Friday, February 27, 2009

Zeta Psi Information Session

Zete alumni and national representatives held an information session today geared towards potential rushees of the fraternity in fall 2009. Zeta Psi has been officially derecognized since 2001, and has been dark for three years. T. Weymouth '79 and Jake Gehret '81 delivered short presentations to a crowd of approximately 25 freshmen as well as a handful of upperclassmen. The alums emphasized leadership, diversity, their renovated physical plant, and the concept of "brothers for life" in order to garner a core interest group for the house. Gehret artfully dodged a question about restrictions on the house before the truth came out that Zete would theoretically have to be dry for two years upon rerecognition, visibly dampening the spirits of some interested students in the room. Whether Zete will become a resurgent social force on campus next year remains to be seen.

TDR: "The Sex Issue" is now up!

Don't miss the saucy and sarcastic new issue. Inside:

NYU Occupation Fail

A video has surfaced on Youtube documenting one of several reasons why I never bothered applying to NYU. This video defies description and it's best if you see it on your own.




Notice how one of them says something about "corporate water" whilst they are all using Macbooks. Apparently, NYU students do not understand irony.

The week piece on this revolution can be found here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Climate Justice" Research Grant

The Ford Foundation recently awarded a $300,000 grant to Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Michael Dorsey at Dartmouth to research “Climate Justice” (Daily D article here). This glorious marriage of buzzwords refers not to redistributing some of Miami’s warmth to Hanover but to studying the effects of climate change and the various attempts to prevent it on low-income and minority communities. A preliminary finding? Carbon cap-and-trade laws and other market-based programs are unjust. Apparently here, as so often in academia, 'justice' is defined as the opposite of capitalism. Among Dorsey's complaints is that market-based anti-carbon measures often fail to reduce the emissions of pollutants other than carbon. Perhaps his research will further damn such capitalistic solutions by showing that they don't prevent heart disease or sexual assault, either.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Follow-up on Grafton County Treasurer Drama

There is now an AP article reporting on the criticism of newly elected Grafton County Treasurer and Dartmouth College student Vanessa Sievers, although most of the facts are summarized a few posts below.

Apparently a $42 Facebook ad is enough to win college students' votes.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Buh-Bye Blitz

Got this in my inbox last night:

HELLO BLITZMAIL 2.O!

The Email Task Force needs student input in order to choose a new email provider. PLEASE FILL OUT THE SURVEY BELOW TO HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD!

-Student Assembly

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=i4B7oWP7_2fvA4cFtaGLWLsg_3d_3d


Clients listed in the survey include Yahoo!, GMail, Hotmail, AOL, and Verizon among others. It appears this is the end of an era.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dartmouth Coach Arrives in NYC

The Daily D reported today that the Dartmouth Coach is going to begin offering rides to New York City, undoubtedly a welcome benefit to students from the city. They'll only be offering 1 trip a day, at $150 per round-trip ticket. The D failed to report on the fact that this new service is essentially an absurd luxury, given the alternatives for the car-less college student.

For just $80 (the price of a one-way ticket on the Coach's new service), one can go to New York round trip. Simply take the Dartmouth Coach ($50) to Boston, and then stop by the Fung-Wah bus lines in South Station and grab a round-trip ticket to New York ($30). Both buses operate on the hour, every hour, as opposed to the Coach's new one-a-day service, which costs almost twice as much. In the end, you're only looking about an extra 1-1.5 hours of traveling, as well. Also, if you miss your return trip, you only have to wait an hour for the next bus, instead of a full day.

Unless you desperately need internet, a kitchen, a conference table and satellite radio, and don't mind getting up for a 6AM bus, don't bother with the new NYC service.

Not a Lesson Learned from the 2001 Budget Crisis

Dick Ramsden, former CFO and Trustee of Brown University, wrote a piece in the Valley News following the 2001 budget cuts at Dartmouth. Joseph Asch '79 has kindly sent us the article which can be found after the jump. It's especially absurd that the astronomic spending increases were so myopic: Ramsden points out that several nearby institutions use Yale's formula for endowment spending which takes into account market values and therefore avoid the need to cut spending so abruptly. The article is very relevant considering the recent decision to dig deeper into the endowment.


Whenever 1998 is mentioned it has been underlined, as it seems that the loosening of the spigots coincides with President Wright's induction in 1998.


The Rest of the Story


During the recent controversy over the future of Dartmouth College’s swimming and diving teams, a much larger question was not addressed. Why is an institution with an endowment exceeding $2 billion, that has raised over $300 million in total gifts over the past three fiscal years ending June 30, 2002, and has one of the most prolific annual funds in higher education, reduced to cutting swimming to save $200,000 a year? This is an attempt to tell “the rest of the story.”


