Trustee Bill Helman ’80 to lead Presidential Search Committee

Bill Helman ’80, a member of the Board of Trustees and partner at the venture capital firm Greylock, will serve as the chair of the Presidential Search Committee tasked with selecting the 18th College president in light of College President Jim Yong Kim’s imminent departure for the World Bank, according to a College press release. Board member Diana Taylor ’77 will be vice chair of the committee.

Further details about the composition and goals of the search committee will be announced in the coming weeks. The College aims to form a group similar to the committee that selected Kim three years ago and that included representatives from various “key constituencies,” according to the release.

“Bill Helman brings extensive experience in recruiting leadership for a range of for-profit and non-profit organizations,” Chairman of the Board Stephen Mandel ’78 said in the release. “He appreciates the complexity of leading academic institutions and will do a great job in encouraging members of the Dartmouth community to share their thoughts about the qualities of leadership that will best serve the College.”

Helman said in the release that the success of Kim’s presidency will leave a “strong foundation,” allowing the committee to generate a “world-class field of candidates.”

On the Board, Helman is the chair of the Investment Committee, which helps manage Dartmouth’s endowment. A Board member since 2009, he also serves on the board of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. He has been a managing partner at Greylock since 1997 and sits on the boards of the Harvard Management Company, Ford Motor Company, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, the Broad Institute, the Steppingstone Foundation and Zipcar. Helman majored in history and minored in economics as a student at the College and received his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1984.

Taylor is currently the managing director of the investment firm Wolfensohn and Company and served as the superintendent of banks for New York State from 2003 to 2007. She studied economics while at Dartmouth and went on to earn her MBA and master’s in public health from Columbia University. She has been a member of the Board since 2008.

Kim’s presidency has included significant efforts to bolster Dartmouth’s graduate programs, including the creation of the 20×20 initiative, which aims to propel the Geisel School of Medicine into the top 20 medical schools in the country by 2020. Both Helman and Taylor have experience working with Ivy League graduate programs: Helman is currently a member of the Harvard Medical School Board of Fellows, and Taylor serves on the boards of the Columbia University School of Business and the Mailman School of Public Health. Helman is also the trustee representative to the Thayer School of Engineering Board of Overseers and the chair of the Geisel School of Medicine Board of Overseers.

Mandel said that while he cannot predict how quickly the search committee will select the College’s next president, he expects the search process to be “smoother” than the search for Kim because “political issues” that the Board faced in 2008 have since been resolved. The Presidential Search Committee will solicit names and recommendations from members of all areas of the Dartmouth community, according to Mandel.

The composition of the search committee will likely be similar to that of the committee that selected Kim, Mandel said. The 2008 search committee consisted of 14 members which included six trustees, six faculty members, an alumna and a student.

The “search document” that the committee will compile, outlining the committee’s goals for selecting the College’s next president, will be based on the leadership statement written by the last search committee, Mandel said in an interview with The Dartmouth.

The 2008 leadership statement, which formed the basic criteria that the previous search committee used to select Kim, asserted that the next president needed to articulate a comprehensive vision for Dartmouth that would strengthen the academic reputation of the College and its professional schools while building consensus among students, faculty and alumni.

In addition to seeking a president with a strong resource-allocation strategy, the 2008 leadership statement emphasized the importance of allocating resources to strengthen Dartmouth’s doctoral programs and professional schools Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering and the Tuck School of Business. The statement called for candidates with a commitment to graduate education and experience with graduate-level institutions.

Specifically, the committee that selected Kim stated that it was looking for candidates who had experience with and knowledge of medical schools, and “an appreciation for their complexity and the opportunities they offer to higher education and to society.” The 2008 statement also contended that issues pertaining to the Medical School and the College’s relationship with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center would “figure prominently in the president’s agenda.”

Mandel announced on Tuesday that Provost Carol Folt will assume the role of interim president on July 1 and will serve in that role until the next president is chosen. Folt said she will not be considered for the permanent position.

