Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Administration: no merit to a potential lawsuit

Here is the email Dean Zimmerman sent out following the Sunday meeting with the former students of Priya Venkatesan. The blitz, below the fold.

Date: 28 Apr 2008 09:29:08 -0400
From: Gail M. Zimmerman
Subject: Meeting summary
To: [REDACTED]
Cc: thc@cs.dartmouth.edu (Thomas H. Cormen), Daniel M. Nelson, Thomas Crady, Robert B. Donin, Kevin D. O'Leary, Susan E. Knapp

Dear Students,

Thanks to all of you who were able to attend yesterday's meeting. For those of you who were not able to attend, below is a summary of the key points. I, and the other deans in the First-Year Office, remain available to meet with any of you on an individual basis and/or to talk with your parents. Please don't hesitate to share this information with your parents.

The most significant concern was related to the legal issues raised by former Prof. Venkatesan's emails. Robert Donin, Dartmouth's General Counsel, was present at yesterday's meeting. He advises that we do not believe there is any merit to a potential lawsuit and he does not feel it necessary for students to retain their own legal counsel at this time. Any lawsuit received by the College would be responded to by Dartmouth's legal counsel. There has been no such action thus far. Students and parents should feel free to contact Dartmouth's General Counsel if there are individual concerns. They can be reached at:
Office of the General Counsel
Dartmouth College
14 South Main Street
Suite 2C
Hanover, New Hampshire 03755
Telephone: (603) 646-2444

Most of you have seen and/or heard that the Dartmouth Review and The Dartmouth have articles and blogs about the emails that you have received. There interest and publication may result in other media becoming interested as well. Should you be approached by any media for comment, you are certainly free to talk. Our advice would be, if you choose to do so, do so judiciously and/or with caution. You should also know that you are under no obligation to respond at all and this may be the best approach. Our Public Affairs Office is happy to advise you on your rights when responding to media requests. Sue Knapp, Stephen Smith, and Roland Adams are familiar with this situation. They can be reached at:
Office of Public Affairs
Office Address: 7 Lebanon St., Suite 201, Hanover, NH 03755
Telephone: (603) 646-3661

Questions arose as to our ability to block Prof. Venkatesan's emails. Whether that ability exists or not, it would not likely stop her emails from reaching your inbox given the dearth and ready availability of other free email systems such as hotmail, gmail, and yahoo. If these emails are distressing, please don't hesitate to forward them to me unopened. I would request you to forward any emails to me regardless of whether you read them or not so that I can be apprised of and assess how best to respond and support you.

Again, please don't hesitate to contact any of the first-year deans with concerns or questions.

Take care,
Dean Z

pk/sf
***************************************
Gail M. Zimmerman, Ed.D.
Dean of First-Year Students
Dartmouth College
6007 Parkhurst
Hanover, NH 03755

22 comments:

alum said...

While the former prof is likely a raving moonbat, I'm not sure if Donin's track record is all that good on declaring suits "meritless".

But also, the Dean says "There interest and publication may result. . ." I guess that shows you what an EdD is really worth. Maybe she needs Writ 5 herself.

mula said...

Donin's track record won't be known until this fall, at the latest. The merits of the AoA suit can't be proven until the trial takes place. When or if that happens, the petition will be dismissed for lacking legal merit.

Grammar Boy said...

Glad that Mula (Meachem) knows how the lawsuit will turn out!

Re: the above e-mail:

"There interest and publication...."

Ummm. How about "Their"

Anonymous said...

Mula=Meacham?

I thought TrueNorth=Meacham?

Let's all write him in for president... of the AoA and the HI, and he can fix everything.

Anonymous said...

Whether that ability exists or not, it would not likely stop her emails from reaching your inbox given the dearth and ready availability of other free email systems such as hotmail, gmail, and yahoo.

According to Websters, "dearth" means "scarcity that makes dear; an inadequate supply."

Dean Z's statement regarding "the dearth and ready availability of other free email systems" is therefore contradictory. Maybe she should brush up on those SAT words...

Anonymous said...

Grammer Boy=Boles Dei?

Anonymous said...

There=Their

Grammer=Grammar

How did these people ever graduate?

Anonymous said...

Given our collective compulsion to apologize for all manner of sins, whether real or perceived, one wonders where the College's public apology appears to the students who were the recipients of these threats; and where is the refund to their parents for the week of classes that this instructor cancelled in response to a student who had the temerity to publically disagree with her. This person was an employee of the College and the College should be held accountable for her deplorable behavior.

Anonymous said...

Should have proofed my prior post:
publically=publicly

Signed,
Slave to Spellcheck

Anonymous said...

Potatoe, Potahto
Tomatoe, Tomahto
Let's call the whole thing off.

Dan Quaiyle

Anonymous said...

Now I know why Dean Zimmerman signs off her letters and refers to herself as "Dean Z": It cuts down on spelling and grammatical errors! I guess if you spend enough time in a bloated academic bureacracy, you get used to people not paying attention to what you have to say. Tends to make you a sloppy writer, right Dean Z?

Anonymous said...

Announcing "Writing and Grammer 86: Zimmerman is to (sic) hard to spell and Why I am faced by the Dearth (and ready availability) of dictionaries"

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