Dartmouth names interim president - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Dartmouth names interim president

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Carol Folt Carol Folt

If you ask Dartmouth students their opinion of President Jim Yong Kim you'll get mixed reaction.

Kim's departure from Dartmouth this July to run the World Bank will bring a brief 3-year chapter as college president abruptly to an end.

"His focus has not been on any kind of institutional change or on really paying attention to the communities that need more support here," said Nathan Gusdorf, a senior.

"As a president he focused on closing the budget deficit that we had after the crisis and he did that really well," said Guilherme Ferraz, a sophomore.

Kim directed Provost Carol Folt to close the $100 million deficit, which she successfully helped accomplish. She has now been tapped by Dartmouth's board of trustees to transition the college from the "Kim Era" as interim president.

"A big priority of mine and for the board is to see that strategic planning process to come to conclusion in a way that keeps the momentum going," Folt said.

Folt says differing opinions of students-- whether about leadership or how to tackle tough issues like hazing-- is what college is all about.

"I think the chaos of a college or university is what makes them special places. People argue. We want people to argue. They are critical because they aren't going to except status quo," Folt said.

One of her first big challenges when she assumes office July 1 may be negotiating a new contract with the employees union on campus. The talks have already begun.

"We would like to think that Carol will hear more of what we have been saying," said Earl Sweet, the president of the SEIU local 560.

Sweet is hopeful Folt will. She came to Dartmouth as a faculty member in 1983 and still interacts with students on lab research.

"She certainly has got the pulse of Dartmouth College-- more than, I think, President Kim did," Sweet said.

Though Folt has only praise for the man whose shoes she will soon fill.

"He's been extremely important here and I think he will continue to have a strong influence at Dartmouth because he is now a part of Dartmouth," Folt said.

The process has already begun to find a permanent replacement for President Kim and Thursday, Dartmouth's board of trustees is expected to announce the person who will lead that search.

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