Vox Clamantis

To the Editor:

In his recent column (“Through the Looking Glass: Transcending the Hyphen,” April 13), Garrett Wymore ’13 cites a number of conflicts to support a central thesis that the culture of athletics, and specifically football, is in conflict with the mission of Dartmouth and the liberal arts. I find this idea not only false, but also inverted from the historical and continuing realities that have united the goals of athletics with the educational missions of American liberal arts colleges including our College.

One particularly relevant sentence from the Dartmouth mission statement reads, “Dartmouth graduates are marked by an understanding of the importance of teamwork, a capacity for leadership and their keen enjoyment of a vibrant community.” Athletics provide one of many effective ways to develop the tenets that the Dartmouth community holds dear. Participating in the mission of Dartmouth through overcoming physical and mental hardships is additive to the liberal arts experience and counter to Wymore’s comparison of athletic training and the degrading goals of hazing.

In 2000, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Karl Furstenberg wrote a widely criticized letter commending the elimination of Swarthmore College’s football program, saying, “football, and the culture that surrounds it, is antithetical to the academic mission of colleges such as ours.” It is important that we reject the similar sentiment in Wymore’s article. Athletics are not a side-event or a relic of the College incompatible with being a philosophizing engineer or a physicist poet; they are one of the vibrant mediums through which the mission of Dartmouth is gained. We must work to perfect the athletic culture in its crucial aid to the mission of the College. Dartmouth is indeed the only place where you can high-five the president of the World Bank after a touchdown let’s keep it that way!

Daily Debriefing

In a Tuesday press release, Travis Blalock ’12 introduced Hazing Tours, a daily tour service that will take visitors to Dartmouth Greek physical plants and offer insight on alleged hazing practices in Greek organizations, sports teams and other campus groups. Hazing Tours will also serve as “the first ever psychic witness service” that will provide supposed evidence of hazing allegations in order to allow the administration to take action against fraternities, according to the Hazing Tours website. Blalock is “prepared to summon spirits from the great void to reveal practices dating back to 1842,” the press release said. While information indicates that the Hazing Tours endeavor is a joke, the release said tours will be offered daily, will cost $10 and will begin Thursday to coincide with Dimensions at Dartmouth. The tours come in the wake of increased media attention on the College following January hazing allegations from Andrew Lohse ’12 against Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, according to the website.

Congress directed $44 million in earmarked funds to support university research centers this year, according to a report by the nonpartisan group Citizens Against Government Waste, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. This sum marks a dramatic reduction from what educational institutions received from Congress in 2008, when over $2 billion in earmarks was allotted to colleges and universities, The Chronicle reported. The group found that over $66 million had been reserved specifically for university research between 1994 and 2010 and that Congress had reserved $3.3 billion in earmarks for 2012 an 80 percent drop from 2010, when over $16 billion was spent, The Chronicle reported.

Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor are collaborating with the for-profit company Coursera to offer free online versions of their academic courses known as “massively open online courses,” Inside Higher Education reported. These schools will join Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley in a coordinated effort to make elite college courses more accessible, according to Inside Higher Ed. The participating universities will offer 39 of their courses, including six classes in the humanities and social sciences, through Coursera, which was founded by two Stanford engineering professors. None of the universities plan to offer formal credit for the online courses, and so far no consensus has emerged about ways to recognize students’ online achievements, Inside Higher Ed reported.

Alumnus receives award for computing theory

A simple love for math and a long-standing career in mathematics and logic including undergraduate research with former College President John Kemeny and the discovery of a new mathematical computing theory have led to lifetime achievements for Ronald Fagin ’67, who won the annual W. Wallace McDowell Award on March 26.

Fagin, the manager of the Foundations of Computer Science at IBM Research, received the honor for his “fundamental and lasting contributions to the theory of databases,” according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society, which presents the award. Past recipients include John Backus, FORTRAN programming language creator, and Frederick Brooks, the architect of IBM’s mainframe computer.

On April 10, Fagin was named an IBM fellow, one of seven employees to receive the company’s highest honor this year.

