Thursday, May 31, 2007

Faster, Alumni Council! Kill! Kill!

Neukom, Routhier Hope to Curtail Alumni Participation in Trustee Elections on June 10.

Note: Here is what we hope is a more thorough treatment of this emerging story. Most of this is the work of Emily Ghods '09.

Update: Some of Scott Meacham's corrections below are well-taken. In particular: (a) the 1891 agreement is not a 'charter.' (b) the phrase 'stakeholders' is misleading and has been removed (c) the trustees themselves finally are the ones who 'elect' other trustees, though clearly, in the past years, the alumni vote has exerted a considerable influence.

Update: Welcome InstaPundit readers.
Dartlog is the official blog of The Dartmouth Review, Dartmouth's only independent newspaper.

Petition candidate Stephen Smith ’88’s recent accession to Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees has inspired the unhappy Alumni Council and the Board of Trustees to change the rules by which trustees are elected. As outlined in two speeches given during the Alumni Council’s annual Green Key meeting in Hanover this year, the Board may take drastic measures during their June 10th meeting to revamp the current election system for alumni trustees.

The current system of selecting trustees, which has been the same for the past 116 years, is stipulated by the 1891 agreement of the Alumni Association, reproduced here. While most universities’ board members are chartered or appointed, Dartmouth is unique in that one half of its Board members are actually effectively elected by alumni because of the stipulations of the 1891 agreement. In 1891 half of the board was five; today it is eight. In 2004, the alumni elected T. J. Rodgers '70, industrialist and the first petition candidate in a series of four that has swept trustee elections over the past four years. In 2003, the Board voted to expand its size from 16 to 22. Since then and pursuant to that 1891 agreement, seats have been added to maintain the half-and-half balance on the Board between alumni-elected Trustees and charter Trustees. The Alumni Council hopes to change this provision, and, according to comments made at their annual meeting, everything is on the table, from reverting to a Board that is wholly appointed to impairing the ability of independent candidates to win a spot on the Board, to a moratorium on elections.

This past Green Key, May 19-20, , the Alumni Council gathered for its annual meeting in Hanover, as is customary. This occurred just a few days after the Board of Trustee’s election polls closed on May 15. At their meeting over Green Key weekend, two important speeches were made that have the potential to mark Dartmouth College’s governance system in a permanent way, which will forever change the College’s course.

The president of the Nominating Committee, Richard Routhier ‘73, gave the first speech. The Nominating Committee is responsible for selecting the slate of trustee candidates whenever an election to the Board of Trustees occurs. These “official” candidates differ from “petition” candidates, like Smith, in that petition candidates are not selected by the Nominating Committee; rather, they enter the race without the endorsement of the governance system, if they can garner the support of at least 500 college alumni, as documented by the 500 signatures that constitute their petition. In this past election, the Nominating Committees slate consisted of the following candidates: Richard L. "Sandy" Alderson '69, the CEO of the San Diego Padres; Sherri C. Oberg '82, Tuck '86, the CEO and co-founder of Acusphere; and Ambassador John S. Wolf '70, the president of the Eisenhower Fellowships.

In his speech during public Plenary Session, Routhier explained that the Nominating Committee has not, for the past three elections (in which four candidates were elected), selected slate members that could win the support of their peers. The members of the Nominating Committee, he explained, feel that given the advantage that the petition candidates have (this, though they are normally up against three or four officially selected candidates) and the cost of campaigning (one member estimated that Stephen Smith spent $150-200,000 on his campaign), the committee would be unable to put forth any qualified candidates in the future. Given this, Routhier recommended that the responsibility for creating a different system of nominating candidates for trustee should be given to the Board of Trustees. After this dramatic proposal, John Daukas ‘84, who will soon head the Nominating Committee, appealed for cooler heads to prevail, saying that in the shock of the loss to Smith, hasty decisions should not be made. Routhier’s assumption is that if the Nominating Committee’s hand-picked candidates cannot win under the historic rules, there must be a problem with the rules, not the committee’s selections. Routhier plans to document his assertions in a report that he will present to the Board of Trustees, who will meet on June 10th 2007, during commencement weekend.

The second speech of the meeting was given by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, William Neukom ‘64, whose term will end on June 10th. In his speech, Neukom marked a point of departure from Routhier’s reformative speculations and seemed to be threatening the 1891 agreement itself. The tone of the speech was one of comfort and consolation for those in the council who opposed Stephen Smith’s election. Neukom began by reporting that the Board had voted to seat Stephen Smith. He stated, without praising Smith or offering congratulations, that the Board would work together in a “civil” manner. He then announced that the Governance Committee of the Board has been meeting for a year and assured everyone that reform was in process that would give Dartmouth the "best board." Strangely, this committee was more or less secret: first, the committee’s existence was not disclosed to the public; second, the committee’s existence was deliberately withheld from the trustees who were elected to the board via petition. Following the meeting, Neukom sent out an e-mail to various council members in which he outlined the essence of his speech, as described above. After Neukom's address, the next speaker praised the emphasis on "keeping all options open" as exactly right. In a question, Frank Gado ‘58 mentioned the accord of 1891, to which the speaker responded "Nonsense" and "What nonsense" before asserting that Dartmouth had to adapt to modern times and that Dartmouth should do without trustees who lack needed expertise and are selected by alumni who are not informed about the operation of a modern university.

Neukom’s secret committee will compile its “findings”—what was just described in this article—and present them in a report to the Board’s meeting on June 10th, along with Routhier’s report; both reports will advise the board to alter the current system of electing trustees since the most recently elected ones do not adhere to the current establishment’s views. After his speech, a session of question and answer followed during which Joseph Asch ’79 asked Neukom the following question repeatedly: will the report and solutions that he offers to the Board on June 10th honor the 1891 agreement—that the numerical balance of appointed and elected trustees be maintained? Each time, Neukom responded evasively. When pressed by Asch, he was not only demonstrably infuriated but implied that a cap could be placed on the number of elected trustees. In turn, Asch said, “So the condensed version is ‘No.’” Neukom responded, “Joe, I said the Board is keeping all options open.” At this, the Alumni Council broke out into applause.

The message that Routhier and Neukom wish to deliver to the Board is that the alumni trustee election process is broken, because petition candidates continue to win elections, and it needs to be fixed according to whatever propositions the two men include in their reports. Some possible “solutions” include making it more difficult for petition candidates to secure a spot on the ballot, imposing new requirements for slated candidates such as donor status, or imposing a moratorium on electing Trustees—all of which make it nearly impossible for a candidate to be nominated to the slate who is not given the imprimatur of the Alumni Council. The nuclear option that may be proposed is that the entire system of alumni electing one half of the trustee board is flawed and needs to be replaced by a system where all Board members are appointed to the board. That is, the 1891 agreement should be discarded. This raises the eminent possibility that the current board members will replace the current democratic system with a ‘benevolent’ oligarchic system; the Board could vote on June 10th to change a major part of Dartmouth governance.

It is highly likely that the proposed measures, whatever they are,—likely one of the above—will be voted upon at the June 10th meeting. The Board merely requires a majority of its members to support these measures, and given that only one fourth of the Board is composed of petition candidates, it is likely that it will pass.

The Daily Dartmouth’s treatment of these matters was slipshod as usual. The main source for William Schpero’s article was clearly William Neukom himself. Moreover, Schpero missed the major part of the story, which is that the Alumni Council's Nominating Committee, in the wake of Stephen Smith's victory, was giving the trustees power it had hitherto held itself. Here is how Neukom spun it:

‘I may have described the jurisdiction of the governance committee,’ Neukom recalled saying at the meeting. ‘Agendas, committee assignments, evaluations of the president and the trustees and the size and composition of the Board would be among those. I do not want to get ahead of the work of the governance committee.’