Dartmouth officials state the College’s endowment is down and they must cut the budget. It sounds reasonable, but how has Dartmouth’s endowment fared in recent years? In June 1994 the Dartmouth endowment was $750 million; by June 2000 it reached almost $2.5 billion, more than tripling in six years. Since then it has receded to an estimated $2.1 billion. Over the 5 and 10 years ending June 2002 Dartmouth’s compound annual investment returns have been 13.7 and 14.8 percent. Over the three-, five-, seven- and ten-year periods ending June 2002, Dartmouth’s investment performance ranks in the top ten of 150 leading colleges and universities. Dartmouth’s investment performance has been superb. The problem lies elsewhere - in the extraordinary growth of endowment spending since 1998.

It took 230 years for Dartmouth to reach the milestone in 1998 where endowment provided almost $50 million (actually $48.7 million) to support operations. In the next three years, that figure more than doubled to $106 million and then it went up almost 160 percent to $126 million. To put that in perspective, incremental endowment spending over the four years of $77.4 million is equal to almost $14,000 for each of Dartmouth’s 5,600 undergraduate and graduate students! Where did the money go? From 1998 to 2002, scholarship support rose from $40 million to $51.5 million, but tuition revenues also increased, from $131 to $158 million. Over the same period operating expenditures grew from $330 to $493 million, of which the biggest piece was compensation, which surged from $184 million in 1998 to $280 million in 2002 — a 52 percent increase in four years!


How could this happen? The answer may lie in the rapid turnover of senior positions at Dartmouth in recent years. Since 1997, Dartmouth had had three different chairs of its Board of Trustees (Bosworth, King and Dentzer) two Presidents (Freedman and Wright) four Provosts (Wright, Brinkerhoff, Prager and Scherr) and three chief financial officers (Hutton, Johnson, Keller). With that kind of turnover, the first casualty is institutional knowledge and accountability. But turnover alone doesn’t explain Dartmouth’s financial problems.


Endowed institutions have spending policies to govern how much endowment income is to be used each year. The purpose is to protect the purchasing power of the endowment over time, and to produce regular spending increases, avoiding large increases in some years and no increases or even decreases in others.

Dartmouth’s policy limits spending to 4.25 percent to 6.5 percent of the endowment’s average market value over the prior twelve quarters. Within that wide band, for many years endowment spending was on automatic pilot increasing approximately 5 percent a year, which kept spending within the prescribed limits. With the endowment growing rapidly in the late 1990s and the administration desirous of spending more of this sudden wealth, in fiscal 1998-1999, Dartmouth made a fateful course change. It abandoned the policy of automatic 5 percent increases, which was sensible, but replaced it with a formula that would prove both excessive and myopic. It was excessive in that it increased the spending rate, first to 5.25 percent and then in July 2000 to 5.5 percent, well above the 4.5-5.0 percent rate of most institutions. On a $2 billion endowment 0.5 to 1.0 percent amounts to $10 to $20 million of extra spending — every year. Dartmouth also chose a narrow and volatile base on which to apply the 5.5 percent rate — the average market value for the prior twelve quarters. In what in retrospect is seen as the “blow-off period” of the third great bull market of the century, this ensured that endowment spending would ride the bubble and experience explosive growth. When the bubble burst, and lower market values became part of the base, not only would spending growth be halted, it would have to be cut significantly. How significantly? As a rough gauge, at a 5 percent spending rate on $2.1 billion, present spending from endowment should be approximately $105 million; in the current fiscal year, even after cuts, it is estimated at $122 million.


In the piloting of its fiscal affairs since the mid-1990s, Dartmouth has gone from several years of automatic pilot to four years of flank speed to the need to reverse engines. Such seamanship is not good for a ship or its passengers; it is not recommended for an educational institution either. And it could have been avoided. Over two decades ago a faculty group at Yale devised an elegant endowment spending formula that combined the best of the automatic increase and market value approaches to endowment spending. Numerous institutions, including Dartmouth’s regional neighbors, the Phillips Exeter Academy and the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont, use the Yale formula.


There is one other mystery that has arisen from the swimming team saga and it begs clarification. How does Dartmouth make its budgeting decisions? Who decides that compensation costs should go up 52 percent in four years, and, when the going gets tough, who gets to pick the swimming and diving programs as sacrificial lambs? In a world that seeks financial transparency, Dartmouth’s budget process is opaque and notably different from some of its Ivy League peers.


In the 1970s Princeton, Brown and many other universities established advisory committees that allowed budget procedures to become more open and accountable. Called priorities committees, they are typically chaired by the provost, staffed by the chief financial officer and include faculty, graduate and undergraduate students appointed for two-to three-year terms. At Brown the committee meets frequently from September to December reviewing detailed presentations on all the key revenue and expense
assumptions driving the operating budget. A sophisticated budget model of the university aids this work.

The committee presents its report to the president and trustees in December and it is published in the university’s community newspaper and placed on the university’s website. The analysis and recommendations are available for all to read, from the most senior faculty member to the newest employee. The report is advisory and the ultimate responsibility for approving the budget falls to the president and trustees, who vote on the budget at the winter trustee meeting. As a former Brown trustee, and chief financial officer when this process was established, I am convinced it is one of the most important elements of governance at Brown and a major reason that after many years of operating deficits prior to 1978, Brown has benefitted from both an informed community and well balanced budgets since.

