Despite a heartbreaking loss in the Ivy Championship Series to Cornell University, the Dartmouth baseball team had an overall successful season, highlighted by its fifth consecutive Rolfe Division title. Last week, the Ivy League officially selected eight Big Green players as members of the league’s all-conference teams.
Dartmouth led the Ivy League with four first-team selections, including senior captain Joe Sclafani ’12, outfielder Jake Carlson ’12, designated hitter Ennis Coble ’13 and power-hitting first baseman Dustin Selzer ’14. Rookie reliever Thomas Olson ’15 made the second team, while starting pitchers Adam Frank ’15 and Mitch Horacek ’14 and outfielder Jeff Keller ’14 received honorable mentions.
Sclafani became the 22nd player in Ivy history to be named to the first team three times.
“He’s our captain, shortstop and pretty much done everything you can do at the Ivy League level,” Selzer said of the senior.
Batting in the leadoff position this year, Sclafani hit .288 .333 in Ivy League play and led the team with 13 doubles and 32 runs scored. Sclafani holds the Ivy League record for career triples (19) and ranks first in Dartmouth history in at-bats and games played and second in hits.
“Joe has that perfect balance of power and hitting for average,” Carlson, who batted an Ivy League-leading .397, said.
As Sclafani’s hitting progressed throughout his career, pitchers began to throw fewer fastballs and more off-speed pitches in an attempt to avoid giving up the big hit. Sclafani said he did not like to swing at off-speed pitches early in the count during his first few seasons.
“Later in my career, when I didn’t get a lot of fastballs, it really helped me get to hitter’s counts,” he said.
Sclafani also led the team in walks this year with 27, and he was the Ivy League’s top defensive shortstop with a fielding percentage of .995, a spectacular number at one of the game’s most demanding positions.
“He was the most consistent player, and he meant a lot to the team,” Selzer said. “He’s certainly going to be missed next year.”
The Big Green will also lose fellow senior Carlson, another outstanding defensive player who had the finest offensive season of his career in 2012.
“He’s hands down the best outfielder I’ve played with,” Coble said of the Big Green’s center fielder.
Carlson, who found success at the plate last summer in the Coastal Plain League, made a concerted effort to carry his offensive performance over to Ivy League play.
“If you have a good, quality [first] at-bat, you see a lot of pitches and see what the pitcher has,” Carlson said. “It makes the second and third at-bats a lot easier.”
Batting in the ninth spot an uncommon place for a batting champion because of the strength of the Dartmouth lineup, Carlson focused on getting on base, something he did better than almost everyone else in the Ivy League. He ranked second among Ancient Eight players with a .464 on-base percentage.
“My job is to turn the lineup over, so if I make an out, it is to make a productive one,” Carlson said.
Still, Carlson’s true passion is for defense.
“I would rather take away a hit from a guy than get a hit,” Carlson said.
Coble, a unanimous selection to the first team, also frequented the base paths, as the speedy designated hitter finished the year with a .311 batting average and a .419 on-base percentage while scoring 24 runs.
“Ennis is one of those guys who works hard, doesn’t complain and is a very steady part of the lineup,” Selzer said.
Following the team’s California road trip, Coble unexpectedly found himself asked to bat third in the lineup, a spot in which he excelled to drive in 16 runs.
“I’m proud of how he handled hitting in the three-hole, which wasn’t really expected at the beginning of the year,” Carlson said. “Plus, he’s the happiest guy you’ll ever meet.”
Coble was also named to the All-Ivy second team last season.
Selzer, who batted behind Coble in the cleanup spot, led the Ivy League with 41 RBIs and posted a .324 batting average while serving as the team’s starting first baseman.
After playing with a bad groin last season, Selzer said that maintaining his health was critical in allowing him to drive in runs.
Dartmouth led the league in batting average and on-base percentage in 2012, and Selzer said that the Big Green’s offensive depth prevented pitchers from pitching around any Big Green hitters, giving him more opportunities as the cleanup hitter.
