Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Alumnus Response to the AoA President

I am an alumnus, Class of 1959, and have read your e-mail.

You are wrong when you imply that the recent letter, signed by four alumni, purported to be from the Alumni Association. Nowhere does it state or imply such. In fact, it directly critical of the official position taken by the Association in connection with the alumni-Trustee issue and seeks to influence who is elected the Association's officer in the upcoming election


The full letter is below the fold.

On the question of the Governance Committee's not meeting with the officers of the Association, the letter says that the Governance Committee "rejected the request for mediation". You e-mail says nothing about this. Did you seek mediation? If so, what reason did the Governance Committee give for refusing same?

Since you are President of the Alumni Association, why did you not support the retention of the existing system for parity of alumni to non-alumni on the College Board of Trustees, and thus preserve the historic roll of the alumni in the governance of the College? By your action in opposing the lawsuit, you have abrogated your duty to preserve the strength and influence of the alumni and their association.

A majority of the non-alumni elected members of the Board of Trustees obviously did not like having to accommodate as equals the members elected by the alumni directly. They and the officers of the Alumni Association failed to make their case to the alumni who voted to elect other people. When confronted with this fact, the Governance Committee solved their problem by increasing the number of non-elected Trustees. Doesn't this sound similar to FDR's attempt to pack the Supreme Court?

Clearly you and others on the Alumni Association's Board who oppose the lawsuit represent the interests of the Trustees and not the alumni as a whole.

You sound the alarm that some of the support for the lawsuit might be coming from people who are not a part of "the Dartmouth family." Pray tell when did this become a disqualification. After all, how many Presidents have the Trustees appointed who were not a part of "the Dartmouth family." And, by the way, just who makes the determination of who is and who is not a member of "the Dartmouth family"?

To the best of my knowledge the Hanover Institute, which I support, does not support or oppose people running for public office, so why do you label it a political action group?

If you are uncomfortable with having the alumni be able to directly nominate persons to the Association's Board of Directors and for the alumni to have parity on the College Trustee Board, then why not just say so-and let other alumni have their say too?

6 comments:

Ratster said...

Nameless '59, the Hanover Institute's letter states that it is from the Association of Alumni, at the top of the page.

It is not "directly critical of the official position taken by the Association in connection with the alumni-Trustee issue." It supports the official position, which is that the Association deserves a court order forcing the Board to accept Association nominees.

Why do you care if Hutch personally sought "mediation" if you know that several Executives who support the lawsuit did so? Is it important to you that Hutchinson also tilt at windmills?

Hutchinson does "support the retention of the existing system for parity of alumni to non-alumni on the College Board of Trustees." He just doesn't support the filing of idiotic litigation that will do nothing to change the system the Board has adopted. What makes you think he is "uncomfortable" with your plan for alumni governance?

Anonymous '59, is is low and dishonorable of you to accuse Hutchinson of abrogating his "duty to preserve the strength and influence of the alumni and their association." The only people who have abrogated their duties to the Association are the majority of the Executive Committee who have willingly lent the Association's name to the Hanover Institute in order to allow that group to sue the Board.

Your comment that the anti-lawsuit Executives "represent the interests of the Trustees and not the alumni as a whole" is disappointing in its ignorance and willingness to jump to irrational conclusion. You must be too old or thick to understand that elected leaders are capable of having different opinions over policy, especially a radical and extreme policy of litigation directed and funded by outside groups that represent their own interests.

When did interference from unknown interest groups outside the Dartmouth family become a disqualification? In 1819.


The Governance Committee has increased the number of elected Trustees. If you believe it has not, then you should read its report. This is not similar to FDR's effort to pack the court. The Supreme Court is not a corporation that is allowed to expand itself, and the Board has no coequal branch of "government" to try to influence it. You should pick an analogy that is useful.

The Hanover Institute is a PAC because it pretends to be one. All of its rhetoric about elections, government, representation, the "franchise," and voting rights is an attempt to convince alumni (umm, "constituents") of the untruth that they are part of a political process. You should be ashamed to admit that you have any connection to the Hanover Institute.

Anonymous said...

Catster says:

Ratster and others claim the letter sent by several officers of the Association of Alumni, using their organizational letterhead, is "the Hanover Institute's letter". Why would it not be the letter of those who signed it?

Is Mr. Hutchinson's letter really one from the Dartmouth College administration? One surmises he would emphatically say not.

Let's be consistent here.

Anonymous said...

This post belongs on the newer Dartmouth Student thread, which is broken. Please move it there when it is fixed.

From: Student Mailman

"Mailing cost for this message has been paid for by Dartmouth Undying as a service to Dartmouth Alumni. The message was created, prepared and signed solely by students. Dartmouth Undying did not solicit this message. A signature on this letter does not necessarily imply support for Dartmouth Undying."

Mailing cost for this message has been paid for by the Hanover Institute as a service to Dartmouth Alumni. The message was created, prepared and signed solely by Dartmouth Alumni. The Hanover Institute did not solicit this message. A signature on this letter does not necessarily imply support for the Hanover Institute.

The first is OK, but the second is e-e-evil. Oh, my.

ratster said...

Association letters have always been sent by Dartmouth. They express the thoughts of their signers.

The Hanover Institute letter was sent by the Hanover Institute. It expresses the thoughts of its signers, one of whom is an officer of the Hanover Institute who is acting (despite his protestations to the contrary) in his capacity as the corporation's secretary. The letterwas not sent by the Alumni Association and its use of AA letterhead is a fraud.

Anonymous said...

Catster says:

Ratster needs to pay attention to the Student Mailman immediately above Ratster's last post, and maybe read this insight into legitimate mailings from the Association of Alumni.

Ratster said...

Catster, the Hanover Institute never had the honesty to take credit for its letter, and if it used the Mailman's second disclaimer, it would still be dissembling. What insight have I missed?