It could be inferred from this that Neukom believed he had made an error in mentioning the governance committee during the Green Key meeting. He puts forth two other objections:

“Resolved, that the graduates of the College, the Thayer School … of at least five years standing may nominate a suitable person for election to each of the five trusteeships next becoming vacant on the Board of Trustees of the College,” the 1891 agreement states. It does not mention parity with respect to the number of alumni-elected trustees and charter trustees, although the addition of 5 alumni-elected trustees at the time gave the Board as many alumni trustees as charter trustees. The creation of this balance in 1891 has prompted some current alumni to contend that balance is a codified part of the Board’s history.

This makes “some current alumni” sound delusional and insane. In fact, as Neukom, a lawyer, probably knows, common law could pose a major impediment as all expansions of the board since 1891 have maintained this proportion of charter and alumni trustees—this practice has gone on, in other words, for 116 years.

The frenzied pace with which all of this has occurred—from Green Key to Commencement—is deliberate. The Alumni Council, even if its actions run contrary to the wishes of the majority of alumni, is desperate to secure its power, which has been threatened recently by the victory of the fourth petition candidate to the Board of Trustees and the sound defeat of the 7,070-word new constitution, which would have impaired petition candidates in at least a more elegant way. Some who hope to preserve democracy in College governance look to the Association of Alumni, a body of Dartmouth governance separate from the Alumni Council; unlike the Alumni Council, the entire executive committee of the Association is selected by alumni and is thus purely representative of the 67,000 Dartmouth alumni and their varied views. It has come to pass that seven of eleven officers on the executive committee are petition candidates. The Association, thus, may try to postpone any resolution that Routhier and Neukom may push on June 10th. As of this point, they have sent a letter to the Board expressing their grave concern.

If the Association fails and something definitive occurs on June 10th, alumni still have legal recourse. Several years ago, the New Hampshire state legislature gave up its right to oversee any changes to the Dartmouth Charter; this power is now solely in the hands of the Board of Trustees. They may, thus, make the 1891 agreement effectively null and void and still not face any criminal charges. However, 116 years of precedent may establish that the 1891 agreement falls under the heading of common law, and violating it may precipitate a lawsuit against the College by alumni. Private corporations, like Dartmouth College, have a responsibility to exercise good governance, to remain true to their word. A recent financial scandal at the St. Paul's Preparatory school of New Hampshire could serve as precedent: the school’s rector legally funneled money from St. Paul’s expense account into his own, yet he was still indicted by a New Hampshire state court. This is proof that the New Hampshire State Attorney General's office values common law. A common law precedent exists and may be enacted in this case so that a viable suit against the College can be filed, should the June 10th meeting result in any violation of the 1891 agreement.

Too often the Alumni Council has tried to change the rules of the governance game when it has not had its way, which it would prefer to be the only way. In the case of the Alumni Constitution, it went too far, and it blew up in their face; in this case, the Council goes further still, and the consequences are more foreboding. In the space of three weeks, 116 years of Dartmouth’s democratic values may be erased to suit the fashion of the day or the whims of would-be potentates. If alumni of Dartmouth want to preserve their long-established right to elect their trustees, to preserve their independent voice against the Alumni Council and the administration, to ensure that their voices—not just their bank accounts—are represented when the future of Dartmouth College is mapped out, to affirm the value of open debate, reason, and argument—then they must make their opinions known and speak out against the chicanery of the Alumni Council and Chairman of the Trustees Neukom. Dartmouth has a long tradition of debate, political fairness, and independence of thought, which is reflected in the current structures of the Board. A great manifestation of these values may go up in flames as those in the back rooms stuff it in their pipes and smoke it. The concerned members of the Dartmouth community did not let it happen in the fall with the Alumni Constitution: well, don’t let it happen again on June 10. Alumni have already begun to voice their displeasure; see these letters from the executive committee of the Alumni Association.

Spalding, the Lone Dissenter

I have it from a reliable anonymous source that the lone dissenter from the Association of Alumni's letter to the Board of Trustees is David P. Spalding '76, the Secretary-Treasurer of the AoA. Coincidentally, of all the Executive Committee and its officers, Spalding is the only member who works for the College. He has been the Vice President for Alumni Relations since late 2005. In his statement for the AoA election he wrote the following:
As vice president for alumni relations, I am committed to enhancing communication between the College and her alumni. We must do a more effective job of gathering broad alumni opinion and informing all of the alumni about what’s happening in Hanover.
This is curious, as it can be—and most certainly will be—argued that the most effective form of communication is through elections. When the administration's favored candidates lose the last 4 seats in a row in elections to the Board of Trustees, the alumni are communicating their dissatisfaction. Spalding, though, is apparently willing to drastically weaken the alumni's ability to be heard.

Since the only College employee is also the only person who dissented from Hutchinson's '76 letter, it won't take long before one question, in particular, is asked: Is the pressure to reform how trustees are elected coming from the administration? At this point, such a question is pure conjecture; however, President Wright has shown a willingness to meddle in the past (most recently, the Ask Dartmouth website), and it would come as no surprise if Neukom's '64 seemingly off-the-cuff remarks originated in Wright.

194th Alumni Council: 'On a Mission'

Some highlights from the Alumni Council's own summary of its Green Key meeting.

With the May 15 election of a new Dartmouth trustee in the headlines—petition candidate Stephen Smith ’88 won the seat over three candidates put forth by the council’s Nominating Committee—the councilors heard an impassioned report from Rick Routhier '73, '76Tu, nominating chair, on the structural challenges the committee faces in carrying out its constitutionally required role in the trustee nomination process. Three trustees took some time during the board panel that is a regular part of council meetings to speak to this issue….. “Given the rules [which mandate the nomination of three trustee candidates by the council for one vacant alumni trustee seat on the board] and now the demands of money and time spent in open campaigning, we believe we will not be able to get the best candidates to run for positions on the board of trustees," Routhier said….

And later:

Councilors weighed in with a variety of suggestions, and many expressed frustration at not being able to get alumni who've supported petition candidates in recent elections to come to the table. Councilor Sarah Hoit '88 asked Routhier what he thought a solution would be.

"We worked on it for four years. It was the alumni constitution," he said.

“The trustee election process is a problem, and an urgent one,” Routhier said. " I would ask the trustees to take a careful look at the process of how they choose their board."

Fielding numerous questions about the election process in their panel discussion, trustees Jose Fernandez ’77, Al Mulley Jr., MD, ’70, and chair Bill Neukom ’64 referred to the work of a governance committee on the board of trustees that has for the last year been studying what sort of board best serves Dartmouth’s interests in the 21st century, and how that board should be elected. The trustees said they anticipated a report from the committee at their June meeting.

1891 Agreement

Note: For your reference, here are the minutes from the June 24, 1891 meeting that resulted in the agreement between alumni and the trustees.


Annual Meeting - June 24 1891.

The Association was called to order in the Old Chapel at 2-45 p.m. by the President, Hon. G. A. Marden ’61. Prayer was offered by the Rev. Dr. Davis Foster ’49.

Records of the last meeting were read and approved. Report of the Committee on Alumni Representation in the Board of Trustees was called for, and was made by J. B. Richardson Esq. ’57 of Boston voted that the Report of the Committee be accepted, and that the Committee be discharged with the thanks of the Association.

This report of the Committee including the plan adopted by the Trustees, and also the new Constitution was unanimously accepted and adopted.