“Where I was in the lineup had a huge impact on my season, no question about it,” Selzer said.
After struggling in the first quarter of the season, Selzer’s brother provided the first baseman with some much-needed advice when he came to visit.
“He said I wasn’t going out and playing with confidence like I normally do,” Selzer said.
The weekend marked a turning point for Selzer, and he went on to finish with five home runs, including a towering, game-tying home run against Brown University on April 14, a ball that Carlson described as “one of the farthest balls I’ve seen hit.”
On Monday night, the Dartmouth Athletic Department honored eight student-athletes at the annual Celebration of Athletic Excellence in Leede Arena. The night’s highest honor, the Kenneth Archibald Prize, was awarded to Peter Williamson ’12 of the men’s golf team. The award is given to “the member of the graduating class who has been four years in attendance, who has been the best all-around athlete, regard also being had to moral worth and high standing in scholarship.”
Williamson is a three-time Ivy League champion and has finished in the top 10 in 30 of 36 career tournaments. Last weekend, Williamson tied for fifth place at the NCAA Central Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich.
“There will never be another Pete Williamson in the Ivy League,” men’s golf coach Rich Parker said. “The award tells the whole story. A golfer won athlete of the year. Amazing.”
Abbey D’Agostino ’14 was recognized as the outstanding female athlete of the year with the Class of 1976 Award. D’Agostino was a three-time All-American and four-time Ivy League champion this year, collecting two titles in outdoor track and one in both indoor track and cross country. D’Agostino also placed third at the NCAA Championship in cross country and anchored Dartmouth’s women’s distance medley relay squad to a third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. D’Agostino also broke school records in seven different events this season, and her 5,000-meter time of 15:23.35 places her eighth all-time in NCAA history.
Lucky Mkosana ’12 of the men’s soccer team received the Alfred E. Watson Trophy as Dartmouth’s outstanding male athlete. Mkosana’s 34 career goals and 78 career points are both program records, and Dartmouth won two Ivy League championships and twice advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament during his time playing for the Big Green. The 2011 Ivy League Player of the Year, Mkosana also became the first player in Dartmouth history to be named to the All-Ivy first team four times and was drafted in the second round, 23rd overall, in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft by the Chicago Fire.
The Class of 1948 Scholar-Athlete Award is presented to a male and female student-athlete in the junior class who has “combined outstanding performance in athletics and significant achievement in academics.” Sarah Leonard ’13 of the women’s tennis team and Josh Konieczny ’13 of the lightweight crew team were the recipients of the award.
Leonard, a philosophy major who holds a 3.88 GPA, was named first team All-Ivy this year and garnered second-team honors her freshman and sophomore years. In 2010, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northeast recognized Leonard as Rookie of the Year. Leonard hopes to attend law school after Dartmouth.
Konieczny, who has achieved a 3.91 GPA as an economics major, currently rows in the stroke seat of the top varsity boat and has the highest erg score ever recorded by a Dartmouth rower. In 2011, Konieczny helped his team earn silver at the Eastern Sprints and bronze at the IRA National Championship.
Konieczny said that being a Dartmouth student-athlete means being committed to excellence, and he advised underclassman athletes to find pride and fulfillment in academics and athletics.
“Dartmouth is one of the finest institutions in the world for academics and athletics,” Konieczny said. “We are all here to compete and succeed at the highest levels.”
The Timothy Wright Ellis Award is given to the male student-athlete who best demonstrates “extracurricular and scholastic drive, spirit, loyalty and amiability” and was given to Adam Rice ’12 of the men’s soccer team. Rice has achieved a 3.97 grade point average while also serving as director of Athletes United and working with Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth. Rice won the Class of 1948 Scholar-Athlete award his junior year as well as the men’s soccer team’s Norman Grant Clark Award.
