Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Committee Letter

A copy of this letter was sent electronically to each of the six Trustee candidates on March 8, 2005.

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Dear xxxxxx:

The Student Assembly Alumni Affairs Committee would like to congratulate you on your nomination as a candidate for the highest calling of service to the College: the Dartmouth Board of Trustees. We realize that you have achieved much as well as have sacrificed much for our common wealth; thank you.

On behalf of all the current undergraduates, we would like to ask that you answer the attached questions and return your answers. The Dartmouth and the Dartmouth Free Press have done articles on the election, and we would like to follow up on some of the information presented there.

The Assembly is committed to informing students about the trustee election process so that we may learn what it is to be loyal alumni. We have spent a great deal of time investigating the questions that are on students’ minds, and we very much appreciate your thoughtful responses. We look forward to hearing from you very soon.

Your answers are intended to inform the student population regarding key issues. Thank you for going on the record. Please feel free to contact me at the above phone number if you have any questions.

As always, I remain:




For students and for Dartmouth,


Noah Riner
Alumni Affairs Committee Chair
Vice President - Alumni Affairs, Student Assembly

Sheila C. Cheston '80

1. Student RightsCollege officials have maintained that Dartmouth has no speech code, however, some recent incidents, including the closing of Zeta Psi Fraternity, have caused students concern. A. What are your feelings about the current state of free speech at Dartmouth? If elected, what would you hope to change—if anything--regarding free speech at Dartmouth?

-- I think it is imperative that Dartmouth ensure an environment that fosters rigorous debate, but it must also be civil debate that welcomes diverse views. That necessitates a balance that I believe the Administration is seeking to strike.
Students have complained about searching and seizure by overzealous security forces like Safety and Security and the New Hampshire State Liquor Commission.

B. Should students in College-owned housing enjoy the same rights and privileges as American citizens do under the Fourth Amendment?

-- Certainly students enjoy the same rights and privileges as other citizens under the Constitution. But most of the protections I suspect you are worried about apply only with respect to the actions of the government, not a private institution like Dartmouth. The College has both different limits imposed on it and different obligations. As a general matter, I think the College should respect the privacy and individual rights of students to the maximum extent it can consistent with its obligation to ensure a safe environment in which to learn.

2. Undergraduate EducationPresident Wright has said that Dartmouth is "a research university in all but name" (The Dartmouth 4/17/98). What do you believe the balance should be between undergraduate and graduate emphasis at Dartmouth?

-- I think the focus is and must be on delivering the world's best undergraduate education. Dartmouth professors should first and foremost be interested in and excited by teaching and working with undergraduates. However, I do not believe that teaching and research are necessarily in conflict. To the contrary, I think a professor engaged in research/intellectual pursuits is in most cases better equipped to teach and that Dartmouth professors can and should be both interested in intellectual pursuits and excited by teaching and extensive interaction with undergraduate students.

3. Athletics How would you rate the current athletic program at Dartmouth? Are too many resources being put into athletics, too few, or just enough? Do you believe Dartmouth's current admissions process regarding athletes should be adjusted in any way?

-- I think Dartmouth has, and should have, a strong athletic program. It has always been one of the College's strengths, consistent with an emphasis on developing the whole person and taking advantage of the beautiful natural surroundings. Notwithstanding the recent revelations, it is my understanding that the actual admissions policy still values athletic contributions. I believe it should do so.

4. GreeksDartmouth is currently home to thirteen fraternities and only six sororities. This disparity makes for especially large female rush classes, straining sororities and detracting from their ability to develop sisterhood (The Dartmouth 2/3/05).

A. If elected, would you be in favor of lifting the SLI's moratorium on new Greek houses--or at least on new sororities--so that greater gender equity can be achieved?

-- I would support greater gender equity.

B. What do you feel the role of the Greek system should be on campus? Do you see the Greeks as essential to the Dartmouth experience, or do you agree with President Wright's 1999 declaration to end "the Greek system as we know it"?

-- I think the Greek system is a significant part of the social fabric of the College. But it is only a part. Students should, in my view, have a variety of social opportunities available to them.
5. EducationMany students are concerned about recent increases in class sizes at Dartmouth. If elected, would you work to hire more undergraduate professors in the near future, especially in the subject areas under greatest student demand? Also, if elected, would you challenge the administration to increase faculty diversity, including gender, race and political orientation?

-- Yes. I am a strong supporter of smaller classes and a diverse faculty.

6. Student CommunicationTo many students' dismay, this year the Student Affairs Group, which was a committee of students who met with the trustees each year, became defunct. If elected, would you commit to working with Student Assembly to increase the communication between the Board of Trustees and students? -- Yes. I think close communication between the Board and students is absolutely essential -- both to give students a voice and also to ensure that decisions are made based on current conditions, not what the College was like when the board members were students.

7. AdministrationIn the fall of 2002, the administration unilaterally eliminated the swimming and diving teams. Afterwards, the Student Budget Advisory Committee was formed to involve students in budgetary decisions. To what extent should students be allowed to participate in administrative decisions? What mechanisms, if any, should exist for such participation?

-- I would support student input into administration decision making.
8. The Role of Positive TraditionsIn recent years, the College has restricted long-standing student traditions like field rushing or throwing tennis balls at the Princeton hockey game. What do you feel is the role of traditions at Dartmouth?
-- I believe that traditions are an important part of Dartmouth and generally support them. (Do they still serve green eggs after the freshman trip?) But of course certain traditions (like an all male campus) run their course and should be changed. A periodic reassessment or updating of at least some traditions can be healthy.
9. Information SessionWould you be willing to come to campus for an information session with students (yes/no)?-- Yes
10. Optional QuestionCan you share with us some stories from your experience here at Dartmouth?

Gregg L. Engles '79

Mr. Engles has been in communication with the committee and will soon send his answers, which will be placed online as quickly as possible.

Richard W. Lewis '84

1. Student Rights

College officials have maintained that Dartmouth has no speech code, however, some recent incidents, including the closing of Zeta Psi Fraternity, have caused students concern.

A. What are your feelings about the current state of free speech at Dartmouth? If elected, what would you hope to change--if anything--regarding free speech at Dartmouth?

I believe free speech, open dialogue and debate are critically important to the development of the most prepared Dartmouth students: ones who are ready to thrive and lead in the larger world, an arena that demands a well-developed aptitude for all of these skills. However, I do believe in specific “principles of engagement”. I believe that the College community should be open to all to express their ideas, viewpoints and sentiments no matter how controversial as long as:

the style and manner of expression are within the boundaries of the law.

these offerings are intended to educate and add positively to the College learning experience; and

they have and maintain an interested audience in the College community.




Students have complained about searching and seizure by overzealous security forces like Safety and Security and the New Hampshire State Liquor Commission.

B. Should students in College-owned housing enjoy the same rights and privileges as American citizens do under the Fourth Amendment?

