Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Response to Klorese

An alum's response to the Klorese '77 Op-Ed:

Roger Klorese '77 is completely wrong on the law in his piece in
the "D". Though one can argue as to whether the alumni should be an
important stakeholder in the College, there is no doubt that they could
contract with the Board to hold a certain number of seats on the Board.
Judge Vaughan's ruling in favor of the AoA on the Motion to Dismiss states
categorically:

"The Court further finds that the Board had the requisite
authority to enter into the Agreement, and that the Agreement did not
represent an improper delegation of the Board's duties" (p. 13).

If Bill Gate's were to offer Dartmouth $1BN, but ask that he and
his heirs have a permanent seat on the Board, there is no doubt that the
Board could enter into this Agreement - just as the Board enters into short
term agreements with Trustees today, eg.: "Ed, you give us $10M and we'll
name a building after you and give you a seat on the Board...".

My two cents, below the fold.

The pro board-packing faction's motivations for attempting to paint parity as a "conservative cabal" are painfully transparent. With a nominally 'conservative' president mired so low in the polls that no one will touch him, the word 'conservative' has recently come to represent all of the blundering that came with his presidency, fairly or unfairly. There are two glaring problems with the board-packer's assertions:
  1. Not all of the pro-parity folks are conservative. Indeed, one of the most prominent people for parity is T.J. Rodgers '70. Rodgers (a) is a leading producer of solar power, (b) has said the following when asked who he'd vote for: "In my value system where the good guys are libertarians and the bad guys are totalitarian, there are two bad guys--McCain and Hillary. I would vote against them for anybody else. For example, I'd vote for Obama," (c) and he only married his girlfriend of 22 years for tax reasons. Marian Chambers '76, who is running for the AoA's secretary/treasurer position, "worked for the Democrats in Congress for 23 years." And just recently, Dartblog published a letter from Daniel King '02 urging his fellow progressives to get behind parity. He described himself as, “ an openly gay man, a teacher, a card-carrying member of the Democratic Party, the ACLU, and the Human Rights Campaign.”
  2. Second, and more importantly, transparency and fair play are not left/right, democrat/republican, or liberal/conservative issues. As Marian Chambers stated in an interview with us, it's just commonsense. Is their not something just a little hilarious in the fact that the board-packers are 'slandering' their opponents for believing in fair play? The board-packers have probably picked the right side of history to be on, but that's nothing to be proud of.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your correspondent is certainly correct about the law, but I didn't read the Klorese op-ed to express any opinion on the law, so I'm not sure how he can be "completely wrong" about it.

Anonymous said...

Second, and more importantly, transparency and fair play are not left/right, democrat/republican, or liberal/conservative issues.

Of course not, but "transparency and fair play" aren't what the dispute is about.

Anonymous said...

"Transparency": Selecting nominees via an open election process with no restrictions on speech, versus selection by an appointed 5-person committee meeting behind closed doors. Not what the dispute is about?

"Fair play": Play the game by our rules, or we will take your ball and go home. Not what the dispute is about?

Anonymous said...

Who is this "alum" who wrote the "completely wrong" response?

If the contract claim is so certain, then why does the Petition includes two backup arguments, and why does Trustee Zywicki not think there is an enforceable contract?

The Board could not sell the Gateses a permanent seat or "contract with the Board to hold a certain number of seats on the Board" without amending the Charter.

Judge Vaughan's statement is (a) dictum or appealable and (b) implicitly interprets the supposed "contract" according to the law of 2008, not of 1891, which he will be required to do if he presides over the trial. Selling off charter seats was even less kosher in 1891.

Anonymous said...

Goodness... "originalist" legal thinking from the left? [Let's interpret according to old law and not current law.] Are the Board-packers already planning a post-November appeal to override Judge Vaughn?

If it turns out parity does require a change in the Charter in order to comply with the Agreement the Trustees made, then they can and should simply change the Charter!

Anonymous said...

Goodness... "originalist" legal thinking from the left? [Let's interpret according to old law and not current law.]

There are so many things wrong with this statement. The comments section of Dartlog isn't the place for a lecture on originalism, but even Linda Greenhouse understands it better than that.

anon. 3:16 said...

Anonymous 3:27, if there is one thing you can bet on, it is that the losing side will appeal.

The plaintiff is the one claiming that a contract was formed in 1891 that the law would have recognized as a contract. That is not "originalist" thinking.

How do you propose to force the Trustees to amend the Charter? Have you tried asking the state legislature to go ahead and change it for them?

Anonymous said...

Don't see why Alum thinks Klorese is wrong on the law. Klorese did not comment on the law. He did not even mention the Board contracting out its inherent powers, which is all that Alum writes about.