December 1–3, 2011

Committee chair Jay Miller ’82 opened the meeting and welcomed everybody.

Professor Andrew Samwick, director of the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy, gave a presentation on “Leadership Development & the Curriculum.” Professor Samwick has been thinking for some time about how to integrate leadership development in a systemic way. He joined the Dartmouth faculty in 1994, and in 2003 took a year’s leave to join the Council of Economic Advisors (White House) as chief economist. With so many great minds working on the council, knowledge certainly wasn’t the “scarce commodity in the room”; the constraint was how to use the political process to improve the economic environment. This theme has informed his work since he returned to the Dartmouth faculty; not just regarding the dissemination of knowledge, but how to get things done in terms of turning knowledge into effective outcomes. Professor Samwick noted that the United States needs to mobilize university graduates, and Dartmouth is uniquely positioned to do this, as is reflected in its mission statement. He said that leadership is “the process of influencing and organizing a group to mobilize its resources toward accomplishing an identified goal.”

Professor Samwick hired Barbara Kellerman, a Harvard professor and author of Leadership: Essential Selections on Power, Authority, and Influence, to teach a public policy class on leadership learning. She stresses communications, negotiation, decision-making skills and managing and mobilizing change. He emphasized that there are four elements within the teaching process that help develop leaders:

  • Rigorous environment in which to learn knowledge and skills;
  • Consequential opportunities to apply knowledge;
  • Critical and constructive feedback; and
  • Time to reflect on lessons learned.

The Rockefeller Center supports the following programs in and out of the classroom:

  • First-year fellows;
  • Policy research shop;
  • Vote Clamantis voter registration and turnout drive;
  • Leadership Fellows;
  • Minor in public policy leadership;
  • Exposure to best writing and reading in theory and practice of leadership
  • Three-course sequence with “Foundations of Leadership,” “Leadership  in Civil Society,” and “Leadership in Political Institutions”;
  • A first-year writing seminar on foreign policy;
  • Internships in Washington, DC; and
  • Summer internship program matches students to alumni mentors.

The Policy Research Shop:

  • Supports the legislative process in New Hampshire and Vermont with objective, non-partisan research;
  • Fills in a gap in knowledge at the state level;
  • Gives students an opportunity to distribute research to legislators and participate in testimony before legislative committees; and
  • Tests the boundary of objective analysis. 

The Rockefeller Leadership Fellows:

  • Is open to any seniors who have demonstrated leadership on campus (not just social sciences); and
  • Emphasizes philanthropy, running and managing a meeting, negotiation.

All these programs operate on a small footprint, but the commitment is time-consuming and intense. Rockefeller recently received agiftto enhance its offerings to impact a greater number of students. Rockefeller hosted the October 11 GOP Presidential debate, which became a leadership opportunity for the large number of students who worked on it. The public policy minor has increased from 60 to 500 students, largely due to course offerings in leadership development. 

Professors Bruce Sacerdote ’90 and Tom Cormen gave a presentation on “Athletics and Technology in Pedagogy” to the committee. Professor Sacerdote said that students learn a lot from the athletic program: leadership, teamwork, value of hard work, time management. At the end of the day, these students keep their eye on the ball and will listen to authority figures and accept feedback. Athletes understand tradeoffs in life. Overall, they are raising the reputation of the institution, much as the Dartmouth Aires have done through the recent Sing-Off TV competition. It was noted that the coaches seem to like Athletic Director Harry Sheehy. Dartmouth is challenged because of the many intercollegiate sports we support. Athletes are totally integrated into the Dartmouth community, unlike some major public universities.

The committee meeting closed with a discussion about potential topics for the spring meeting.