Sarah Plumb ’12, a co-captain on the women’s lacrosse team, was honored with the Agnes B. Kurtz Award for the female athlete who “best combines proficiency in athletics with dedication to the furthering of women’s athletics.” Plumb was Ivy League Player of the Year this year after leading her team to the program’s first Ivy Tournament championship and a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Class of 1950 Award, given to the student-athlete who has shown exceptional dedication to community service, was presented to Laura Hempel ’12 of the women’s cross country and track and field teams.
Hempel has balanced three terms of athletics with a leadership position on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and volunteers with the Special Olympics, David’s House and Dancing Through the Decades. She also coordinates the local chapter of Girls on the Run, an organization that mentors elementary school girls to help promote healthy habits and a positive self-image.
In addition to the individual awards presented, the men’s alpine skiing team was awarded the Big Green Cup, given to the varsity program that earns the most points by attending athletic events, performing community service, achieving academic success and competing athletically at a high level.
Editor’s Note: This is the third installment in a four-part series profiling popular music concerts at Dartmouth over the last four decades.
At the height of their popularity and before the release of their final album, The Clash performed a sold-out concert at Thompson Arena on April 19, 1984 to a “raucous” Dartmouth crowd comprised of students that had not seen a major concert since The Allman Brothers band in 1981, according to an article in The Dartmouth written by Nick Armington ’84.
“Pandemonium isn’t a bad word for it,” Armington wrote. “Riot might be better.”
The Clash, which had already released the album “London Calling” and the single “Rock the Casbah,” was far from being an unknown band in 1984. Because of their popularity, The Clash’s decision to come to small, remote Hanover elicited surprise from the student body, according to Chip Kelly ’84.
“We received a call from one of the agents we had regular contact with saying The Clash had an opening Saturday night to be up in Hanover,” Kelly said. “We were stunned. We thought an act like that would go to Boston or something.”
As news of the booking spread, the campus was abuzz with excitement that such a well-known group was coming to perform, according to Bruce Cullen ’84.
“We had been blasting The Clash from the basement of Alpha Delta [fraternity] for a good part of the last four years, so we were thrilled to learn that they would be coming to Hanover,” Cullen said. “It was a little bittersweet, though, as if our little secret was now out and becoming mainstream.”
The Clash’s music represented something “uniquely Dartmouth,” Cullen said.
“To put it in Dartmouth speak, I believe that [front man] Joe Strummer was a vox clamantis in deserto’ on issues like social justice, Nicaragua, Vietnam, capitalism, racial issues and human rights,” he said. “You may not have agreed with all that he was saying, but he certainly forced you to think about it.”
Although she was not as big a fan as Cullen, Kim Ogden ’84 was nevertheless still excited to see the concert her freshman spring, she said.
“I went to The Clash concert because I definitely knew the band and loved them,” Ogden said. “It would have been hard not to know the band at the time. Their songs were very popular.”
Formed in 1976, the band is credited with contributing to the rise of punk rock alongside punk peers The Ramones and Iggy Pop. Although slow in gaining popularity, The Clash became well known beyond the underground club scene in London, after the release of “London Calling” in 1979. The band later became known across the United States.
Apart from a “lukewarm opening band” and terrible sound problems in Thompson Arena, the concert was widely acclaimed by those who attended, Armington wrote.
“The concert was loud and excellent,” Cullen said.
Ogden said she was struck by the authentic experience of the live event.
“I remember that it felt like a real concert because it was in a big space and the lights were professional,” Ogden said. “We danced the whole time and shouted all the words to the songs.”
Despite the concert taking place on a college campus, there was no shortage of rock star antics during the show. In the beginning, Strummer introduced himself as George Washington to the crowd, according to Armington. The real fun, however, occurred during the second encore, when a teenager managed to evade security “and ran on stage, doing an impressive backflip in the process,” Armington said. This set off a chain reaction that led to a large mob rushing the stage.
Although some people were thrown off stage, the crowd was too big for security to handle, and the band finished their show in the middle of an impromptu mosh pit, according to Armington. The scene made the final song of the night, “White Riot,” all the more appropriate.