Fagin’s first introduction to mathematical theory, however, was actually a chance encounter. At the College, Fagin originally enrolled in a logic course with professor Donald Kreider to fulfill a distributive requirement.

“I had no idea what math logic was about, but I took the class, and Kreider was like a magician,” Fagin said. “He was an amazing teacher.”

Fagin also took classes taught by Kemeny, with whom he later worked as an undergraduate research assistant. At the time, Kemeny had recently developed BASIC, one of computer science’s initial programming languages, with fellow Dartmouth professor Thomas Kurtz.

“I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to interact with John Kemeny,” Fagin said. “It can’t get any better than that.”

Fagin recalled that Kemeny kept a bust of Albert Einstein on his desk, as Kemeny worked as the scientist’s research assistant while a student at Princeton University. Fagin, who cited Kemeny and Kreider as his greatest undergraduate academic influences, asked him why Einstein would have needed help in math.

“He looked at me and said, Einstein was great at physics, but just okay at math,'” Fagin said.

At the College, Fagin ranked as the number one ping pong player in his dorm, was the underhand softball pitcher to fulfill his athletic requirement, played the clarinet in the Dartmouth College Marching Band and applied his knowledge of math and computer science to real-life situations, he said.

“One of the first programs I did was a Monopoly simulation to figure out what were the best properties on the board,” Fagin said. “I used that for strategy when I played.”

Fagin’s passion eventually led to the formulation of Fagin’s Theorem for his doctoral thesis and the creation of the finite model theory field,

Fagin’s past work has focused on fuzzy logic, an efficient data combination method used in the Bundled Search system of the IBM Watson computer known for having successfully competed on “Jeopardy!” and Garlic multimedia information systems. Fagin also founded the IBM Almaden Computer Science Theory Group, which he said is the top theory group in the world.

“What we do is lay mathematical foundations but also try to find applications,” Fagin, who has worked at IBM since 1973, said. “One of the great things about IBM research is that there’s a lot of room for a variety of people in a variety of stuff,” he said.

After graduating summa cum laude from Dartmouth with highest distinction in mathematics, Fagin received his PhD in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1973. Fagin worked in the IBM Computer Science Department in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., before moving to the IBM Almaden Research Center in California in 1975, where he currently works.

During his career, Fagin has also traveled overseas, visiting various offices in India and Israel.

Fagin’s visits serve as examples “of making sure Ron’s expertise is shown within IBM on a global scale,” Ari Entin, who works in IBM Communications, said.

Peter Winkler, a mathematics professor and friend of Fagin, called him “one of the founding fathers” of computing theory and a “well-loved person” in the field.

Fagin also won the 2011 IEEE Technical Achievement Award for his contributions to the theory of rank and score aggregation, the 2004 ACM Edgar F. Codd Award for work in databases and a series of honors and accolades from IBM, including an IBM Corporate Award.

“If you develop something beautiful mathematically, it’s not at all surprising that there are many ways it can be applied,” Fagin said.

Organization plants flags to protest abortion

In an attempt to spur discussion about abortion, members of the pro-life organization Vita Clamantis planted 546 flags in the Gold Coast lawn.

A public demonstration on the Gold Coast lawn by the pro-life group Vita Clamantis ignited a debate over abortion laws on Wednesday. The “Cemetery of the Innocents” protest, which featured 546 American flags planted in the ground near the residence hall cluster, aimed to raise awareness and commemorate aborted pregnancies in the United States since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

Vita Clamantis president Robert Smith ’14 said that the group wants to spur discussion about creating environments in which women do not feel pressured into having abortions.

“Each flag represents 100,000 abortions in the United States since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973,” Smith said. “The way we view each flag is holistic. We are not only representing lives that have been lost but also the women who have had to make traumatic decisions.”

Despite largely negative responses several displays were vandalized and one person drove a car over the lawn the group has also received some positive feedback, according to Smith.

“I was especially encouraged by a custodian,” Smith said. “It felt gratifying to know that she thought it was something that needed to be said, and she was very moved by the display.”

Father Jonathan Kalisch of the Aquinas House Catholic Student Center emphasized the importance of educating the community about abortion.