Report of Committee

To the Association of Alumni of Dartmouth College:

Gentlemen.—The Committee appointed at a meeting of the Association of the Alumni, held in Hanover on June 26, 1890 “to confer and co-operate with a Committee of the Board of Trustees in devising some plan to secure to the Alumni an active participation in the management of the college” beg leave to report the results of their work.

The Committee appointed by the Board of Trustees to confer with your Committee consisted of Dr. Alonzo H. Iuint, Hon. Isaac H. Smith, and Hon. William M. Chase: Mr. Chase’s place on the Committee was subsequently taken by Prof. William J. Tucker. Your Committee during the autumn of 1890, had many meetings and several conferences with the said Committee of the Board of Trustees. The desirability of a more sympathetic and close relation between the Corporation and the Alumni, to be brought about by alumni representation in the Board of Government in some way was not questioned. It was, as it has been for many years, admitted, that a warmer interest and closer relation between the Board of Government and the Alumni would strengthen the college, and promote its welfare and usefulness.

The work of the Committee was devoted to devising the way in which this should be accomplished. At these conferences your Committee were met by the Committee of the Trustees in a friendly spirit: many different plans were brought forward and discussed; but no plan was suggested or view expressed which was not inspired by the desire to promote the best interests of the college.

It does not appear to be necessary here to describe all plans suggested. Your Committee were of the opinion that the most certain, if not the only, effectual way to create and preserve the live, constant, active interest of the Alumni in the college and their co-operation in its affairs, was to confer upon them a real substantial, personal responsibility therein: that a mere advisory board with no rights or the mere privilege of occasionally making a nomination of a possible trustee would be too uncertain, contingent and remove a right, to excite and keep up that clear, constant, active interest of the Alumni, which is needed, and which it was the duty of your Committee to secure if possible.

We believed that, by the plan to be adopted the Alumni should understand and feel that they were to have a constant, personal responsibility for the college, an annually recurring obligation to discharge for her which they could not throw off or leave to the Board of Trustees or any other persons: that every man from the college, as well as the men in it, should still be deemed to be a part of the college. They suggested to the Committee of the Trustees, a plan of adding five to the number of Trustees to be elected by the Alumni of five years standing for a term of five years with certain powers but not to interfere with the present power of the charter members of the board in the election and perpetuation of the twelve Trustees provided for in the charter.

Subsequently this plan was elaborated by said committees into a bill which was presented and became an act of the legislature of New Hampshire at its last session on February 18, 1891. This act provided for five additional Trustees to be chosen by the Alumni for a term of five years. The initial terms to be so arranged that a vacancy should occur each year, to be filled by the Alumni.

Very soon thereafter your Committee forwarded a certified copy of this act to the Board of Trustees with a letter asking the Board to accept it without which according to its provisions it could not become operative, also with a request that they adopt a method for the election of such additional Trustees in accordance with the provisions of the act.

Without having taken any action in the premises, the Board through its President on the 19th instant invited your Committee to meet that body on the 23rd instant at Hanover, which invitation they accepted.

Several conferences followed and many serious doubts were suggested as to the legality of proceeding under the provisions of that act and a method of securing the desired end was sought which should be free from any doubt as to its legality.

Your Committee deem it just and proper to add that the Board of Trustees have given this subject their earnest and courteous consideration and by supplementing our efforts by wise suggestions have done much to bring about a harmonious result.

The result of these conferences has been the formulating of the plan embodied in the following resolves which were unanimously adopted by the Board and spread upon their records – and which your Committee under all the circumstances now recommend for adoption on the part of the Alumni as the best and most feasible.

“1. Resolved; That the graduates of the College, the Thayer School, and the Chandler School of at least five years standing, may nominate a suitable person for election to each of the give Trusteeships next becoming vacant on the Board of Trustees of the College (excepting those held by the Governor and President) and may so nominate for the election of his successors in such Trusteeship.

2. And Resolved; That whenever any such vacancy shall occur in such Trusteeship or the succession thereto, the Trustees will take no action to fill the same until the expiration of three months after notice to the Secretary of the Alumni of the occurrence of such vacancy unless a nomination therefore shall be sooner presented by the Alumni to said Trustees.

3. And Resolved; That this plan of nomination shall be taken and held to supersede the plan heretofore adopted in 1876.”

These resolves were adopted on the part of the Board with the clear understanding and assurance that three vacancies in the Board will be provided at once, and two more before the next commencement in 1892. All to be filled as above provided and that the persons so nominated by the Alumni will be elected by the Board to such Trusteeships, and that the term of service of such Trustees shall be so arranged that ultimately there shall be an annual election of a Trustee at each commencement; such annual elections to be secured by suitable provisions, under which the term of service fixed at five years shall be ended by the resignation of the incumbent.

Your Committee in recommending the adoption of this plan, congratulate the alumni upon the attainment of the object so long sought, and the beginning of what they believe to be a new era of prosperity for the College.

In as much as the existing Constitution does not provide methods needed for the nomination of Trustees pursuant to this plan and agreement. The Committee herewith submit a new Constitution, and recommend the abrogation of the existing Constitution and the adoption of the one herewith presented.


James B. Richardson ’57

Gilman H. Tucker ’61

Wilder S. Burnap ’63

Frank S. Streeter ’74

Justin H. Smith ’77

Constitution of the Dartmouth College Alumni

1. This Association shall be called “The Association of Alumni of Dartmouth College.”

2. All graduates of the College, the Thayer School of Civil Engineering, and the Chandler School of Science and the Arts, shall be members. Others who receive from the College an Honorary Degree or are elected at an annual meeting shall be honorary members but without the right of voting.

3. The annual meeting shall be held at the college on the day proceeding Commencement Day.

4. The officers of the Association shall be a President, two Vice Presidents, Secretary, Statistical Secretary, Treasurer, and an Executive Committee of five members, all to be elected at each annual meeting upon the nomination of a committee of three members to be known as the Committee on Nominations and appointed by the President.

5. The President or in his absence, the Senior Vice President present, shall preside at each annual meeting, shall appoint committees as herein provided, and shall in the name of the Association receive its guests and particularly the representatives present of the class graduated fifty years theretofore.

6. The Executive Committee shall have charge of the general interests of the Association, including the raising and expending of money to meet current expenses, shall appoint a presiding officer in the absence of the president and vice-presidents, and a secretary pro term. In the absence of the secretary, shall nominate all candidates for honorary membership, shall at its discretion secure an orator to address the Association at any annual meeting, shall act as a board of final decisions upon all questions arising in relation to the votes cast for the Alumni Trustee, and shall fill all vacancies in officers of the Association except that in case of a vacancy in the Presidency. The Senior Vice-President shall succeed to that position.

7. The Secretary shall keep all records and attend to the correspondence of the Association, He shall, at least two months prior to the annual meeting, mail to each graduate of the College, the Thayer School, and the Chandler School, eligible to vote at his last known address, a notice of the coming regular nomination of an Alumni Trustee, containing the name, class, and residence of each candidate with an envelope addressed to himself, within which, sealed each vote shall be forwarded; no alumnus of less than five years standing, however, shall be eligible to vote for the nomination of any Trustee. The Secretary shall open, count, and record all votes.

8. Candidates for Alumni Trusteeships shall be nominated for a term of five years from the first Monday following Commencement and at the end of such term the incumbent will be expected to resign his Trusteeship, except that vacancies occurring within such term only, and that until the entire five Alumni Trusteeships shall have been filled and the terms of the incumbents so arranged that one vacancy therein will regularly occur on the Monday following each Commencement. The length of such terms may be so arranged by the Executive Committee as to produce such regularity at the earliest practicable day. The name of no candidate shall be sent to the Alumni until he shall have indicated in writing to the Secretary of this Association his acceptance of the provisions of this constitution including that part thereof relating to his term of office if elected and resignation at the conclusion thereof.

