Tuck COVID-19 Information and Campus Updates

End of Week Update from Dean Slaughter


October 2, 2020

Dear Tuck Students,

The colorful fall foliage in the Upper Valley always coincides with the fall term hitting its full stride.  This week and next week, I want to share a thought with each class about the learning that is the heart of your MBA experience.  This week, let me start with the T’22s.

You first-year students are fully immersed in the final days of Fall A; congratulations on writing your Man Ec final exam today.  At a time where many of you may feel stretched, I want to put your current learning efforts into the broader Tuck context.  The rigor and structure of the first-year core curriculum has been designed with your success as the highest priority, with care for your needs all along the way, and with every confidence in your abilities.

First, the core has been designed for you to achieve success.  When the Tuck School launched our broad review of the first-year experience two years ago, we surveyed hundreds of alumni.  One clear message that we heard from them was the marketplace benefits that our core’s renowned rigor delivers: success in interviews for summer internships; success in performing well in and thus gaining full-time offers from those internships; and success in career progression for years beyond Tuck.  This first-year review led to sweeping refinements to the core curriculum that you are currently benefitting from – such as the creation of Data Analytics and Managing People.  But the overall rigor of the core we did not relax, in no small part because of how strongly our alumni believe in how their overall learning contributed to their career success.

Second, the core has been designed with care for your needs all along the way.  The faculty bring great empathy and understanding, not just in delivering each course but also in coordinating across courses important matters such as the timing of exams and other key deliverables.  The School has crafted study groups to be dynamic forums of teaching and learning that complement the classrooms.  And the MBA Program Office always stands ready: to match you with a second-year tutor, or to support any other needs you may have for your health and well-being.

Third, the core has been designed with every confidence in your abilities.  Every one of you first-year students earned admission to Tuck with our full expectation that you can navigate our core curriculum.  We are not a school that believes in forced cuts.  We believe that you can get this!  Do know that much of this confidence reflect the experienced empathy of Tuck faculty and staff, so many of whom earlier in life navigated similar rigors in earning our PhDs, MBAs, and JDs.

For example, I entered the economics PhD program at MIT with very modest quantitative training.  I hadn’t taken calculus since high school, and I unwisely chose not to attend the pre-program “math camp.”  I distinctly remember my very first class: the opening session of the program’s Man Ec.  After about 30 minutes of future Nobel laureate Daniel McFadden filling the blackboard with the foundations of consumer preferences in elegant but to me indecipherable calculus, a wave of worry washed over me as I thought, “Why did I choose a golfing road-trip over math camp?”  But thanks to extra help from my professors and from the study group of fellow poet classmates, I completed the first-year core.  Yes, I passed with my lowest grades ever – and, I suspect, the lowest grades of any of my 29 classmates.  But I stretched myself academically like never before; I built a rigorous foundation that serves me to this day; and I felt empowered to jump into my second-year electives.

T’21s, enjoy a safe break next week.  T’22s, every best wish finishing Fall A.  And, a good weekend to all.


Dartmouth has formed a high-level task force to plan for and manage possible disruptions related to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, monitor federal and state recommendations, implement guidance, and communicate with our community.

More information on COVID-19