed by the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity,
and will be distributed to deans and professors.

Presidential search

Chairman of Dartmouth’s Board Charles “Ed” Haldeman ’69 recently appointed Trustee Al Mulley ’70 to head
the search for Dartmouth’s seventeenth president. Those
comprising Mulley’s committee will be named in June, after
which the trustees will garner community input and develop
a statement of leadership criteria that the ideal president
should display.

Haldeman stated he and Mulley will “be working
together to ensure the search is as open and inclusive as
possible while also taking the necessary steps to respect
the confidentiality of candidates... The Board believes
that it is critical that all Dartmouth constituencies have an
opportunity to provide their input during this initial stage
of the search. We will meet with community members
on campus and locations beyond Hanover and establish
a web site to collect comments and suggestions for the
committee’s consideration.” Haldeman went on to say, “A

presidential search, once fully launched, normally takes six
to nine months to complete a comprehensive identification
process to attract top candidates.” The Dartmouth Review
waits with bated breath.

SAD: Only one candidate
has no ego

It’s that time of year again. The election for the President
and Vice-President of the Student Assembly at Dartmouth
(SAD) is upon us. To clarify what kind of people participate
in SAD, Tay Stevenson ’10 helps us out. He told the Daily
Dartmouth that he is “the only person at [the Assembly]
who isn’t there for ego or to bolster their resume.” A SAD
insider has finally stated outright what everyone on campus
already knew.

The rules of a SAD election are simple: (1) There must
be ridiculous promises. Last year Jaromy Siporen was outraged that the only sushi on campus was from Sunja’s. (2)
There are two kinds of candidates: back-slapping insiders
and disillusioned outsiders.

Molly Bode ’09 is this year’s insider, and Lee Cooper
’09 throws the categories to the wind by declaring himself
the former insider who is now an outsider but with the
knowledge of an insider. Cooper told the daily rag that he
no longer considered himself an insider once he began to
exhibit typical outsider sentiments: he became “very disillusioned with the Assembly and the lack of leadership.” (3)
There must be complete student body apathy.

For full SAD Election coverage go to this newspaper’s
weblog at—because we do apathy better than

Vermont endeavors to be
the “cool state”

A bill to lower the state drinking age in Vermont to
eighteen has passed committee, and now faces a vote in the
full state Senate. Senator Hinda Miller, D-Chittenden, has
evidently decided to trump all the other “cool moms” by
persuading all of Vermont to be the “cool state.” She says
that the dramatic decline in alcohol related traffic fatalities is
not necessarily because of the National Minimum Drinking
Age Act of 1984, and of course she is technically correct-the rise in both legislation and litigation concerning DUI,
accompanied by an increasing social stigma, have probably
played a role as well.

But why not mess with success? As the mother of
teenagers herself, Miller seems to believe that this will not
have any unforeseen negative effects and that the average
teenager is quite capable of making the responsible decision.

Of course, from the College on the Hill one merely
has to climb the hill to see Vermont, and a change in policy
across the river would have a variety of interesting effects
on the social activities of Dartmouth, especially their liquid
component. Perhaps the most important questions at this

juncture are the following: Which is more rewarding as a new
freshman, the money saved on free Keystone or the ability
to hike a couple miles and buy beer yourself? And how on
Earth did the young Mlle. Miller achieve this remarkable
feat of deception?

Professor creates photoverifying software

Computer Science professor Hany Farid recently
completed the development of software that could help
determine the veracity of digital photographs. In an article
appearing in the Daily Dartmouth on March 31, Farid explained the importance of the new technology to both media
organizations and law enforcement. With the proliferation of
image-editing software like Photoshop, anyone can perform
politburo-esque “revisions” of their photographs.

In fact, the article notes that many news agencies and
newspapers, including Reuters and Newsweek, have been
caught using falsified images. Yet, in spite of the prevalence
of digital image manipulation over the past ten years, Farid is
considered to be a pioneer in the field of “digital forensics,”
and his software is the first of its kind.

The software, which Farid primarily developed for
the Federal Bureau of Investigation, may prove to be an
invaluable intelligence tool as well. Americans can now
rest assured that the latest batch of embarrassing Britney
Spears photographs will be genuine, and not the work of

Dartmouth Undying seeks
family unity

Coming out of obscurity with a message of unity, an end
to partisan squabbles and the reemergence of responsible
leadership—it sounds familiar, but Dartmouth Undying has
not (yet) been linked to the Obama campaign. Instead, a
new group that seeks to end the controversy surrounding
the Association of Alumni’s lawsuit, the election of Trustees,
and various other administrative goings-on has appeared.
Their solution, which is altogether not unexpected, is the
removal of the present AoA Executive Committee and
the election of their own slate of candidates, all of whom
take the positions that the lawsuit is a waste of time and
resources: the most important thing, Dartmouth Undying
attests, is to “bring the Dartmouth family together again.”
According to the group’s website, the only reason that the
ridiculous complaints concerning democracy and a lack of
parity on the Board of Trustees have persisted this long is
the support and influence of shadowy “outside forces.”

Once the lawsuit has been rescinded, and the Trustees
reflect responsibility and unity by ending parity and adopting
the governance changes, Dartmouth Undying foresees that
it “will build a rejuvenated and more effective partnership
with the Trustees to serve Dartmouth through the 21st
century and beyond.”

Stinson’s: Your Pong HQ
Cups, Balls, Paddles, Accessories

(603) 643-6086 |

April 4, 2008 The Dartmouth Review Page 

The Week in Review
Some, like independent candidate Frank Gado ’58, have
gone on record calling this group “irresponsible” for trivializing the entire issue of parity on the Board and pretending
alumni unrest exists solely because of the lawsuit. There have
even been some surprisingly legitimate accusations that the
Dartmouth have been engaging in
push polling to rally support for the administration. Some
hope that Dartmouth Undying is successful in silencing the
voices of Gado and other such meddlesome outside forces,
so that the administration and its handpicked Trustees can
get back to business, unchecked and unhindered. For the
sake of family unity, naturally.

Lambert ’90 appointed as
Sustainability Shephard

The College recently announced the hiring of Kathy
Lambert ’90 to fill the position of College “sustainability manager.” Beyond self-righteous campus crusades,
Lambert’s duties will include finding ways to decrease the
College’s energy consumption and encourage increased
student participation in sustainability initiatives. A graduate
of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies,
Lambert will bring her vast expertise in “forest science in
hydrology and watershed management,” to the table. In
addition to applying her knowledge to the noble art of
campus sustainability, Lambert has found the time to tend
to her own flock of organically raised sheep.

