Thursday, June 08, 2006

Good Press for the Home Team

Courtesy of Brendan Murray at Bloomberg News, "Dartmouth Outshines Ivy League Rivals on Bush's Economic Team." I stand by my quote in the article (as it pertains to the alumni, not the former members of my department):

Unlike the Harvard or University of Chicago ties to the earlier administrations, Dartmouth's connection to this White House is more coincidental than ideological. Paulson, 60, graduated with an English degree in 1968, and Portman, 50, studied anthropology in the class of 1979.

"It's a very nice thing that the college is getting this sort of attention, but I don't think there's a common thread through all this,'' said Dartmouth economist Andrew Samwick, who was chief economist of the Council of Economic Advisers from 2003 to 2004.

Nonetheless, the college's reach has extended recently into central banks. Timothy Geithner, 44, a 1983 graduate with a degree in government and Asian studies, has been president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York since 2003. And Dartmouth Professor David Blanchflower, 54, last month became the newest member of the Bank of England's policy-setting committee.
The common thread, if there is one, is the one Daniel Webster, Class of 1801, pronounced nearly 200 years ago before the Supreme Court:
It is, Sir, as I have said, a small college. And yet there are those who love it!"
It is as true today as it was in 1818.

UPDATE: The original link was broken, so here's the text:
June 8 (Bloomberg) -- The John F. Kennedy administration had its Harvard clique of advisers. The Ronald Reagan White House had the "Chicago school'' of economists. On President George W .Bush's economic team, "Big Green'' -- Dartmouth College -- rules.

High-profile alumni of the Hanover, New Hampshire, school include Henry Paulson, named last week by Bush to be Treasury secretary, and new White House budget director Rob Portman. Two of the three members of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers came from Dartmouth's faculty, as did a former CEA chief economist. Raul Yanes, tapped last week by Bush to be legal adviser and staff secretary, is a Dartmouth grad.

Dartmouth, the smallest of the eight Ivy League schools, is overshadowing rival universities Harvard, Princeton and Yale, which combined boast 14 U.S. presidents among their graduates. Dartmouth's ties to a president who plays down his own elite academic pedigree -- Bush has degrees from Yale and Harvard --are partly a result of its focus on researching issues from health-care to trade policy that are increasingly crucial to government, professors said.

"The Dartmouth economics department puts a lot of emphasis on policy-relevant research, and that fosters both faculty involvement and students who go on to contribute in government,'' said Katherine Baicker, 35, who taught at Dartmouth for seven years before joining the Council of Economic Advisers along with Dartmouth professor Matthew Slaughter, 37.

Just Coincidence

Unlike the Harvard or University of Chicago ties to the earlier administrations, Dartmouth's connection to this White House is more coincidental than ideological. Paulson, 60,graduated with an English degree in 1968, and Portman, 50, studied anthropology in the class of 1979.

"It's a very nice thing that the college is getting this sort of attention, but I don't think there's a common thread through all this,'' said Dartmouth economist Andrew Samwick, who was chief economist of the Council of Economic Advisers from 2003 to 2004.

Nonetheless, the college's reach has extended recently into central banks. Timothy Geithner, 44, a 1983 graduate with adegree in government and Asian studies, has been president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York since 2003. And Dartmouth Professor David Blanchflower, 54, last month became the newest member of the Bank of England's policy-setting committee.

Only Ivy College

The liberal-arts college's student body of about 4,100 undergraduates is about a third the size of the largest IvyLeague school, Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Dartmouth is also the only Ivy League school that calls itself a college rather than a university, a title that hasn't changed since it was chartered by King George III of Britain in 1769.

The charter document declared the school's mission to be, in part, the instruction of Indian tribal youth in "all parts of learning which shall appear necessary and expedient for civilizing and Christianizing children of pagans.''

Nowadays, many of Dartmouth's graduates also seek work in investment banking, most of them products of the Tuck School ofBusiness, which placed ninth in U.S. News & World Report's 2007 rankings of U.S. business-school programs.

"We tend to be very practically oriented and policy-oriented, so that makes us useful as a place to tap into in just about any administration, Democrat or Republican,'' said Doug Irwin, a Dartmouth historian and economics professor.

From Reich to Ingraham

Robert Reich, Labor secretary in the Clinton administration, and Laura Ingraham, a conservative talk-show host and former speechwriter for the Reagan administration, went to the college, as did Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and chief executive officer of Fairfield, Connecticut-based General Electric Co. Prominent Big Green graduates in journalism include David Shribman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Paul Gigot, editor of the Wall Street Journal's editorial page.

Dartmouth's approximately 400 faculty members for undergraduate studies aren't known for adhering to a single school of thought in economics or a particular political persuasion, Dartmouth economist Andrew Bernard said.

"What we have is a large number of very good applied researchers,'' Bernard said. "And they make really good candidates for policy positions because they've been dealing with real-world issues.''

1 comment:

Arun Khanna said...

To keep the Dartmouth success story going, business school at your place should start a new center for public service governance that mirrors the corporate governance center you guys have already. With some bouncing of ideas across the two tables, many more Dartmouth alumni should be able to reach both sides of the Potomac.