Old Wine in New Bottles:

Zak Moore notes the newest buzzword on college campuses in the context of Dartmouth's presidential search:

The first questioner, a student, opened with a question about sustainability. His concern the "future green leader of our Big Green." The manner of questioning and pre-planned question was very trite, and someone humorously commented to me that "hearing 'sustainability' today is like hearing 'proletariat' when I went to school."

BTW, Dartmouth alumni who would like to suggest names or criteria to guide our search can do so here. These comments are forwarded along to the trustees in due course and I know that I, for one, read them.

Kissed off:
The college should worry more about the sustainability of its fundraising after its decision to kiss off a large number of alumni and ram its new trustee policy through.
10.6.2008 3:10pm
I thought the buzzword of choice was "diversity." Is it "sustainability" now? Did I miss the memo?
10.6.2008 3:16pm
Both seem to me to be equal. As a general rule, I think information content of any statement containing either word is very close to zero.
10.6.2008 3:21pm
astrangerwithcandy (mail):
does the young leftist's mind turn into an orgasmic goo upon hearing the phrase "diverse sustainability"
10.6.2008 3:54pm
Bill Twist:
What about sustainable diversity?
10.6.2008 4:16pm
Bill McGonigle (www):
The list sounded like it was designed by committee and there was great elasticity in the phrase admitting that no particular human would embody all of the traits. It seemed like a nice way to make everybody happy in the room, though I'm not sure to what degree it actually helps the search.

I did submit a name for consideration back in the springtime, and that candidate seems to fit many of these criteria, though that may just be rose-colored glasses.

I do think that there will be major sustainability changes to the 'College' experience over the next two decades that will involve the Internet and not housing kids for four years, as that comes to be seen as a technological limitation now overcome (think 'I terms'), so 'sustainability' is probably not an awful consideration, should it really have meaning. Putting thermostats on the third floor of the dorms would be a good start, though - I remember sleeping thorough one winter with the windows open at 15 below. On a recent tour of the steam plant they talked about the number of oil trunks per day required to keep the College from freezing!
10.6.2008 4:41pm
Dartmouth needs to find a president who is biodegradable. Hard to imagine that this would pose much of a challenge.
10.6.2008 5:40pm
Kissed Off:
Great idea Bill. Students can take 12 I-terms and Dartmouth can rename itself the University of Phoenix.
10.6.2008 6:22pm
CTYankee (mail):
Never mind "sustainability." "Passionate" is the number one buzzword these days. And the students who claim so much passion about everything seem completely devoid of it.
10.6.2008 7:41pm
"Passionate supporter of sustainable diversity" would be the trifecta, I suppose.
10.6.2008 8:08pm
richard cabeza:
PoMo is all about "passion" about vacuous, intellect-destroying theories of human nature. After all, if you're passionate about something that matters, you're validating the traditional patriarchal power-structure that oppresses all free-thinking nihilists and must be crushed under the steel fist of radical activists of social justice for the benefit of the underprivileged underclass who are discriminated against and must be cared for as children at the compassionate teat of the world redistributionalist government.
10.6.2008 8:09pm
rich r (mail):
"Sustainability" is not a new buzzword; it was already one when I started college more than a decade ago.
10.6.2008 10:05pm
Bill McGonigle (www):
Kissed Off: your reductio ad absurdum ignores the need for hands-on work in many courses. It also ignores the need to keep the current dorms full, though they don't currently satisfy the demand. But I guess MIT, Stanford, and Yale's nascent steps in this direction are misguided and technology will stand still over the next decade or two. You're probably not familiar with the current D-plan either, where students manage to learn despite being off-campus on various programs, but you may be familiar with the cost curve of higher education which isn't sustainable.
10.7.2008 5:08am