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From Executive Director

A bumper sticker I spotted a few years ago carried a simple statement that sums up life in New Hampshire: “20 below keeps the riff-raff out”. What may seem like an exaggeration to those outside of Northern New England, has been a reality for us during this very cold winter of 2011. The blue skies and bright winter light belie the bitter temperatures that have students and faculty happily hunkered down in the library with a research project, or clustered together over a cup of coffee discussing issues of the day. Perhaps, like our most celebrated neighbor, J.D. Salinger, another great American novelist is emerging during the long winter quiet; or in our case, another ethics bowl championship!

The 2010-2011 academic year will bring a close to the work that Ron Green has provided to the Ethics Institute for over twenty years. Ron will step down as the faculty director and return to his duties as a professor in the religion department. He leaves behind a legacy that cannot be easily captured, his dedication to ethics and the growth of Dartmouth’s Ethics Institute is simply immeasurable. Upon Ron’s decision to return to the religion department full time, I worked with the Provost and the Advisory Board to determine how the future of the institute could best be staffed. We are delighted to announce that the structure of the Institute will be modified to include a “faculty fellow” position, rather than a "faculty director". The appointment allows a Dartmouth faculty member to work on a project that has a strong ethics component, as well as conduct faculty working groups and student discussion groups. The search committee spent the fall term reviewing applications from a wide range of extremely qualified faculty and, in the end, chose Government Department Professor Russ Muirhead as the Ethics Institute Faculty Fellow for the 2011-2012 academic year. Russ brings a vibrant interest in ethics to the institute, and we are thrilled to have him join us!

Winter term is busy: the ethics across the curriculum seminar is in full swing, graduate ethics training begins in February, ethics minors are preparing their senior projects, and the undergraduate “ethics bowl” team is preparing for the national competition in early March. During the spring break I will be heading to Oxford, where I have been invited to serve as a visiting scholar; I will live in C.S. Lewis’ Oxford home, The Kilns, and work on a research project with colleagues at Oxford. After nearly ten years at Dartmouth this will be my first extended absence from campus, but a much needed period for deep concentration on a worthy project. I will return at the end of March and resume the full schedule of activities that we have planned for the term.

Best wishes,




Last Updated: 1/31/11