The Hanover Institute
Statement on the 2009
The 2009 Association of Alumni of Dartmouth College election is underway. There are two items on the ballot.
The establishment leadership of the Association of Alumni of Dartmouth College(A of A) has proposed an amendment to the Association࣯nstitution that would change the procedures for the election of alumni trustees to the Dartmouth Board of Trustees. That amendment is on the ballot which will soon be available to all alumni.
An open letter to alumni posted on the A of A website and signed jointly by John Mathias, President of the Association, and John Daukas, President of the Alumni Council, describes the intent and effect of the proposed amendment as follows:
With this amendment, the Alumni Council will first nominate either one or two candidates for each vacancy. Assuming, based on consistent recent history, that at least one petition candidate will thereafter also be nominated, we expect that this procedure will promote head to head elections. Alumni will cast only one vote for each vacancy according to the familiar, well-understood one person/one vote procedure. If there are three or more candidates for any one vacancy and no one receives an absolute majority of the votes cast, there will be a runoff election between the top two vote getters, thereby assuring that the winner will receive a majority of the votes cast.
Mathias and Daukas go on to say that, 堳incerely believe the amendment will simplify, clarify, and strengthen the election process.쯦ont>
We question this statement. The existing electoral
system, so-called approval voting (in which all candidates run as a group
for all open alumni trustee positions, and voters may vote for as many
candidates as are running, with the highest vote winners taking the honors),
has served the alumni and the College very well in the past.
Nevertheless, we recognize that this perception exists 튉even though not well-founded ᮤ that it has been used to foster a notion
of unfairness in the process. If the proposed constitutional amendment
eliminates the point of contention without creating some new problem, it may
well be a suitable resolution.
Unfortunately, the Associationwly-elected y
slate衶e done nothing to protest the Board൮just behavior (which is a
violation, not only of the 1891 Agreement, but also of the independence of
the Association in the years leading up to it.).
Now let us discuss the second matter: the lack of a true
election for new officers of the Association of Alumni. No independent
崩tion㡮didates are running, so there will be no choice for alumni on
the ballot. The slate appearing on the ballot is the establishment slate,
hand-picked by itself. This is the exact same group that, in its very first
action, subverted the fight for parity by withdrawing the Dartmouth alumni
lawsuit and asking the court to dismiss it with prejudice. As it was the
lawsuit alone that had powerfully restrained the board of trustees of
Dartmouth College from making appointments to fill the eight new seats it
created in abrogation of the 1891 Agreement, your ability as alumni to
influence the Collegeయlicies was placed in immediate jeopardy.
Thursday March 26, 2009
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