Is It Really That Surprising There Was Such A Drop In Dartmouth Applications?

Dartmouth is not having the greatest year. They were they subjects of a none too flattering feature in Rolling Stone on their campus culture. Two students have written opinion pieces in The Dartmouth about being hazed (one has an upcoming book about it). Their Board of Directors was investigated for mishandling the school’s endowment. Oh, and their president left the school in the middle of all of this to head the World Bank.

In the first batch of application numbers released by Dartmouth since all this hoopla, the college saw a severe drop in the number of people who voluntarily want to be in Hanover. The Dartmouth reports that just 1,526 students applied early to be a part of the Dartmouth Class of 2017, down 12.5 percent from last year’s pool of 1,744.

12.5 percent is a serious drop, especially considering — as The Dartmouth points out — that early application numbers had been rising fairly steadily the past several years. And, although only two other Ivies have reported their early application numbers — Brown and Penn — both showed increases. While Andrew Lohse may be the most public case of Dartmouth’s bad reputation, he’s certainly not the only example.

But Who Is Jim Yong Kim?: An IvyGate History

Jim Yong Kim is now super-famous, after Barack Obama nominated the Dartmouth president to head the World Bank. But did you know that IvyGate has always had, well, kind of…a thing for Kim? Yes: we were into Kim BEFORE HE WAS COOL. And we don’t care who knows it! So here’s a brief history of the Ivy League’s favorite rapping spaceman, from the beginning:

March 2, 2009 — JYK becomes President of Dartmouth College:

Jim Yong Kim named Dartmouth’s 17th College President
March 4, 2009 — Charming Dartmouth student promulgates racist email about Kim: Read the rest of this entry »

Obama Nominates Dartmouth’s Own Rapping Spaceman to Head World Bank

Exciting news! Today, President Obama nominated Dartmouth’s Jim Yong Kim to lead the World Bank.

To commemorate this moment, we invite you to remember last year, when Kim was someone else entirely: a rapping spaceman. IvyGate’s Constance Boozer, in March 2011:

There you see Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim — rapping, singing, and dancing, with a little help from auto-tune. Yup, that’s him, in a white, studded leather jacket and spaceman sunglasses, gloves cut-off at the fingertips. And he’s … doing the robot?

We don’t know (and to tell the truth don’t care) who won this year’s Idol competition. All we know is that image of Prez Kim is now burned in our brain, whether we like it or not. So, with all due respect to whoever actually did win, we must declare that it’s Jim Yong Kim, not anyone else, who is our IvyPrez Idol.

Mitt Romney’s Bain Colleague Berates Dartmouth for Not Bain-ing Everyone

The Bain Brothers. It’s a pun.

 In 1983, Mitt Romney was an employee at the consulting firm Bain & Company. So was IvyGate icon, New Hampshire celebrity, and Dartmouth alum Joseph Asch ’79! By 1985, Romney had departed for the offshoot Bain Capital, where he submitted to Christian-themed pictures of he and his colleagues cavorting with paper currency, and firing lots of people. Meanwhile, Asch had decamped for Paris, where he peddled medical supplies. Fifteen years later, in spring 2010, while Romney was ramping up his campaign for the Republican nomination, Asch’s much more important political ambition—a seat on Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees—was thwarted by two other Dartmouth alumni. Since then, guided by personal bitterness over his defeat and a consequent desire to douse Dartmouth College with Bain’s holy water, Asch now spends much of his energy harassing his alma mater’s administration for not buying his “solution” of massive cuts to benefits and wages, particularly those of the school’s lowliest laborers. On a blog. Meanwhile, he parries inquiries into his personal business practices. Sound familiar?

The last time we heard from Joe Asch, the cranky Dartblogger had completely lost his dark horse bid for Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees, soon after which he vowed to never blog again, citing the “unceasing negativity”  and “rampant dishonesty” that allegedly determines the membership of Dartmouth’s Board. The honorable Asch was probably referring to The Dartmouth’s discovery of and investigation into Asch’s medical supply business, the very name of which Asch deliberately refused to discuss. (Apparently, it’s because Asch didn’t want others to find out how wildly profitable the health care industry is—which is, of course, a huge secret.) As it turns out, Asch forgot to pay $8,000 in taxes to French tax authorities, in 2004. No biggie, though, right? Well! Asch did not appreciate the paper’s attempt to “discredit” his very successful company, thank you! Which meant Asch missed the whole point: his own bizarre refusal to discuss in detail the business experience on which he based his Trustee campaign.

Following his defeat and subsequent promise to never blog again, and after pretending that he never said that, Asch turned the ostensibly undergraduate into an elaborate LiveJournal on which he continues to investigate a shadowy cabal of administrators who are LYING TO DARTMOUTH.

