Alumni Council News April 2011

April 27, 2011

Gentlemen of the Class of ’60:

The Alumni Council meets in mid-May for its 202nd session. If you have any concerns that you would like me to raise, please let me know. Some of my own concerns are the following:

  • The wisdom of nominating only one candidate for each available trustee seat. The two most recently nominated and, without opposition, elected trustees, Gail Koziara Boudreuax ’82 and Bill Burgess ’81, are outstanding individuals and will serve the Dartmouth community well, but I wonder whether it would not be better to give alumni a choice. To count on petition candidates seems a somewhat feeble bow to the idea of democratic elections. I’d be most interested in your opinions.
  • President Kim’s campaign to significantly reduce the instances of irresponsible drinking and sexual assaults deserves our wholehearted support. While “irresponsible” drinking has always been a feature of Dartmouth life (and just about any other campus life), I do have the impression that the definition has changed over the last 50 years. Whether that impression is due to my advanced age, or the one doing the “defining” or the moderating influence that Tanzi used to have on us, I cannot say. But I would welcome your comments.

I also cannot say that I have any sort of handle on the sexual assault question. The New York Times reported recently that it is estimated that well over 95% of such attacks -and let’s face it, that’s what they are- are not even reported. Is it a problem at Dartmouth? Daughter Tara, a ’92, says “no, not 20 years ago.” I don’t know. I’d appreciate your views.

  • Considering that all trustees of the College (with the occasional exception of the governor of New Hampshire) within memory (at least mine) are Dartmouth alumni, is it worthwhile to continue to belabor the point of parity on the Board of Trustees? I’d be interested in your opinion. (Also see below re the decision in this connection by the New Hampshire Supreme Court.)

You may have missed some of the following Dartmouth-connected news items:

It isn’t exactly news, but the January “Good Reads” list from the Dartmouth faculty contains a wonderful collection of great, mostly contemporary books. We’ve posted a copy of the list on our Class website.

This year’s Dartmouth Winter Carnival was held for the 100th time. See a history of the event in pictures and words here. The website also has a wealth of other Dartmouth information that is fun to browse.

Harvard and Princeton recently announced that with the Class of 2016 they will reinstitute an early admissions system. Dartmouth’s Dean of Admissions, Maria Laskaris, does not expect that decision to affect the College’s early admissions program. (For more details see The Dartmouth of February 28, 2011. The article is also posted on our Class website

The Tuck School of Business was named the seventh best business school in the nation by U.S. News and World Report's annual rankings of graduate schools in mid-March. The Thayer School of Engineering was ranked the 50th best engineering school out of 194 considered institutions. Dartmouth Medical School received rankings of 32nd and 67th for best research institution and best primary care, respectively.

The 2,178 acceptances for the Class of 2015 represent 9.7% of all applicants. (For the Class of 2014 the acceptance rate was 11.7%.) Self-defined students of color (Afro-American, Asian-American, Latino, Native American, multiracial) represent 44% of the total acceptances. New England contributes 16%, the mid-Atlantic area 25%, the Midwest 12%, the South 19%, and the West Coast 21%. 7% come from abroad. First generation college students make up 11% of the acceptances. 186, i.e 8.5% are legacies. The financial aid budget is estimated at $80 million. Mean SAT scores: 734 Critical Reading, 740 Math, 744 Writing. Other Ivies similarly show greater selectivity this year. Princeton accepted 8.4% of its applicants, Yale 7.5%, Penn 12.3%, Columbia 6.9%, Harvard 6.2%, Brown 8.7%, Cornell n/a.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court on April 12 by 3:0 dismissed the “parity” law suit brought by a number of alumni against Dartmouth. This should end the legal challenges to the decision by the Board of Trustees several years ago to expand itself by increasing the number of Board-nominated trustees but not the number of alumni-nominated trustee. (If you really want to dig into this, let me know and I will get you links to a few thousand pages of documents.)

Martha Johnson Beattie ’76 will become the new Vice President of Alumni Relations for the College on May 9. She has been a math teacher and crew coach. She is the recipient of the College’s Alumni Award in recognition of her many efforts on behalf of Dartmouth, including being the former president of the Alumni Council. She is a member of the first 4-year class at Dartmouth that admitted women. She received her AB magna cum laude. 

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Axel