In an article appearing in the Daily Dartmouth on March
26, Lambert says, “I really like the energy that the student
groups at Dartmouth bring to the issues,” an inadvertently
ingenious statement—students truly dedicated to ‘being
green’ could perhaps be turned into Matrix-esque energy

sources. This would have the dual benefit of providing clean
energy and, given the typically vocal nature of environmental
activists, decreasing sound pollution.

The Review wishes Ms. Lambert the best of luck, and
sincerely hopes that she will tend to the Dartmouth flock
as well as she has her own.

Professor linked to
slavery? No way!

Self-loathing white people of Dartmouth: one Professor of English has stumbled upon another potential source
of atavistic guilt. In her quest to find out more about the
lives of Abijah and Lucy Terry Prince, two freed slaves who
moved to Vermont, Professor Gretchen Gerzina made an
interesting genealogical discovery. One of her distant ancestors had been the brother of the mother of the wife of the
man who bought Abijah Prince back in 1717. It was here
that the merits of her English Ph.D. really shone through:
Professor Gerzina was amazed to find this out, apparently
unaware that such a tenuous link is not very uncommon.
Anyone whose family has been in the country for more than
a few generations is almost certainly at least tangentially
related to an old colonial slave-owning family, including
the Tuttles described by Gerzina herself as “ rocks in
Vermont—so ubiquitous that they seem to grow from the
soil.” Moreover, slavery itself was ubiquitous in most cultures at some point in history, so a comprehensive enough
genealogy would reveal slaveowners in virtually anyone’s
family tree; in fact, if Professor Gerzina were to trace out all
degrees of relation fully, she would doubtlessly discover she
was related to Abijah herself, as well as to Lucy Terry.

Every human being alive today is related to a “mito-

chondrial Eve.” Moreover, Gerzina could ostensibly find a
link between herself and any other person alive today. We
advise that she do this, as the dynamic it could create would
be literary gold.

Middlebury brings Hogwarts to Dartmouth

Saturday afternoon, Dartmouth and Middlebury students gathered on the green to bring their favorite fantasy
novel to life. The students ran around with Firebolts between
their leg, passed each other Quaffles, beat their Bludgers,
and for the true athletes of the team, sought out the coveted
Snitch (which happened to be a person). Quidditch, a recreation made famous by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books,
is growing quickly in popularity, with club teams popping
up all across the country. The game was played with volleyballs, dodgeballs, and humans in lieu of the regulation balls
because Quality Quidditch Supplies on Diagon Alley had
them on back order. All rules from the book are observed;
yet, a person, as opposed to a magical, winged golden ball
is used for the Snitch. This lucky person, dressed all in gold,
ran away from the two opposing Seekers jockeying to be the
first person to catch the Snitch; the lucky Seeker wins 150
points for their team and ends the match upon securing the
Snitch. Quidditch has reached such a level of popularity that
the Middlebury team devoted their entire spring break to
traveling around facing schools throughout the northeast in
hopes of winning the World Cup. Such an accomplishment
would be the biggest athletic achievement in Middlebury
history. With 64 official members of the IQA, could Quidditch overtake ultimate Frisbee as the most alternative yet
stereotypical thing you can do on a college campus?

Theocrats in a Democracy
By Michael C. Russell

For all the debate over policies or ideals, the majority
of us at this point can agree on the basic tenets of classical liberalism—the liberalism of the Bill of Rights, not
of Maureen Dowd—and have little contention with the
separation of powers or the establishment clause. At the
heart of American civic life has been a healthy appreciation of religious tolerance, or at the very least, a minimal
amount of religious persecution. However, the resurgence
of fundamentalist religion in both the East and the West,
and the increasingly political nature of their religious leaders, coupled with a more secularized political sphere, have
caused questions on the proper relationship between state,
religion and citizen to come to the forefront of political

Lucas Swaine, an Associate Professor of Government
here at Dartmouth College, has proposed to help resolve
the contention between fundamentalists—or theocrats
as he calls them—and liberal democracy in his first book,
The Liberal Conscience, a spirited addition to modern
political philosophy. Professor Swaine came to Dartmouth
only a few years ago after having received doctorates from
both the University of Sussex and Brown University, then
spending time at St. Andrew’s in Scotland as the Gifford
Research Fellow. Since his arrival, Swaine has become a
popular professor of political philosophy, while enjoying the
northern climate that is reminiscent of his native Manitoba
and intelligent undergraduates at a “first-rate intellectual
institution that doesn’t have second-rate graduates” to
watch over. He’s also taken advantage of the time to write
his first book, the aforementioned The Liberal Conscience,
and another untitled project on the autonomous life and
its value that he’s working on currently.

The Liberal Conscience is a novel approach to the
problem of theocrats living in a liberal democracy, a
problem which has too often been dismissed out-of-hand
by political theorists, including one giant in the field, John
Rawls. When asked as to why he chose this topic, one that
has invited flak from both sides of the aisle, Swaine commented that while studying at St. Andrew’s he “thought of
the toughest issues in the next 10 or 20 years” and realized
that current standards for “squaring liberalism with faith”
were simply insufficient.

Mr. Russell is a junior at the College and Managing
Editor of The Dartmouth Review.

Theocrats create both a moral and a practical problem
for a liberal democracy. Moral, in that a liberal democracy
aims at being as inclusive as possible, but history has shown
they have built a poor record on treatment of theocrats,
frequently coercing them through legislation to conform
to community standards. Practical, because a theocrat can
neither be excluded from a liberal democracy nor forced
into adopting more moderate religious practices, creating
the need for a doctrine or system that allows their incorporation into society without compromising the values of either
the theocrat or the society. The problems that arise from
active theocratic elements in a society touch on practically
all domestic political questions from school choice to abortion to gay marriage.

The principles of toleration, fairness, and equality all
struck him as unable to bridge the gap between liberalism
and faith. To rectify this issue Swaine has proposed his own
definition of “liberty of conscience” through which theocrats
could affirm liberal democracy, if not necessarily endorse it,
and the prospect of “semi-sovereignty” for cohesive religious
groups. The book lays out a framework for groups like the
Amish to legally control many elements of their society as
long as they meet several basic prerequisites for semi-sovereignty, such as protection of human rights, standards for
education, and the ability for members to safely exit the

This solution would allow for a liberal democracy to
feel that it had met its own standards in treatment of its
citizens, while at the same time allowing those citizens to
pursue a particular and separate existence.

