(Host) The Dartmouth College community is reacting today to news that their President, Jim Yong Kim, has been nominated by President Obama to head the World Bank.
Kim has been at Dartmouth for only about two years. He would leave behind supporters and detractors. As VPR’s Charlotte Albright found when she visited the campus this afternoon.
(Albright) Bob Hager, the veteran, globe-trotting NBC newsman, is an alumnus of Dartmouth who has retired to Woodstock. He thinks President Obama has picked the right man for a tough job.
(Hager) "I think it’s a great choice. Dartmouth will be very sad to lose this man, but I think it’s a great choice for the position because the third world has been saying that it’s a corporate-centered organization and it needs to be much more sensitive to the third world. And here you have a man with a great humanitarian record. I think it’s a great choice."
(Albright) Kim is a medical doctor and anthropologist. Hager says the alumni value his intellect and speaking skills. But Hager notes that some Dartmouth employees have been less enthusiastic about Kim’s leadership because he has been forced to cut a lot of jobs to balance the college budget.
(Albright) Sunbathing on the campus green, two sisters, both students, disagree about the legacy Kim will leave if he gets the World Bank job.
Emi Weed is a junior who had high hopes for President Kim, but has been frustrated by administrative decisions that have left students out of the loop when it comes to choosing, for example, campus email servers.
(Emi Weed) "I think there’s been a lot of things that really should have been discussed with the students body; he really should have been more open to us and in my opinion he’s really failed with that. And I think maybe if he had more time, something might get better. But already there’s been so much change that I think has not been positive that I think it would be better if we started over."
(Albright) But Emi’s sister Holli, a sophomore, has valued what she sees as Kim’s priority to stamp out unhealthy drinking and sexual assault on campus.
(Holli Weed) "And so I think it would be a real shame and I would be aghast if he left because he does have the chance to do something great here. And if we do get a new president, they are going to have to figure out the campus and they might not have the same priorities he does. And that for me would be really sad."
(Albright) While Kim is not the only nominee to head the World Bank, most observers expect that he will get the job. Kim declined media interviews after appearing alongside President Obama at a White House announcement.
For VPR News, I’m Charlotte Albright, in Hanover.