In case the candidate or candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall decline or be ineligible for any reason to serve the person or persons receiving the next highest number of votes shall be considered as nominated.

9. At each annual meeting a Committee of five members to be known as the Committee on Alumni Trustees shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the meeting. This Committee shall nominate five candidates for the vacancy in the office of Alumni Trustee which will regularly occur on the Monday after Commencement in the ensuing year. For the term of five years such candidates to be voted for in the manner hereinbefore prescribed; they shall make their report on candidates at the Alumni dinner when the Secretary shall also announce the result of the previous election. If any candidate shall fail or decline to signify his acceptance of this Constitution within thirty days after request of the Committee, or if for any other reason a vacancy shall occur in the list of candidates, the Committee shall have power to substitute a name or names in place of such original candidate or candidates.

No voting by proxy shall be allowed in the nomination of Alumni Trustees, a plurality of votes shall nominate, and in regular elections the voting shall close at sox o’clock p.m. of the day of the annual meeting.

10. In case of a vacancy or vacancies occurring in any Alumni Trusteeship otherwise than by the expiration of a stated term of five years, the Committee on Alumni Trustees shall be forthwith informed thereof by the Secretary of the Association and shall thereupon meet upon the call of its Chairman, within twenty days thereafter and name five candidates if one vacancy is to be filled, then if two are to be filled, and so on, which names shall be as soon as practicable transmitted to said Secretary who shall thereupon at once proceed to take a vote of the said Alumni of five years standing upon the candidates for such vacancy or vacancies in the same manner as upon nominations to fill a regularly occurring vacancy: Except that he shall upon his notice designate the day on which the voting will close, which shall not be more than seventy five days after notice to him from the Board of Trustees of the occurrence of such vacancy or vacancies: and upon the day following such closing he shall count the ballots.

11. Should the votes of the Alumni be requested at the same time upon nominations to fill more than one vacancy in such Alumni Trusteeships, the several candidates (equal in number to such vacancies) receiving the highest number of votes shall be considered as nominated for said vacancies – the person receiving the highest number for the next longest term and so on.

12. Upon evidence of a due nomination for any vacancy the Secretary of this Association shall at once transmit and certify the name of such nominee to the Board of Trustees.

All ballots shall be preserved by the Secretary and delivered by him to the Executive Committee for such disposition as they shall see fit to make: he shall in no case communicate the state of the ballot to any person before its final announcement and shall refer to the Executive Committee all matters respecting votes of doubtful validity.

13. Order of business at the annual meeting.

1. Prayer.

2. Secretary’s Minutes.

3. Remarks by the President.

4. Appointment by the President of the Regular Committees.

5. Treasurer’s report and any matter of business from the Executive Committee.

6. Communications, if any, from the President or Trustees of the College.

7. Election of Honorary Members.

8. Reception of the semi Centennial Class.

9. Report of the Committee on Nominations and Reports of Special Committees.

10. Miscellaneous Business.

14. This Constitution may be amended at any annual meeting by a three-fourths vote of the Alumni present and voting.


Voted that the old Constitution be annulled and abrogates, and that the new Constitution offered by the Committee be adopted.

The President then named as a Committee on nomination of officers for the ensuing year - Thomas H. Procter Esq. ’79, H. S. Sherman Esq. ’66, and A. F. Andrews Esq. ’78.

The Treasurer, Prof. E. J. Bartlett ’79 then made his annual report which was accepted and put on file.

The Committee on nominations of officers then made their report as followed:

For President: Hon. George A. Marden ’61

For Vice Presidents: Hon. Redfield Proctor ’51 and Hon. Asa W. Tenny ’59

For Secretary: Prof. C. F. Emerson’68

For Statistical Secretary: J. M. Comstock, Esq. ’77

For Treasurer: Charles Q. Tirrell ’66

For Executive Committee: A. S. Batchelder Esq. ’72, W. S. Burnap Esq. ’63,

I. F. Paul Esq. ’63, W. S. Barrett Esq. ’80, and E. N. Pearson Esq. ’81

The report of the Committee was accepted and the above list of Officers was duly elected for the ensuing year.

The President then made his nominations of the Committee on Alumni Trustees as follows:

Hon. George Fred Williams ’72

Hon. Jonathan Ross ’51

Charles F. Mathewson Esq. ’82

Rev. Luther Farnham ’37

Henry M. Putney Esq. ’61

The above Committee was approved and accepted by the Association.

The following resolution, offered by Eben Bruer Esq. ’71. “That the Secretary be authorized to employ an assistant to aid in sending out ballots for Trustees, and in receiving and counting the vote, and that the expense of the said work when approved by the Ex. Com. Shall be paid by the Treasurer.” was laid on the table by vote, after considerate discussion.

The necrology for the year, printed by the Statistical Secretary, was distributed and read by names by the President: Remarks were made when the lives and characters of several of the more prominent by Rev. Suther Farnham, Rev. Dr. F. D. Aires, Dr. W. T. Smith, and others.

About 5 o’clock adjourned to 9 o’clock of the following morning.

As there was no business to be transacted, the Association was not formally called to order on Thursday morning.

At 10:30 a.m. Thursday the Alumni joined the procession of Trustees, Faculty, and Students to the Church to attend the graduating exercises of the class of ’91, under the marshallship of Eben Bruer Esq. ’71.

At the Alumni Dinner in Bissell Hall at 2 p.m., Hon. Geo. Fred Williams presided in the place of the President, Hon. Geo. A. Marden, who was necessarily absent from town.

Charles F. Emerson, Secretary

And the AoA responds . . .

As Dartblog reports this morning, the Association of Alumni has responded to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees' threats to curtail alumni involvement in the college's governance. All of the Executive Committee members, save one dissenter, published a letter to all alumni voicing their concern about the Chairman's recent remarks. As Dartlog noted yesterday, the switch to all-media voting in AoA elections arrived just in time. The Association has no power over the Board, but as the only democratically elected representatives of alumni, the Board would be wise to not cast their concern aside.

Dartblog also got in contact with Petition Trustee Todd Zywicki '88 who had this to say about Chairman Neukom's announcement that the Board's Governance Committee has been looking at the makeup of the Board of Trustees:
I personally have not heard of any effort by the Governance Committee of the Board to reevaluate the composition of the Board or to tamper with the way in which Alumni Trustees are elected, nor am I aware of any efforts to consider such a change in the future.
The AoA's full letter is reprinted below:

To all Dartmouth Alumni:

The Dartmouth Board of Trustees is considering changes to its composition, including the means by which its members are seated. The agreement for seating alumni trustees is one between the Trustees and the Association of Alumni. We understand the Association's previous leadership has not been invited or involved in these considerations over the past months. This is of great concern to us, as participation by alumni-chosen Trustees has been of great value to the College, and through this stewardship, it is a most-meaningful way of engaging her loyal sons and daughters.

The attached letter was approved by ten of the elected leaders of your Association, with one dissenter, and sent to the Trustees. A majority of the Executive Committee, being those of us signing below, believes we have a further obligation to report our concerns, and our actions, to you. This is at the core of our belief that alumni leaders must be more open and transparent to the alumni they represent. We trust that if alumni are kept informed, you will individually and collectively be able to make good judgments. As a courtesy to the Trustees prior to this public statement, we awaited confirmation that the letter had been received, and we alerted our Association president that we would also be communicating it to you.