I was a member of Chi Gamma Epsilon Fraternity (then Kappa Sigma) and I served for a while as House Social Chairman. In this capacity, I was regularly tasked with the responsibility of finding or creating social gatherings and outlets for our membership. So, I understand some of the challenges that exist today between finding “creative” ways (in the best Dartmouth sense) to gather socially and the College’s need to maintain a safe, lawful and responsible community at the College. It is a difficult balance to manage but I am troubled by some of the stories I have read and been told regarding what you refer to as “searching and seizure by overzealous security forces”. I would like to see Dartmouth focus much more on encouraging responsible behaviour rather than strictly punishing infractions or propagating an atmosphere of fear and suspicion.

2. Undergraduate Education

President Wright has said that Dartmouth is “a research university in all but name” (The Dartmouth 4/17/98). What do you believe the balance should be between undergraduate and graduate emphasis at Dartmouth?

I believe that Dartmouth should maintain a commitment to unparalleled excellence in undergraduate education. With no disrespect to our exemplary graduate schools, I believe that undergraduate education should receive the preponderance of the College’s support and resources. I believe, however, this begs a bigger question about the appropriate balance between teaching and research at Dartmouth.

I want to see the College increase its commitment to attract, secure, encourage, measure and reward the most talented and “relevant” educators in the world. I want to see us do it so well, that people fight to be asked to teach at Dartmouth. I mention “relevant” because I believe the best students want to be taught by people who are regarded as relevant and important in their respective fields – just like any good athletes want to be coached by excellent, respected and winning coaches. But, any faculty member who wants to conduct and pursue research and other non-teaching projects must continually demonstrate his/her commitment to, excellence in, and a passion for teaching our students. It is my strong belief that there are many people in the world who do both well.

By the way, I’m married to one! My wife, a faculty member at Cambridge University, is regularly praised for both. She’s well published, is contributing to excellence in her field and has received standing ovations when she lectures.

I know we already have some of these spectacular educators at Dartmouth, but let’s find more of them and create a “club” where our professors (and students!) feel so lucky, supported and well-cared for that they remain our most effective “apostles” spreading the word about our “club of excellence” throughout the world in the same numbers and with the same passion that has always been in the hallmark of the Dartmouth community.
3. Athletics

How would you rate the current athletic program at Dartmouth? Are too many resources being put into athletics, too few, or just enough? Do you believe Dartmouth’s current admissions process regarding athletes should be adjusted in any way?

While I think there are some bright spots and there have been some outstanding individual and team achievements of late, the fact remains that we’re just not as good or as competitive as we used to be. We need to rededicate ourselves to excellence in athletics and allocate more substantial support and resources to make this reality again.

The facts and numbers prove it. Bill Wellstead ’63, author of the Dartmouth Athletics blogspot (dartmouthathletics@blogspot.com), created and maintains a measurement system for the College’s performance against all Ivy league peers in all men’s and women’s intercollegiate sports. We rank tied for 6th/7th of 8 in both categories for 2004 and have ranked no higher than this for the last four years. Back in the mid 1990’s we were ranked in the top three (and number 2 in 1995). Why is this? Why is this an unofficial ranking? Why doesn’t the College or Athletic Department already measure this? What are our goals? Are we okay with this? I’m not okay with it and many of our alumni are not either.

Some believe that our current administration has not been as committed to athletics as prior administrations. Despite President Wright’s admirable personal commitment to, and attendance, at numerous athletic events and functions, too many of us feel that our performance is suffering because too little resources (as a percentage of total funding) are being dedicated to athletics. We also believe that we have seriously de-emphasised the importance of achieving excellence in athletics in the last several years and that the College has tolerated, (perhaps even encouraged at times), the view that athletics is in competition with scholarship at Dartmouth. I believe strongly what fellow alumni Jack Manning ’72 recently wrote in a letter to President Wright and Athletics Director, Josie Harper, that “the two are inexorably intertwined – at least for many of us. It is important that each be accorded strong support and regard if Dartmouth is to continue to graduate model citizens and leaders who will go further in the world to use what they have learned in the classroom, from their classmates and on the playing fields”.

I want us to stop losing our fair share of the best student and student athletes to schools that are supposedly operating under the same constraints and rules as ourselves. I don’t want to see us fail to admit students because they’re not academically gifted enough for us and find that they got admitted to Princeton, Harvard, Yale and Columbia (and even worse, find that we end up competing against them on the field, court, rink or in the pool!). Equally, I want to be sure that Dartmouth remains a place where students come for excellent academics and to acquire that larger set of life skills that will serve them repeatedly throughout their lives; a place that’s known for students, faculty and alumni that take success very seriously but themselves less so. Hasn’t that always been at the core of Dartmouth’s ethos?
4. Greeks

Dartmouth is currently home to thirteen fraternities and only six sororities. This disparity makes for especially large female rush classes, straining sororities and detracting from their ability to develop sisterhood (The Dartmouth 2/3/05).

A. If elected, would you be in favor of lifting the SLI’s moratorium on new Greek houses--or at least on new sororities--so that greater gender equity can be achieved?

I am in favor of thoughtfully lifting the moratorium on new Greek houses and expanding the number of sororities to approach equality of opportunity for the ladies of Dartmouth.



B. What do you feel the role of the Greek system should be on campus? Do you see the Greeks as essential to the Dartmouth experience, or do you agree with President Wright’s 1999 declaration to end “the Greek system as we know it”?

I was a member of Kappa Sigma (now Chi Gam) when I was at Dartmouth.

I believe that a thoughtful and conscientious fraternity/sorority system should be able to not only co-exist happily with the greater College community but should be, and is, a positive and meaningful part of that community. I am, of course, aware of some of the excesses and occasional and unforgivable stupid actions which have originated from time to time from individuals or organizations in the Greek system. I do not condone these acts. I do believe they need to be punished but I am not ready to throw the system away as some would do. I think that the Greek system is part of Dartmouth and its ethos and I would like to see us find positive ways to embrace its contribution to the community rather than plot to dismantle it.

On a personal level, the friendships I developed during my fraternity experience are some of the most, loyal, consistent, steadfast, honest and special relationships I have ever known. In fact, if it were not for one of my fraternity brothers and classmates who strongly urged me repeatedly to accept the Nomination committee's second nomination of me (I ran in 2003 and lost by 12 votes) and put myself in the process again (”why wouldn't you put Dartmouth above your personal pride and potential disappointment again?”, he reminded me repeatedly), I might have refused the nomination this time.

In summary, I'm a supporter of the system. I want the system to continue to act responsibly (without imposing so many rules and regulations that kill all of the fun, beauty, magic and meaning of the experience), but I want it to thrive at Dartmouth because I believe it is a small but meaningful part of Dartmouth's history and soul.

5. Education

Many students are concerned about recent increases in class sizes at Dartmouth. If elected, would you work to hire more undergraduate professors in the near future, especially in the subject areas under greatest student demand? Also, if elected, would you challenge the administration to increase faculty diversity, including gender, race and political orientation?