However, a flaw seems to appear when reconciling
certain theocratic beliefs—such as denying or promoting
the existence of aberrant sexual practices—and common
conceptions of human rights. For Swaine the 1948 declaration of human rights is an insufficient basis on which to
ground the rights of a semi-sovereign community as its “long
and problematic” due to its desire “to include a great deal”
instead of trying to define the most basic, universal, and
necessary rights. Thus, the most basic set of rights must be
protected while allowing the community to pursue whatever
values it wishes, as long as the right of exit is protected for
those who would feel persecuted.

Swaine’s argument for why theocrats would support a
liberal democracy and how they should reasonably dismiss
a theocracy due to issues over corruption and perception of
the Good have interesting implications for the Middle East.
Essentially, his argument for a country like Iran is that dif-

ferent types of theocrats exist in Iran who have prioritized
religious values in separate ways, but are forced to conform
to Ayatollah Khomeini’s definition, which stifles their ability
to pursue their own beliefs. Thus, a more religious Iran
could be achieved through the implementation of liberal
democracy in which an Iranian can passionately pursue
Islam in his own way, instead of with disinterest because
of disagreement with a temporal authority.

Closer to home, it helps resolve major issues con-

Professor Lucas Swaine in Government
cerning communities that object to things such as teaching evolution or abortion. If the community can decide
to enforce these rules within their own semi-sovereign
community, there would be less reason to attack the policies of the wider community. Though Swaine may have
overestimated the geographic density of theocrats for his
semi-sovereign argument, it does succeed in creating a
reasonable framework for reclusive communities such as
the Amish to be treated by the government. A definite
success in proposing and arguing a new and sympathetic
view on theocrats, reader be warned that even though The
Liberal Conscience has already won the North American
Society for Social Philosophy’s Best Book Award for 2006,
it is an academic read and a companion to the greater body
of work on liberalism.

Page  The Dartmouth Review April 4, 2008

The Wright Retrospective
By A.S. Erickson
Editor’s Note: James Wright recently announced his intention
to step down as President of the College. The following is
a short retrospective of the major events and controversies
of his presidency.
Freedman Before Dartmouth

Any retrospective of the Wright Presidency must begin
with a look back at the tenure of his predecessor, James
Freedman. Freedman was raised in Manchester, New
Hampshire. His father was a high school English teacher;
his mother was a self-hating Jew. Freedman’s mother was
a wildly ambitious woman who drummed her own ambition
into her son from early on in his childhood; this included
an almost cult-like worship of Harvard. From Manchester,
Freedman graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law
School. After a clerkship with Thurgood Marshall he settled
into a professorial appointment at Penn Law School, where
he remained for eighteen years.

At Penn, Freedman regularly taught classes and published extensively as he climbed up through the ranks of
the school’s administration. By the end of his stay at the
University of Pennsylvania, he had been made the Dean
of the law school. He left Penn for the Presidency of the
University of Iowa, where he oversaw the expansion of that
school’s graduate programs. He left Iowa for Dartmouth
in 1987. Shortly before he left, however, he convinced the
Iowa legislature to finance a laser center that he claimed
would bring 12,000 jobs to the state. Iowa legislators subsequently claimed that Freedman purposely misled them,
but by that time he was gone.
Freedman at Dartmouth

When Freedman telephoned his mother with the news
that he had been named the President of Dartmouth, his
mother consoled him by saying, “That’s okay, next time it
will be Harvard.” It is in this vein that Freedman oversaw
Dartmouth during his tenure: it was a poor imitation of
its southerly sister, Harvard. His disdain for Dartmouth
tradition was palpable.

Freedman and Wright
It was Freedman’s emphasis on campus expansion, however,
that engendered most of the alumni antipathy he encountered. For instance, the size of the administration grew
from 400 administrators to 650 between 1985 and 1995. In
addition, a matrix was uncovered in the early nineties that
examined three sizes in campus capacity and enrollment:
undergraduate levels at 5,500 students, 7,900 students, and
9,000 students.

Furthermore, Freedman’s vision for the College ran
in direct opposition to the course the College traditionally
took. This became clear in his inaugural address:
We must strengthen our attraction for those singular students whose greatest pleasures may come
not from the camaraderie of classmates, but from
the lonely acts of writing poetry or mastering the
cello or solving mathematical riddles or translating

Mr. Erickson is a sophomore at the College and Executive
Editor of The Dartmouth Review. Photographs are courtesy
of the Dartmouth College Library.

Catullus. We must make Dartmouth a hospitable
environment for students who march to a different
drummer—for those creative loners and daring
dreamers whose commitment to the intellectual and
artistic life is so compelling that they appreciate,
as Prospero reminded Shakespeare’s audiences,
that for certain persons a library is ‘dukedom large

Unsurprisingly, the kind of peace and solace Freedman
sought out for his students was not found in the basement
of the College’s notorious fraternities: like his successor
James Wright, Freedman would lose the support of alumni
and students by instituting measures that made the daily
operations of Greek organizations very difficult. An unprecedented number of fraternities were placed under probation
during Freedman’s tenure as president; he pushed rush
back to sophomore fall; and, for a time, he banned kegs at
fraternities altogether.

Freedman’s aspirations for career advancement were
dashed, in part, by this newspaper. Two events in particular
attracted national media attention. The first was Freedman’s
continual denunciations of The Dartmouth Review in
1988. That spring, the paper had printed a transcript of
Professor Bill Cole’s music class, in which it was revealed
Cole talked about many things (often using expletive-laced
descriptions)—but he spoke very little about music. The
Wall Street Journal called Freedman the Bull Conner of
academia when Freedman came to the defense of Cole by
labeling the Review a “racist” publication (Cole was black)
and by suspending three editors and placing a fourth on

The second event was the sabotage of the Review’s
masthead quote—traditionally a quote from Theodore
Roosevelt, it had been replaced with a quote from Mein
Kampf by a disgruntled staffer. The paper was cleared of
any wrongdoing by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai
Birth. It was largely rumored at the time that Freedman’s
pitiless hectoring of his own students in these two incidents
persuaded the Corporation of Harvard not to hire him to
fill the recently vacated President’s office there.
Wright Under Freedman

James Wright has been at Dartmouth since 1969 when
he was hired as an assistant professor in the History Department. He came to the College straight from the University
of Wisconsin where he earned his Ph.D. Wright had close
professional ties to Freedman; it was Freedman who made
him Dean of the Faculty in 1987. When Freedman took a
sabbatical in 1995, it was Wright who was acting president.
Later on, when Freedman promoted Wright to Provost
without a formal search committee, the faculty rebelled,
forcing Wright to tender a letter of resignation.