Dartmouth is an institution of national importance that is blessed by a generous and loyal family of alumni and friends. To preserve that goodwill, Dartmouth deserves far better and open procedures for endowment spending and annual budgeting than is evident by an examination of the public record over the past few years.

Dick Ramsden, who lives in Lyme, is the parent of two Dartmouth graduates and is a former trustee and chief financial officer of Brown University.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Electing a College Student to County Treasurer Proven a Mistake?

In an article in today's Daily Dartmouth the County's executive director, Julie Clough, stated in an interview that Vanessa Sievers '10 has been remiss in fulfilling her duties as County Treasurer. She apparently did not invest $11 million that were sitting in a savings account accruing less than half a percent of interest, which could have been earning at least one and a half in a money market fund or upwards of two and a half percent if invested through some long-term plan. Apparently, the executive director also claims that Sievers had only shown up to her office three times in the five weeks prior to the interview. In her defense, Sievers attributes her delay to miscommunication and her absence to being available outside the office. Maybe her time in classes or fraternity basements is distracting, or maybe Obama's coattails helped elect the wrong person this once.

Winter Carnival Issue is Online

Don't miss out on reading the issue. Articles include




Edit: The wasteful expenditures piece was not an expose but rather an editorialized article.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Team of Rivals?

The whole post-partisan bit seems a little more tarnished after still-Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) withdraws from consideration for Commerce Secretary.

Politico has it here

Winter Carnival, or Why Global Warming is Real

Greetings from Hanover! 10A's be damned; today marks the unofficial beginning of the 2009 Winter Carnival. This morning's murky sunrise unveiled what is certainly one of the most unforgettable snow sculptures in College history. Unseasonably warm weather has foiled the best efforts of an army of snow-sculpting freshmen and DOC factotums. Thus, what was to be Moosilauke Ravine Lodge instead resembles, well...



Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Directive from Commandante Crady

From today's Daily D announcing the budget cuts:

“I don’t think OPAL needs to justify its existence,” Crady said.

30-35 academic courses, however, were unable to justify their existence to the administration, and they will no longer be offered.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Hampshire House of Reps: Back to Basics

The New Hampshire House of Representatives introduced an absolutely delightful resolution on Monday. It's pretty long, but here's the most important point:
"all acts of Congress which assume to create, define, or punish crimes, other than those so enumerated in the Constitution are altogether void, and of no force"
The zinger is at the end, of course:
"any Act by Congress... Executive Orders... or Judicial Orders... which serves to diminish the liberty of the any of the several States or their citizens shall constitute a nullification of the Constitution for the United States of America".
Oh snap. They go on to list a few examples of what might constitute such a nullification, including:
"Further infringements on the right to keep and bear arms including prohibitions of type or quantity of arms or ammunition;"
The bill also of course reminds everyone that after the Federal Government nullifies itself, all its powers revert back to the states. Naturally, 3/4s of the states will be required to re-form the federal government.

I'm pretty sure some states actually went through with this back in the 19th century... any of our readers remember how that worked out for them?

Provost Scherr and VP Keller detail the college's budget changes

Provost Barry Scherr and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Adam Keller blitzed out to campus, alums, and parents outlining where changes would be made to the budget. $72 million are being cut from the entire budget which calls for a $47 million cut to the undergraduate experience. Thankfully no faculty positions were cut, and several wasteful expenditures have been singled out such as print communication, discretionary expenses for travel, and under-utilized administrative positions.

The full e-mails after the jump.


The e-mail to the students:
>From: "Provost Barry Scherr and Executive Vice President Adam Keller"
>Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2009 11:12:23 EST
>Subject: Dartmouth's Budget Reconciliation Plan
>To: All Students:;

Dear Members of the Dartmouth Community,

This week we will begin implementing a strategic plan to decrease the Dartmouth-wide operating budget of $700 million by $72 million between now and 2011; included in this effort is a reduction of $47 million in the $450 million budget for the College (excluding the professional schools) over the next two years, with $35 million of that amount taking effect in the coming fiscal year. As you can imagine, the decisions we are announcing have not been easy to make. We realize that changes to programs and services will cause hardship for those staff members who will be losing their jobs or facing a reduction in hours through reorganizations of various areas. The careful evaluation of positions that we have conducted means that the effects will be felt in many offices and in some cases will have an impact on long-term employees. This is clearly the most difficult aspect of the work that we have had to do in an effort to bring our budget into balance.

In formulating these financial measures we have been guided by the same strategic priorities that have shaped previous institutional planning projects. Thus, we have aimed to preserve the excellence of the academic programs at Dartmouth, the strength of its teaching and research missions, and our full commitment to financial aid.