“I think showing the tragic results of the loss of life is something we all need to be aware of, as well as recognizing that people can take a different political stance,” Kalisch said.

Across the street from the lawn, students hung white flags in a pro-choice demonstration to counter the Vita Clamantis display. Rather than serving as a confrontational statement, the counter-protest was intended to highlight a woman’s right to choose, according to Callista Womick ’13, one of the organizers.

“We wanted to provide an alternative lens through which to view the statistic that there have been 55.4 million abortions since 1973,” Womick said. “Look at the 55.4 million number as opportunities women have had to exercise their constitutional right.”

Like Vita Clamantis, the counter-protesters hoped their demonstration would encourage dialogue about the issue at hand, according to Womick.

The white flags were removed by Facilities, Operations and Management early Wednesday morning due to confusion about whether the group had acquired a permit, according to Womick. The counter-protest was reinstalled later in the afternoon.

About 85 students, including some involved with “The Vagina Monologues” and Women’s Forum, were involved in organizing the counter-protest, according to Womick.

Some students complained that Vita Clamantis’ display had received funding through the Council on Student Organizations despite its political nature, according to Womick, who is also a COSO representative.

“COSO was torn about it, but ultimately the majority of board members thought that freedom of speech should prevail, and I think that’s why this proposal was able to pass, though it was a very close vote,” Womick said.

COSO representative Will Hix ’12 said he hoped the demonstration would promote healthy discourse.

“COSO strives to fund events that will allow organizations to have a voice and introduce active dialogue,” Hix said in an email to The Dartmouth. “We recognize that this is a potentially contentious and polarizing issue.”

It is rare for an event to create the level of interest and emotion that the Vita Clamantis display has, according to Hix.

Vita Clamantis members were inspired by similar events at Harvard and Yale Universities, according to Smith. The group had been planning the event since the end of Winter term.

In addition to the flag display, Vita Clamantis organized a discussion moderated by government professor Russell Muirhead. The forum, hosted in the Rockefeller Center, was attended by about 50 students.

At the discussion, Vita Clamantis members opened by apologizing to those who may have been offended by the display, saying that the protest was meant as a memorial rather than an accusation. Those involved emphasized their objective to create a stronger campus community that is willing and able to provide support to pregnant women, underlining the lack of facilities, childcare and housing provided by the College.

Students present also discussed the point at which a fetus can be considered a human being, the perceived religious overtones in Vita Clamantis’ campus-wide email, the type of legal protection that should be offered to women and fetuses, sexual assault and fetus health.

Some attendees at the forum, however, said they felt that the imagery of a graveyard evoked by the “Cemetery of Innocents” did not facilitate productive dialogue.

Students march for awareness

A group of students and other Dartmouth community members gathered Wednesday to raise sexual assault awareness during the Take Back the Night march.

Students gathered in a campus-wide march on Wednesday to protest sexual violence and provide a forum for sexual assault survivors to share their stories. Banding together under the slogan, “Survivors unite, take back the night,” students sought to form a community that included both victims and those who knew victims of sexual assault.

The Take Back the Night march culminated in a candlelight vigil and a Speak Out event, during which community members shared their experiences with sexual assault.

“This event is a means for victims and secondhand survivors to reassert ownership and control over their own bodies and the spaces around them, essentially saying, You don’t own me or control me they’re my spaces, as well,'” event organizer Dani Levin ’12 said.

Event coordinator Jason Tong ’12 described the importance of providing support for sexual assault survivors and said it is often a moving experience to help those affected by sexual assault to find support in a community of strangers.

“Take Back the Night serves as a visual reminder to the community to make sure they’re aware of the issue,” Tong said. “Lots of people think sexual assault doesn’t occur, but we’re here to remind people that it does, even at Dartmouth.”

One in four college women experiences sexual assault, according to Sexual Abuse Awareness Coordinator Rebekah Carrow. Many sexual assault survivors fear how their communities will view them, she said, urging attendees to “imagine a world where safety is absolute.”