Despite their punk-rock image, The Clash did not indulge in Dartmouth’s notorious social life after the show, Kelly said.
“To my knowledge, they did not hit any of the fraternities,” he said. “They just got back on the bus and took off to their next gig.”
The Clash broke up two years after the concert at Dartmouth, but their music continues to be played and experienced by new generations, Cullen said.
“I still love The Clash and listen to their music regularly,” he said. “I would hazard to say that it is about the only thing my 17-year-old daughter Celine finds cool about me.”
When Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers took the stage in front of an excited and sold-out crowd last night in Spaulding Auditorium, Martin remarked that it had always been his dream to play bluegrass music in Hanover, eliciting uproarious laughter. Martin’s quip set the tone for the rest of the show: a combination of bluegrass music and stand-up comedy.
Martin, who won Best Bluegrass Album at the 2010 Grammy Awards, decided to unite his talent with the 2011 International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainers of the Year, the Steep Canyon Rangers.
The Steep Canyon Rangers although rated low on the pop charts but high on the bluegrass Billboard, according to Martin are composed of Mike Guginno on mandolin, Charles Humphrey III on bass, Woody Platt on guitar, Nicky Sanders on fiddle and Graham Sharp on banjo.
“I know what you’re all thinking Look at the Hollywood dilettante hitching a ride to the bluegrass gravy train,'” Martin said at the start of the concert.
Martin, who spoke to the audience as he tuned his banjos between songs, served as an excellent comedic foil to the Steep Canyon Rangers’ more serious stage presence, making them look like a group of suffering musicians under his delusional, almost diva-like aura.
“I met [the band] at a party in North Carolina,” Martin said. “However, that’s too boring for Hollywood, so I said we met in rehab, where we may actually meet one day.”
The concert was a mixture of upbeat jigs, played in the Scruggs style a hand position named after Earl Scruggs, who popularized a three-finger picking style and tender ballads, played in the clawhammer style. This was not to be confused with the kama sutra position, Martin joked.
“People ask me, Why a music career? Why now?'” Martin said, recalling the image of “sadness and melancholy” on his agent’s face when he said he was going on a banjo tour. Martin said, however, that it was the Steep Canyon Rangers who doubted him the most and questioned his career decision.
“Why? Why are you asking me?” Martin said. “You guys are my band.”
From audience reactions to Martin’s comedic quips between songs, it seemed that Martin himself was the main reason many audience members attended.
“I wanted to go because Steve Martin is an all-around beast,” Alexander Stockton ’15 said. “He’s a great writer, comedian and an amazing banjo player, and I wanted to see him in person.”
Stockton’s sentiment was echoed by residents of the Upper Valley who attended the concert.
“The main reason I came was to see Steve Martin,” Dan Lawrence, a resident of West Lebanon, said. “I’m not a bluegrass fan, but I love his career. He’s an amazingly talented guy.”
Martin, who is not new to the musical scene, having won a Grammy Award in 2003 for Best Country Instrumentalist, joked that he only learned what bluegrass was during the Steep Canyon Rangers’ sound check.
The Steep Canyon Rangers were formed out of the friendship between Platt and Guggino, according to Guggino.
“I grew up with Woody, our guitar player, and we met the other guys in college at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill,” Guggino said in an interview with The Dartmouth. “I grew up with music, played music my whole life, but never mandolin and never bluegrass. Actually, all of us didn’t really get into bluegrass until college.”
Despite the early success of the band, Platt stuck to his old job as a fly-fishing tour guide, which is how he met Martin’s future wife Anne Stringfield, Martin said during the concert. It was through this connection that the band would eventually meet Martin, according to Platt.
“We met [Martin] through his wife, who was a friend of ours before they got married,” Platt said in an interview with The Dartmouth. “She introduced us and shortly thereafter he heard our record and thought we were killer. He was looking for a band and wanted to try us out for a couple of gigs, and here we are, going on three years.”
Martin’s partnership with the band has done wonders for their popularity, Guggino said.
