Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Carol Folt and the Media

A whirlwind of announcements and promises by the Board of Trustees have followed Wright's notice of departure. The theme is this: it's the community, along with Dartmouth's higher-ups, that will choose our 17th President - and the decision-making process will be long and thorough. Yet, since Wright's announcement, an emerging trend of favorable media has been issued by the College to positively portray Dean of Faculty and rumored Wright-acolyte Carol Folt. Here's the latest from the Office of Alumni Relations:

Don't miss Spotlight on the Classroom, a regional discussion series in spring 2008 for all alumni who've ever wondered what it takes to create the unequaled learning experience that is the Dartmouth classroom. Join Professor Carol Folt, dean of the faculty; another Dartmouth professor; and David Spalding '76, vice president for Alumni Relations, for a conversation about the academic needs and experiences of Dartmouth students today.

Keep your eyes out for more of this kind of thing. Dartmouth doesn't want to be the last Ivy to announce its first female President; more importantly, as the war with the alumni rages, the administration's ideals for its next leader aren't hard to surmise. Is the decision already made?

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't you mean "the war with the majority of the Executive Committee of the Association of Alumni"? A few disgruntled fantasists and ignorant boobs have filed a lawsuit against the Board of Trustees, if that is what you are referring to. I'm not aware of a "war" with alumni.

Anonymous said...

Nope. According to Dartlog, we all sued the College.

Dartmouth's 70,000 alumni have brought suit against the College Administration, asking for enforcement of an 1891 Agreement granting alumni the right to elect half of the College's Trustees.

Are there any honest people out there writing about the lawsuit?

Anonymous said...

To be factuallly correct, the duly-elected representatives of all the alumni brought the suit on their behalf.

True, this was not an issue at the time of their election, because the trustee governance committee did not reveal the Board was considering a change to its composition until the very day the election ended.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, but who's interested in being factually correct?

There's no small irony in the fact that the AoA people are claiming that their suit is out to enforce "democracy." Unlike the AoA, the Trustees don't purport to govern the alumni or to have any authority to speak on their behalf.

Unfortunately, short of renouncing my Dartmouth diploma, there seems to be no way of keeping these AoA assclowns from claiming that they represent me. If anyone knows of a way to opt out of the AoA without asking the registrar to expunge any records of my existence, I'd very much appreciate it.

Having just received the latest Patrick Henry wannabe mailing from the Hanover Institute begging for money I'm in a bit of a pissy mood. It's hard to be believe that anyone involved with this is acting in good faith.

Anonymous said...

DEMOCRACY 101: WHEN YOU DON'T AGREE WITH THE ACTIONS OF YOUR DULY ELECTED LEADERS, VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE IN THE NEXT ELECTION.

It is astounding to read posts here from people who, I guess, don’t think that elected representatives have the right to make decisions without previously consulting the voters on the specific decision at issue. For the unfamiliar, they do have that right! Such a system is known as representative democracy.

If you are looking to live in a direct democracy, you can go to....... Uh, sorry, nothing comes to mind.

In this specific instance, the Executive Committee of the AoA is elected every year, so you won’t have to wait long to make your feelings known in a freely contested election. However, if your side loses (as I assume it has in the last four trustee races, the constitution referendum, and last year’s AoA election), you’ll have to live with the result for another year.

Anonymous said...

Carol Folt?

Anonymous said...

To be factually correct, a single unelected "liaison for legal affairs" brought the suit on behalf of alumni. Not only is he unelected, he is the one who made the motion that he be appointed "liaison for legal affairs," and he voted for it. He did not tell alumni the law suit would be fueled with cash from his outside corporation.

The Patrick Henry/Thomas Paine/James Madison crap is a sign of confusion between civic and corporate governance and of delusions of grandeur. One person proposed that a new AoA website would be like Madison's notes on the Constitution!