We ask that you read the attached letter and give it thoughtful consideration. Please let us know your concerns, which will inform any subsequent dialog we have withe the Trustees; also communicate directly to others as you deem appropriate. The Trustees convene next week prior to Commencement, beginning June 8.


[6 members]

Dear members of the Dartmouth Board of Trustees:

We, the newly elected officers and Executive Committee of the Association of Alumni, wish to convey the concern of a majority of our members regarding an issue raised in a statement made by current Board Chairman, Mr. William Neukom, to the Alumni Council on May 19, 2007. In those remarks, Mr. Neukom indicated that the Governance Committee of the Board would be presenting its report to the Board at its June 9, 2007 meeting and that the Board would consider changes to the alumni trustee election process and over-all Board composition at that time.

We sense that the agreement alumni have with the Board, established in 1891 and historically evolved since then, whereby alumni effectively elect half of the non-ex officio members of the Board, is threatened. We believe that any action which violates, restricts, abridges or dilutes that agreement, as currently enjoyed, would be injurious to Dartmouth College, its students and alumni. Not only do we strongly urge the Board to take no such steps, but we also believe strongly that the newly constituted AOA Executive Committee, elected for the first time in all-media, alumni-wide voting, should be included in any discussions related to that agreement. We feel that such cooperation and coordination with the Board is the best means for alumni to be engaged in solutions to problems facing the Board and the college’s administration and for us to fulfill our obligation to take all appropriate measures to protect and insure retention of the agreement, the uninterrupted exercise of which has redounded to the great benefit of Dartmouth for 116 years.

For the committee,

William L. Hutchinson ‘76, President

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Neukom: Proportion of Elected Trustees May Change

Current Chairman of the Board of Trustees Bill Neukom '64 gave a presentation at a May 19th meeting of the Alumni Council. At the meeting he expressed dissatisfaction with the amount of money that entered the last trustee election. When asked if he would ensure that the number of elected trustees would remain the same as the number of charter trustees, he replied:
In terms of honoring that [keeping the proportion the same], any Board of the College would be aware of it and the history since then, but it is of even more importance that the Board look at current circumstances and do what it thinks is in the best interest of the College.
Also voicing discontent with the recent election was Rick Routhier ‘73 Tu’76, the chairman of the the Alumni Council's nominating committee. He was specifically worried if, in the future, the Council would be able to find capable alumni willing to run:
The current rules allow for campaigning, which means whoever runs will have to have money to campaign, and that is not an attractive opportunity for many people who would interested in and capable of serving on the Board of Trustees.
Or they could, of course, find someone who supports their positions to pay for their campaign. This new development makes the recent Association of Alumni election all the more important. One can hope that a petition heavy Executive Committee (of the AoA) will oppose any curtailment of rights that alumni now possess.

Monday, May 28, 2007

CNN Diatribe

Over at Dartwire, Adi Sivaraman '10 writes about the misreporting that has happened in the aftermath of the recent trustee election.

I found it particularly interesting that CNN referred to the petition trustees as the football-and-fraternities faction. When I talked to Smith, he was actually critical of the amount of funding football was receiving in comparison to swimming. Some quotes from the interview:
I don’t know why it’s acceptable to reward the football team with new facilities and let the swim team have the worst facilities in the Ivy League.

I think women’s sports need to be valued and supported financially just as much as the marquee men’s sports: football and basketball.

Think about the plight of the swim team for example. They seem to be getting nothing but resistance from the administration. I think that is out of step with the College’s traditional values.
It's clear that football's new facilities were mostly funded by alumni gifts earmarked specifically for the new training center, but the point being that CNN's attempt to paint Smith as a "football-and-fraternity" trustee is ridiculous.

Women’s Crew 2nd in Petite Finals

To follow up on yesterday’s post about the Women’s crew team, they placed second in their Petite Finals. Having led the entire race, they were barely edged out of it by The University of Minnesota in less than half a second in the last 500 meters. For the official stats, click here. Congratulations ladies!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Just Frats?

The Daily D confirmed something Dartlog had tentatively reported about three weeks ago. While not as extreme as our original source feared, next year's fraternity pledges will be required to undergo "sexual assault awareness programming". Dave Lindenbaum '08, Inter-Fraternity Council President, told the Daily D the following:

We acknowledge that we control, as fraternities, some of the major social scene on campus. We are in a unique position to address issues that evolve from the social scene. The best way is to start educating people about what happens in a social scene, and what you should be doing to protect everyone that’s in that social scene.

Praise for the decision abounded from all corners. There remains, however, an obvious question. Why won't sorority pledges be undergoing the same process? Most would argue, correctly, that women are much more likely to be a sexual assault victim rather than an instigator, but that argument would still leave the exclusion of the Coed houses unexplained.

Good luck to the Women’s Crew Team

The Women’s Crew team is in Tennessee this weekend, competing in the NCAA championship. Yesterday, their race qualified them for the semi-finals, which occurred today; they placed 5th in their heat, which prevents them from qualifying for finals, but they still are racing at the Petite Final tomorrow. At that final, they will race to place # 7 – 12 in the country.

Congratulations ladies, and good luck tomorrow.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wright Direction? No Thanks.

The Daily Dartmouth Editorial Board has gone off the deep end. In today's editorial feature, the Editorial Board argues that a college president's job shouldn't involve petty things like . . . managing the College.
While issues such as fraternity derecognition and the Student Life Initiative are important to Dartmouth students, focusing on the education of veterans should be more important. We should be debating ways that Dartmouth can contribute meaningfully to academia, the country and the world. Wright should still be attending to the internal well-being of the College, probably by hiring administrators to manage it. But in terms of Wright’s legacy as president, his contribution to the world — and how he leads Dartmouth to contibute [sic] to the world — should be paramount. If onlookers are dead-set on judging the Wright administration on campus life or bureaucracy, he should disregard them, not because their opinions are wrong but because that sort of judgment would be a woefully incomplete method of measuring a president’s performance.
With all due respect, a college president's area of focus should be the college of which he is president, not the world writ large. No one is saying President Wright's work with disabled veterans isn't laudable (and, in truth, his overall stance on things such as ROTC—despite being himself a marine—lag behind his Ivy League counterparts), but to extrapolate from that work that he needn't bother himself about things related to the College's welfare is ludicrous. Wright's job, as President of Dartmouth College, is to make sure the College is giving its students the best education possible.

The Editorial Board wants to elevate Wright to the level of institutional demi-god, to place him in the shadow of someone like Woodrow Wilson. Again, to reiterate, I hope as many veterans as possible are able to attend Dartmouth, and I think Wright's encouragement of them is commendable. To say, however, that therein lies Wright's job is absolutely fallacious.

Sometimes they just make me wonder.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Junior Jumps to NHL

Hobey Baker finalist David Jones '08 signed a two year deal with the Colorado Avalanche. Jones was the unanimous choice for Ivy League Player of the Year with 44 points in just 33 games. Said Jones,
Obviously this wasn't an easy decision. It was believed that it was in my best interest to move onto the next level. Because of my age I was only able to sign a one year deal next year, whereas this year it could be two which will give me a little more breathing room as far as development. Colorado is also getting their own AHL team so it opens up more spots for players. I am definitely hoping to finish my degree at some point but I honestly can't say when that will be.

I'm so Interested

The Daily D reports this morning that Dean of the Tucker Foundation and Interim Vice President for Diversity Stuart Lord is trying to revive the Diversity Council. The members of the Council include, among others, "the provost, the dean of the faculty, the dean of admissions, the dean of the College and Tuck School of Business and Dartmouth Medical School deans." The central means of revival seem to be the implementation of Campus Climate lunches. These lunches, you will remember, were the subject of an oh-so-polite blitz sent out by Lord about a week and a half ago.