“[His presence] definitely helps with our notoriety,” he said. “When we go to play our own stuff without him, we definitely notice a drop in our audience.”
Martin called the Steep Canyon Rangers a “band with a celebrity” as opposed to a celebrity with a band. He also said that if the audience did not walk away loving bluegrass, they should look themselves in the mirror and think seriously about what “they can bring, as an audience member,” to the next concert.
Nearly all of the songs performed last night were composed by Martin, and he poked fun at his compositions by likening the concert to comedian Jerry Seinfeld performing his stand-up comedy routine on the bassoon.
Beyond the comedic components, the band was excellent. Martin himself was truly a sight to behold. Most of his songs, such as “The Great Remember,” were instrumental devoid of any “Weird Al” Yankovic parodies and ranged from tender ballads like “Love Has Come for You” to murder ballads like “Pretty Little One.”
Serious songs that recalled bluegrass’ gospel influences, however, were balanced by more comical, lighthearted songs that Martin composed about atheists. One of the more comical songs of the night was the ride of Paul Revere but told from the perspective of his horse, called “Me and Paul Revere,” which Martin said maintained “historical accuracy.”
In addition to Martin, fiddler Sanders was also a particularly noteworthy performer, bringing down the house during the encore when the band performed the bluegrass classic “Orange Blossom Special.” Sanders’ solo incorporated refrains from “Ode to Joy,” “Live and Let Die” and even the theme song from “The Simpsons.”
Martin joked that “encore” was a French word for, “You have not satisfied us. Please play more so we get our money’s worth.”
Martin’s performance with the Steep Canyon Rangers was brilliant, proving why their latest combination album “Rare Bird Alert” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s bluegrass chart.
It’s no longer possible to escape from the reality of a shrinking world. As bonds between the United States and the rest of the world become tighter, so too must the bonds between the rest of the world and Dartmouth. College President Jim Yong Kim’s appointment to the presidency of the World Bank has triggered a wave of interest in Dartmouth throughout the world. The College must now utilize the opportunity generated by this interest to enhance the value of the Dartmouth brand internationally.
It’s no longer as satisfying to graduate from Dartmouth, giving you a degree that only holds significance in the United States. As an increasing number of Dartmouth graduates begin to work in global markets and live in areas of the world far removed from the United States, the power of a globally recognized degree has taken on newfound importance. Currently, Dartmouth lags behind research universities such as Harvard and Yale Universities in terms of international name recognition, which gives graduates of those institutions an advantage in the international job market. When I was a high school student applying to colleges from London, the primary reason I was briefly enticed by Harvard was that a Harvard degree holds more value than a Dartmouth degree in the United Kingdom, purely because of the well-cultivated Harvard brand internationally.
Dartmouth’s deficit in international recognition is clearly not a reflection of a deficit in quality. It merely reflects the well-directed efforts that our rival institutions like Harvard have taken to develop their name globally. By contrast, Dartmouth isn’t applying itself to the international world as intensely as it needs to. The same qualities that convinced us to apply to Dartmouth must be publicized beyond the borders of the United States.
Creating an international brand need not come at the cost of sacrificing our unique identity as an undergraduate-focused institution. There are a number of approaches the administration can take that would promote Dartmouth worldwide while still preserving the undergraduate-based emphasis that lies at the heart of the College.
First, we must attract more applications from students outside of the United States. At my high school in England, we had an admissions officer from Harvard come to speak every year, but never once during my five years there did a Dartmouth representative visit. This lack of an informative presence internationally makes it hard for students outside of the United States to fully comprehend what it is that makes Dartmouth so special. There is a simple solution to this problem, which is simply for the Admissions Office to provide more funding for overseas visits. Although it might be difficult to achieve in the current budget climate, we can replace admissions officers with dedicated alumni and attain a similar effect.