As President Wright mentions in his letter, the sharp decline in our endowment, on which we depend for about 35 percent of the College-only operating budget, has left us with the potential for extremely large deficits in the coming years if we were simply to continue doing business as usual.

In deciding how much of our endowment to use each year, we employ a formula meant to smooth the effect on our budget of year-to-year variations in endowment performance. However, neither our formula nor any other plan can manage the virtually unprecedented drop in endowments over the past few months. We must implement significant reductions to our budget. Next year, our spending formula will result in our using a significantly higher percentage of our remaining endowment than we did this past year. That is not sustainable in the long run. The steps we are announcing today are necessary to keep our endowment from falling further and to maintain the long-term health of the institution.

You will recall that in the fall we asked each of the divisions and departments at Dartmouth to model budget reductions of 5%, 10% and 15%. In a bottom-up process we asked for suggestions for savings from the entire community. We then took that information and, in consultation with the Budget Committee--which includes vice presidents, the Dean of Faculty and the Dean of the College--began to set specific targets. As we worked on the task of setting goals we consulted with the faculty's Committee on Priorities, with the Student Budget Advisory Committee, and with staff through community forums. Heads of departments and divisions came up with initial recommendations, which were then discussed with the Budget Committee, and during the process we made a number of adjustments in order to do the best we could in terms of adhering to our priorities while at the same time trying not to burden any areas unduly.

In order to identify $47 million that could be eliminated from our budget over the next two years, we have reduced compensation by $28 million, building project expenses by $10 million, non-compensation costs by $8 million, and we will add $1 million in new revenue. The majority of the compensation reduction results from the freeze in salaries for fiscal year 2010.

Dartmouth's professional schools each have their own budgets. Dartmouth Medical School continues to work on a new strategic plan and consequently will finalize its budget reductions later this spring. Tuck and Thayer will take the same measures as the College in terms of salaries and are adjusting discretionary expenses as needed to maintain balanced budget operations. Faculty recruiting in the professional schools will slow, with some searches deferred until we can ensure stable and consistent sources for funding new positions.

Throughout this process we have been mindful of the need to make reductions that are sustainable well into the future, given the seriousness of the economic downturn and the impossibility of predicting what the next few years might bring. The campus as a whole will find that while we are maintaining our core activities we are also trimming a number of programs and services to help achieve the necessary savings. At the same time, we are committed to recognizing and answering the very real needs of our diverse community, and continuing to ensure that Dartmouth is supportive of all who study and work here.

In light of these considerations, we will put in place the following measures:

SALARIES: In an effort to protect as many jobs as possible, we will implement a salary freeze for the coming fiscal year (July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010). We will, however, provide the usual adjustments for faculty who receive promotion or tenure. Also, employees (except for those at the Medical School) who have been at Dartmouth at least since January 1 of this year and whose full-time equivalent salary is $50,000 or less will receive $1,000 in supplemental payments during the coming year. This amount will be pro-rated for part-time employees. The freeze does not apply to union members for whom existing collective bargaining agreements are in effect through June 30, 2010.

STAFF REDUCTIONS: The freeze on outside hiring in place since November, staff reductions in hours, transferring staff into positions vacated through retirements, and the elimination of unfilled staff positions have helped to reduce the number of staff layoffs. However, we expect that there will be 60 staff layoffs at the College as part of the plan that will eliminate 150 full-time equivalent staff positions. We have developed a package to assist individuals who are losing their jobs, which includes two weeks of pay for each consecutive year worked at Dartmouth, with a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of 52, plus a lump sum payment towards the full cost of maintaining health benefits for three months following the last day of work. Further information regarding additional components of the package may be obtained at the following website: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~hrs/empsupport/index.html

In addition, 28 employees will work reduced hours. For those individuals Dartmouth will, through the end of the calendar year, offset the additional health insurance costs associated with the reduction in hours.

ACADEMICS: We will maintain all tenure and tenure-track faculty positions, and we also will continue to provide our full array of off-campus programs. We will reduce the number of courses taught annually by 30 to 35 (less than two percent). Approximately one-third of the faculty searches planned for this year will be postponed, though the intention is to fill these positions over the next three years.

The library leadership has sought to maintain the integrity of the collections and to preserve core programs. Savings in this area will come primarily through elimination of specific databases and collection-related services, ending Dartmouth's participation in certain national organizations and programs, and reducing purchases in areas not related to academic programs.

TUITION AND STUDENT LIFE: Arts & Sciences and Thayer tuition will increase next year by 4.8 percent. Tuck tuition will increase 4.9 percent, and DMS tuition will rise by 6 percent. The College's financial aid enhancements, introduced in 2008, will remain. We will continue to have a need-blind financial aid program and to meet the full need of all students who matriculate at Dartmouth without requiring student loans; as a result, we expect our financial aid budget to increase by approximately $8 million in fiscal year 2010, to an estimated $72,000,000.

There will be some restructuring in student areas. In particular, funding for travel and various support services has been scaled back in some departments. While we will maintain GreenPrint for students, the subsidy for free printing will be cut in half.