One of Asch’s more recent posts dissects what he suggests is Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim’s egomania. Really, yes: have you seen Kim’s CV? Criminal. Among Kim’s profusion of shortcomings, according to the same entry: contriving to appropriate the . . . aesthetic . . . of . . . socialist realism . . .  to mask . . . male-pattern balding. Okay, Asch. That sort of insinuation makes you look totally sane and super-fit to make decisions.

What really bothers Asch, though, are the non-shitty wages and benefits Dartmouth pays its workers. Asch’s preferred solution to this manifest injustice should be familiar to anyone fortunate enough to have been affected by the business practices of Mitt Romney’s Mormon charity, Bain Capital: slashing workers’ wages, health benefits, and pensions.

Despite his professed distaste for the public assessment of personal financial matters, Asch has taken (again) to to repeatedly and publicly mock the wages and benefits Dartmouth pays its workers. As it turns out, Dartmouth demonstrates an uncommon commitment not to swindle their workers. The College pays them a decent salary, contributes to a defined-benefit pension, subsidizes non-crappy health coverage, and assents to union representation. In other words: Dartmouth declines to exploit the working class of rural New Hampshire. Those with even the smallest acquaintance of the ruling class’s antecedent regard for labor might, you know, consider this arrangement a good thing.

Alas, not Joe Asch. Read the rest of this entry »

Commencement 2011: Dartmouth’s with CoCo

Big news: Late-night host Conan O’Brien will speak at the Class of 2011’s Commencement, according to the Dartmouth. But the funny man’s talents weren’t procured easily. Apparently, President Jim Yong Kim had to pull some strings with a former teacher in order to snag Conan’s number — that teacher being Thomas O’Brien, Harvard Medical School professor and Conan’s dad. Just goes to show that the valuable connections you make at school (read: Harvard) really do last a lifetime, and apparently extend to other Ivy League institutions. (Except for Brown — JimKim’s ditched you twice! Once for HMS, again for the presidency at Dartmouth.)

Not to break any hearts in Hanover — being so deep in the woods, we so rarely get to be on the bleeding edge of culture — but Harvard, like the Simpsons, did it first. (Coincidentally, Conan O’Brien once wrote for the Simpsons!) Back in 2000, the talk-show host delivered an infamous, oft-quoted Commencement address for Class Day. Fortunately, any dissatisfaction Dartmouth students might feel over receiving Harvard’s sloppy seconds is mitigated by the relief of finally getting a speaker their state school friends have actually heard of (instead of, say, the first female president of an African country).

Dartmouth Prez Discourages Humanities, Encourages Reality Check

In a video on leadership recently recorded for the Washington Post, Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim takes a rather dismissive tone towards the wishy-washy Humanities:

“You are not going to make it in this world if you study philosophy…you have to get a skill… I find myself giving that advice to my student today… When you go to Haiti, when you go to Africa, they don’t ask you “how much do you feel for my people” or “how much have you studied my people.” They say: “Have you brought anything?”

The ever-practical Kim knows what he’s talking about: he and Paul Farmer’s Partners in Health is one of the world’s great AIDS success stories. Whether or not you agree with his somewhat damning assessment of the Humanities, the video itself is laden with insights, and comes highly recommended. Dartmouth, you have one hell of a prezClick here for Washington Post video. See below for leaderly shimmying.

IvyGate Presidential Fame Caucus: Jim Yong Kim

This is the last installment of a series studying the persona of each Ivy League president—their bank accounts, their haircuts, and the extent to which they’re known and loved. Here’s Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim, who saves the world but stays down to earth.

Emerging from stage left, he creeps in slowly, his black leather jacket barely visible through the shadows.  Only a voice can be heard: “And Whosoever Shall Be Found / Without The Soul For Getting Down / Must Stand And Face The Hounds Of Hell / And Rot Inside A Corpse’s Shell!” Then he appears, white socks pulled up to just below his kneecaps, jutting out to turn-flick-kick-pose.  And we’re off!  The crowd goes wild.  The late, great MJ returns from the dead in the form of JimKim, president of Dartmouth.  He bops, he wiggles, he jumps, he jerks his head from side to side with the awkwardly abrupt movement of a nerd-thlete turned temporary pop sensation.  He does the arm wave, he does the groin thrust, he does it all.

In short, Jim Yong Kim is last but certainly not least in this presidential caucus of ours.  He’s a tough guy to poke fun at because he’s too busy having his own fun—whether he’s performing as Michael Jackson in “Dartmouth Idol” or saving the world.  He might be the freshest face on the Ivy Presidential scene (he took office in July 2009), but he may also prove to be one of the best…Insert MJ face joke here…too soon?