The intimacy of the learning experience at the College is of paramount importance to our special niche in higher education. We must be continuously vigilant about maintaining this intimacy by keeping class sizes down and providing enough resources to meet student demand in the most popular subject areas. Some of this work is underway. I will support it and speed it along.

As for diversity in hiring of faculty and staff, I not only support it but demand it of my team in my own business. I run an international business based in nine different European countries with clients from 40 countries around the world. In my London office alone, I have 45 employees from 11 different countries who speak 17 languages. I understand on a very personal level how a diversity of background, perspective, gender, ethnicity and experience adds immeasurably to a learning experience and I will not only support it but encourage and demand that we find more ways to achieve this. I believe that the greater world is headed in this direction. My two daughters are African-American-German-Indians. They speak English and German and carry US and British citizenships and qualify for the same in Germany and India. If they were to attend Dartmouth and I hope that they would, I want them to feel like it values their diversity of background, capability and experience. Dartmouth can only do this if it leads by example.
6. Student Communication

To many students’ dismay, this year the Student Affairs Group, which was a committee of students who met with the trustees each year, became defunct. If elected, would you commit to working with Student Assembly to increase the communication between the Board of Trustees and students?

Yes I would. In fact, if not already established, I would support the appointment of a Trustee who would be named as a liaison to the Student Assembly so that you felt that you had greater insight into the Board and its work and that the Board could gain greater real time feedback from the College’s student population.

7. Administration

In the fall of 2002, the administration unilaterally eliminated the swimming and diving teams. Afterwards, the Student Budget Advisory Committee was formed to involve students in budgetary decisions. To what extent should students be allowed to participate in administrative decisions? What mechanisms, if any, should exist for such participation?

(Please see answers to questions 6 and 9)

8. The Role of Positive Traditions

In recent years, the College has restricted long-standing student traditions like field rushing or throwing tennis balls at the Princeton hockey game. What do you feel is the role of traditions at Dartmouth?

I believe that our observance and practice of traditions are important features in binding us to our experience at Dartmouth and to each other. No one would argue that Dartmouth would not be itself without many of the traditions it has continuously observed for most of its history (Winter Cennial, Green Key weekend, Freshman Trips…..).

I would like to see more traditions, the grand ones and less serious and notable creations, survive and thrive I think they serve us so well in reinforcing our fierce pride we have for Dartmouth and each other and by encouraging us to take our success seriously but ourselves far less so.

9. Information Session

Would you be willing to come to campus for an information session with students (yes/no)?

Yes! I have already offered this in my correspondence with Noah Riner who originally contacted me on behalf of the Student Assembly. In fact, I will be traveling from London to campus in the very near future and would be pleased to meet with you, formally or informally. If elected as a Trustee, I would make every attempt to make this a regular part of my campus visits. I believe current students are amongst the most important constituents that a Trustee represents and I want to, and will remain, dedicated to continually updating my understanding of what you like about Dartmouth, what you feel needs change or improvement, and what should never be changed.

10. Optional Question

Can you share with us some stories from your experience here at Dartmouth?

As for so many of us, there are so many great stories that I wouldn’t know where to start. Rather than sharing a story of my time on campus, I’ll share something that happened more recently that is typical of numerous Dartmouth experiences I had and engenders what I believe is at the heart of Dartmouth for many of us.

(I included this in my official trustee election materials. If you have read it before, please excuse the repetition).

Not so long ago, I made a short business trip from London to New York. My plans were such that I would be in New York for only a matter of hours so I hadn't arranged to meet two of my closest friends, both from Dartmouth who live and work there. As it happened, I finished my work earlier than anticipated and found myself with three hours before I had to catch my return flight. I called both of them and they spontaneously rearranged commitments so we could meet up for a drink and a quick meal a short time later. On their way to meet me, they made calls to a couple of other friends of ours who, in turn, called others to join us.

One thing led to another and within the space of an hour from my original telephone call, I found myself surrounded by six Dartmouth friends from four different classes at the College. None had known in advance I would be in town or that any of us would see each other that day, and all had rearranged previous plans to accommodate our impromptu visit.

In the two hours we were together, we shared stories that closed the gaps in time, small and large, since we had last seen each other. We spoke to each other with that easy familiarity that only intense shared experiences create. It really did seem as if we had seen each other the day before. This is what most embodies Dartmouth to me: after all the years, it still feels like family. The caliber of the learning experience, the beauty of the setting and the intimate nature of the Dartmouth community seem to instill so often in us a unique sense of pride and commitment. These combine to create a loyalty to the College, and to each other, like few other institutions that I have experienced in my life, academic or otherwise.

Peter Robinson '79

1. Student Rights

College officials have maintained that Dartmouth has no speech code, however, some recent incidents, including the closing of Zeta Psi Fraternity, have caused students concern.
A. What are your feelings about the current state of free speech at Dartmouth? If elected, what would you hope to change--if anything--regarding free speech at Dartmouth?

Let me present two views about the state of free speech at Dartmouth, then tell you my own.

The first view is that of President Wright.

“Does Dartmouth have speech codes that curtail free expression on campus?” President Wright asked when he addressed Dartmouth clubs in Chicago and Denver this past winter. “No we do not.”

“A few weeks ago,” Wright continued, “Mr. Rodgers [trustee T. J. Rodgers ’70, elected last year as a petition candidate] wrote to FIRE [the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which on free speech gives Penn its best ranking, Yale its middle ranking, and Dartmouth its worst ranking] suggesting that they reassess this ranking because he was satisfied that the College does not have such a code and that he is pleased with my position on this matter.”

The second view is that of trustee T. J. Rodgers ’70 and FIRE.

“I did not say,” T. J. Rodgers stated in a recent letter to me, “nor have I ever said, that Dartmouth does not have a speech code [italics in the original]….If Dartmouth were not a private college…it would have already been sued by the ACLU or by FIRE for violating the First Amendment and it would already have lost….”

At Convocation last year, Rodgers continued, President Wright made remarks on free speech that represented a useful step. Rodgers therefore did indeed ask FIRE to review its ranking of Dartmouth. When FIRE reexamined free speech at Dartmouth, however, FIRE gave Dartmouth its worst ranking all over again.

In a statement that T. J. Rodgers forwarded to me, David French, the president of FIRE and a graduate of Harvard Law School, explained FIRE’s decision: Despite his remarks at Convocation, President Wright’s policy “conditions free speech on the reactions of the least tolerant listener, is vague and ambiguous, and clearly singles out certain kinds of speech for punishment simply because they advocate allegedly unacceptable points of view.”

“[I]t remains to be seen,” T. J. Rodgers wrote, concluding his letter to me, “whether Dartmouth will really stand behind…[Wright’s] words [at Convocation] and actually change the policies that have triggered punitive action in the past against individuals and organizations that simply exercised their right to free speech….”

Where do I stand? With trustee T. J. Rodgers ’70 and FIRE. As a trustee myself, I would refuse to accept any mere form of words like that President Wright offered at Convocation. The administration must instead take action, rescinding all infringements on freedom of speech while promoting a climate in which every man or woman on campus feels genuinely at liberty to speak his or her mind.