Mr. "Democracy 101," your idea of representative democracy depends on transparency and good faith. Can we truly say representatives are participating in "freely contested" elections or doing the bidding of the people when they lie to us in their campaigns and in office? Check the latest campaign biographies to see if any of the officers of CSDC or the Hanover Institute admit it. Those people will do anything to win.

Anonymous said...

It is astounding to read posts here from people who, I guess, don’t think that elected representatives have the right to make decisions without previously consulting the voters on the specific decision at issue. For the unfamiliar, they do have that right! Such a system is known as representative democracy.

Right, but where did these people get the right to speak for you in the first place? In addition to voting, people who don't like their government can move. Shareholders who don't like the directors can sell their stock. I'm looking for the analogue w/r/t the AoA, and it looks like I'm stuck. Of the 70,000 alumni out there, my guess is that a very small fraction of them actually think that they need "duly elected representatives" and that an even smaller fraction actually supports this lawsuit.

Unfortunately, we seem to be stuck with this group and the AoA. Perhaps the next ballot should include a provision to disband the group altogether.

Also, don't throw the word democracy around if you don't understand it. The Board of Trustees isn't in charge of the alumni and doesn't claim to represent them. The only people they have authority over are the students and employees of the College. Yet the AoA lawsuit claims to be out to restore "democracy" by having a bunch of alumni call the shots. That's not any more democratic than having Dartmouth's Trustees elected by the Town of Hanover.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:16 is wrong. The suit was brought by the elected representatives of the Association by a vote of 6-3. The liaison was appointed by those same representatives to oversee its execution; he did not proceed unilaterally.

But as Anon 11:43 said, who is interested in factual correctness.

Anonymous said...

Carol Folt?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:16. If there is a lie in a campaign statement by any of the candidates, as you claim, please point it out to us. Otherwise it appears you will do anything to have your prefered candidates chosen.

Anonymous said...

"The liaison was appointed by those same representatives to oversee its execution; he did not proceed unilaterally."

But he did take it upon himself to initiate the contact with the attorneys, then move for his own appointment as liaison, then vote for it, then singlehandedly coordinate the law suit and control the attorneys' communication with the EC, even though his outside corporation is supplying the cash. Oh yes, he resisted disclosing that fact for months and claimed it was up to the attorneys.

Anonymous said...

Back to the substance of the original post, just what does this mean? "rumored Wright-acolyte Carol Folt"

Is there a secret cult ceremony where Wright speaks to his followers and Folt lights the candles? If so, please give us pictures.

anon. 8:16 said...

Misstatements, lies and omissions made by the petition slate:

"The alumni of Dartmouth College – who created the nearly 4 billion dollar endowment – are really its shareholders and deserve to have a voice not controlled by the administration and the faculty." Urstadt

"the 1891 Agreement which has guaranteed for 116 years that Dartmouth alumni elect 50% of the Board." Ross

"Last year, when I ran for this position, I promised to be devoted to transparency, full financial disclosure, and honest representation of all alumni." Ross

"The Board of Trustees’ attempted power grab last fall, which would relegate alumni trustees to permanent minority status," Ross

"The overriding issue in this election is whether the long-established right of Dartmouth alumni to elect half of Dartmouth’s trustees will be preserved." Roberts

"If our slate is not elected, this lawsuit will be dropped and the Board will see itself as unchecked, and divisions will deepen." Roberts

"I am a founding member of the Committee to Save Dartmouth College." Omitted by Roberts

"I am a founding member of the Committee to Save Dartmouth College." Omitted by Mooney

"I helped create and strongly supported H.B. 1292 in the New Hampshire Legislature." Omitted by Mooney

"the 1891 Agreement which has guaranteed for 116 years that Dartmouth alumni elect 50% of the Board." Mooney

"The trustees have dismissed elections as 'divisive,' but the effect has been the opposite." Hafer

"I am the Secretary of the Hanover Institute, Incorporated." Omitted by Gado

"I was nominated by a petition circulated by the Hanover Institute." Omitted by Gado

