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University split over Korean-American World Bank candidate

HANOVER, New Hampshire  (AFP) – Dartmouth College students, returning from spring break, were divided over President Obama’s decision to nominate their president to lead the World Bank.

Jim Yong Kim, a Korean-American who became the first Asian-American to lead a prestigious Ivy League university, began his tenure at Dartmouth in 2009 as something of a rock star, a reflection of his success in tackling global health problems.

His glitter however dimmed earlier this year when a senior alleged that a Dartmouth fraternity required pledges to eat vomit-filled omelets and swim in a kiddie pool of bodily fluids. Critics accused Kim of doing little to prevent such behavior.

“It’s like he’s being saved from having the fix the (alleged hazing) problems by getting this new job,” said Taylor Payer, 19, a freshman who is a member of Occupy Dartmouth, an offspring of the movement against excessive corporate profits. “I’m happy that we may get a new president who will address the problems.”

But Drew Jones, a 21-year-old senior, defended Kim.

“It’s hard to know everything that is going on with students. You don’t have eyes and ears on everything,” said Jones. He said that he’s proud his college’s president has been nominated to lead the World Bank.

Several students said they learned about Kim’s nomination on Facebook. One contributor quipped that Kim used Dartmouth as a stepping stone for a banking job, the same way many Dartmouth students do.

Others students learned via a short email from Kim, which he said it will be “very difficult” to leave Dartmouth, which was founded in 1769 and is one of eight elite Ivy League universities.

Kim, a Harvard-educated physician, is known as a fast-paced visionary.

He is credited with steering Dartmouth through a severe budget shortfall and attracting a $35 million gift to create the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science, which enlists the business, medical and engineering schools in finding better ways to deliver high-quality health care services.

He also launched the National College Health Improvement Project, in which 32 colleges and universities are working to reduce high-risk drinking and other campus problems.

The Dartmouth president also has a playful side: he once dressed in white leather, sunglasses and gloves to perform the robot dance in a Dartmouth Idol event.

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Posted by on Mar 24 2012. Filed under American Politics, Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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