Students have complained about searching and seizure by overzealous security forces like Safety and Security and the New Hampshire State Liquor Commission.

B. Should students in College-owned housing enjoy the same rights and privileges as American citizens do under the Fourth Amendment?

Except in rare circumstances—when the campus police are in pursuit of a drug dealer, for example—you bet.


2. Undergraduate Education

President Wright has said that Dartmouth is “a research university in all but name” (The Dartmouth 4/17/98). What do you believe the balance should be between undergraduate and graduate emphasis at Dartmouth?

Calling Dartmouth “a research university in all but name” betrays a profound misconception of the College’s history, traditions, and signal strengths. Dartmouth College is a college.

While maintaining the excellence of its graduate schools, each essentially a free-standing institution, Dartmouth should strive to provide incomparably the finest undergraduate education in the nation. I’d work to ensure that the College reduced its bureaucratic overhead, provided enough courses in the most popular subjects, granted the very highest standing to the very finest teachers, and concentrated resources where they belong—in the classroom.


3. Athletics

How would you rate the current athletic program at Dartmouth? Are too many resources being put into athletics, too few, or just enough? Do you believe Dartmouth’s current admissions process regarding athletes should be adjusted in any way?

In certain sports, notably hockey, Dartmouth remains a force, but in others the College has grown weak. Since 1998, for example, the football team has compiled an overall record of 16-53, placing Dartmouth dead last in the Ivy League. According to an analysis in the March issue of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, moreover, in the last decade the Dartmouth athletic program has fallen from second place in the Ivy League to sixth. In 10 of 30 sports, Dartmouth finished second-to-last or last.

The life of the mind must always come first at Dartmouth, and rededicating the institution to undergraduate education represents the chief reason for my candidacy. Yet the athletic program endows the College with an enhanced sense of community—what brings together students, faculty, administrators, and alumni like athletic events?—while giving students the opportunity to learn vital lessons of discipline and teamwork. To this day, my own most vivid memories of the College include football games on dappled autumn afternoons and hockey games on black winter nights.

Resources? Over the last six years, the Student Life Initiative and the bureaucracy it has spawned have absorbed many millions of dollars. I find it inconceivable that a portion of that amount wouldn’t have been better spent on athletics.

The admissions process? Athletics are integral to the mission of the College—not, as Dean of Admissions Karl Furstenberg put it in his now famous letter, “antithetical” to that mission. The College’s old and honorable tradition of well-roundedness, an important component of which is athletic, should be respected in every aspect of life at the College, including the admissions process.


4. Greeks

Dartmouth is currently home to thirteen fraternities and only six sororities. This disparity makes for especially large female rush classes, straining sororities and detracting from their ability to develop sisterhood (The Dartmouth 2/3/05).

A. If elected, would you be in favor of lifting the SLI’s moratorium on new Greek houses--or at least on new sororities--so that greater gender equity can be achieved?

Most definitely. The proportion of women at the College now equals that of men, and women’s sports have the same standing as men’s sports. Why should Dartmouth retain an imbalance between sororities and fraternities? Completing the unfinished business of coeducation, new sororities should be applauded.


B. What do you feel the role of the Greek system should be on campus? Do you see the Greeks as essential to the Dartmouth experience, or do you agree with President Wright’s 1999 declaration to end “the Greek system as we know it”?

For students who choose to join them fraternities and sororities often represent a high point of the College experience. Erect a big, expensive bureaucracy to harass the Greek system? Attempt to end the system, to quote President Wright, “as we know it?” In their hostility to fraternities and sororities, President Wright, Dean of the College Larimore, and others often seem determined to illustrate H. L. Mencken’s famous definition of a Puritan as a person with a “haunting fear that someone, somewhere might be happy.”

The administration should enforce the law, including the drinking age, ensure that no fraternity or sorority is guilty of discrimination, and foster an array of social options for students who wish to remain outside the Greek system. But the administration’s unreasoning and often almost hysterical enmity toward fraternities and sororities must end.


5. Education

Many students are concerned about recent increases in class sizes at Dartmouth. If elected, would you work to hire more undergraduate professors in the near future, especially in the subject areas under greatest student demand? Also, if elected, would you challenge the administration to increase faculty diversity, including gender, race and political orientation?

As one undergraduate argued recently in The Dartmouth:

“The administration can boast a 10 percent increase in the size of the faculty over the last five years, but the incoming professors ended up in all the wrong places….Next spring, 16 computer science professors will teach 237 students; meanwhile, 17 economics professors will teach 889 students. Quibble all you want about how these professors are ranked or paid, but economics and government are having staffing problems now because the resources were wrongly allocated several years ago and remain so.”

As a trustee, I’d consider it one of my first duties to address this misallocation of resources, directing the administration to hire professors in economics, government, and other oversubscribed subjects.

The criteria to use in hiring? Academic distinction and excellence in the classroom. When I was an undergraduate, for example, two of the finest professors on campus were Jeffrey Hart in English and Marysa Navarro in history. Politically, Hart was on the right, Navarro on the left. But each was an eminent academic and superb teacher—and each kept politics out of the classroom.


6. Student Communication

To many students’ dismay, this year the Student Affairs Group, which was a committee of students who met with the trustees each year, became defunct. If elected, would you commit to working with Student Assembly to increase the communication between the Board of Trustees and students?


Certainly. I’d also do all I could to spend time with students informally, dropping by dorms, joining students for meals, and attending athletic events.


7. Administration

In the fall of 2002, the administration unilaterally eliminated the swimming and diving teams. Afterwards, the Student Budget Advisory Committee was formed to involve students in budgetary decisions. To what extent should students be allowed to participate in administrative decisions? What mechanisms, if any, should exist for such participation?

The College exists for its students. Although the Board of Trustees must retain the right to make final decisions, therefore, it should apprise itself of student views in every way it can. The Student Budget Advisory Committee represents a useful mechanism. As a trustee I’d also eagerly avail myself of The Dartmouth, the Dartmouth Review, and student blogs of every description and stripe.


8. The Role of Positive Traditions

In recent years, the College has restricted long-standing student traditions like field rushing or throwing tennis balls at the Princeton hockey game. What do you feel is the role of traditions at Dartmouth?


The administration could do a great deal worse than to engage in some rudimentary cost-benefit analysis. What, exactly, does it derive from eliminating harmless traditions? The feeling that it has successfully suppressed unruliness? That it has enforced a certain narrow-minded sense of order? And what, exactly, does it lose? Traditions in which undergraduates delight; traditions that foster school spirit; traditions that create threads of shared experience, binding current undergraduates to those who have gone before.

Innocent traditions represent a vital aspect of the Dartmouth experience. They should be fostered, not quashed.



9. Information Session

Would you be willing to come to campus for an information session with students (yes/no)?

Sure. (Scheduling a trip to Hanover will prove difficult over the next few weeks. After that, I’m yours.)