ADMINISTRATIVE SAVINGS: All administrative areas are reducing travel, participation in conferences and consortia, funding for gatherings on and off-campus, as well as printing and publications. Many printed materials will be moved to the web, and we will rely more on electronic communication. Reduced staffing will result in more limited service hours and lower levels of administrative support in many areas of the campus, requiring students, faculty and staff to plan accordingly.

As we have stated in previous announcements, we have decided to delay a number of facilities projects, including a replacement building for Thayer Dining Hall, the Class of 1953 Commons, the renovation of the West Stands, a satellite parking facility on Route 120, and one of two renovation projects intended to provide housing for sororities. These will remain on hold until our financial situation improves. The Visual Arts Center and the C. Everett Koop Medical Science Center remain under review.

Plans are under way to study some six to eight cross-divisional activities to see whether we can gain savings by consolidation or reorganization. Most of these savings would not be implemented until the following fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2010.

NET SAVINGS: The various reductions we have outlined above will result in a net savings of $47 million for the College-only budget by fiscal 2011; thereby reaching the target of a balanced budget that was set in the fall.

We have read through the many suggestions for budget savings recommended by the Dartmouth community, and we appreciate both the quantity and the quality of the ideas that were submitted. Some of these have already been at least in part implemented; others are still being studied and some are likely to be introduced in the months ahead.

To describe our plans more fully and to answer questions, we are scheduling a number of information sessions for students, faculty, and staff at the divisional and departmental levels, as well as conference calls for alumni/ae and volunteers. We welcome your questions, and your further suggestions. For more information and to submit your thoughts please access our website: http://budget.dartmouth.edu

Finally, we want to thank all those who worked with us on budget planning over the past few months. We received good and often challenging advice not only from our colleagues on the Budget Committee, but also from the faculty's Committee on Priorities, from the Student Budget Advisory Committee and from staff at open forums. The heads of all the areas, along with their executive officers, have had the unenviable task of figuring out how to make significant reductions in their budgets while at the same time maintaining essential services. Without their cooperation and hard work, much of which continued uninterrupted through the holiday break, we could not have made the progress that we have achieved in coping with these extraordinarily difficult times.

While we are in a period when it is impossible to predict with confidence what the future might bring, the changes that we have made deal with the budgetary problem that was identified in the fall and do so in a way that protects our core values as an institution. The reductions in personnel that we are making are nonetheless painful, and we extend our appreciation and gratitude to those staff members who will be leaving Dartmouth. Rather than make across-the-board changes, we have attempted to reduce budgets carefully and strategically in order to minimize the effect on the educational experience of our students and on the teaching and research of our faculty. The quality of Dartmouth's faculty and students, the talents of its staff, and the variety and excellence of its curricular and co-curricular programs are what make the College a world-class educational institution. In protecting those, we are preserving the attributes that enable Dartmouth to cope with today's challenges and maintain its position at the forefront of American higher education today and in the future.

Sincerely,

Barry Scherr
Provost

Adam Keller
Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration




The e-mail to alums and parents:
From:
Date: Mon, Feb 9, 2009 at 12:51 PM
Subject: Dartmouth's Budget Reconciliation Plan
To: alums-and-parents-announce@locum.dartmouth.edu


SUMMARY OF ACTIONS: DARTMOUTH'S OPERATING BUDGET

Dartmouth is implementing a strategic plan to decrease its College-wide operating budget of $700 million by $72 million between now and 2011 (including the professional schools).

This plan calls for a $47 million reduction in the College-only budget of $450 million (excluding the professional schools). Budget reductions at the Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business are included in this summary. Dartmouth Medical School continues to work on a new strategic plan and consequently will finalize its budgetary adjustments at a later date.

All cuts are the result of a thoughtful process that benefited from significant input from students, faculty and staff. Our overarching goals have been to protect and enhance the excellence of the educational experience for our students and to ensure that they have the opportunity to attend Dartmouth regardless of financial need. As a result, there will be no reduction in tenure-track faculty positions, and we will continue to offer need-blind admissions and meet our students' full financial need without asking them to take on loans. Our aim is to learn to live with less and yet retain Dartmouth's core strengths along with our ability to innovate and lead as one of the world's most enduring institutions.

The sharp decline in our endowment, on which we depend for about 35% of the College-only operating budget, has left us faced with the potential for extremely large deficits in the coming years if we were simply to continue doing business as usual. In deciding how much of our endowment to use each year we employ a formula that is meant to smooth the impact of year-to- year variations in endowment performance on our budget. However, neither our formula nor any other plan can manage the virtually unprecedented drop in endowments over the past few months without implementing significant expense reductions. Next year our spending formula will result in our utilizing a higher percentage of our remaining endowment than we did this past year. That is not sustainable in the long run and would be irresponsible to future generations of students. The steps we are announcing are necessary maintain the long-term health of the institution.