In the wake of his tactful blitz, Dean Lord is now putting a positive spin on what his Campus Climate lunches have accomplished. In his original campus-wide blitz, Lord sarcastically praised the campus for showing such care and awareness for diversity issues. That blitz led directly to this apology later that same day:
>Date: 14 May 2007 23:41:14 -0400
>From: Stuart C. Lord
>Subject: Regarding Mission Accomplished
>To: (Recipient list suppressed)

The goal of the e-mail I sent earlier was to generate publicity and increase attendance at our campus climate luncheons. In addition, The Office of the Vice-President for Institutional Diversity values the hard work that many members of this community have devoted to raising awareness about issues of diversity. The purpose of the Campus Climate Lunches is to provide a forum for both Dartmouth students and faculty/staff members to share ideas, strategies and suggestions for the improvement of the campus climate. [. . .]

What led to this lashing out and the following apology? Only 20 students showed up for the first Campus Climate lunch. So, two lunches later, how are we faring in our campus consciousness? Well, about the same—the total attendance for all three lunches was 60 students, in other words about 20 students per lunch. What does Lord have to say about the final state of attendance at these meetings?
“People not being here is not an indication that they aren’t interested,” Lord said. “I am from the perspective that everyone is interested."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

James Wright Helps Iraq War Veterans

A very interesting story in today's Times about President Wright's helping Iraq veterans. The piece centers on his relationship with Samuel Crist, whom he met while Mr. Crist was recovering at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. from wounds he received during the Battle of Falluja.

Mr. Wright realized that to get an education, these veterans would need individualized counseling that might be hard to find once they left active duty.

So he started looking for a way to meet that need. He first went to the military, but when that proved cumbersome, he got in touch with David Ward, the president of the American Council on Education, who agreed to develop such a program. Mr. Wright helped raise $300,000, and this spring, educational counselors are working at Bethesda, Walter Reed and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. More than 50 veterans asked for appointments with the counselors the first week the program was open, in March, and now about 100 wounded veterans are being served.


Although the new program was not intended to recruit for Dartmouth, Mr. Wright is delighted at the prospect of having a few former marines on campus next fall. One applied early decision, and was accepted, entirely apart from the program. One came through a counselor in the new program. And Mr. Crist wrote to Mr. Wright after their meeting, developing the relationship that led to his transfer plans.

This month, Mr. Wright invited Mr. Crist and one of the others to visit the campus, starting with dinner with him and his wife.

The article also touches on Wright's background as a marine.

In a way, Mr. Wright’s quest has been a return to his roots. Growing up in Galena, Ill., he joined the Marines to put off, at least for a few years, going to work in the zinc mines that employed many in his community, including his grandfather. In that time and place, college was not for everyone. None of Mr. Wright’s grandparents finished high school, and Mr. Wright’s father, a bartender who served in the military, attended only one semester of college.

When he left the Marines, Mr. Wright enrolled at Wisconsin State University, thinking he wanted to be a high school history teacher. Instead, he earned a doctorate in history, and immediately started teaching at Dartmouth, where, since 1969, he has worked his way from professor to dean of faculty to provost and, in 1998, to president.

What Constitutes Conservative?

Thomas Atwood '08 has an interesting take on what truly makes Dartmouth a conservative school in today's Daily D. Towards the end Atwood posits the following:
In the end, Dartmouth succeeds in undermining our superficial liberal views by supplanting them with fundamental conservative values. And inasmuch as we become invested in tradition and uncritical of the status quo, there will come a time when the rest of the world catches up to our established liberal norm, and we will be the conservative leaders of the future, ever ready to prevent further progress.
His idea of conservatism is intrinsically tied to tradition, and the reluctance to change. For more ideas on tradition I encourage everyone to read Nick Desai's Editorial in the newest edition of The Dartmouth Review entitled: Two Ways to get Tradition Wrong.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Wright: It's OK, Really It Is

President Wright saw it fit to reassure the faculty at their spring term meeting yesterday. Wright told the gathered professors, "you should never waver in what you do and in what you represent, and you should never doubt the Board of Trustees’ support.”

While Wright's confidence is not misplaced per se (of the seventeen voting members on the Board, just four were petition candidates), the very fact that he must reassure the faculty is telling. Alumni are becoming more aware of the goings on in Hanover, and with this increased scrutiny comes increased pressure. In the last three trustee elections, four petition candidates and zero Alumni Council nominated candidates have been elected. The direction the College is heading is unsatisfactory, and alumni are manifesting their displeasure in these elections. So will Wright lose the Board's confidence right now? No. Will the administration lose more elections if they don't start focusing on the petition Trustees' issues? Yes in italics.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

And the Winners are...

The winners in the Association of Alumni election have been announced. In the end it was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of the petition candidates' success, though I would say they came out on top. Here are the victors along with their vote totals; those marked with an asterisk were petition candidates:

Executive Committee Officers
William Hutchinson '76 (8,093)

First Vice President
Kate Aiken '92 (9,997)

Second Vice President
Frank Gado* '58 (8,254)

David Spalding '76 (8,288)

Executive Committee Members
Cheryl Bascomb '82 (5,832)
Martin Boles* '80 (5,320)
David Gale* '00 (5,529)
Timothy Dreisbach* '71 (6,636)
Alexander Mooney* '93 (4,985)
Marjory Grant Ross* '81 (5,651)
Kathryn Flitner Wallop* '80 (6,993) [nominated both by AoA and petition]

The petition candidate for president, Dean Spatz '66, lost by roughly 600 votes but the other two petition candidates for officer petitions weren't even in the running, losing by thousands of votes. Considering how petition candidates fared in earlier elections, it's safe to say that the change to all-media voting was the decisive factor in this election.

More Election Results Expected Today

The Association of Alumni is holding their annual meeting today in Alumni Hall at 1:30 pm. Directly after the meeting voting results will be announced in the race for the Association's Executive Committee. Online voting closed on the 15th along with trustee voting, those who did not get a chance to vote online can vote at the meeting today.

The Association's meetings have been plagued with controversy in recent years, the most recent controversy came to an end relatively recently with John MacGovern's '80 lawsuit against the Association being dismissed by the New Hampshire Supreme Court. I wrote in length about the disagreement between MacGovern and the Association here. To put it in a nutshell, the dispute revolved around disallowed proxy votes in the care of MacGovern—because there was no specific rule allowing proxy votes they were disallowed. Alumni had to be physically present at the annual meetings to have their votes counted. MacGovern, in turn, took the Association to court, trying to force them to accept the proxies. While in court, the Association changed their guidelines to allow for all-media voting. This had been the main contention of MacGovern who, along with others, argued that the lack of this option skewed the elections in the administrations favor, as many of the alumni who live in proximity to Dartmouth are actually employees of the College. In an interview before the NH Supreme Court's decision was handed down, MacGovern told me, "in a sense, we've won the argument.” (Referring to the implementation of all-media voting).

In the election for the Association's Executive Committee, just as with the trustee election, there is a nominated slate of candidates as well as a petition slate. This is the first election in which alumni can vote online. After the convincing win by Stephen Smith '88 in the trustee race, it seems more than likely that the petition slate for the Executive Committee will also emerge victorious. At any rate, we'll know soon enough.