10. Optional Question

Can you share with us some stories from your experience here at Dartmouth?


Working on an article for The Dartmouth Alumni Magazine about “Shakespeare’s Tragedies,” the freshman seminar I attended, Mark Winkler ’79, my class secretary, sent me an email recently, asking my memories of the course. When I’d read his email I glanced from my computer monitor to my bookshelf. There stood the very same Penguin paperbacks of Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear that I had used in the seminar three decades before. I’d kept them, discarding my copy of Othello only when it fell apart, because that seminar had proven one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

I’d never seen the language taken so seriously. I’d never encountered a mind as quick or elegant as that of Prof. David Kastan, the instructor. And I’d never been pushed so hard.

I stood, went to my bookshelf, plucked out King Lear, and flipped through it. An index card that I’d used as a bookmark fluttered to the carpet. Picking it up, I found scrawled on it the handwriting of one of the other students in the seminar, John Bussey ‘79. In 2001, John would contribute to reports of the attacks on the World Trade Towers for which the Wall Street Journal would win a Pulitzer Prize, but in 1975 John worked with me on essays for “Shakespeare’s Tragedies.” The two of us would take adjoining alcoves in the 1902 Room, interrupting our writing every half hour or so to exchange ideas.

On the index card: “Lear viii 8-19. Sum it up. Include tone. Literally, attitude. Then, in the light of the whole play describe Lear’s present state in that passage: his attitude toward himself, Cordelia, life/death, the world.”

Life and death, the world. That was Dartmouth. Even eighteen-year olds found it perfectly natural to address themselves to the ultimate things.

Curtis R. Welling '71, Tuck '77

In addition to the answers that follow, I think you will find my views clearly expressed, and in greater detail, in the ballot materials--printed and video--and the candidate's e-mail, all of which are available through the Alumni office.

1. Student Rights

College officials have maintained that Dartmouth has no speech code, however, some recent incidents, including the closing of Zeta Psi Fraternity, have caused students concern.
A. What are your feelings about the current state of free speech at Dartmouth? If elected, what would you hope to change--if anything--regarding free speech at Dartmouth?


You will find this prominently addressed in my ballot materials. The First Amendment means what it says. Civility and respect are nice, and they are desirable--freedom of expression is quintessential, and cannot be compromised. This is particularly true with regard to political speech, which is the exact type of expression that the founders sought to protect. I conclude that any right which both Rush Limbaugh and Frank Rich think is endangered is worth protecting indeed.

Students have complained about searching and seizure by overzealous security forces like Safety and Security and the New Hampshire State Liquor Commission.

B. Should students in College-owned housing enjoy the same rights and privileges as American citizens do under the Fourth Amendment?

The legal issues surrounding freedom from unreasonable searches on college campuses comprise a tricky technical area of the law which involves consideration of things like safety and security, and the scope of the College's authority as in loco parentis. But as a general matter--students should be free of the consequences of "over zealousnes", intimidation, and fishing expeditions. Standards of probable cause and due process are as valid for students as for any other population.


2. Undergraduate Education

President Wright has said that Dartmouth is "a research university in all but name" (The Dartmouth 4/17/98). What do you believe the balance should be between undergraduate and graduate emphasis at Dartmouth?


Again, amply addressed in my ballot materials. Undergraduate excellence is "true north"--and this commitment should guide all strategic and resource allocation decisions. I do believe that those who seek to use this quote in a critical way generally take it out of context and seem to imply that there is some zero-sum game at work: research and teaching are not incompatible. Indeed, I do not believe that Dartmouth can be great without a commitment to research-based scholarship and teaching. The issue is managing the balance, not choosing between the two.

3. Athletics

How would you rate the current athletic program at Dartmouth? Are too many resources being put into athletics, too few, or just enough? Do you believe Dartmouth's current admissions process regarding athletes should be adjusted in any way?

I believe the athletic program at Dartmouth is good and can be quite a bit better. I question the resource allocation from the capital campaign and think it is, on its face, inadequate. Unfortunately, this discussion is skewed by the prominent visibility of the football program and by the events surrounding Karl Furstenberg's letter.

4. Greeks

Dartmouth is currently home to thirteen fraternities and only six sororities. This disparity makes for especially large female rush classes, straining sororities and detracting from their ability to develop sisterhood (The Dartmouth 2/3/05).

A. If elected, would you be in favor of lifting the SLI's moratorium on new Greek houses--or at least on new sororities--so that greater gender equity can be achieved?

I'm not sure that gender equity is the issue per se, but I am in favor of the Greek system, and more broadly of increasing the social and housing options on campus. If there were sufficient demand to open a new sorority and to ensure its viability I would certainly favor that. I believe that housing availability and continuity are very important issues, and that affinity housing should play a role in the solution.

B. What do you feel the role of the Greek system should be on campus? Do you see the Greeks as essential to the Dartmouth experience, or do you agree with President Wright's 1999 declaration to end "the Greek system as we know it"?

I think Greek, and other affinity organizations, have a very important place in the social and educational fabric of the College. If the College is, in fact, attempting to eliminate the Greek system that would be wrong and I would strongly oppose it.

5. Education

Many students are concerned about recent increases in class sizes at Dartmouth. If elected, would you work to hire more undergraduate professors in the near future, especially in the subject areas under greatest student demand? Also, if elected, would you challenge the administration to increase faculty diversity, including gender, race and political orientation?

A trend toward larger classes and the unavailability of classes is a serious issue that calls for a serious and immediate response. If anything like the numbers that are suggested anecdotally are true, the Trustees have an obligation to act--and to act quickly--under the "true north" principal.

6. Student Communication

To many students' dismay, this year the Student Affairs Group, which was a committee of students who met with the trustees each year, became defunct. If elected, would you commit to working with Student Assembly to increase the communication between the Board of Trustees and students?

Students are an important stakeholder group with a unique perspective to bring to the stewardship of Dartmouth. I think it is a good idea to have a regular mechanism for the Trustees to hear candid feedback from a representative group of students.

7. Administration

In the fall of 2002, the administration unilaterally eliminated the swimming and diving teams. Afterwards, the Student Budget Advisory Committee was formed to involve students in budgetary decisions. To what extent should students be allowed to participate in administrative decisions? What mechanisms, if any, should exist for such participation?

The process of assembling a budget is a complicated one which involves a number of priorities and tradeoffs. The budget is the responsibility of the Administration under the strategic direction of the Trustees. As important stakeholders, the students should participate and "inform" this process--as should the faculty--but not in such a way that ultimate responsibility and accountability of the Administration is diluted. Whether students should "participate" in other administrative decisions depends entirely on the nature of the decision and the rationale for student participation. Pretty hard to generalize here.

8. The Role of Positive Traditions

In recent years, the College has restricted long-standing student traditions like field rushing or throwing tennis balls at the Princeton hockey game. What do you feel is the role of traditions at Dartmouth?