An educational enterprise is labor intensive: More than 50% of our operating budget supports the workforce of Dartmouth - our faculty and staff. To meet our budget reduction target, cuts in program support and facilities alone are not sufficient. Nearly half of the budget cut will come from freezing compensation, reducing work hours, slowing the hiring process, and unfortunately, eliminating some staff jobs as well.

Administration

* All administrative areas are reducing their work force. 150 full-time positions are being eliminated. Although most of this will be achieved through retirements, reorganizations and attrition, 60 staff employees will be laid off. In addition, 28 employees will work reduced hours.

* Operational reductions have been made in areas including computing services, fundraising, human resources, travel services and academic department support.

* Discretionary expenses including travel, participation in conferences and consortia, gatherings on and off-campus, and printing and publications have been cut in all areas.

* Communications will increasingly move from print to electronic media.

* Service levels will be reduced in offices throughout campus, including payroll, selected dining sites, computing services and admissions, requiring students, faculty, and staff to plan their schedules more carefully.

Faculty and Staff Compensation

* Most salaries will be frozen for the coming fiscal year.

* Full-time employees earning less than $50,000 will receive a $1,000 supplement (except for those at the Medical School).

* Faculty who are promoted or receive tenure will receive the usual adjustments.

*Some faculty searches will be postponed with a goal of renewing them within three years.

*Plans to expand the faculty at Thayer School and Tuck will be slowed.

Academic Support and Student Programs

*Core programs in the library and the integrity of the collections will be preserved; savings will be made in several areas, including elimination of specific databases and collection-related services and ending Dartmouth's participation in certain national organizations.

*We remain committed to offering small classes taught directly by our faculty.

*Foreign Study Programs, Language Study Abroad Programs, and both undergraduate and graduate research opportunities will be sustained.

*Funding for travel and support services for some student groups will be scaled back.

Facilities

*Construction projects well underway will be continued, including:
- Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center,
- Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park, and
- Renovations of New Hampshire Hall and Buchanan Hall.

*Renovation of one sorority facility will begin while another will be put on hold.

*Plans for the Visual Arts Center and C. Everett Koop Medical Science Center will continue to be reviewed.

*Other projects will be deferred, including:
- The Thayer Dining Hall replacement,
- The Class of 1953 Commons, and
- Renovation of the West Stands at Memorial Field.

Reducing expenditures for people, programs, and facilities is difficult. We have worked to deal with the budgetary problem in a way that protects our core values as an institution

Barry Scherr
Provost

Adam Keller
Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration

President Wright Blitzes Out to Campus

Unlike the weekly lost apparel blitzes, Wright blitzed this one out to alums and parents too. In the e-mails, found after the jump, Wright describes what changes are being made to cope with the economic recession and constantly reminds us how difficult it was to eliminate wasteful jobs and leave people out of jobs.


The e-mail to the students:
>From: "President James Wright"
>Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2009 11:10:47 EST
>Subject: A message to the Dartmouth Community
>To: All Students:;

Dear Members of the Dartmouth Community:

I want to share with you the strategic steps Dartmouth is taking to respond to the international economic crisis. As we reported in the fall, a main source of revenue - the investment return on our endowment, which accounts for about 35 percent of the operating budget - has declined along with the stock market. Philanthropy has also declined, as individuals, foundations and corporations have felt the effects of the recession. To keep our costs in line with our reduced income in the current economic environment, Dartmouth needed to accomplish the difficult task of cutting $72 million from our $700 million budget including the professional schools over the next two fiscal years. We have reduced the $450 million College-only budget (excluding the professional schools) by $35 million in fiscal year 2010, for a cumulative total of $47 million in reductions through fiscal year 2011.

Approving these reductions, especially those affecting staff employees, has been one of the most difficult decisions of my presidency, but they are necessary to maintain Dartmouth's strength and advance our academic mission. This past weekend, met with the Board of Trustees to review how we will cut costs and reduce our budget, and they have endorsed our overall plan. Budget reductions at the Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business are included in this plan. Dartmouth Medical School continues to work on a new strategic plan and consequently will finalize its budgetary adjustments at a later date.

In making targeted reductions, we have been guided by our commitment to protect the excellence of our academic programs, for undergraduates as well as our graduate and professional school students. We will continue to provide support for faculty and student research and scholarship. Dartmouth is committed to providing access for the best students regardless of their financial means. We are delaying construction projects, reorganizing services, reducing activities and reorganizing responsibilities in a number of areas, and pursuing opportunities for additional efficiency and innovation. Because compensation is such a significant portion of our budget, we also needed to achieve substantial reductions there.

Last fall, to minimize layoffs, we implemented a freeze on external hires and new positions, instituting a rigorous central review of any proposed refilling of vacancies; following suggestions from employees, we initiated an incentive program for voluntary retirement and are reducing work hours where operations permit. Going forward, we also will not increase salaries and wages next year - except for adjustments for faculty promotion and tenure, a $1,000 supplement for full-time employees earning $50,000 or less and adjustments for union employees who have a contract extending until the end of June of 2010. (The Medical School will be making independent decisions on these matters and announcing them separately.) Employees electing early retirement and vacant positions created by the hiring freeze did enable us to make some reductions by eliminating positions. Nonetheless, to meet our financial challenges, we still will need to lay off 60 staff employees and 28 employees will work reduced hours as a result of operational decisions.