Alcohol abuse and sexual abuse are inextricably related, according to Alcohol and Other Drug Education Program Coordinator Brian Bowden, who said he applauds the College’s success in increasing alcohol and sexual assault awareness.

Following a performance by the Soul Scribes and a testimony from a sexual assault survivor, students related their own experiences with sexual assault and criticized the lack of acknowledgement of sexual violence on campus during the Speak Out event.

“At my high school, they would ask me, Do you feel unsafe at school?'” one poet slammed. “I thought going to a place like this would be different.”

Tong said he was “excited” by the number of faculty members who attend sexual awareness events and become involved with addressing the issue, citing the example of a professor who has been approached every term by a different student who has experienced sexual assault.

Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson participated in both the vigil and the Speak Out event.

“This event has been on my calendar for months because it raises awareness, provides an empowering platform for women and men to tell their stories and gives them a voice to participate,” Johnson said.

Levin said the event is meaningful to her because Sexual Assault Peer Advisors often operate only within the same campus groups. Take Back the Night offers a way for a wide range of people to participate and show their solidarity for survivors, she said.

“When you give a talk or a lecture, the people in the room aren’t the ones that need to be told,” Levin said. “The beauty of this event is that it really brings the cause into someone else’s living room.”

Many students lamented that sexual violence awareness only occurs during forums, lectures or other events.

Sophia Pedlow ’15, a mentor against violence, said she believes “sexual assault on campus deserves visibility beyond forums like this one.”

Levin said she became involved with the march when she attended a Speak Out event during her sophomore year that changed her perspective on sexual assault on campus.

“When people ask what is the point of having another awareness event, I respond, That’s the only way you can cure it constant vigilance, constant visibility and calls for action,'” Levin said.

Those sharing their stories at the Speak Out event requested that their experiences remain private.

College sells 28 acres used for army research

Correction appended

Last month, the College sold 28 acres of land lying beneath the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory on Lyme Road in Hanover for $18.6 million as part of a “mutually beneficial” deal that ensures that Dartmouth’s focus is on its strategic priorities, according to Director of Media Relations Justin Anderson. The land was sold to the Army Corps of Engineers, which has operated the lab since 1961.

CRREL was originally built on land leased from the College for $1 per year, according to Thayer School of Engineering professor Mary Albert, a 30-year employee of the laboratory. Following the lease’s expiration in 2009, the U.S. Army and the College entered into negotiations to agree on a sale price, according to Anderson.

The economic downturn of 2008 “hit Dartmouth very hard” and forced the College to reconsider its lease agreement with the Army, Albert said.

The Army then decided to buy the land outright rather than continuing to lease it.

“The process was prolonged because [the sale] required a Congressional act of approval,” Anderson said. “Congress had to essentially bless’ the deal.”

Congressional backing came earlier this year, and the sale was completed on March 13, Anderson said.

The Army Corps of Engineers consolidated two existing Arctic research laboratories in Illinois and Boston in 1955 and then began the search for a new location to construct a central research center, according to Albert. Former College President John Sloan Dickey ’29 lobbied for the Corps to construct the laboratory in Hanover because he believed that Dartmouth and the Corps shared a “mutual interest” in cold regions, Albert said.

Congress approved the construction of the center in 1959, and CRREL opened its doors two years later, Albert said.

During the Cold War, the government aimed to increase its knowledge and understanding of cold regions to prepare for the possibility of a Soviet attack from the Arctic region, Albert said. CRREL was tasked with understanding the unique environment and challenges of the Arctic to prepare for the possibility of fighting a war in the region, he said.

“CRREL researchers developed a whole way of engineering roads in cold regions,” Albert said. “Not just anyone could do that.”

CRREL researchers drilled the world’s first ice core, which is used to study past climates, and they engineered roads along the Alaska oil pipeline, according to Albert. The laboratory was fully funded by the Army during the Cold War.

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Army no longer perceived an Arctic attack as a threat, and CRREL began to diversify and seek other sources of funding. In 1998, CRREL merged with other Corps research and development labs now located in Mississippi, Albert said.