Positive traditions are an important part of the glue that binds the community and reminds us of our core values. They are an important part of an institution's uniqueness and certainly play a role in expressing the personality, values and culture of the institution. True traditions should be carefully nurtured and reluctantly eliminated. This is our obligation as stewards of the history and future of the College. At the same time, students have the responsibility to observe traditions in the spirit on which they are based. I am not sure that throwing tennis balls at the Princeton hockey game rises to a level of transcendent importance, but perhaps I am missing something.

9. Information Session

Would you be willing to come to campus for an information session with students (yes/no)?

Of course.



As I said in a note to Alumni, Dartmouth is both an ideal and an objective reality. It is the mission of the Trustes to preserve the ideal and to improve the reality. I hope these thoughts are responsive to the questions you have asked.

Todd J. Zywicki '88

1. Student Rights
College officials have maintained that Dartmouth has no speech code, however, some recent incidents, including the closing of Zeta Psi Fraternity, have caused students concern.

A. What are your feelings about the current state of free speech at Dartmouth? If elected, what would you hope to change--if anything--regarding free speech at Dartmouth?

I am very concerned about the state of free speech at Dartmouth. At best, Dartmouth sponsors an improper speech code; at worst, the rules are even worse than a code, but operate as a wholly vague and discretionary set of rules to be administered at the whim of College authorities. Dartmouth’s speech rules mock the rule of law and the principles of freedom of speech. The pursuit of knowledge can only occur in a setting that protects freedom of speech, thought, and expression. As T.J. Rodgers recently summarized, “I believe there has been and continues to be a serious free speech problem at Dartmouth.” In fact, it appears that Dartmouth recently has removed from its official web site its materials related to its speech code, thus is it not even clear whether Dartmouth has any announced policy at all or whether speech is to be subject to the unrestricted case-by-case discretion of the administration. A system of vague and secret rules backed by arbitrary enforcement is contrary to the principles of free and robust speech to which Dartmouth should aspire.

If elected, I will propose that Dartmouth eliminate its current speech code and adopt the First Amendment of the United States Constitution as its rules governing freedom of speech, thought, and expression.

Students have complained about searching and seizure by overzealous security forces like Safety and Security and the New Hampshire State Liquor Commission.

B. Should students in College-owned housing enjoy the same rights and privileges as American citizens do under the Fourth Amendment?

Absolutely yes. In addition, I think that the College’s draconian punishment of Zeta Psi on the basis of a torn-up newsletter fished from its garbage can on private property with no warrant, probable cause or due process shows an alarming disrespect for student privacy and legal rights. Even if one is not troubled by the severity of the punishment itself, the means do not justify the ends.

2. Undergraduate Education

President Wright has said that Dartmouth is “a research university in all but name” (The Dartmouth 4/17/98). What do you believe the balance should be between undergraduate and graduate emphasis at Dartmouth?

Dartmouth should rededicate itself to the mission of excellence in undergraduate education. Dartmouth is unique among its Ivy League peers in its traditional dedication to the mission of undergraduate education and should embrace this distinctive vision, rather than simply becoming a second-rate Harvard. Dartmouth’s unique undergraduate focus is a source of strength in recruiting top students and faculty. Generations of Dartmouth students and alumni (including myself) have chosen to attend Dartmouth because of its intimate learning environment and unique dedication to undergraduate education. I know from my personal experience that there are many, many talented academics who relish the classroom experience; my proudest accomplishment as a professor was being voted “Professor of the Year” by my students a few years ago. Dartmouth need not surrender its unique undergraduate commitment in order to attract and retain the top professors in the land.

If elected to the Board, my first act as a Trustee will be to propose that the Board create a new Standing Committee on “Academic Mission and Quality” which will be dedicated to helping to steer Dartmouth’s academic course by ensuring that the mission of undergraduate teaching is the College’s primary mission and that financial priorities and faculty recruitment reflect this goal. Great teachers and mentors must be recognized and rewarded and faculty scholarship should reinforce Dartmouth’s undergraduate mission by being accessible and relevant to classroom instruction.

Dartmouth’s existing professional schools should retain their intimate size, unique focus, and teaching-oriented ethos as well.

More graduate schools would inevitably mean more graduate students—and more graduate teaching assistants. Dartmouth should not go down that road. Dartmouth professors, not inexperienced graduate teaching assistants, should teach Dartmouth students.

3. Athletics

How would you rate the current athletic program at Dartmouth? Are too many resources being put into athletics, too few, or just enough? Do you believe Dartmouth’s current admissions process regarding athletes should be adjusted in any way?

I am disappointed by the current state of the Dartmouth athletic program and the lack of institutional commitment to its success. The moribund nature of several of Dartmouth’s flagship athletics programs is well-documented. Although Dartmouth has excelled in a few sports, most notably men’s and women’s hockey, the overall commitment to and quality of Dartmouth’s athletics program has declined in recent years. An article in the most recent issue of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine reports that a top-to-bottom assessment of all of Dartmouth’s sports programs demonstrates that during the past decade Dartmouth has slipped from second overall in the Ivy League in 1995 to next-to-last, ahead of only Columbia. Dartmouth finished last or second-to-last in 10 or the 30 sports in which it competes. See Brad Parks, “Framing the Letter,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, March/April 2005, page 24. Clearly there are deep-seated institutional problems with Dartmouth’s athletics programs that run through the entire athletic program, and not just its highest-profile programs.

The benefits to Dartmouth’s athletes of a commitment to excellence in athletics is obvious—athletics builds commitment, teamwork, and the pride and opportunity to represent Dartmouth on the field, court, or mat. Athletics plays a valuable role in building well-rounded students. But the benefits of athletics go beyond the athletes themselves. Athletics play a valuable role in uniting the students, alumni, faculty, and staff behind a common goal that builds unity, community, and school spirit. When sitting in the stands at Memorial Field, Red Rolfe Field, or Leede Arena, there are no Democrats or Republicans, Catholics or Protestants, just Dartmouth loyalists drawn together in a shared communal experience.

I vividly recall my Senior year, taking a break from working on my Senior Honors Thesis and huddling around a transistor radio in the Baker stacks with three classmates, as we listened to Dartmouth with two free throws to try to beat Brown and win the Ivy League Basketball Championship. I remember Mike Remlinger pitching a 2-hitter to outduel Michigan’s great Jim Abbott to win the opening regional game of the College World Series. Crisp fall afternoons at Memorial Field, frozen winter nights at Thompson Arena, and warm spring days at Rolfe field are among my richest memories of my time at Dartmouth. In fact, while I was at Dartmouth I was the football beat reporter for The Dartmouth and an announcer for men’s and women’s basketball and men’s baseball, illustrating the way in which participation in athletics touches the lives of athletes and non-athletes alike.