The controversy had more to do with Freedman than
objections to Wright as the new provost. In the late eighties,
the Provost’s Office was redefined by Freedman so that the
Dean of the Faculty as well as the deans of the professional
schools reported to it. In exchange for the increased power
placed in the provost position, the faculty required Freedman to establish a formal search committee for each new
provost. Faculty members would compose a majority of the

The debacle included an interdepartmental clash as
different departments either pushed for Wright’s resignation or protested with a petition for his reinstatement. The
History and hard science departments were particularly
vocal in their support for Wright—who had earlier chaired
the curriculum committee that changed the core requirements to allegedly favor the hard and social sciences. For
instance, tenured professors in the Chemistry and Biology
departments sent letters to the untenured professors; the
letters strongly ‘urged’ junior faculty to sign the petition for
Wright’s reinstatement.
A Research University in All but Name

The professional trust Freedman placed in Wright was
significant, and when it came time to find a replacement for
Freedman, Wright was the natural choice. The selection
of Wright was announced on April 6, 1998. On that day he
addressed the Dartmouth community in Alumni Hall, in
which he made clear his initial priorities. He announced
that his “vision of Dartmouth is of a research community
that is committed to attracting and retaining the very best
faculty and recruiting and engaging the very best students.”
He went on to say, “Dartmouth is a research university in

all but name, and we are not going to be deflected from our

In a short interview Wright told the New York Times that
he expected “to continue to expand Dartmouth’s strengths
as a research institution.”


he debacle included an interdepartmental clash as different departments
either pushed for Wright’s resignation or
protested with a petition for his reinstatement.
During the spring he repeatedly emphasized increasing
the graduate programs without sacrificing the quality of
undergraduate education. A favorite line of argument he
deployed was pointing to the existence of the professional
schools, while brushing over differences between Ph.D.
programs—which utilize the same professors that teach
undergraduates—and professional schools, which have
separate pools of educators. Over that summer, alumni
roundly criticized him for moving Dartmouth away from a
liberal arts college tradition. Sensitive to the controversy,
Wright attempted in his inaugural address to put his position into context:
When I spoke to the Dartmouth community last
spring upon the announcement of my election as
president, I reiterated what my predecessors in the
Wheelock Succession had earlier acknowledged:
that Dartmouth College is a university in all but
name. What was true in President Dickey’s day is
even more true today. If neither of the descriptive
labels — college or university — fits us easily, that is
eminently acceptable, because we are comfortable
with what we are and with what we aspire to be.
Typically, colleges are primarily concerned with
undergraduate education and teaching. Universities
are primarily engaged in graduate education and
also place a greater emphasis on faculty research.
We at Dartmouth are proud to call ourselves a College, recognizing that Dartmouth is a college that
has many of the best characteristics of a university.
We are a university in terms of our activities and
our programs, but one that remains a college in
name and in its basic values and purposes. In this
paradox, in this tension, lies our identity and our
What does it mean for us as faculty members that
Dartmouth is both a college and a university? It
means that we share institutional obligations, even
as we remain active participants in the worldwide
community of scholars within our disciplines. It
means that our small size can be an advantage,
because of the flexibility it affords. Cooperative
endeavors and shared ambitions often bear more
and better fruit than can result from individuals
working alone. Cross-disciplinary collaborations
in many fields not only enhance the teaching and
research enterprises, but they also contribute to
personal and professional satisfactions. Being a
faculty member at Dartmouth provides the opportunity to teach and to work closely with some of
the finest undergraduate students in the country,
in a residential community that encourages and
supports research.
What does it mean for you as undergraduate
students that Dartmouth is both a college and a
university? It means a size and scale and aspiration
sufficient to afford a rich curriculum, but within a
community that one can stroll across in 10 minutes
and meet friends along the way. It means an unsurpassed range of off-campus opportunities second
to none and arts programs that are incredibly rich
and accessible. It means the opportunity to study
with faculty who are committed both to teaching
and to scholarship. Perhaps most important, being
a student at Dartmouth means being encouraged to
take one’s self seriously as a young scholar—a person
of promise who has a rare and valuable opportunity
to learn and grow. It means that here students are
not merely passive recipients of information, but
are active participants in their own learning process.

Wright and his Mentor
It means also that the out-of-classroom experience
complements and supports the central mission of
the College. Whether it is in athletic competition
or recreational sports or artistic pursuits, or in conversations at the residence halls or dining tables, we
recognize that learning here has never been—nor
should it be—limited to the classroom.

The most significant move Wright has made during his
time as President in this direction is in campus buildings.
Many have focused on the residential buildings: in Fahey/
McLane and the McLaughlin Cluster, the campus has eight
new dorms with hundreds of beds, and a significant part
of Wright’s northward expansion away from the Green is
wrapped up in the McLaughlin Cluster. More understated
is the College’s choice of which departments to give new
buildings to. Of the three most prominent new academic
buildings (Moore, Haldeman, and Kemeny), two are for
departments that have graduate programs: Psychological
and Brain Sciences, and Mathematics.

April 4, 2008 The Dartmouth Review Page 

the protest. In comparison, after the S.L.I. was announced
over one thousand students marched to the President’s mansion, where they sang the Alma Mater three times before
dispersing. Not content with marches, the students also
cancelled that year’s Winter Carnival in protest. The S.L.I.,
a broad reform initiative, had instantly become a narrow
referendum on the Greek System.

The S.L.I., then, was mostly a public relations disaster.
Yes, it did spawn other smaller disasters like the college
funded “Kick @$$ Party” in 2002, but it also provided the
initial impetus toward things like better residential buildings, more campus dining areas, 24-hour study areas, and
other things. Wright has probably shouldered an unfair
amount of blame for the S.L.I., whose roots reach back to
the late ‘80s and Freedman; but, if nothing else, it was his
job to sell the Initiative to the Dartmouth Community. On
that account he failed. In the winter of 1999 two thousand
undergraduates were surveyed: eighty-three percent favored
single-sex Greek houses.