Furthermore, we should focus on raising our profile through specific initiatives that would allow Dartmouth to differentiate itself globally. The partnership between Dartmouth and the Chinese government over health care delivery in China is the best possible illustration of such initiative (“College, Chinese Health Ministry pair for reform,” April 10). As Dartmouth pushes itself toward the forefront of health care, more and more people engaged in the issue will come to view Dartmouth as the leading institution we know it to be. Dartmouth spends nearly $200 million annually on research and has three of the best graduate schools in the country. Publicizing these facts doesn’t threaten our undergraduate focus.
The College should also encourage professors to submit their work internationally. There’s no reason why the opinions and research of Dartmouth professors shouldn’t grace the pages of Le Monde or The Times of London in addition to The New York Times. Similarly, the Dartmouth brand would benefit greatly from professors and senior administration officials traveling outside the United States on publicized visits. This weekend, Provost Carol Folt will be in London, a visit that will benefit Dartmouth to a greater degree beyond simply the money it raises.
Dartmouth’s unique identity as the isolated “College on the Hill” need not mean that we must close ourselves off from the rest of the world. Dartmouth undoubtedly offers one of the greatest college experiences achievable across the globe. It’s time to tell the world.
In 18 days, I will be graduating with the Class of 2012. I have many wishes for my last days here. There are many things I have always wanted to do, but I have somehow never found the time for them. One of my greatest hopes, however, relates to the speech I will hear on the day of Commencement. There is one message I would very much like to hear from the speaker. I want her to tell me, and my whole class, that we kind of suck.
Since the first day I arrived at Dartmouth, I have been met with proclamations about my own greatness and the greatness of my class as a whole. Flattery has been pervasive, inescapable. We are among the smartest people in the nation. We are so very talented. We will run the world one day. The future is in our hands. Every official ceremony I have ever attended here has become an occasion for celebrating our collective superiority. A little reflection might suggest that Dartmouth students are among the last people who need their egos stroked, but this has either been unrealized or ignored by the speakers at our ceremonies.
I find this practice problematic. I dislike it because it suggests a certain insecure overcompensation. After all, true greatness does not constantly need to be reassured of itself. This flattery is also problematic because it breeds in us a deep kind of complacency and self-satisfaction that inhibits the growth of important virtues, virtues that we will all surely need one day if we are to occupy all the positions of power Dartmouth seems to think we will.
To be sure, there is a healthy way of invoking my class’ probable future success. Reminding someone of their talents can be salutary as a call to repentance and self-improvement. As Spiderman tells us, “With great power comes great responsibility.” If declarations of our greatness were made solely in order to instill in us a greater sense of our responsibility, they would not bother me.
That kind of discourse might give us some humility and sober awe before our obligations. It might make us pause for a second to consider that we have been gifted far in excess of our merits and that we continually need to work harder to make ourselves worthy of our responsibilities to some degree.
The collective effort of Dartmouth’s self-congratulation has not usually been conducted in this spirit. Rather, we have been petted and fawned over in ways destined to breed pride, not humility.
And I think many of us are sick of it. I suspect that Conan O’Brien’s graduation speech last year was, in part, so well-received because he spoke frankly about failure. A reminder that we all will fail in some way or another was a refreshing break from the endlessly repeated mantras about our probable future success. Likewise, it would be a welcome message to remind graduating seniors that we don’t know as much as we think we do, that we aren’t as good of people as we think we are and that we are not currently worthy of the obligations and responsibilities many of us will assume.
People who flatter us are usually trying to sell us something. In our case, we are being sold on Dartmouth and the value of a Dartmouth education. We are being sold on being future financial contributors to the College. Don’t get me wrong I love Dartmouth, and I will contribute to it as much as I can financially. But love doesn’t have to be naive. Dartmouth prospers when its students think they are great. To acknowledge defects in the students is to acknowledge defects in the education they have received. So the flattery which I think is more or less unconsciously adopted is understandable.