Athletics are also valuable in building alumni loyalty and pride. I know that I personally felt a surge of pride during Dartmouth’s run of success in football during the 1990s with Jay Fiedler at the helm. When I was in law school at the University of Virginia, Darmouth’s soccer team came down to play at Viriginia in the NCAA playoffs, which gave me an opportunity to reconnect with Dartmouth. When I was a Visiting Professor at Boston College Law School, I took an afternoon to go over to Harvard to watch us play them in baseball. It is simply reality, and empirical evidence supports it—one of the ways in which alumni connect with their alma mater is through their athletics programs.

Ivy League intercollegiate athletics are an integral part of the Dartmouth experience, and recently reported expressions of hostility toward Dartmouth’s football program Dartmouth’s Dean of Admissions demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of the positive role that athletics can play in educating well-rounded students, building school spirit, and maintaining alumni loyalty. The notion that Ivy League competition could breed an unhealthy “culture” is, quite frankly, absurd stereotyping of athletes and athletics in general, and fails to appreciate the balance that Ivy League athletic programs strike between academics and athletics. Indeed, the rest of the nation admires the Ivy League for the healthy balance that it strikes between athletics and academics. Finally, athletics is one of the College’s most prominent faces, and if the College is going to do something, it should do it right and make a proper institutional commitment to providing the resources and institutional support to be competitive and to take pride in its athletic programs.

Dartmouth’s athletic program should be consistent with its overall academic mission, and I believe Ivy League competition strikes an appropriate balance between the two. A competitive and properly-emphasized athletic program reinforces Dartmouth’s educational mission.

4. Greeks

Dartmouth is currently home to thirteen fraternities and only six sororities. This disparity makes for especially large female rush classes, straining sororities and detracting from their ability to develop sisterhood (The Dartmouth 2/3/05).

A. If elected, would you be in favor of lifting the SLI’s moratorium on new Greek houses--or at least on new sororities--so that greater gender equity can be achieved?

Yes. The administration should develop a more balanced position toward fraternities and sororities that restores students’ rights of freedom of association and speech. Dartmouth students are young adults, and Dartmouth should show greater respect for students ability to make adult choices regarding social and affiliative options and engage in less “social engineering” of students friendships and free time. The number of fraternities and sororities should be based on student demand, not on arbitrary decision by college bureaucrats as to what they believe to be the “right” number. Especially with regard to social and associative rights, the College’s policy must be guided by the preferences of the students themselves, and the College must do a better job in accommodating students’ preferences within the College’s governance scheme. Dartmouth should continue to develop alternative social and residential options, but the administration’s war against the fraternities and sororities must end.

B. What do you feel the role of the Greek system should be on campus? Do you see the Greeks as essential to the Dartmouth experience, or do you agree with President Wright’s 1999 declaration to end “the Greek system as we know it”?

I absolutely disagree with President Wright’s declaration to end “the Greek system as we know it” and the eventual elimination of single-sex Greek organization. The College should continue to develop alternative social options but should also recognize the important role played by sororities and fraternities in the educational and social options available to students. Fraternities and sororities, along with student clubs, teams, and other activities, play a valuable role in building Dartmouth’s rich community and school spirit. Sororities and fraternities also help to advance the College’s academic mission by contributing to deep friendships and collegiality that overcomes differences in background, and by creating a sense of shared experience that is stronger than political or ideological differences Dartmouth’s Greek system has always been characterized by its inclusiveness and openness, rather than a narrow exclusiveness, which helps to unite students and enrich the community. I have many great friends both who were and were not members of my fraternity, and I believe that student choices should be respected on this matter.

Quite frankly, I believe that what students do and with whom they decide to spend their personal time is largely none of the business of the College bureaucracy. Rather than trying to force-feed and herd students into college “approved” social activities, I think that the College should provide a wide range of social and residential options and respect student choice among them, and scale back its heavy-handed efforts to engineer only College-approved relationships. The rights of freedom of association should be restored to students.

5. Education (Two Part Answer)

Many students are concerned about recent increases in class sizes at Dartmouth. If elected, would you work to hire more undergraduate professors in the near future, especially in the subject areas under greatest student demand?

Dartmouth’s lack of focus on its core mission has resulted in confused financial priorities. The problem of classroom overcrowding and the inability to enroll in necessary courses is well-documented. According to public reports, spending on non-instructional employees has increased twice as fast as investment in Dartmouth’s faculty in recent years. The ratio of students to permanent faculty has worsened even as the number of College deans has proliferated, siphoning off precious resources that should be dedicated to classroom instruction. Rather than having the opportunity to learn under Dartmouth’s most distinguished professors, classes increasingly are taught by adjunct professors, post-doctoral fellows, and other temporary and inexperienced professors; in some departments, such as Government (my major as a student), the number of classes taught by Visiting, Adjunct, and other non-tenure track faculty appears to be as high as 30-35%, or perhaps even higher. See http://www.dartmouth.edu/~govt/faculty/. Sadly, even in those Departments, students still report overcrowded classrooms and an inability to enroll in necessary classes. See “Govy Gridlock” by Daniel Belkin ’08 (The Dartmouth, February 24, 2005).

When faced with a severe budget crisis two years ago, College leadership proposed to cut funding for the swim team, Sanborn Library, and the human biology program—-while simultaneously proposing the creation of a new Dean of Pluralism, with all of the bureaucratic trappings. The Editorial Board of The Dartmouth has protested “this …wanton expansion of administrative bureaucracy in a time of fiscal crisis.” “Verbum Ultimum” by Editorial Board of The Dartmouth (October 1, 2004). I agree.

Similarly, when the College announced its plan to “put an end to the single-sex fraternity and sorority system which has existed at the College for more than 150 years,” it also announced that they were “prepared to spend ‘tens of millions of dollars’ to finance the social and residential life changes, according to Wright, who said that the College will hope to purchase and refurbish the houses of the Greek organizations who currently live in privately-owned buildings.” See “Trustees to End Greek System ‘As We Know It’”, The Dartmouth (February 10, 1999).

In light of the College's more pressing financial priorities, such as increasing the number of full-time classroom teachers, I think both of these decisions were misguided and demonstrate a profound lack of recognition of the College’s core educational mission and student classroom experience. When the College makes a decision with financial and educational consequences as far-reaching as one to “end the Greek system ‘as we know it’”—-and to commit to spending “tens of millions of dollars” to do it—-I believe it should do so in collaboration with students and alumni, rather than issuing the order by fiat and committing itself to “weather the storm” of their opposition. Similarly, leaving aside the merits of creating a new Dean of Pluralism position, I cannot see that it is such a pressing priority that it justifies diverting funds from libraries and academic programs.

During my decade as a professor and senior governmental policy-maker, I personally have come to know many leaders of today’s Dartmouth faculty, and have heard their frustration at the diversion of resources from the academic programs of the College toward bureaucratic overhead and non-educational programming. I will work together with Dartmouth’s students, parents, and faculty to insure that Dartmouth’s financial priorities advance the College’s educational priorities.

Also, if elected, would you challenge the administration to increase faculty diversity, including gender, race and political orientation?

