Dartmouth College Apparently Not a Great Place to Work

The Chronicle of Higher Education has released its annual list of Great Colleges to Work For, and Dartmouth failed to make the cut. The College was similarly absent from the 2010 and 2009 versions of the list. With some 110 schools chosen from among all the 4 and 2-year schools in the country, this absence is perhaps not as bad as it may look. Within the Ivy League, only Harvard made the list; Notre Dame, Michigan, and Duke also made the cut among elite schools. The only New Hampshire school to measure up was Southern New Hampshire University. The list as a whole is favorable towards the eastern United States, with only 28 schools west of the Mississippi and just 7 in the Rocky Mountain states and West Coast. Whether this is due to a genuine superiority, a greater willingness for eastern colleges to respond to the survey, or simply the greater proliferation of colleges in eastern states is not clear. In fact, it’s not even certain that Dartmouth participated in the Chronicle’s survey, since it is stated that only 245 4-year schools took part. That means two possibilities stand out:

1. The College refused to take part. It seems odd that the College would avoid the chance to earn more prestige, though, unless it feared looking bad in the attempt.

2. The College’s employees simply do not like it enough for it to land on the Chronicle’s list.

There are several ways to interpret the second possibility. On the one hand, the Review and others have repeatedly pointed out that the College should remain student-focused and not focused on maintaining a bloated administration or giving in to unreasonable faculty demands. On the other hand, having happy professors helps the College to attract and keep the best faculty, and a reputation as a great environment would add to the College’s prestige. 

Ultimately, coming to any sort of judgment about the College’s non-presence requires at least knowing whether the College took part. The Review is currently investigating.

–Blake Neff