Student Life Initiative

Wright’s emphasis on graduate education was quickly
overshadowed by a statement he issued in conjunction with
the Board of Trustees on February 9, 1999. In the statement
he announced the creation of the “Student Life Initiative”
(S.L.I.). The Initiative was to be guided by the following
five principles: (1) “There should be greater choice and
continuity in residential living and improved residential
space.” (2) “There should be additional and improved social
spaces controlled by students.” (3) “The system should be
substantially coeducational and provide opportunities for
greater interaction among all Dartmouth students.” (4) “The
number of students living off campus should be reduced.”
(5) “The abuse and unsafe use of alcohol should be eliminated.”

Though the principles were rather vague, Wright made
the focus of the S.L.I. eminently clear in an interview with
the Daily Dartmouth: the Greek system. In the interview
he stated that the Initiative would put an end to the Greek
system “as we know it.” An editorial in the Valley News
stated, “College President James Wright has unequivocally
stated that single-sex Greek organizations are doomed.” We
know now, of course, that some of the less controversial
principles were accomplished (i.e. the new dormitories),
while the most controversial principle—making fraternity
and sorority houses coeducational—was less successfully

It is difficult in today’s campus climate to imagine the
outrage. When the Review ran its controversial “Natives”
issue in the fall of 2006, about three hundred people gathered in front of Dartmouth Hall to either protest or watch

Council, and the Dartmouth Alumni for Common Sense,
which was headed by Susan Dentzer ’77, a former trustee
and co-chair of the S.L.I. committee. Various machinations
were used to increase the likelihood of the constitution’s
success—including a dubious vote that lowered the threshold
needed for approval from three-quarters to two-thirds—yet
a majority of alumni voted down the constitution in the fall
of 2006. That next spring Stephen Smith ’88 was elected,
the fourth petition candidate in a row.

Realizing that alumni did not want a radical change in
the College’s character, the Board and Wright decided that
it would be impossible to achieve the changes they wanted
democratically. In the fall of 2007 they announced that they
were adding eight additional charter (appointed) trustee
seats on the Board and zero alumni (elected) trustee seats.
If allowed to proceed, the Board’s plan would significantly
change the balance of power: from a fifty-fifty split between
charter and alumni trustees to a two-thirds majority in favor
of the charter trustees, minus ex officio trustees (the President of the College, and Governor of New Hampshire).
The governance changes on the Board have brought about
protest from alumni, a lawsuit, and meddling from the New
Hampshire House of Representatives within the last year.

After the lawsuit was brought to New Hampshire’s
Grafton Country, Wright and the Board attempted to get
the motion dismissed. The motion to dismiss was denied
in court on February 1, 2008. On the morning of February
4, Wright declared his intentions to resign in June 2009.
Wright and the Marines

Wright on a fundraising trip to Japan in 1997
Wright and Governance

Disgruntled alumni began to voice their dicontent
through the petition mechanism in trustee elections. T.J.
Rodgers ’70 became the second petition candidate to successfully run for the Board of Trustees in 2004; the first since
John Steel ‘54 won in 1980. Rodgers’ campaign focused
on free speech, criticizing a letter of President Wright’s
in the wake of Zeta Psi’s derecognition that stated, “[I]t is
hard to understand why some want still to insist that their
‘right’ to do what they want trumps the rights, feelings, and
considerations of others. We need to recognize that speech
has consequences for which we must account.” Zete was
derecognized for printing a lewd pamphlet.

Peter Robinson ’79 and Todd Zywicki ’88 followed in
Rodger’s footsteps, when they successfully ran as petition
candidates in 2005. The College responded by attempting to
change the constitution that governed the trustee elections.
In favor of the changes were President Wright, the Alumni

President Wright’s support of wounded veterans has
been the most distinctive mark of his tenure. Wright, himself
a Marine, conceived of and helped gather $300,000 in seed
money for an educational counseling service for wounded
soldiers returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the last year the program has worked with about 250
veterans. Dartmouth has since accepted veterans as new
students both through the counseling program and separate
from it. Wright has also lobbied for increased government
financial aid for returning veterans.

Wright’s legacy is a mixed bag. Those who wish to
remember the good will look to the impressive number of
new buildings and programs like the veteran counseling
service. Critics will undoubtedly remember him mostly for
his assault on the Greek system and alumni governance. The
truth is President Wright has made some massive miscalculations, but he has also been an impressive fundraiser and
a president who competently kept Dartmouth competitive
with the greatest schools in the country. If Freedman’s
disastrous vision for the College nearly took the College
and its traditions down, then Wright’s lack of vision at least
kept the College afloat.

The New President of Dartmouth
Editor’s Note: The following is a reprint of an editorial
about the then new President Wright. It was published on
September 30, 1998 by The Dartmouth Review.

The Dartmouth Review greets the ascendance of James
Wright as the 16th President of Dartmouth College with
tempered optimism, despite our vehement disagreement
with his plan to convert Dartmouth into a research university.

The real problem with the last President lay in his attitude. He took his post as a pulpit for a particular brand of
ideological zeal that rendered all questions of institutional
direction into a horridly simple formula—all those people,
institutions, and events which advocated, represented, or
evolved from Dartmouth’s tradition were bad; zealous reform
was good, nay unquestionably so. Freedman was clearly a
figure external to the College, and this only fueled the nasty
stridence of his chosen mission.

Wright, of course, is a career-long Dartmouth man. He
has a personal stake in the College while Freedman had a
personal stake only in his own agenda. He has the necessary
understanding of the College’s traditions and uniqueness,
and, it seems, at least an abstract appreciation of them.

Nearly as significant is the tone of Wright’s rhetoric. The
new President does not come across as a crusader. He is an
academic, not an absolutist politician (like Freedman). His
stated mission is not Freedman’s purposeful commitment
to social reform (attempting to close fraternities and change
Dartmouth’s values) but improving Dartmouth’s academic

Wright’s thirty years in Dartmouth’s History depart-

ment bode well for another reason: his consequent ties to
the faculty are strong. Wright is extremely well-liked by
most professors at Dartmouth. While David McLaughlin
failed to gain the respect of the faculty and it cost him his
post, Wright will have no such problems.

All of this promise, however, will mean little if Wright
continues in his present plan to turn Dartmouth into a
research university.

The Carnegie Foundation, an influential academic
watchdog organization based in Pittsburgh, released a study
this Spring that found American Higher Education was being
converted into a system built around a research university


artmouth College, he said, can become a research university without
sacrificing the undergraduate. The two aspects of the modern university can happily
coexist. The problem is that they can’t.
that cheats the undergraduate. The Carnegie Foundation
found an inevitable and inescapable connection between
increased concentration on graduate research and declining
quality of undergraduate teaching.