As for issues of diversity, Dartmouth’s rich spirit and deep sense of community may be what most of us appreciate most about Dartmouth. I am the first member of my family to attend college and the first person from my South Carolina public high school to attend an Ivy League institution. My background was somewhat different from that of many of my classmates. Yet when I showed up with my pack at the foot of Mt. Moosilauke for my Freshman Trip I was welcomed into the Dartmouth fold, just as generations of men and women of varying backgrounds have been welcomed in times before and since.

Moreover, this sense of community advances Dartmouth’s educational mission by creating friendships and collegiality that overcomes differences in background, and by creating a sense of shared experience that is stronger than political or ideological differences.

Over the past several years, however, Dartmouth’s leadership has turned its back on this great legacy. The administration has enlarged class sizes, starved the athletic program, and attacked the sororities and fraternities. The College has turned away from the students and alumni who have been the backbone of the Dartmouth experience for generations—the well-rounded, community-minded students who can look outside their narrow interests and come together in the great project of building Dartmouth and passing it onto the next generation. Rather than encouraging a communal learning environment, the College has sown a spirit of division and isolation. The result has been a weaker Dartmouth spirit and a more fragile intellectual learning environment. Diversity cannot be engineered, but must develop spontaneously from the voluntary interactions of Dartmouth’s intelligent and good-hearted students working together in the shared mission to improve Dartmouth.

At the same time, the College has failed in its most critical mission to cultivate intellectual diversity and free speech on campus. Current students and faculty have expressed concern about the lack of intellectual and ideological diversity among Dartmouth’s faculty and the administration’s commitment to protecting free speech. (See Dan Knecht ’05, “The Monolith on the Hill,” The Dartmouth, January 26, 2005; Remarks of Economics Professor Meir Kohn, http://www.dartlog.net/2005/01/professor-kohn-on-free-expression.php). For an institution of higher education, protection of freedom of speech and cultivation of intellectual diversity must be a priority issue.

6. Student Communication

To many students’ dismay, this year the Student Affairs Group, which was a committee of students who met with the trustees each year, became defunct. If elected, would you commit to working with Student Assembly to increase the communication between the Board of Trustees and students?

One of my great joys as a Professor is the opportunity to meet, work with, and mentor students. Dartmouth has one overriding mission—to provide the best educational experience for current and future generations of Dartmouth students. It is simply impossible to create the strongest Dartmouth possible for its students without institutionalized regular contact with its students and student leaders. Elimination of the Student Affairs Group is folly of the most profound degree and would certainly reinstate it if elected. I will also work to improve informal channels of communication between students and the Board, especially through the use of emails, blogs, and other new media. As with my own students, I will have an open door for communication with all Dartmouth students at all times.

7. Administration

In the fall of 2002, the administration unilaterally eliminated the swimming and diving teams. Afterwards, the Student Budget Advisory Committee was formed to involve students in budgetary decisions. To what extent should students be allowed to participate in administrative decisions? What mechanisms, if any, should exist for such participation?

The College exists to serve and educate the students. Students should be involved in all major College decisions, most important with respect to questions of budget and financial priorities. The Board holds final decision-making authority, of course, but its decisions should be informed by all College stakeholders, including most especially, students.

8. The Role of Positive Traditions

In recent years, the College has restricted long-standing student traditions like field rushing or throwing tennis balls at the Princeton hockey game. What do you feel is the role of traditions at Dartmouth?

Dartmouth’s inimitable spirit is built from the many communal experiences that bring us together and unite us across the generations. Bonfires and ice sculptures, Saturday afternoon football games, student clubs, sports practices, hiking in Dartmouth’s majestic wilderness, and sororities and fraternities all contribute to building up the rich sense friendship and camaraderie that comprise the Dartmouth spirit. Dartmouth alumni are distinguished from other institutions by their commitment to Dartmouth’s legacy and traditions.

This sense of community and shared tradition stamps its indelible mark on all of us with a passion and sense of commitment that no other educational institution can match. As John Sloan Dickey observed in an address to Dartmouth alumni, “Let us all…acknowledge that today, as yesterday, this college is the beneficiary of a heritage great in both purpose and spirit. Most especially, being products of this place, let us never lose our awareness…that we are custodians of Dartmouth’s immortality and individuality.”

I believe that Dartmouth should take pride in its positive traditions and rich legacy and use them to guide its future. Dartmouth’s rich sense of tradition and connection with its past is a source of strength and binds Dartmouth students and alumni across the generations. Dartmouth should neither ignore nor fixate on the problems of its past, but should look to its positive traditions for guidance in improving Dartmouth’s future. Dartmouth’s ability to maintain and adapt its traditions generation after generation is a testament to the College and the ties that bind us together in the ongoing mission of improving Dartmouth.

9. Information Session

Would you be willing to come to campus for an information session with students (yes/no)?

Yes—schedule permitting! I will also be happy to answer any email questions that students may have at tjz2@ law.georgetown.edu.

10. Optional Question

Can you share with us some stories from your experience here at Dartmouth?

I have been blessed by Dartmouth. I am the first member of my family to attend college and I was also the first student from my high school ever to attend an Ivy League institution. My years at Dartmouth inspired a passion for education that eventually culminated in my decision to become a law professor. I, like many of you, chose to attend Dartmouth because of its commitment to undergraduate education and to the development of well-rounded students. Dartmouth’s professors shared that mission, infusing the College with a culture of dedication to undergraduate teaching and allowing me direct access to even Dartmouth’s most senior and distinguished faculty.

Since graduating from Dartmouth, I have attended and taught at several universities and have come to appreciate the unique educational value of Dartmouth’s intimate learning environment versus large, impersonal, research-oriented institutions. Professors such as Roger Masters, Colin Campbell, Vincent Starzinger, and many others—every generation of Dartmouth students has its favorites—exemplified the unique intellectual spirit of Dartmouth College, not only as superb classroom teachers and leading scholars, but also as concerned and involved student mentors. These great teachers continue to inspire me when I step into the classroom every morning to teach my own students, and they remain the role models that I strive to emulate.

But much of the Dartmouth experience lies outside the classroom in the deep friendships and shared experiences that we form during our time at Dartmouth. When I was married ten years ago, my groomsmen were my two brothers and three Dartmouth friends. Dartmouth remains the formative experience of my adult life.

The opportunity and challenge to run as a petition candidate and to connect with the legions of concerned, thoughtful, and passionate alumni and students across the country has reminded me of what a truly special place Dartmouth is. Day after day petitions have rolled in from across the globe and I always pause to look at the return addresses to see the variety of life experiences of Dartmouth alumni. Big cities and small towns. Professionals, businesspeople, military veterans—even a retired United States Senator. Many of them include letters and cards that express concerns and thoughtful ideas for how to make Dartmouth a stronger institution. Whether I succeed or not, the experience of running as a petition candidate and the encouragement and support I have received from students and alumni has reminded me of Dartmouth’s great strength and heritage.

Thank you!

We want to thank all of the Trustee candidates who generously offered time to answer our questions, and we hope and trust their responses will help guide alumni and students in their consideration of these outstanding alums.