"The Hanover Institute is providing the bulk of the funding for the lawsuit." Omitted by Gado

"The EC voted to ignore my conflict of interest last year, and I intend to obtain a similar vote again this year." Omitted by Gado

"the balance of elected to appointed trustees, as contractually provided in the 1891 Agreement." Gado

"those efforts went unreciprocated, leaving us no recourse but to file suit." Gado

"a victory by opponents would produce nullification of the 1891 Agreement, an immediate surrender of alumni rights forevermore." Gado

"this election will be the most important in Dartmouth's history." Gado

"alumni now have to overcome all sorts of obstacles to stand for the Board of Trustees or the leadership of the Association of Alumni" Chambers

"It is not putting it too strongly to say that Dartmouth alumni have entered the world of George Orwell." Chambers

"We are supposed to contribute, but not ask where the money goes." Chambers

"We are supposed to swallow meekly whatever candidates the establishment serves up to us." Chambers

"it is necessary to recognize a serious conflict of interest that Mr. Spalding has." Chambers

"I am running as a truly independent candidate." Chambers

"I was nominated by a petition circulated by the Hanover Institute." Omitted by Chambers

"I pledge to support all reasonable efforts to prevent Trustees from destroying alumni democracy." Murphy

"The Association of Alumni was formed in 1854 because many alumni were concerned by the direction of the College." Boles

"Dartmouth alumni pledged to provide financial and other support, and the Trustees agreed to seat 50% of the Board with elected alumni trustees; 50% with appointed charter trustees, plus the President who could break ties." Boles

"Presidents Tucker, Hopkins and Dickey believed and lived this principle throughout their terms of leadership. Never once did any of them question the alumni right to nominate 50% of the Board of Trustees." Meirengoff

"Now the current Board of Trustees, with a blithe disregard for history, intends to destroy the centerpiece of the historic accord that brought Dartmouth its legendary level of alumni support." Meirengoff

"we may continue the effort of the Association of Alumni to stop the Trustees’ Board-packing plan." Meirengoff

Anonymous said...

Other than confusion between "stockholder" and "stakeholder", and the ambiguity between Board elections of trustees, and alumni elections of nominees, the above quotes are either ones of opinion, or arguably correct.

Which are outright lies?

And "ommission's" do not count. Did John Mathias disclose the names of his associates in high school school, who may be sitting on the boards of universities who compete with Dartmouth in recruiting?

Thanks anyway for providing additional visibility for these important messages.

Anonymous said...

Carol Folt?

Anonymous said...

Just one example of the false innuendo coming from 8:16:

He states the executive committee voted to ignore a conflict of interest by Frank Gado. In fact, the EC minutes show that they voted unanimously (including college employee Spalding) that Gado's position with the Hanover Institute did not constitute a conflict with the Association they represent.

In the paraphrased words of Ayn Rand, "Who is Carol Folt?", and why are we supposed to be discussing her here?

Anonymous said...

So you only care about "outright lies"? Why? Are relying on alumni's native intelligence to see through the misleading statements and omissions? "Omission's [sic]" absolutely do count, because these are the official campaign biographies. Everything the candidates are under an ethical duty to disclose must be disclosed here. To leave out something essential is to mislead the voters.

The above quotes are not even "arguably" correct. Some of the more astonishing lies are:

"The alumni of Dartmouth College ... are really its shareholders." – this written by someone who claims to run a major corporation.

"the 1891 Agreement ... has guaranteed for 116 years that Dartmouth alumni elect 50% of the Board." Pure falsehood.

Ross did promise "to be devoted to transparency, full financial disclosure, and honest representation of all alumni," but she has consistently thwarted transparency and full financial disclosure.

"The Board of Trustees ... would relegate alumni trustees to permanent minority status." This is one of the more insulting lies told by any campaigner, because it pretends that alumni don't know that alumni trustees have had a permanent minority status since 1891.

