Alumni Council News December 2014

Dear Fellow 60’s:


I attended my first Alumni Council meeting in late October and listened to senior administrators, faculty, and students, present and discuss issues at the College. I and the other 53 class Councilors were able to talk with each other and ask questions.


To the extent there was a headline for our fall session, it was the activity surrounding President Phil Hanlon ’77’s initiative known as Moving Dartmouth Forward.


For those not familiar with this initiative, it began last spring when President Hanlon established a Presidential Steering Committee which he charged with recommending actions “to end high-risk and harmful behavior in the following three critical areas: sexual assault, high-risk drinking, and lack of inclusivity.”


During the dinner that opened our fall convening, we heard from Barbara Will, the A. and R. Newbury Professor of English; and Sue Finegan ’85, president of the Association of Alumni, about the wide net the committee has been casting – in terms of the feedback it has solicited and is continuing to solicit. Barbara and Sue explained that the committee has engaged with people across the Dartmouth community, consulted extensively with experts, and carefully examined the most successful practices at other colleges and universities.


We were told that comments and suggestions continue to be considered and evaluated – below are instructions on how alumni can still have their voices heard – and that the final recommendations of the Steering Committee will be made to President Hanlon in January.


Other councilors and I were amazed that there was almost no presentation or discussion of potential alternatives being considered. I encourage all classmates to consider these issues and forward your feedback to the committee as outlined below.


Here are some key links with more complete information:

  • For an overview of the initiative and a video featuring President Hanlon, click here.
  • For a recent update on the work of the committee, click here.
  • And to share your own thoughts and ideas with the committee, click here.

What follows are some other highlights from the 209th Alumni Council Weekend: 

  • President Hanlon conducted a lengthy Q&A session with Alumni Councilors on Friday morning. Among the points he made was the importance of Dartmouth students graduating not only with “critical-thinking and analytical skills” but the ability to think “creatively.”He also spoke of his ongoing “Cluster Initiative,” which will pull together interdisciplinary teams of faculty – in part by drawing on roughly half of a record $100 million anonymous donation announced last spring.
  • As has been conveyed earlier, there are changes afoot at the Tucker Foundation – which is basically splitting into two: the Tucker Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and the Dartmouth Center for Service. Interim Dean of the Tucker Foundation Theresa Ellis ’97 addressed the Council, and you can read more about these plans here.
  • Finally, Mark Davis ’81 ’84Tu, chair of the Alumni Liaison Committee (ALC), which serves as a communications conduit between the alumni body and Trustees, gave the Council an update on the work of the committee and the newly released 2013-2014 ALC Annual Report. You can read that report here 

I have been asked by the Alumni Council President to pose the following questions to you:


During our meetings, we learned about the new Living Learning Communities at Dartmouth, which are opportunities for students to live in the dorms with other students with like interests, such as a language or a co-curricular activity.  What do you think of this idea?  Would this have bettered your Dartmouth experience if it had been available to you?


Please send your responses via email to me at  – ideally by December 31. I will forward all responses to the Alumni Liaison Committee, which will then synthesize them in its report to the Trustees. My understanding is that any questions you ask will be answered by return email to you (and me).


The link to the full meeting minutes can be found here.




Bruce Clark         Class of 1960 Alumni Councilor