What was remarkable about Wright’s speech was that
he ignored this trade-off, trying to cover himself with empty
affirmation. Dartmouth College, he said, can become a research university without sacrificing the undergraduate. The
two aspects of the modern university can happily coexist.

The problem is that they can’t.

Economists who have studied the modern research

university, perhaps most significantly Stanford’s Roger Noll,
concede that there is a necessary tradeoff, that expanding
research programs does cost the university—professors are
necessarily unable to devote as much time to undergraduates.
(Worth noting is that Noll supports the research university,
yet still concedes that teaching suffers). This conclusion
supports the Carnegie Foundation’s research.

A favorite rhetorical tack of Wright’s has been to argue
that the existence of the Tuck Business School, the Thayer
Engineering School, and the Dartmouth Medical School
means that graduate education is firmly entrenched in
Dartmouth’s history, and that, consequently, the research
expansion is in harmless keeping with traditional institutional

This line of reasoning ignores an important distinction
between ‘graduate programs’ and ‘professional schools.’
Tuck, Thayer, and the Medical School are fairly innocuous
add-ons to the undergraduate college because they are
professional schools.

The medical school does not strip resources from undergraduates because the staff is entirely separate from the
undergraduate staff.

If Dartmouth were to add a graduate English department, however, it would keep professors from concentrating
on teaching, because they would be necessarily involved in
the graduate programs.

Wright’s insistence on the research university, then,
threatens to mar what would otherwise be a promising
Presidency. Hopefully, he will realize the error of his policies. Whether or not he does, he is certainly an improvement
over his predecessor.

Page  The Dartmouth Review April 4, 2008

TDR Interview: Dean Thomas Crady
By Emily Esfahani-Smith and Christine S. Tian

The Alcohol Policy
The Dartmouth Review: You’ve been meeting with many
students, and we know that that was your top priority last
term. What are the top three issues that students have been
voicing to you on a recurrent basis?
Dean Thomas Crady: Well, first and foremost, the top thing
that I hear from people is that students love Dartmouth.
That comes through loud and clear. If I were to summarize
the top three concerns that students have been voicing, they
have to do with the following: people are concerned about the “Parkhursting” phenomenon,
they are concerned about the Committee on
Standards—how it is run and future reforms—and
finally, students are worried about the policy on
alcohol guidelines.

be made to it?
Crady: Well, I think any time you have students getting
reprimanded for alcohol infractions, there has to be a
strong educational component. The other point comes from
something I saw in my previous job at Grinnell working
with students: there is increasingly a higher percentage of
students who binge drink and a higher percentage of students who “extreme drink.” What concerns me the most is
that extreme drinking area. Binge drinking is five or more
drinks for a man, and four or more for a woman in one sitting; but extreme drinking can range from eight to fifteen
drinks in one night. That’s something that I’m particularly
concerned about.

TDR: Okay, but the buck stops at you, you make
the final decision?
Crady: Yes.
TDR: A particular point of controversy seems to be
the keg policy. Specifically, the issue is that a student
group needs to have registered a party in order to
have kegs. If a student group, like a fraternity, has
an unregistered party with kegs, the group will be
put on probation, correct?

TDR: Let’s talk about alcohol guidelines, but as
a transition question: we were doing a little bit of
research and found that you did your Ph.D. dissertation on the use of alcohol in frats. You seem
to conclude that the use of alcohol is inevitable
and a college’s desire to strictly prohibit underage
drinking is foolish and runs against the reality of
the situation.

From a disciplinary level, do you think the
College should enact strict disciplinary measures
for students who consume alcohol underage?
Crady: I think that any alcohol policy ought to be
fair, thoughtful, consistent, and safe. I would argue
that if you have a really punitive alcohol policy on
campus, students will probably drink elsewhere.
That came through in my dissertation research.
I think that to assume that students won’t drink
on a college campus is probably incorrect. At any
campus—even a dry campus, a significant number
of which I’ve researched—it’s important to make
sure we implement alcohol policies that that are
easily understood and thoughtful.

At a very basic level, we have to follow the federal law
implemented in 1989, the Drug-Free Schools Act, which
also applies to students and employees. We need to construct
policies around those concepts.
TDR: Given that you think the alcohol policy should be
fair, thoughtful, consistent and safe, could you briefly tell
us what Dartmouth’s alcohol policy is, and if you think it
meets those standards?
Crady: Dartmouth’s alcohol policy meets the standard of
the federal law I just mentioned, no question about that.
In terms of the way it’s being administered now, I’ve just
gotten some recommendations from a committee geared
to reforming alcohol policies at Dartmouth, so I can’t say
anything about it right now until I’ve had the chance to
go over those recommendations. My concern, from what
I’ve heard from students, was that they consistently felt
the alcohol policy was too confusing and that it was very
difficult to implement—the policy did not match what
was happening on campus. I heard that very clearly in my
discussions with students.
TDR: Can you give us an example?
Crady: For example, there’s a keg limit for a registered
party—but you can have fifty-seven cases of Keystone Light
in a frat basement if you can fit it in your car.
TDR: You say you’ve been getting recommendations: are
these recommendations to change the alcohol policy?
Crady: There is a preliminary set of recommendations that
I received yesterday—I haven’t read them yet. I’m going to
read them on the airplane tonight, to be honest with you.

based on the percentage of students who are underage, and
statistics like that. We look at what’s going on at the party
and whether or not there are nonalcoholic beverages and
food there, things to offset the effects of the alcohol. With
SEMP, I still want to go back and read the policy for the
third time, because I have some questions about it too.

Once I get the final recommendations from the committee to reform the alcohol policy, I’ll put them out for public
comment for a couple of weeks, then listen to what students
have to say. It wouldn’t surprise me if I had an open forum
where I had the chance to listen to what students think
about the recommended changes. Then ultimately it’s my
job to make the decision about the policy. Since it’s so early
in the process, it would be inappropriate to comment about
what I’m going to do—I just don’t know yet.

Crady: Yes
TDR: But what about a situation where maybe
they didn’t get the paperwork together to register
the party, but it’s safer to have kegs because the
brothers can control the amount of alcohol being
given to people at the party rather than partygoers
just grabbing Keystone and drinking themselves
into an oblivion?
Crady: It’s too early for me to even comment about
that. If you’re asking me ‘am I thinking about what
you just said?’ The answer is, you bet.