But perhaps Dartmouth could prosper even more if its graduates possessed humility and a realistic grasp of their limits. The world is, at present, hardly suffering from an overabundance of trustworthy and humble leaders. I want to be reminded of my own inadequacy by our graduation speaker. Please don’t tell us we’re awesome just as we are. It’s the last thing we need to hear.
The median total compensation of 199 public college presidents surveyed by The Chronicle of Higher Education increased by nearly 3 percent during the 2010-2011 academic year, The New York Times reported. During this time, three chief executives of public colleges were paid over $1 million each, and the median pay of the surveyed presidents increased by 2.9 percent to $421,395. The median base pay increased by 1.3 percent to $383,800, The Times reported. E. Gordon Gee, the president of Ohio State University, earned $1,992,221 13 times the pay of the average professor at Ohio State in total compensation, according to The Times. Even on campuses facing budget cuts, presidents seems to be “insulated from the experience,” Chronicle reporter Jack Stripling said in an interview with The Times. These disparities have resulted in particularly heated debates over executive pay in the University of Minnesota and California State University systems, according to The Times.
The tax-exempt status of an organization affiliated with a fraternity at Bucknell University was revoked by the Internal Revenue Service, Inside Higher Education reported on Tuesday. The IRS ruled that Graystone University Housing Corporation, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity chapter at Bucknell, did not qualify for tax-exempt status because it only helped the fraternity maintain and operate its physical plant. Graystone was established in 2003 in an effort to raise money to renovate the fraternity’s plant while ensuring tax exemption on donations. Although the IRS backed tax exemption for Graystone twice on the premise that their activities facilitated an “educational pursuit,” it recently reversed this decision after determining that the company’s activities are predominantly social in nature, since living and dining support do not qualify for exemption purposes, according to Inside Higher Ed.
Colleges and language schools received a bulletin from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security stating that college-run language programs must provide evidence of specialized accreditation during their certification processes or they risk revocation of their ability to enroll international students, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program, a branch of Homeland Security that oversees the student visa system, now requires independent language schools to prove that they are in the process of applying for accreditation if they are not already accredited. Some college-run programs argue that they should automatically qualify for the visa system because they are part of larger institutions that already possess regional or national accreditation, according to The Chronicle. Educators say that earning accreditation can take a year or more, which could prevent foreign students, who often use college-run language programs as a point of entry to the United States, from studying in the country.
General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt ’78 participated in two panels alongside health care experts and local employers on Tuesday, stressing the need to “conquer the blob” of health care and reform current systems of health care delivery. Immelt also served as the keynote speaker for Tuesday’s “Accelerating Change for Delivery of High-Value Health Care” forum, hosted by the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science in Cook Auditorium.
A reliance on metrics, which are standardized performance indicators that assess treatment and care, will prove key to establishing common ground between employers, employees, health care providers and government agencies, according to Immelt.
“Defining good metrics is really important to drive the right behavior amongst patients and doctors,” Immelt said. “For an industry that has as many smart people as this industry has, we’re not moving with any force of will.”
Sustainable health care reform requires change on a local and not on a national level, according to Immelt. The private sector will also need to rethink its role as a “terrible consumer” of health care and become more involved in the decision-making process.
The sharing of “models, successes, experimentation and trial and error” among hospitals and health care centers, as well as innovation of both first-rate and cost-efficient technology, can help achieve affordability and encourage a market-based approach to health care, Immelt said.
“We’re investing in really neat, high-end technology, but we’re also investing in low-end, low-cost and low-price technology,” he said. “Good health care companies will be investing on both ends of the barbell. The market is going to decide where they go, but if people want to buy low-cost systems, we’re going to make them.”
The event featured two panels, the first of which brought together employers and experts in health care provision. The panelists included Director of the Center for Health Care Delivery Science Al Mulley ’70, Geisel School of Medicine professor Glyn Elwyn and Lucy Savitz, director of research and education at Intermountain Healthcare’s Institute for Health Care Delivery Research. In addition to Immelt, King Arthur Flour President and CEO Steve Voigt, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center President and CEO James Weinstein and Barbara Couch, vice president of social responsibility at the metal-cutting technology company Hypertherm, related their experiences as employers.