What remains unclear, to me at least, is why the Association is important. As it is set up now it takes care of procedural issues like balloting in the trustee elections. The Alumni Council, and not the Association of Alumni, is responsible for choosing the nominated candidates for the Board of Trustees. There is no denying, however, the Association's peripheral importance. After all, the fiasco that was last autumn's failed constitution was largely pushed along by the Association.

UPDATE: The comments function seems to be broken again; I'll see what I can do to fix it. Also, I've been informed by a reader that the power to nominate Trustee candidates resides in the Association, but the Association has freely delegated that power to the Alumni Council.

Friday, May 18, 2007

TDR: Green Key

The latest edition of The Dartmouth Review is now online. Inside, one can find the following:

Also, due to the way Spring term was scheduled this year, we had two editions put out in less than a week. If you weren't done reading TDR: Keystone Kops you can find it here.

The Daily D: We're Disheartened

The Daily Dartmouth' Editorial Board wrote today that they "are disheartened by the election of Stephen Smith ‘88." Listing among other terrible things, the support Smith received from previous petition trustee candidates as proof of his inadequacy. Oh my! In addition, they were troubled by his "lack of transparency"—not that one could tell from this convoluted paragraph:
A lack of transparency limits the alumni body’s ability to make an informed decision. If Smith had disclosed the close-knit nature of his cadre, some alumni who voted for him may not have done so. In addition, although Smith’s victory implies that a significant portion of alumni were not troubled by his disingenuous stance — claiming independence while concealing the sources of his support — they may have been troubled by his potential affiliation with an outspoken interest group. Petition candidates would increase their legitimacy by making their funding and mailing list sources public.
The solution? More rules and regulations of course, because, as we all know, campaign regulation always leads to freer more open elections. With so many rules and regulations, what would possibly be the incentive not to follow them?

The Daily D's Shoddy Trustee Coverage Continues

The Daily D's roundup of Smith's election this morning is, well, I'll let you look for yourself. In particular, there are a few interesting quotes from Wright as well as Chair of the Board of Trustees Bill Neukom '64.

One thing I would like to correct, however, is William Schpero's (reporter for the paper) characterization of bureaucratic growth: "In the past, Smith has also been critical of alleged growth in the number of administrators at the College." There is, unfortunately, nothing "alleged" about it. According to a 2006 analysis by McKinsey & Co., between the years of 2001 and 2005 the college had a net gain of 83 administrators.

Green to Accept Task Force Recommendations

In a meeting held last night, President-elect Travis Green said, “We’re going to assume we’re integrating [all of the recommendations] and then work backwards." Among those recommendations to be implemented is a system of committees headed by dual-chairs, one elected from within the SA and the other elected by the campus. In a twist, however, Green noted that an election would be unfeasible, so he and Vice-President-elect Ian Tapu will choose the "campus" chairs from applications sent to them.

This plan eliminates the idea for the second chair all-together. The whole idea behind a second chair was to get an outside voice. One must wonder if that can really happen when one chair is elected by the SA and the other is appointed by the SA President. Would it really be that hard to run an election next fall in conjunction with the First-Year elections that will be taking place.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Over at The New Criterion

I just posted more about Smith's historic victory.

Smith Takes Election: Lone Pine Revolution Continues

Stephen Smith '88 has won a seat on the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College. The College's website reports that Smith took home 55% of the vote—Dartblog reminds us that that's a new high, topping T.J. Rodgers '70 54% from 2004. Voter participation was also historically high with 28 % of alumni taking the time to vote; 37% voted in the recent constitutional referendum, and 25% have taken part in the most recent trustee elections. I talked to Smith around a month about various issues, take a look at that article for an overview of what problems he believes the College is currently facing.

Smith is the fourth straight petition candidate elected in the last three trustee races. Alumni dissatisfaction with the direction the College is taking is palpable. Over at DartWire Ned Kenney '10 argued that if Smith won, it would only be because of Wright's entry into campus politics in the fall— because of Wright's intervention, so the argument goes, the issue of free speech was again in the spotlight. I agreed with him, making the same argument myself to several people, but with Smith winning so convincingly it appears that this would be the wrong conclusion to draw. It is more likely, it now seems, that dissatisfaction with the administration is broad in its scope, making this election all the more important as rumours of President Wright stepping down in a few years circulate Hanover.

Dartmouth's Board of Trustees is unique in that nearly half of its members are voted onto the Board by alumni. The Board currently consists of 18 trustees, 8 elected, 8 appointed, as well as two additional members, namely, the Governor of New Hampshire and the President of the College. In 2003, the Board voted to slowly expand to 22 from the current 18. As it stands after the current election, 4 of the 18 Trustees were petition candidates.

For more reading, here is William F. Buckley Jr.'s biographical sketch/endorsement of Smith.

Once the percentage of votes the other candidates received is made known, I will post them here.

Here are some numbers:

18,186 voters
32,941 votes cast (Dartmouth uses an approval voting system)
9,984 votes cast for Smith

UPDATE: I've been informed by Roland Adams, the administration's press secretary, that the percentage of votes received by the other candidates will not be made public. This is standard practice.

CORRECTION: In 2003 the Board of Trustees voted to expand from 16 trustees to 22. The current size of the board is 18 trustees (ex officio members included).

Trustee Election.

Rumor has it that Stephen Smith '88 has won the election.

New Dean of Admissions Announced

Maria Laskaris '84 will be the new Dean of Admissions at Dartmouth College effective July 1. Laskaris has risen through the ranks of the admissions office, starting her work there in 1987. Prior to this appointment, her job title was Director of Admissions. What is Provost Scherr's take on the appointment?
She seems to be a good person to have in a very responsible position such as this one.
Something more definitive might be a bit more reassuring.

Laskaris replaces Dean Karl Furstenberg, who announced his retirement last fall. Furstenberg was haunted in his last years at Dartmouth when it was found out in late 2004 that he sent a letter the President of Swarthmore extolling him for his decision to do away with that school's football team. Furstenberg wrote that the culture of football was “antithetical to the academic mission of colleges such as ours.”

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

SA Reform, Who Cares?

Adi Sivaraman, TDR staffer and member of the Student Governance Review Task Force, has published a cliff notes version of the Task Force's proposals over at DartWire. The reform plans seem good on the whole, but there are a few troubling areas I'd like to point out. Two things in particular caught my attention:

First, the plan to elect the chairmen of the four most important committees directly by the student body is a bit odd to say the least. Not the actual election, but rather that coupled with the retention of the current system of appointing chairs. That's right, each of these committees will have two chairmen, which seems to me like a recipe for disaster—no one is suggesting we have two presidents to make the work load lighter.

Second, and by far the silliest suggestion to common out of the Task Force, is the plan to do away with 'outsider' candidates for Presidency. This would require that each and every presidential candidate have experience of SA.
This is a huge step in curbing the largely unsubstantiated platforms and campaigns of so-called “outsider” candidates. It would be disastrous if a candidate with absolutely no knowledge of SA rose to its highest office, and such a possibility is eliminated by this recommendation.
What exactly they would define as experience is vague at the moment. It seems to never have occurred to the the Task Force that perhaps many people vote for outsider candidates precisely because nothing would get done. The exact same principle is used when people vote in federal elections for different parties for the presidency and congress respectively. Many people prefer standstill to moving in the wrong direction. Finally, most people vote for outsider candidates as a joke because that's precisely what they see the SA as. It may not be a joke, but neither is it important.

Those, however, that think SA is important—or at least procrastination worthy—might check out yet another new Dartmouth blog. Super Dartmouth is put out by former SA Secretary Dave Nachman '09; here is his take on the proposals.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Blue Polos for the Planet!!!

I hope this is a joke.

