The Hanover Institute
Update: September 2009
Update: March 2009
Congratulations to Jim Yong Kim, MD,
PhD, as he assumes the presidency of Dartmouth College. Dr Kim is
unquestionably a man of high intellectual caliber and a leader in his field.
Whether he is the right choice for the presidency of Dartmouth College at
this point in the school's history the future will tell, but neither his CV
nor the statement accompanying the announcement of his appointment will
encourage those of us who see the cause of the undergraduate college as THE
Update: May 2008 - Critical Election
The Wright administration has sought to block the newly
elected leaders of the Association of Alumni, from speaking to Dartmouth
alumni, their constituents, about a pending proposal to take away the right
of alumni to vote for trustee.
May 31st. 2007
On May 19, Dartmouth Trustee Chairman William Neukom made some very troubling statements to the meeting of Dartmouthlumni Council.
I reported on that event in more detail in a May 28 communication to alumni (below).
On May 30, The Dartmouth ran a front page story on Neukomatements.
Now, the Association of Alumni of Dartmouth College has acted.
In response to the refusal of Dartmouth Trustee Chairman William Neukom to commit to respecting the 1891 agreement between the board and alumni, the newly elected Association of Alumni leaders, in 10 to 1 vote, have approved and sent to the Board of Trustees this statement.
In addition, I have included an introduction to that statement written by six of the eleven members of the committee.
This action in defense of Dartmouth and her alumni ൮ique partnership has occurred only because of the election, almost two weeks ago, of independent alumni leaders.
reported to you, Stephen Smith蠷on the election for a
seat on Dartmouth¯ard of Trustees. In each of the last 4 elections,
independent petition candidates have been chosen by alumni, while the
establishment candidates, with the full support of the administration, have
the historic election for new leadership for the
Association of Alumni of Dartmouth College, seven of the eleven seats on the
Executive Committee were won by alumni not endorsed by the establishment
leaders but who, rather, earned their place on the ballot by petition and
were committed to specific reforms leading to more transparency, democracy
and fair play.
Another win; 7 of 11
For most of us the election for Association leadership ended at midnight on Tuesday, May 15; but any alum who did not vote was allowed to vote in person at the Association meeting held today(Saturday) in Alumni Hall at Dartmouth College.
The results have now been tabulated; seven of the eleven seats went to petition candidates; four went to officially nominated candidates.
This is a big win for reform and for the preservation of alumni rights. It was the first election where all alumni could vote whether they were in Hanover or not. Nearly 17,000 voted as opposed to 200, or at most 350, in the past.
Truly, this executive committee are the duly elected representatives of the 65,000 Dartmouth alumni, an important fact to remember as they conduct the election of one half of Dartmouthࢯard of trustees.
The following alumni were elected to the eleven seats on the Executive Committee of the Association of Alumni of Dartmouth College.
Executive Committee Members:
MAY 16, 2007
I have great news to report.
Stephen Smith謠stellar independent petition candidate, was elected to Dartmouth͊ Board of Trustees with 55 percent of alumni voting for him, decisively defeating the three nominees of the Alumni Council: Richard ᮤy튉Alderson, Carol Oberg and John Wolf.
18,603 alumni voted in the election, roughly three thousand more than in the 2005 trustee election. Of that number, nearly 10,000 voted for Professor Smith.
The three official candidates were outstanding candidates. They are to be commended for offering to run for trustee. They are all accomplished individuals and a credit to Dartmouth, as was the vote of alumni for Stephen Smith.
Smith ran a race on issues, not personalities. And Dartmouth alumni made their selection based on those issues.
Professor Smith෩n is a great victory for the Dartmouth College and for reform.
Many thanks to all of you for your efforts, your energy and your devotion to Dartmouth.
Report on February 12, 2006 Special Meeting
At the special meeting of the Association in Hanover on February 12, 2006, the Constitution of the Association was successfully amended to make it easier for the small group currently in control, backed by the administration, to pass their proposed new constitution and ultimately to better control future Dartmouth trustee elections.
The vote in the room on the executive committee amendment broke down as follows: 198 votes were cast for the administration-backed amendment, and 32 votes against it. More than 450 proxy votes against the amendment and for alternative amendments were not counted.
Once again, as with all the recent Association meetings, whether of December 2002, December 2003, September 18, 2004, or October 2005, we had to play against a stacked deck. This time the leaders of the so-called Affiliated Groups (societies organized on the basis of sexual practices or minority racial identification) were staying in Hanover as guests of the College administration--some even had their transportation paid for by the administration. The Affiliated Groups were awarded seats on the Alumni Council in the 1990's. Not incidentally, the AGTF constitution for which the amendment paves the way doubles the number of representatives from these Affiliated Groups in the new, merged alumni governing body. The Executive Committee has openly admitted that the February 12 date of the meeting was chosen to coincide with the Affiliated Group gathering.