Several of the panelists discussed the need for increased transparency and data sharing among different health care groups.
“We’ve been talking a lot but in a very insular fashion, only to each other in our own communities and not across the line,” Savitz said. “If there are different sets of metrics for every community, it’s not going to help you as an employer. There needs to be some level of federal communication.”
Weinstein commended his fellow panelists for being open and willing to share data across these lines.
“Collaboration and cooperation are starting to occur because we do now see that the federal strategy is sustainable,” he said. “We have to find these new relationships to get the data to inform federal and non-federal people of what’s needed.”
Policymakers need to become more responsive to patients’ needs, according to Weinstein and Elwyn.
“Not only is it the right thing to do, but in most situations high costs will go down, litigation will go down, patient safety will go up, patients will love that you pay attention to what matters to them and doctors will get the satisfaction of getting their jobs right,” Elwyn said.
Individual patients’ stories are often powerful, and attention to detail can be coupled with broader reforms to the health care system, in turn creating a sustainable model.
Employers need health care providers to act more as “consultants,” a paradigm common to other consumer-supplier relationships in which suppliers assist consumers in defining needs, Voigt said in an interview with The Dartmouth.
Voigt said he is ready to transform the panelists’ ideas into action for himself and other small businesses, a move that will require “breaking out of the existing models” while maintaining good business practices and serving consumer needs, he said.
The second panel featured the same employers in addition to practicing doctors and medical professionals. Panelists included Srinivasan Aravind, who delivers decentralized optical care to patients in India through the Aravind Eye Care System, Iora Health President Rushika Fernandopulle and Geisel School professor Elizabeth Teisberg.
Only 5 percent of diabetes patients meet five metrics for proper care in the United States, a statistic that indicates an “enormous failure,” Fernandopulle said. The problem lies in a lack of effective delivery mechanisms in the existing systems, he said.
“We need to help patients navigate the system and do the shared decision-making,” he said. “Current primary care systems are fragmentary, reactive and under-resourced.”
More effort and funding must be devoted to preventative primary care so that this can serve as a resource as a “lever” for the rest of the system, according to Fernandopulle. Such a change will require one-on-one discussions and increased expenditure on primary care from its current level, which amounts to 4 percent of the national health care budget.
“What everyone talks about is improvement, but perhaps what we really need is innovation,” he said. “The way we build airplanes isn’t to put wings on cars we simply build airplanes. We need to be able to manage chronic conditions better and keep people out of the downstream stuff.”
Shifting the mindsets of patients and health care providers while implementing “new language in a new conversation” are the most important steps toward lasting change, Teisberg said in an interview with The Dartmouth.
Immelt said he is eager to experiment with models like Fernandopulle’s primary care system when he begins opening on-site health care facilities at GE plants in the near future.
“In the end, we’re looking to improve quality and lower cost, in the whole system and on the micro level,” he said. “I think if we’re allowing this important industry or social challenge to be mismanaged, we’re going to end up with poor access, poor quality and poor outcomes, and that’s bad for all of us.
Immelt visited Dartmouth last summer, and his participation in the “Leading Voices in Politics and Policy” strategic planning lecture series sparked protest from students, staff and faculty.
While no protestors attended Tuesday’s event, history professor Russell Rickford said it is a “glaring inconsistency and glaring hypocrisy” for corporate leaders to discuss health care at Dartmouth when the College’s own benefit package is “substandard.”
“On one hand, Dartmouth is trying to position itself as a global leader in terms of health care, but on the other hand there’s the contradiction that many of its own workers are really suffering with these inadequate benefits and inadequate health care,” Rickford said. “It’s audacious that leaders of some of the wealthiest corporations in the country and in the world, many of which have avoided paying any real taxes and which have been shuttling jobs out of the U.S. into the third world, would sit around the table discussing the mutual benefits between employers and employees regarding health care.”