Short Answer

by The Dartmouth Opinion Staff | 1/11/11 11:00pm

Friday's Verbum Ultimum discussed the search for a permanent dean of the College. What criteria should the search committee prioritize in choosing the next dean?

If Dartmouth is serious about changing, it is logical to bring in new blood, as those who have spent many years in the community will naturally tend to conduct business as usual. The new dean should be someone with true entrepreneurial spirit who won't tolerate being told how things are "supposed" to be done.Roger Lott '14

Above all else, the search committee should prioritize the ability of potential candidates to connect with the student body. A dean who is out of touch with students will garner little support for the administration and its policies. Not surprisingly, the easiest way to prevent this would be by hiring someone from within who shows strong appeal among current students. That said, external candidates who have demonstrated this ability at other schools should not be discounted.Andy Clay '12

The College does need to look outside of its own administration to find a capable administrator, but the search committee should beware of the potential pitfalls cited in last week's Verbum as reason not to hire from outside. As evidenced by the administration's clumsy response to numerous student life issues last term, we need someone who can offer a fresh perspective and unique background.Chris Talamo '11

The next dean must be willing to speak frankly and substantively about the issues before our community. The student body has grown used to hearing vague platitudes and empty proclamations from Parkhurst. Keshav Poddar '14

Dartmouth's "values" and stubborn adherence to outdated and pernicious mindsets are precisely what has caused our problems with alcohol abuse and sexual assault to begin with. It is imperative that Dartmouth hire a strong, independent, outside candidate who won't be cowed by internal pressures to compromise on much-needed reforms. Hiring a limp noodle or internal candidate will only blunt the momentum that has been built towards meaningful policy change.Raza Rasheed '12

The search committee must find a candidate ready and willing to make necessary changes immediately. Hopefully this person will come from outside the College to breathe new life into an administration that has proven itself far too complacent in addressing Dartmouth's issues.Matt Stumpf '12

The most important criteria are flexibility and an ability to put words into action. There are benefits to both hiring within the Dartmouth community and bringing someone in from the outside. The committee should not limit itself to one or the other at the expense of finding the person who can do the job most effectively.Sapna Chemplavil '11

Above all, the new dean should be a person who is willing to seek out and seriously consider students' opinions. Everything else including whether the new dean is hired from within the College is of secondary importance.Jonathan Pedde '14

The uniqueness of Dartmouth's campus culture is overblown. The College might benefit more from a dynamic outsider, someone capable of seeing through the DOC Trips hype and task force smoke and mirrors. At any rate, those once-a-term e-mails would really benefit from some frankness and transparency.Charles Clark '11

Considering candidates outside of our community could be beneficial in getting different perspectives on the issues at Dartmouth. It's important to select someone who can bring new ways to approach the same challenges that the College has faced for years while simultaneously being open to collaboration and understanding that Dartmouth places a high priority on preserving existing traditions.Natalie Colaneri '12