Category Archives: leadership

April 17, 2014, 9:37 am

Dartmouth President Speaks Out Against Violent Campus Culture

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This Dartmouth frat, Alpha Delta, co-hosted a “Bloods and Crips” party last year with the Delta Delta Delta sorority

On Wednesday, Philip J. Hanlon, the new president of Dartmouth College, threw down a challenge to his students: clean up your act. You are ruining a good school. Speaking to the community both as president and as an alumnus, Hanlon maintained that “there is no finer undergraduate education than the one offered by Dartmouth,” the school’s “promise is being hijacked by extreme behavior, masked by its perpetrators as acceptable fun.”

This would include binge drinking, rape and racist parties where white kids are encouraged to dress up as stereotypes of their class mates of color. You know: normal elite college behavior that lawyers quietly settle out of (more…)

February 17, 2013, 1:51 pm

President-Palooza Sunday With Tenured Radical

It’s been a robust week at Tenured Radical: the stats just came in, and we topped 16,000 hits for the first time ever. Some of them weren’t very nice, it’s true, but nevertheless you came to this site from all over the world to watch the verbiage fly. Thousands of lurkers got an eye full of academia at its finest. So with that, let’s begin our President’s Day Celebration!

Tenured Radical Live — with a President! Didn’t know I was a Friend of Bill, didja? I’m talking Wisco historian Bill Cronon, that is. The Presidential Plenary from the American Historical Association — with me, (now past) President William Cronon, Edward Ayers (also a university president), Mary Louise Roberts, Nico Pfund and Michael Pollan — is now up! It cannot be embedded, but you can go here to see it on CSPAN-3. Upon…

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July 9, 2012, 4:32 pm

Who Is At The Controls In Your Career?

About ten days ago, Dr. Crazy asked the question: “What do I wish people would have advised me not to do?” Four years post-tenure and about to stand for full professor, she is trying to evaluate a period in her career that has been vexing, stressful and ill-rewarded. Go over there and join the conversation.

Many of us will identify with Dr. Crazy’s self-criticism that she has “let things overtake me that haven’t necessarily been the most positive for me, professionally or personally.” The partial list of what she regrets speaks to many of the ways in which nice people, people who try to identify and meet institutional expectations, can put their own needs last. Worse, engaging in institutional policy-making and hiring can make a good colleague into a target for other people’s resentment in ways that s/he never imagined. As university business swallows time and energy, a tenured …

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January 16, 2012, 9:41 pm

Happy Birthday To You

I present to you the radicals without tenure:

Happy Birthday, Martin.

October 7, 2011, 3:18 pm

Is Steve Jobs’ Life An Inspiration To All Of Us? A Meditation On The Difference Between Having A Life And A Lifestyle

Great minds so think alike. Following the death of Steve Jobs, Historiann asks whether the outpouring of grief over the death of this brilliant and peculiar man is yet another symptom of anxiety over national decline. Oh yes — and, since our friend brings up the exploitation of Chinese labor by Apple —  I would add that Apple is a potent nexus for the ambivalent historical relationship that American politicians and manufacturers have with China.  Apple products are one of the very few consumer objects that people around the world seem to crave, much as American merchants have craved unfettered access to Chinese consumers since the 1870s. Simultaneously, Chinese consumers have craved the American consumer culture that is shamelessly knocked off there and sold to billions of people from Beijing to Times Square. An iPhone also closes the circle between a Cold War capitalist model and 2…

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June 7, 2010, 1:21 pm

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Disobey The President: Transforming The Military In Historical Perspective

We move forward into a summer of political negotiating that might end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the Clinton-era policy that lifted the ban on gays in the military, provided said gays pretend to be straight (and, as an ironic touch, created a phrase popular among the sexually dishonest who claim to be in sophisticated open relationships when actually they are just cheating like everyone else.) Policy makers and GLBT lobbyists wishing to lift the ban might usefully consult Beth Bailey’s America’s Army: Making the All-Volunteer Force (Harvard, 2009) as they consider how to present what is perceived by many to be an unprecedented alteration in the United States Armed Forces. As Bailey observes, the transition from the draft to an all-volunteer Army was a political decision made by the Nixon administration in 1970 that military brass resisted vigorously despite what they perceived as the…

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February 24, 2008, 10:38 pm

College on $50 a Day: It’s a Great Way to Fly

In “The Skies Are Alive With Fees”, the New York Times’ Joe Sharkey writes about Irish airline Ryanair’s cutthroat pricing system. Boasting fares as low as $30 round trip on some European routes, Ryanair is also “the world champion among airlines in generating extra cash by charging customers fees for services and products that most airlines include in the ticket price: checked bags, beverages and — for a time before the idea was dropped amid public outcry — even using a wheelchair.” What is called in business-speak “differential pricing,” I believe, is not unknown to American travelers. Recently United offered me the opportunity to pay $25 extra for more leg room; there are special travel categories where travelers who pay more are checked in faster; and instead of the cute meals in little plastic dishes we used to get before 9/11, as Sharkey points out, flight attendants sell…

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February 17, 2008, 7:50 pm

Sticky Wiki

Cruising around the blogosphere as one does, and following link to link, I ended up on Academic Cog’s December post about the academic job wiki. My favorite Cog was upbraiding midnight raiders who erased sections of the wiki, claiming that they had done so as a “political act” to protest the oppressions of the job market. I agree with Miss Cog, mutilating the wiki was a mean thing to do, although I think it was probably a function of wiki-madness itself, perhaps enhanced by drink, that gave some jerk the idea that hir own rotten year on the job market could be made better by destabilizing other people’s peace of mind. Having never really thought much about this job market wiki before last year (when I stumbled upon it and, to my horror, found a colleague’s divorce detailed by a disappointed job hunter as the reason why s/he was given a job, purportedly by sympathetic friends, that…

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July 30, 2007, 3:00 pm

The No Asshole Rule: A Reflection

As you know if you make a close study of Tenured Radical 2.0 in all of its features, I have been reading Robert I. Sutton’s The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t. And to get to the punchline quickly: you should read it too. It is short, it is well written and Sutton — a professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University — has written a book that nicely bridges the worlds of business and intellectual work.

What occasioned my purchase of this book? Well, it doesn’t really matter, does it, because I loved it and I wish something like it had been available to me years ago. I would also say that the bulk of my labor this year will be administrative, and because there is no formal mentoring in this kind of work, I do what I can to learn management techniques, either by observing adminstrators at Zenith closely and seeing…

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July 11, 2007, 6:52 pm

Blowin’ In The Wind



It looks like Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE) are the most recent defectors from the War Party to join their Democratic Party colleagues in asking for a draw-down of U.S. trooops in Iraq that would begin in four months: read about it here. Pete Dominici (R-NM), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Richard Lugar (R-IN) beat them to the punch; John Warner (R-VA) is apparently involved in shaping the Republican insurgency, and will publicly break with President George “What–Me Worry?” Bush any day now. You can read the New York Times story here. Just to be nice let’s call them Peace Republicans. Or Late to Dinner (did your mother ever say that — “Call me anything, but don’t call me late to dinner?”) At least they finally got to dinner, which is more than many of our soldiers will ever do again.

As of today, the body count of U.S. soldiers alone (no Iraquis, no…

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