As had happened at the meeting on October 23, 2005, the president of the Association, Allen Collins, ruled that only alumni who had physically entered the room could vote--though they could leave their ballots and were not required to stay through the discussion. He excluded hundreds of proxy votes submitted by loyal Dartmouth alumni from all across the country. The meeting had been set for a date in the depth of winter, and the weather did not disappoint: a major storm pounded the East Coast, and heavy snow made for treacherous travel throughout New England. Many alumni who might otherwise have come understandably stayed home. As a result, a mere 230 alumni (a large portion of whom consisted of Affiliated Group guests and local alumni employed by the College) made a fundamental decision for over 60,000. Should unwarranted restrictions imposed by a self-selecting, self-serving 11-member Executive Committee allow four-tenths of one percent of the alumni represent the will and interests of all?
There was NO voting on rank and file members᬴ernate proposals because "Guidelines" issued by this same executive committee imposed a four-month notice requirement three months before the meeting. Lewis Carroll could not have invented a more outrageous device in his Alice in Wonderland! When we asked the committee to waive that filing deadline, as its own guideline specifically allows, [it not only refused but claimed it was required to follow the rules!
But even that was not enough for this Executive Committee. In violation of logic and all parliamentary rules of order, NO amendments were allowed from the floor. None! The Chair said there were no rules, only his rules. And so, the only choice was to vote Yes or No--no matter how strongly one may have objected to any of the three provisions in the amendment. The behavior of the Executive Committee, and of their supporters packed into Spalding Auditorium who tried to drown out speakers with handclapping, was reminiscent of a Bayonne, New Jersey, Teamsters Union Local on one of its less democratic days. Tony Pro had nothing on Al Collins.
Update Report on the Lawsuit (March, 2006)
Since 2001, all our repeated efforts to have Association leaders allow absentee voting for the election of officers have been rejected.
At the Association of Alumni annual meeting in October 2005, two slates of candidates sought election to the Executive Committee of the Association: one slate hand-picked and backed by the incumbent Executive Committee and the second slate backed by rank-and-file alumni and placed on the agenda by petition.
I collected more than 420 proxies and attempted to vote them at the October meeting. These 420 proxies from Dartmouth College alumni from diverse parts of the US and foreign countries were not counted. Consequently, the election had the same result as the one that had put Walters's slate in office: the slate created by the Executive Committee was "elected."
I decided to protest this year's round of being forced to
play against a stacked deck.
Unwilling to acquiesce to an illegally-installed Executive Committee and watch while it finesses a new constitution that will further skew alumni governance and impede the expression of alumni in their selection of Dartmouth's trustees, I have, with great reluctance, begun the process of obtaining legal remedy through the courts.
To that end, in November 2005, I filed suit against the Association in New Hampshire Superior Court, seeking to have the proxies counted. As yet, contrary to what you may have been led to believe, that case has not been heard.
Within days of their sham election, the new Executive Committee called the February 12, 2006 special meeting specifically to amend the present constitution so as to make it much easier to ratify its replacement.
I again went to court, this time seeking a Temporary Restraining Order to direct that proxies be counted. On February 10, the judge denied this request. He denied my request, solely "by focusing on whether the petitioner has demonstrated a likelihood of success on the underlying merits of his claim." In other words, he was saying that it was not an open and shut case.
When Allen Collins announced from the podium on February 12 that the judge had ruled against counting proxy votes, that statement was false. The court has NOT ordered that proxy votes should not be accepted, as Collins implied. (We await the audio recording of the meeting so that we might quote Collins's exact words.)
No decision has been reached, indeed no hearing has been
held, on the underlying case on the 420 proxies that were rejected in the
election of Association officers at the October 23, 2005 meeting.
Union Leader - Editorial
The restriction ensures that alumni who stick around Hanover 粡d students, professors and others who settle within easy driving distance 祴 to vote, while those who move out of New England will find it much harder to cast a ballot. It also ensures that a tiny percentage of alumni ಥdominantly, those physically tied to the campus (and likely, to the administration) ᣴually get to vote for alumni association officers.
A slate of petition candidates ran for election to the executive committee this year, pledging to change the rule so that all alumni could vote. Not surprisingly, the Hanover area alumni yesterday voted down the candidates who pledged to dilute their power.
The issue of the alumni associationವles was the latest in a string of controversies involving alumni upset at the Dartmouth administration. This spring, in what was called the ﮥ Pine Revolution,튉two conservative academics ran as petition candidates to the board of trustees and were elected. In response, the administration proposed changing election rules to make it harder for petition candidates to win.
Funny thing. Where are the campus activists who are always running around advocating ॡking truth to powerٯu donਥar a lot of left-wingers crying about the powerful oppressing the weak, or the well-connected rigging the system to keep out the outsiders, when the powerful and well-connected are left-wing academics and university administrators.
What can the powers-that-be at Dartmouth find so
frightening about a few independent-minded alumni who would like to have a
say in running of the college that they feel compelled to rig the system to
keep them out? Couldnനey just campaign against them and let the voters
Monday September 07, 2009
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