>Date: 15 May 2007 19:58:48 -0400
>From: Jason E. Lyon
>Reply-To: lyon3000
>To: [redacted]



On Wednesday, May 15th [sic], wear a blue polo shirt to promote global warming awareness.

Make sure you pop your collar if you really don't like global warming.

Come on, people. Stand together with your blue polos and fight global warming!!!



Brought to you by the Global Warming Awareness Council.

SA: Plan to Get Arrested? Be Prepared

The Student Assembly hosted a seminar with Manchester-based lawyer John Kacavas yesterday. The Purpose? To inform students of their rights before Green Key Weekend. SA did the same thing last term, but it was after Winter Carnival. "We figured we'd try something proactive," said Neil Kandler '09, who organized the seminar. Though Kacavas wanted to talk more broadly about students' constitutional rights, those in attendance wanted answers to more concrete questions.

Alex Spinoso ‘08 asked Kacavas about when he could legally flee from police, if the police were not directly questioning him.

“It’s good to know that I could run and not worry about getting in trouble,” he said.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Alumni Reminder

Voting for the Board of Trustees and the Association of Alumni closes at midnight tomorrow. Currently, voter turnout is at 18%. If you are an alumnus/alumna, and you have not voted please go to this website and do so. The voting method is voting by approval, which means one may cast a vote for as many candidates as one approves—or just one candidate; it is the voter's choice.

It won't take long, and it (especially the trustee race) directly effects the welfare of the College.

Climate Change: One Gandhi Quote at a Time

This blitz was just sent out by Dean Lord, who, it appears, has come to the conclusion that the best way to generate understanding on important issues is through sarcasm.

>Date: 14 May 2007 16:15:15 -0400
>From: Stuart C. Lord
>To: (Recipient list suppressed)


I have amazing news to report to the student body! In just a few months as the Interim Vice President for Institutional Diversity, I am delighted to report that the Campus climate is repaired and we have achieved a standard of excellence other schools only long to attain!

I know this because I had invited students to Campus Climate lunches, and out of the entire student body, only 20 (yes, just 20!!) students responded. I am certain this must be because we have accomplished complete diversity and harmony and almost no one thinks there are any discussions left to be carried on.

However, in the event you think there is still need for discussion, and still need for healing, I would invite you to sign up for one of the lunches. There is plenty of room. There is also probably plenty to discuss. Tomorrow Tuesday May 15 or Next Tuesday May 22, 2007.


To RSVP respond to the email and say ___ Yes I will be at Lunch this Tuesday or Next Tuesday.

We Must Be The Change We Wish To See In The World
~Mahatma Gandhi

Dr. Stuart Calvin Lord
Vice President for Institutional Diversity & Equity (Interim)
and the Virginia Rice Kelsey '61S
Dean of the Tucker Foundation
Associate Provost
The William Jewett Tucker Foundation
Dartmouth College
6154 S. Fairbanks Hall
Hanover, NH 03755-3510
Phone: (603) 646-3889
Fax: (603) 646-2645

Quite frankly, I'm surprised even twenty people showed up—obviously they didn't know they had Gandhi on their side.

N.B. If his efforts for Climate Change were as long as his job title, perhaps he would have something to show for it.

Let the Comments Commence

Sorry to all those who have been commenting over the last few months; fortunately, we have figured out the problem and your posts should now go through without any problems.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

New Visionary Doesn't Just 'Play' Liberal

Dartmouth's Center for Women and Gender has a new "Visionary in Residence." This year's Visionary is Staceyann Chin, whose qualifications include being a "poet" and an "activist". Chief amongst Chin's vexations is people's annoying tendency to "play liberal" in the classroom but not in social settings. Laughable quotes abound after the jump.

Why, though, does the Center for Women and Gender need a Visionary in Residence? I thought the department was chock-full of de-normative visionaries as it was.

Russian Prof Makes a Splash Across the Pond

Lev Losev, Professor of Russian at the College, just published what the Times Literary Supplement is calling "the best single literary biography of [Joseph Brodsky] yet to have appeared in any language." Losev was a longtime friend of Brodsky, whose early death occured in 1996. The book, Iosif Brodsky: opyt literaturnoy biografii, is put on the cover of the newest TLS. The reviewer of the book, Andrew Kahn, gushes throughout on the quality of the work: "Losev gets us closer to his subject than any other account by integrating a reliable narrative . . . and a penetrating study of Brodsky’s poetry and prose."

Congratulations to Professor Losev.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

SA Election Results

SA election results were announced a little before seven o'clock this evening. The big winners were Travis Green '08 and Ian Tapu '08 for the posts of president and vice-president respectively. The two ran together on the same ticket, oh so cleverly titled "iGreen". For a full list of their (very) extensive plans you can visit their facebook group.

Roughly 2000 people voted putting the turnout close to a lackluster fifty percent. Time will tell if the new duo continues in the advocacy vein characterized by Andreadis' tenure, or if they decide to worry about things of larger significance, like making sure Collis doesn't run out of the NYTimes.

Regulation Confusion

The Daily D reports in today's edition that Raj Koganti '08, a candidate for SA President, was given a tier-one sanction by the Elections Planning and Advisory Committee. The sanction amounts to little more than a formal warning. Koganti was sanctioned for "illegal e-mail use by him and his supporters." As the paper reports it:
On Saturday, Koganti sent out two mass campaign e-mails with suppressed recipient lists. Under EPAC rules, candidates are not permitted to send out e-mails to recipients whom they do not know, and are prohibited from suppressing recipient lists.
There is, however, some confusion as to the exact nature of the EPAC rules. If, as the Daily D, the candidates are not allowed to blitz "recipients whom they do not know," then Koganti is far from the only candidate stepping over the line of fair play. Several candidates, while not suppressing their recipient lists, have sent out blitzes to students, unknown to themselves, asking the recipient for their vote. Here is one such example:

Date: 07 May 2007 20:16:07 -0400
From: Nova E. Robinson
Subject: Vote!
To: [redacted]

Hey –––––,

If you havenít [sic] voted for SA President yet, I would appreciate it if you would vote for me!

Iím [sic] running because I think that SA can be the voice of the students, but its current structure prevents it from doing so. It is time for change!

I can be your voice for change.


. Improve SA Efficiency
. Increase Academic Resources
. Include Community Voices
. Uphold Commitment to Greek System

Robinson is not the only candidate to have sent blitzes like this out. Why has their been no action from EPAC? The simplest answer (and probably the right one) is the Daily D's shoddy reporting. There may, in fact, be no rule against sending blitzes to people the candidate doesn't know, just a rule against repressing recipient lists.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Favored Method of Dissemination: Sidewalk Chalk

For those so inclined, there is extensive coverage of the Student Assembly Election in today's Daily D. A front page story in today's paper reports the result of an informal blitz poll. According to the poll, four of the five candidates are in a statistical dead heat for first place. The pool of respondents, however, is so laughably small as to make the poll all but meaningless.

One question left unasked by the paper is how information on voting method was broadcast to the student body. The source of information on where to vote was not put out by SA, but rather by the candidates themselves—or, in some cases, by the creative medium of sidewalk chalk. The Assembly's website doesn't even provide a link to the elections page. As a matter of fact, the top three items on the Assembly's page are as follows: "SA report: Minority Professor Recruitment and Retention", "Ivy Council Report", and "Statement of Concern Regarding Journalistic Integrity in The Dartmouth".

In an aside, there is a new Dartmouth blog put out by three members of the '10 class, one of whom is a TDR staff member. To date, most of DartWire's entries have been interesting; I encourage you to look them up.