"The balance of elected to appointed trustees is "contractually provided in the 1891 Agreement." This is a lie unless and until the AoA wins the law suit. That means it is a lie now.

"those efforts went unreciprocated, leaving us no recourse but to file suit." This is an outright lie meant to excuse the AoA's behavior as somehow inevitable or not its fault.

"a victory by opponents would produce nullification of the 1891 Agreement" is a lie because the 1891 agreement, if it exists, requires the full 8 alumni trustees that still exist.

"a victory by opponents would produce ... an immediate surrender of alumni rights forevermore." Gado's lies come in many flavors; this is a flamboyant, idiotic kind of lie.

"alumni now have to overcome all sorts of obstacles to stand for the Board of Trustees or the leadership of the Association of Alumni." Oh, really? Is that the result of the institution of all-media voting and the expansion of petitions? Alumni face fewer obstacles, not more.

"It is not putting it too strongly to say that Dartmouth alumni have entered the world of George Orwell." Except that it is. This statement is hyperbole, not lying, but it is meant to mislead the voter nevertheless. The world of 1984 (not Orwell) is simply not an appropriate specter in debates about the governance of private organizations – not governments.

"We are supposed to contribute, but not ask where the money goes." That's why Dartmouth publishes an annual report? Wtf?

"it is necessary to recognize a serious conflict of interest that Mr. Spalding has." That is false; and Mr. Spalding does not have a serious conflict of interest, especially as compared to that of Frank Gado.

"I am running as a truly independent candidate." Especially after her attempt to impugn Mr. Spalding, who actually disclosed that he works for Dartmouth, Chambers is telling a falsehood here, since her petition was circulated by John MacGovern and her candidacy is supported by the Hanover Institute, which is pursuing the lawsuit while using the name and identity of the AoA.

"The Association of Alumni was formed in 1854 because many alumni were concerned by the direction of the College." Without any evidence at all, we have to assume this is false too.

"Dartmouth alumni pledged to provide financial and other support, and the Trustees agreed to seat 50% of the Board with elected alumni trustees; 50% with appointed charter trustees, plus the President who could break ties." This false and unevidenced presentation of revisionist history is meant to mislead you by intentionally leaving out one of the trustees. There were 12, not 11, when the 1891 agreement was made. The idea that the president is meant to break ties on a board 12 is idiotic.

"Never once did any of" Tucker, Hopkins, or Dickey "question the alumni right to nominate 50% of the Board of Trustees." Nor did they question the right of Santa Claus to put coal in stockings.

"the current Board of Trustees, with a blithe disregard for history," is opinionated, but it is misleading. Anyone with a regard for history knows that the tradition of prohibiting alumni from nominating any trustees to the board lasted 122 years, and parity has only existed since the board first got the chance to change the ratio in 1961. So much for history.

"the current Board of Trustees ... intends to destroy the centerpiece of the historic accord" is a lie, because Meirengoff has no information about the intentions of the board, and parity is not the "centerpiece" of the agreement, if it is real.

Why are you apologizing for these scoundrels? Do you think the end justifies the means? Your attempt at an excuse is priceless: Other than confusion between "stockholder" and "stakeholder", and the ambiguity between Board elections of trustees, and alumni elections of nominees, the above quotes are either ones of opinion, or arguably correct.

Other than the death part, murder isn't really harmful, is it?

anon. 8:16 said...

anon 1:20:

What is "false innuendo"? A discreet hint that is not really a discreet hint? Are you saying the statements above are unsubtle?

You are wrong about the Executive Committee's attempt to excuse Frank Gado's conflict of interest. I was able to look it up online and the EC only tried to define the conflict out of existence by "deeming" it not to be a conflict. That's like "deeming" the day to be sunny when it's really raining. The conflict exists no matter what the EC says about it.

Anonymous said...

