Short Answer

by The Dartmouth Opinion Staff | 6/30/09 10:00pm

The presidential transition provides a rare opportunity to reexamine the College. What swift steps can College President Kim take to enhance Dartmouth's greatest strengths and address its most glaring weaknesses?

When President Kim begins his term he will be bombarded with requests from a number of departments hoping to make their concerns Kim's first priority. The new president should address these concerns, but should be cautious not to tackle too many of these issues all at once. He must encourage Dartmouth's unique and diverse academic system, a system that incorporates both traditional and experimental' ways of teaching. Kim can do so by approving alternatively structured courses into Dartmouth's course selection, as well as encouraging new study-abroad programs for students.Denise Hotta-Moung '11

The most important thing that President Kim can do for the College is improve the transparency of the administration. The complaints of many alumni and students alike that Parkhurst's decision making process is as murky as a fortune teller's crystal ball is alarming, given that both groups can provide invaluable advice and guidance to the administration. However, it will take more than the benevolent intentions of the new President to accomplish this goal. Our administration is still mired in a swamp of redundant committees and review boards, and just knowing where to go to propose ideas can be the most daunting task of all. Kim needs to streamline how the College functions to make it more financially efficient and more accessible to the people these committees aim to serve.Chris Talamo '11

I don't believe that President Kim needs to make any sweeping changes. In fact, I can't really think of any big, glaring problems with Dartmouth that demand our immediate attention. He should just relax and take up a Calvin Coolidge-esque schedule, sleep in, read the paper in his bathrobe at noon, go down to Collis or FoCo at lunch and get to know everybody. No need for any grandiose schemes or anything that requires money. For Dartmouth, less is more right now.Sam Buntz '11

President Kim should impose significant regulations on Dartmouth fraternities to curtail the festering culture of stupidity and sexism they encourage. It is embarrassing for Dartmouth to be known nationwide as much for our predatory drinking and party culture as for our academics. The institution's greatest strength should always be its integrity, a lesson we are in danger of losing as the years go by.Raza Rasheed '12

The most glaring weakness Dartmouth has is that students pay the same tuition for much diminished returns over sophomore summer. The food options are abysmal, classes are unusually large, and most students' major advisors are nowhere to be found. No wonder many among us don't take the term seriously when our education is so drastically scaled back.Spenser Mestel '11

One of the most fundamental and valued interactions at the College is the one between students and faculty. We'd all love to see class sizes and student-to-faculty ratios stay small. But there are two areas where we could see improvement immediately. Dartmouth needs a leader like President Kim to bring in more world-renowned faculty so that we can offer the same resources as larger universities. At the same time, more student-faculty interaction outside of the classroom is needed to create a more unified experience.Tom Mandel '11

Dartmouth's greatest strength is its distinctiveness. We have neither the resources to match the graduate and research capabilities of a Harvard or Stanford nor the intention to exist just as a quirky liberal arts college, divorced from the cutting edge of academia. We must strive to preserve our unparalleled undergraduate focus that merges the values of the liberal arts with the pursuit of knowledge. Furthermore, we must equip students to be the stewards of their education.Isaiah Berg '11