The deans and vice presidents agonized over identifying positions to be eliminated. It provides little comfort to know we reduced the number of layoffs through other savings. Starting today, division and department heads will be meeting with the staff members whose jobs are affected. We will be doing our best to offer personal and economic support during this difficult transition by providing a financial package that honors years of service, a subsidy for health insurance, career and other counseling services, extension of eligibility to participate in housing and childcare programs, and consideration as internal candidates for any open positions.

These plans, which are described in more detail in the accompanying letter from Provost Barry Scherr and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Adam Keller, were developed by Dartmouth's senior officers in consultation with others in their areas and with the appropriate faculty and student committees. Our plans for current and future budget savings reflect the many thoughtful suggestions shared by members of the Dartmouth community. I want to thank all who participated in this process, and all who will be engaged in implementing these changes, for your professionalism and concern for Dartmouth's long-term best interests.

We all regret the impact these reductions will have on our colleagues. I am confident, however, that with these changes Dartmouth is positioned well for the future. These steps are necessary to protect resources that provide an unparalleled educational experience, inside and outside the classroom, for all who come here to teach and learn and for the continuing employees who sustain the work of Dartmouth, both now and in the future.

Dartmouth "educates the most promising students and prepares them for a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership, through a faculty dedicated to teaching and the creation of knowledge." This is our mission, and it is protected and advanced by staff who care deeply about the College. Indeed, maintaining this ambition has always required the commitment of many. We will need your continued assistance, whether that is demonstrated by your initiative and creativity, your understanding of the need to reconfigure services, your patience with the need to limit compensation and defer some institutional goals, your generous contributions of time and effort as volunteers, or your faithful and increasingly critical financial support. The College has weathered challenges before and, thanks to the community that sustains it, will emerge stronger than ever. Thank you for your understanding and support.

Sincerely,

James Wright
President, Dartmouth College


The e-mail to alums and parents:
From:
Date: Mon, Feb 9, 2009 at 12:02 PM
Subject: A message to the Dartmouth Community
To: alums-and-parents-announce@locum.dartmouth.edu


Dear Members of the Dartmouth Community:

I want to share with you the strategic steps Dartmouth is taking to respond to the international economic crisis. As we reported in the fall, a main source of revenue - the investment return on our endowment, which accounts for about 35 percent of the operating budget - has declined along with the stock market. Philanthropy has also declined, as
individuals, foundations and corporations have felt the effects of the recession.

To keep our costs in line with our reduced income in the current economic environment, Dartmouth needed to accomplish the difficult task of cutting $72 million from our $700 million budget including the professional schools over the next two fiscal
years. We have reduced the $450 million College-only budget (excluding the professional schools) by $35 million in fiscal year 2010, for a cumulative total of $47 million in reductions through fiscal year 2011.

Approving these reductions, especially those affecting staff employees, has been one of the most difficult decisions of my presidency, but they are necessary to maintain Dartmouth's strength and advance our academic mission. This past weekend, I met with the Board of Trustees to review how we will cut costs and reduce our budget, and they have endorsed our overall plan. Budget reductions at the Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business are included in this plan. Dartmouth Medical School continues to work on a new strategic plan and consequently will finalize its budgetary adjustments at a later date.

In making targeted reductions, we have been guided by our commitment to protect the excellence of our academic programs, for undergraduates as well as our graduate and professional school students. We will continue to provide support for faculty and student research and scholarship. Dartmouth is committed to providing access for the best students regardless of their financial means. We are delaying construction projects, reorganizing services, reducing activities and reorganizing responsibilities in a number of areas, and pursuing opportunities for additional efficiency and innovation. Because
compensation is such a significant portion of our budget, we also needed to achieve substantial reductions there.

Last fall, to minimize layoffs, we implemented a freeze on external hires and new positions, instituting a rigorous central review of any proposed refilling of vacancies; following suggestions from employees, we initiated an incentive program for voluntary retirement and are reducing work hours where operations permit. Going forward, we also will not increase salaries and wages next year - except for adjustments for faculty promotion and tenure, a $1,000 supplement for full-time employees earning $50,000 or less and adjustments for union employees who have a contract extending until the end of June of 2010. (The Medical School will be making independent decisions on these matters and announcing them separately.) Employees electing early retirement and vacant positions created by the hiring freeze did enable us to make some reductions by eliminating positions. Nonetheless, to meet our financial challenges, we still will need to lay off 60 staff employees and 28 employees will work reduced hours as a result of operational decisions.