Although some cold regions research continues, CRREL now focuses mostly on engineering solutions for “hot and dusty” regions such as the Middle East to aid the current objectives of the Army, according to Albert.

The College and CRREL maintain a relationship to this day, according to Albert and Anderson. Students and faculty from the College, particularly the Thayer School, have worked with researchers in the past on various projects, according to Albert.

Funds from the sale will benefit the College, but their exact use is undecided, Anderson said. The money will not fund ongoing renovations at the Hanover Inn, however.

The change in ownership of the land underneath CRREL will not affect the relationship between Dartmouth and the Corps, Albert and Anderson said.

“As the only government lab focused on snow, ice and cold issues, CRREL had a very important position in advising the government,” Albert said. “I think CRREL and Dartmouth will continue to collaborate.”

**The original version of this article incorrectly stated that CRREL is in Lebanon when in fact it is in Hanover.*

Francfort: Digging the Debt Hole

A few weeks ago, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner ’83 made a statement during a congressional hearing that ought to have made us all a little apprehensive. South Carolina Republican Representative Trey Gowdy had asked Geithner to estimate how much the debt ceiling would be raised if the U.S. government had one last opportunity to do so. Geithner responded that the debt ceiling would need to be raised by “a lot” and that the amount would “make you feel uncomfortable.”

With the government’s uncontrollable spending having no end in sight, Geithner’s estimate was no doubt accurate. Ten years have now passed since the last fiscal surplus, with debt increasing by over $1 trillion during each of the last four years. Frustration at these dismaying facts has led to a political revolution of sorts, with the Tea Party gaining national prominence.

However, the excitement and pressure to cut government spending that accompanied the rise of the Tea Party seems to have recently diminished a great deal. This may be a result of an uptick in the U.S. economy or possibly a function of the grueling Republican presidential nomination process. But despite the economic turnaround, it is critical that we still give national debt issues the attention they deserve. The more that we continue to borrow, the deeper a hole we will be digging for our generation and for future generations of Americans.

Before debating what government programs to cut and which taxes we might want to increase, it is important to understand where the federal government’s money currently goes. Under its $3.7-trillion budget for 2012, our government will spend over $2 trillion on mandatory entitlements and a little less than $700 billion on defense spending. Total revenue, meanwhile, is predicted to be around $2.5 trillion.

Republicans and Democrats have sparred over how to handle the debt issue, and there is no single right answer. However, a good place to start would be to simplify the tax code. Taxes, particularly the corporate income tax, have been unpredictable and unfair, as politicians have succeeded in creating certain exemptions for favorable industries and demographic groups. But these exemptions have cost the American people dearly. According to the Tax Policy Center, loopholes in the tax code will lower the government’s revenue by $1.3 trillion this year. The downside to this solution is the overwhelming opposition that special interest groups have expressed when specific loopholes have been targeted. The proposed budget by Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, navigates this treacherous water by failing to explicitly state which tax exemptions it would discontinue.

Beyond closing loopholes, more sweeping changes will surely be needed if we hope to close the multi-trillion-dollar budget deficit. These changes would include small tax increases. In 2011, the federal government revenue as a share of GDP was a little over 15 percent, one of the lowest since 1950. As the economy strengthens, allowing tax cuts to expire and increasing revenue as a percentage of GDP would seem to be a near certainty.

But the monumental level of debt that we face, over $16 trillion, will also require significant cuts to government programs that we cannot afford. Entitlement program spending projections show expenditures continuing to rise for the foreseeable future, but such increases are unacceptable given our current financial state. Therefore, entitlements need to be reigned in. Some of the best ways to do this may be to raise the retirement age for Medicare or to reduce the benefits of the program.

Now is the time for citizens and politicians alike to join together in a call to deal with our debt problem. As important as social issues are in the lives of many citizens, these problems will be nullified if we find ourselves sucked in a financial hole. Real solutions, not rhetoric, are needed. It’s about time we get serious about our growing financial problems or risk feeling very uncomfortable when our economy follows the same trajectory as the Greek economy.