Kim has had his fair share of Ivy experience: He received his undergraduate degree from Brown and both his M.D. and Anthropology Ph.D. from Harvard.  But JimKim is no higher-ed hack.

Back when he was still a med student, he teamed up with future BFF/world-saver Paul Farmer to work for Partners In Health, an organization that provided health services in Haiti and has now expanded out to other countries.  As a founding member—and later executive director of PIH—JimKim did stuff like fight AIDS and tuberculosis in areas already stricken by poverty and public health systems that ranked among the world’s crappiest, and personally led a campaign to cut the cost of medicine by 90% and develop healthcare protocols now adopted by around 36 countries.  This guy is literally a life-saver.

He went on to gigs like Director of the Department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organization and Chair of the Department of Social Medicine at the Harvard Medical School.  Meanwhile, he remained BFFs with Farmer, with whom he taught Harvard undergrads and set up play-dates for their kids—who have now, in turn, apparently also become BFFs.

According to one of his former students, “Kim was his most inspirational instructor; he made you believe you could change the world.” Also, he clearly has a great sense of humor.  Also, he’s a genius.  Also, he was the quarterback of his High School football team.  How is this guy real?  Well, apparently his High School football team lost every single game they played his senior year.  Okay, so he is human after all.  But day-uummnn.

And yet some Fartmuths had to go and get things off to a bad start.  Kim—who was born in South Korea and immigrated with his family to the U.S. as a child—became the first Asian-American to lead an Ivy League school, and somehow this achievement turned into a racism-fest.  A popular Dartmouth email update, General Good Morning Message, responded to his appointment with comments such as:

Unless “Jim Yong Kim” means “I love Freedom” in Chinese, I don’t want anything to do with him. Dartmouth is America, not Panda Garden Rice Village Restaurant.

After offending pretty much everybody, GGMM apologized for confusing racism with humor and promised not to do it anymore.  Then two other dudes made a video about JimKim, featuring a chorus with lines like: “Jim Yong Kim / See ya at the gym / Gettin’ huge.” So, also not funny but at least not offensive this time!

But like his alter-ego MJ, the show must go on for JimKim.  It sure must be an adjustment living in this strange Dartmouth culture, so it’s a good thing he’s a trained anthropologist prepared to take part in the native ritual dance:

I will have to be taught the Salty Dog Rag, and I will have to be taught a lot about the culture of Dartmouth. But heck, I’m an anthropologist. That’s what I do for a living.

Since he’s still in his first year, his compensation record isn’t available yet, but his predecessor James Wright was the lowest-paid prez in the Ivy League, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.  In his last year, Wright went home with a total of $603,983 ($500,000 plus $103,983 in benefits).  We’ll see how it pans out for JimKim, but after writing all these president posts, I can’t help but think he’s worth the big bucks.

And now for the last equation to evaluate JimKim’s point value in totally legitimate mathematical terms:

[Estimated earnings based on predecessor’s paycheck – (expected cost of haircut + halo upkeep) + Google hits + dance moves] / years as Ivy president =

[$603,983 – ($30 + $50) + 116,000+ $10,000,000,000] / 0.75 =

13,334,293,204 Ivy President Points!

Looks like we got ourselves a winner.

Dartmouth Prez Respectfully Evokes Memory of Michael Jackson Through Medium of Dance

Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim: AIDS-fighter, MacArthur Fellow, Asian… MJ impersonator. As part of some strange American Idol-style Dartmouth talent show (how you all survive Hanover escapes me…), here’s Prez Kim–leather-jacket, white glove, and raw sensuality clad–shimmying to the best of the late King of Pop:

A man of the people indeed. Serious Fame Caucus points your way Kimmy.

Dartmouth Gets Street, Nevermind the Racist Thing a While Back

Dartmouth Seniors Tommy Shanahan and Matt Applegate celebrate the induction of new college President Dr. Jim Yong Kim the only way two white guys know how: with gangsta rap.

Author of Racist Email Apologizes, Promises To Be Funnier in Future

Tommy Brothers, Dartmouth ’11, came forward as the author of the incendiary email about President Jim Yong Kim in an email (kid loves to email) sent to the student body Friday afternoon. Brothers states:

I hope you can all understand that my intent was never one of malice against the Asian community, but an extremely crass attempt at hyperbolic satire. I was initially trying to criticize what I perceived to be surprise among many at the naming of an Asian-American President-Elect, Dr. Kim.

Brothers goes on to discuss all the ways people will make a big deal out of this for weeks to come:

I have started, along with the rest of the GGMM staff, to try to find ways that the whole community can learn from this experience. We are meeting with OPAL and the Pan-Asian Council to try to find a constructive strategy moving forward.

After the jump, Brothers promises to meet with you and help you heal, but only after finals. Read the rest of this entry »