Dean Crady in his office
TDR: If that is occurring excessively on a college campus,
should the disciplinary measure be merely educational?
Crady: No. There has to be a component of education, but
there also have to be policies that would try to get students
help in a situation like that. So my number one concern is to
make sure that a person is taken to Dick’s House, or if their
BAC is above a .30, to have them taken to the emergency
room at DHMC. When we try to deal with the alcohol
policy, we want to be realistic about the way we apply it to
students, and try to deal with the really extremely dangerous
drinking proactively before it happens.
TDR: So in terms of the official policy, is your primary concern the safety of students, and not necessarily disciplining
them, especially if they’re having a drink or two and are not
Crady: Well, my primary concern is safety; what we do later
on would involve having someone sit down with them and
talk about the implications of what they did. Federal law is
really clear—students and employees who violate the College alcohol policy must have disciplinary sanctions, but
those can range from warnings to expulsion. From my point
of view, any alcohol policy should be fair and thoughtful,
so we should start with a warning system—it ought to be
progressive; if it continues, the disciplinary measures will
get worse and worse and worse. My feeling is that we ought
to be really thoughtful in getting students help, but if there
are repeated violations where students keep on being in
situations where they’re being hospitalized, I’m not sure
they should be here.

TDR: Given the cursory knowledge that you have of the
alcohol policy, what are three changes that you think should

TDR: How does the reform process to change the alcohol
policy work?

Miss Esfahani-Smith is a junior at the College and
Editor-in-Chief of The Dartmouth Review. Miss Tian is
a sophomore at the College and Managing Editor of The
Dartmouth Review.

Crady: The recommendations I mentioned are looking at
SEMP procedures. SEMP stands for Social Event Management Procedures; it determines party process procedures and
determines how much alcohol can be at a particular event

TDR: But as far as you’re concerned, if they’re
breaking SEMP policy, then that’s not good?
Crady: The policies were put into place long before I got
here. One of the things I said I would do is really listen to
students, really try to think thoughtfully about what’s going
on, and try to make sure that what we have in place is what
we said—thoughtful, fair, safe, and on the side of the law.
So what I’m doing right now is really trying to listen to what
students have to say, but the policies are in place—they have
been for a while—and it would be inappropriate for me to
condemn policies that I haven’t really had a chance to work
with and that have been in place for a while. I’ve been here
fifteen weeks; it’s premature for me to make any comments
about where we are with SEMP right now.
TDR: The committee that’s working to reform SEMP is a
five person committee, and the Dean of Residential Life,
Marty Redman, is on it. Are you on that committee?
Crady: No, they just present their findings to me.
TDR: Hypothetically, if you disagree with what the recommendations are, how would that disagreement be resolved
between you and Dean Redman?
Crady: That’s a good question. Most likely I would raise
those kinds of concerns with the committee and ask them
to reconsider it. But I think my primary concern is: first, I
don’t assume that every student drinks on this campus. Every
campus has a population of students who don’t drink. Second,
I go back to student safety and making sure we comply with
federal law, there’s no choice about that—our federal funding for the College hinges on that. So I have to make sure
that what we do is really thoughtful for students, but also
make sure it’s reasonable, easy to understand, and easy to
implement. In some future time we have to evaluate it, run
a survey. I want to have a good idea of what’s going on.
Greek Life
TDR: So a moment ago you briefly mentioned you worked
at Grinnell College prior to coming to Dartmouth. There
was no Greek scene there, so what is your opinion about
Greek life, from what you hear about it, and what you’ve

April 4, 2008 The Dartmouth Review Page 

The New Dean of the College
seen here at Dartmouth?

under the lower standard of preponderance?

Crady: From my experience, students here find the Greek
system to be a very strong experience for them. Something
we’re specifically working on is looking for ways to close the
gap between frats and sororities, in terms of number and
treatment. For instance, we are currently looking to provide
houses for sororities. We’re trying to achieve a better balance
between what sororities have and what fraternities have.

There’s no question that Greek life is a really strong
component of this institution. So, how can we strengthen
that, how can we improve on that? That’s something we’re
trying to do. We are trying to assist those Greek organizations
in achieving goals to improve themselves. In my dissertation, the reason why I focused on alcohol in fraternities is
because it was an area I hadn’t been working in and I wanted
to learn about it. As a result, I was able to research Greek
life pretty objectively, with no preconceived ideas about a
Greek system, and do qualitative research.

Here at Dartmouth, I think we should really try to support Greek organizations and make sure that they have the
ability to accomplish the goals they set out in their action
plans, through the Office of Residential Life.

Crady: I would assume it’s symptomatic of a larger problem
on this campus.


t is the fact that there is increasingly
a higher percentage of students who
binge drink and a higher percentage of
students who “extreme drink.” What
concerns me the most is that extreme
drinking area.
TDR: One more question about Greek life before we move
on. In the past, I would say the administration was hostile
towards Greek life to the point where it would have wanted
it to be abolished from campus altogether. That was what the
heated Student Life Initiative was about. Would you classify
yourself as a proponent of Greek life or as a critic of it?
Crady: What I would say is this: I’m supporting what students
want. It’s important for someone in my position to support
where students are today. Where students are today is that
there is a strong element of students involved in Greek
life. I would support those students in their endeavors and
everything else they would want to accomplish.
The Committee on Standards
TDR: Let’s move on to reforms being proposed for the Committee on Standards. There is also a committee overseeing
this process. They are working right now to increase the
burden of proof in various student cases, such as academic
dishonesty and sexual assault. In cases of sexual assault,
specifically, it’s allowing the accused to confront the accuser
and it’s raising the burden of proof from a preponderance
of evidence to clear and convincing evidence. What do you
think of this specific reform?
Crady: It’s too early to say because the committee is deliberating these issues right now—I don’t even know where they
are in terms of the particular level of evidence, whether it’s
preponderance or clear and convincing. I don’t know what
the recommendations are. I’ve worked with both standards
of proof on a college campus: preponderance and clear and
convincing. It’s just too early for me to know which standard
is better for Dartmouth because Dartmouth has a different
culture and a different organization. Plus, recently, there
was an Office of Civil Rights case that was beginning to
challenge Ohio State University on their position on clear
and convincing evidence in rape cases. The Office of Civil
Rights is with the U.S. Department of Education. I want
to find out a little more about what happened there as well
before I enact any specific changes to assault cases.
TDR: Perhaps this happened before you came here, but do
you know what’s driving COS to even think about changing
the standards now?
Crady: I know that it’s been raised by students as a concern
in the past, so that’s what is prompting the discussion to
reform it right now.
TDR: Do you think it’s been raised by students because
there have been some unjust accusations and convictions

TDR: Like the SEMP policy reform, does the COS committee present its findings to you, and then you finally come
up with the final decision?
Crady: Yes. That again will be put out for two weeks of
comment later in the term, but I’m not on the committee,
so I don’t know.

