Some readers have taken me to task for my coverage of President Schapiro’s service on the board of directors of Marsh & Mclennan as well as my related comments on Dean Roseman’s work on the board of St Paul Travelers. Feedback, as always, is welcome.

But this criticism also provides me with an excuse to document a claim that I have made before. No one has written more public words of praise of Morty’s performance than I have. To recap: Among the many reasons why Morty has been an outstanding president of Williams are:

his support of First Days; his positive influence in decreasing the number of admissions tips; his insights about the rise in merit-based scholarships; his ability to explain a collective action problem; his competence in handling campus controversies; his representation of the College in the national media; his choices with regard to the College’s Bicentential Medals; his deep concern about the quality of a Williams education; his expertise on issues of the financing of higher education; his skill as a writer; his honorable intentions; his interest in match-making; his teaching ability; knowing the words to The Mountains; his support of the tutorial program; his interaction with College Council; his helpfulness with alumni questions; his selection of campus speakers. And on and on.

Of course, I don’t know for a fact that Morty deserves credit for everything on this list. Perhaps, behind the scenes, he was against the improvements in the First Days program. Also, some of these compliments are more substantitive than others. Still, as best I can tell from a distance, Morty has done an excellent job as president of Williams. I do not expect that Williams will be lucky enough to have a significantly better president in my lifetime.

None of this is inconsistent, I think, with my recent commentary. Just because Morty has done a wonderful job in general over the past 5 years is no reason to believe that he is right about everything. Either the faculty handbook should be amended to make it clear that non-modest outside employment — such as board service at large companies — is allowed or Morty (and Dean Roseman) should resign their board memberships.

I am still uncertain which of these two outcomes would be better for the College.

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