Among all the other blather, a "drivel highlight":

"The balance of elected to appointed trustees is "contractually provided in the 1891 Agreement." This is a lie unless and until the AoA wins the law suit. That means it is a lie now."

But it might not be in the future?

What an idiotic comment.

Anonymous said...

Making a statement of incorrect fact is not lying unless it is done knowingly. When Hillary "mis-spoke" about sniper fire, was she also lying or simply mis-speaking? Ditto W. and WMD. Stating an opinion as fact may be presumptive, but it is not lying.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:52 has some beauties:

"Without any evidence at all, we have to assume this is false too."

What spell are these people under?

Who is Carol Folt?

Anonymous said...

Hillary mispoke. Bush lied. Only an idiot would confuse the two.

Anonymous said...

If "making a statement of incorrect fact is not lying unless it is done knowingly, then I guess all the petition candidates are idiots. Or are you talking about Chambers in particular, who doesn't give much indication she has any idea what's going on?

The statement that "the Association of Alumni was formed in 1854 because many alumni were concerned by the direction of the College" is implausible on its face. Because it comes from someone who has made several misleading statements about Dartmouth history and who has given no evidence that this one is any truer, we should assume it is false.

Carol Folt is the dean whom some predict will be appointed as the next president.

What is "false innuendo"?

Anonymous said...

"Stating an opinion as fact may be presumptive."

What if you are stating as fact an untenable legal position handed to you by a non-lawyer? Can you take advantage of the "unknowing" excuse?

Anonymous said...

The statement that "the Association of Alumni was formed in 1854 because many alumni were concerned by the direction of the College" is implausible on its face.

No, it's not. How is it implausible?

If the date was, say, 1754, I'd agree that it's implausible on its face, but I think we need some context if we're to agree with you.

Anonymous said...

It is implausible when viewed thru the blind eyes of a loyalist who cannot comprehend that alumni are ever concerned about the direction of the College.

Anonymous said...

I'm getting concerned about John Bruce because he hasn't commented here. I hope he is feeling well.

Anonymous said...

"Carol Folt is the dean whom some predict will be appointed as the next president."

And?

John Bruce said...

I'm fine, but this thread is pretty awful.

Anonymous said...

The general Association of Alumni was formed in 1854. It was an outgrowth of the city associations, which focused on social events. The alumni agitation that led to the 1891 agreement did not become significant until the 1870s.

This campaign statement is the first time anyone has linked the foundation of the AoA to alumni concern over the direction of the College. The author provides no evidence of his claim or reason to believe he is not using revisionist history to backdate the support for a cause that is distinctly recent, probably post-political correctness or at least post-Steel. The statement is implausible.

anon. 8:16 said...

Anon. 4:39, may we assume you agree that everything listed but the "because many alumni were concerned by the direction of the College" claim is a misstatement or omission because you don't disagree with any of them?

Anonymous said...

Restore the thread from awfulness...

Carol Folt? Pros and Cons?

Anonymous said...

Pro: Carol Folt, like Wright, is familiar with how Dartmouth works.

Con: Carol Folt, like Wright, is not a big name.

Chances: only 30%. After the Freedman-Wright sequence, I think they will go for a big-name outsider.

Anonymous said...

Is a big prestigous name the top priority? Why?

John Bruce said...

I'm told that another name that's being broached in the poll is Susan Dentzer. Considering she doesn't have either a PhD or a law degree, I'm not sure how serious this is. Maybe all these names are like the placebo in a drug test or something.

Anonymous said...

Anyone lacking a PhD is a non-starter.... thank goodness in Ms. Dentzer's case.

Anonymous said...

What poll?

Anonymous said...

A phone poll that is being conducted by some polling company. Telltale sign: the pronunciation of the College's name as DartMOUTH.

John Bruce said...

I'm told that the poll is "at the behest of" the Dartmouth Undying group, and they are apparently asking for positive or negative reactions to certain names, including Folt and Dentzer.

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