My feeling is that anytime we go though a major review
of any policy in student life, students ought to be able to
make comments about it and what’s being recommended.

As you know, I’m fairly out there talking to students. I
hold office hours in Collis; I want to hear what students have
to say and my goal is to be accessible. What I decided early
on is that because my family won’t be here until June, that’s
twelve weeks for me to meet with student groups, so I’ve
been doing that since January. And then in the afternoons,
I’ve been holding open office hours out of Collis. I’ve had
a lot of students walk up with lists of issues they want to
talk about—and I take work down there with me and work
if people aren’t coming—but every week I have students
coming down and asking me things.
TDR: Given that, you already have a reputation on campus
as being the student advocate at Parkhurst. Like you said,
we talk about Parkhurst in terms of being “Parkhursted.”
Students tend to have a very negative image of Parkhurst.
Though students see you as their advocate here, is your
primary responsibility as the Dean of the College to students
or to fellow college administrators?
Crady: Well, I think anytime someone is the Dean of the
College—whose primary responsibility is to work with
students—that person ought to act as an advocate, but that
doesn’t mean we’re always going to agree. It does mean that
what I will do is always listen to what students have to say
about an issue. I’m willing to meet with anybody, including
the biggest critics on campus, and listen to what people have
to say. I like being out and available and visible: I wouldn’t
do that if I wasn’t willing to be an advocate for students.
There are times when it’s inevitable that there are policies
on campus on which we won’t agree. Not every student’s
going to agree with my position on a policy for sure, but
it doesn’t mean that nobody’s going to get an opportunity
to get any input. And they have had the opportunity to do
that extensively over the past months, and so on. I think it’s
important that if people disagree with me, they can associate
the name with a face.
The Athletics Program
TDR: Many athletes have complaints about the preferential
treatment the administration gives some teams as opposed
to others. In some of the discussions you’ve hosted and led
on campus, you’ve brought up the issue of athletics and
have heard what students have had to say.

Let me recap some points that have come up: the swim
team was cut in 2002 because of a lack of funding. It’s back
now after that decision was reversed due to alumni outcry.
Not funding related, former Dean of Admissions Karl
Furstenburg endorsed, in a letter that was later publicly
circulated, Swarthmore College’s decision to cut the football
program. This generated controversy on campus for obvious
reasons. Finally, many varsity and club sports are severely
underfunded, and some disparity exists between who gets
funding and who doesn’t. Given this, there seems to be a
neglect of the athletic department by the administration,
or at least that’s how students perceive it.

What steps would you take to address these issues within
Dartmouth athletics?
Crady: I mentioned earlier that after this interview, I’m
jumping on a plane to go to Iowa. The reason I’m going to
Iowa today is because I’m going to Chicago for an athletic
development event on Monday and Tuesday.

When I look at what’s important for providing an exceptional out-of-class experience, I think student athletes are
a very important component of that, so it’s an area I spend
a lot of time with the Athletic Director, Josie Harper, on.
I go to many games because it’s important for students to
feel supported. Also, it’s important to do what we can to
provide equity between men and women in sports on campus. Right now I think there is equity, but I always worry

about it. Athletics is reported to me, by students, as being
an important component of their lives, and I support students, so I’m somebody who will certainly support athletics
on campus, no question about it. Money is tight, there’s no
doubt—so we are looking at that and possible solutions to
that problem. That’s one of the reasons why we’re going on
the road today. It’ll be Josie Harper, Football coach Buddy
Teevens, and Chris Wielgus, the head coach of the women’s
basketball team. We’re going to be talking to some alums
about where we are with athletics.
Crady on the Administration
TDR Given that money is tight, do you think that there are
too many deans on this campus?
Crady: [laughs] That question has been posed to me many
times. I can’t say that I think there are a disproportionately
large number of deans here at Dartmouth compared to other
places. I came from a place where we were relatively lean,
and we’re all very busy here. I just started having office
meetings with different divisions right now. Do we have
too many staff? I don’t think we do. Is the term “dean” used
a lot here? I mean, there are a lot of deans in the various
divisions. There’s a difference between how titles are used
and the actual person-power we use to staff departments.
Nobody’s sitting around twiddling their thumbs; I can tell
you that my schedule is pretty much one twelve hour day
after another. In fact, last night was the first night I didn’t
have a night meeting in several weeks! I’ve heard the “too
many deans problem” stated before, but I have to say the
areas we support are areas that are typically supported on
a college campus in student affairs. I think I come from a
completely objective point of view—I’ve worked in the field
for twenty five years, I’ve probably been on fifty campuses,
and I’ve done external reviews for departments. A year ago I
reviewed the Carleton student affairs program. We looked
at whether or not there are thoughtful services for students
on a college campus, and based on my findings there, I can’t
say that we here at Dartmouth are overstaffed.
TDR: Given that President Wright is leaving, what qualities
would you want to see in a new president?
Crady: That’s a good question. I’d like to see the person
focus number one on academics.

There needs to be somebody who first and foremost
values the academic program. I think that the current
president has been very good about being a public figure
and being available and visible on campus. I also think
that it is very important for the person to be able to have
administrative skills. I’ve worked for six presidents, and each
has brought different strengths to the table and surrounds
himself with staff to help, so hopefully the person will be
like Jim Wright—open and available to people and willing
to listen.


would like to see the new President focus
number one on academics.

TDR: In your experience, as you’ve worked with many
presidents, is it better for the president to come from within
the institution or to be an outsider?
Crady: I don’t think you can say either way. It depends on
the institution, the succession of presidents, and what the
Board of Trustees think. The presidents I have worked with
came from both within and from outside the institutions.
The first president I worked with was a Grinnell graduate.
He was a member of the Board of Trustees, had been the
Dean of Colorado College, and was a Rhodes scholar—he
was a Grinnellian all the way through though. Then the last
president I worked for at Grinnell was the former Dean of
the Cornell University Law School. What has to come first
is to find the right person as defined by the search committee, and whether the person is an insider or outsider doesn’t
make a difference. The search committee has to determine
what the college’s priorities are, and which individual can
best accomplish those goals I’m not privy to that information right now.
TDR: Any general remarks on the community?
Crady: I love it here.


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