The deans and vice presidents agonized over identifying positions to be eliminated. It provides little comfort to know we reduced the number of layoffs through other savings. Starting today, division and department heads will be meeting with the staff members whose jobs are affected. We will be doing our best to offer personal and economic support during
this difficult transition by providing a financial package that honors years of service, a subsidy for health insurance, career and other counseling services, extension of eligibility to participate in housing and childcare programs, and consideration as internal candidates for any open positions.

These plans, which are described in more detail in the accompanying summary from Provost Barry Scherr and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Adam Keller, were developed by Dartmouth's senior officers in consultation with others in their areas and with the appropriate faculty and student committees. Our plans for current and future budget savings reflect the many thoughtful suggestions shared by members of the Dartmouth community. I want to thank all who participated in this process, and all who will be engaged in implementing these changes, for your professionalism and concern for Dartmouth's long- term best interests.

We all regret the impact these reductions will have on our colleagues. I am confident, however, that with these changes Dartmouth is positioned well for the future. These steps are necessary to protect resources that provide an unparalleled educational experience, inside and outside the classroom, for all who come here to teach and learn and for the continuing employees who sustain the work of Dartmouth, both now and in the future.

Dartmouth "educates the most promising students and prepares them for a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership, through a faculty dedicated to teaching and the creation of knowledge." This is our mission, and it is protected and advanced by staff who care deeply about the College. Indeed, maintaining this ambition has always required the commitment of many. We will need your continued assistance, whether that is demonstrated by your initiative and creativity, your understanding of the need to reconfigure services, your patience with the need to limit compensation and defer some institutional goals, your generous contributions of time and effort as volunteers, or your faithful and increasingly critical financial support. The College has weathered challenges before and, thanks to the community that sustains it, will emerge stronger than ever. Thank you for your understanding and support.

Sincerely,

James Wright

Stop the Waste First

Joseph Asch '79 makes some good points in his column in today's D. The administration stubbornly refuses to make the spending cuts which have been needed since before the current economic crisis, and reigning in bureaucratic redundancy and inefficiency.

However, once you integrate the above observations into your thinking, solving the current budget crisis becomes easier. A first step: roll back all of the absurd and wasteful spending increases from the last year. Secondly, move on to peeling away the accretions of the last decade; they have added nothing to the school. In doing so, not only will you save enough money to balance the College’s budget, you’ll have enough cash left over to hire new professors so that students don’t get turned away from desired courses.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

More Anti-Greek Conspiracies?

Following the recent Judicial Affairs hearings regarding misconduct at off-campus formal events, three Greek organizations have been put on probation for a period spanning Winter Carnival. One of these organizations, Sigma Delt, has the fortune of a former daily dartmouth op-ed editor as a third party advocate. This advocate, Christian Kiely '09, wrote an article in the op-ed section detailing the missing side of the daily rag's administration-friendly story. If it weren't for his stint as editor, I wonder if his piece would have been published in the D considering its sentiment against the administration.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Greek System is Evil

It sure is, at least according to one Nina Maja Bergmar '11. In her article, entitled Embracing Unaffiliation, Ms. Bergmar lampoons the Greek system with several unassailable arguments.

Edit: Full post after the Jump.



Her first qualm with the Greek system (and her cited reason for dropping out of sorority rush) is the politics involved; of course, it makes no sense that the existing sisterhood should accept and embrace someone before handing out bids. Granted sorority rush has its handful of idiosyncrasies, but that doesn't engender an assault on a system which has left several quite happy with their respective houses. Another argument against Greek houses lies in the "fake bonds of loyalty" that come with affiliation. Bergmar details two experiences where entire houses turned against her without knowing any more about her than her name just because of altercations with one or two members. Considering the several op-ed pieces in the daily dartmouth authored by the complainant, I'm willing to go out on a limb as saying that a good portion of Dartmouth's campus knows her opinions. That aside, I'm surprised that Ms. Bergmar finds it hard to believe that her "encounter" or "argument" with certain members caused their friends to turn against her.

Just because a fraternity or sorority inspires brotherhood or sisterhood, doesn't mean those loyalties are forced or fake. I don't think anyone joins a house for the sole reason of belonging to an institution; I'd be quite disappointed with my affiliated experience if I was stuck paying several hundreds of dollars in dues to hang out with people who weren't close friends. Frankly, it's inane to say that the bonds between fraternity brothers or sorority sisters aren't true friendships. Exactly how would a true friendship develop naturally outside the Greek system? A couple of people meet each other, hang out together, share meals and libations, and perhaps endure joys or hardships together -- does that not happen in a Greek house? Also, I suppose it must be true that anyone who joins a house immediately relinquishes his personal identity in favor of the house's stereotype, rather than a process of (self) selection occurring before bids are distributed. I guess we should forego these "phony relationships" and, instead, "portray ourselves as who we are," so that we can make friends with those who mirror our extracurricular activities or who live in close proximity.

Monday, February 02, 2009

What the New Deal really did.

Words of wisdom from today's WSJ, not to be ignored in light of our nation's current recovery efforts:

Read the whole thing.