Alumni Council News May 2014 - Crumbine

Fellow ‘60’s: The 208th meeting of the Dartmouth Alumni Council (DAC), my sixth and last as your representative, was held May 15-17 in Hanover. I have greatly enjoyed representing you during these past three years and look forward to being represented by my good friend, Bruce Clark. 

Here are my notes. More complete minutes, courtesy of the Office of Alumni Relations, can be found here.
 
Class of 2018 (The year they graduate, we will be 80!!!) 

Maria Laskaris, Dean of Admissions, and Martha Beattie, VP Alumni Relations 

Bad news: Total applications declined 14% (women down more than men). Other small, rural, liberal arts colleges had similar declines. Pre-professional is rising vs. pure liberal arts, and population is shifting south and west. Population is particularly low within a 250 mi. radius of Dartmouth. 

Good news: The total of 19,296 applications was the 4th highest in history, and the yield was up 6% to 54.5%. Also, early decision applications were up 6%. 

Of the total applications, 51.4% were interviewed. Of those accepted, 62% had interviews, 38% did not. So the interview helps. 

Other stats on the class: 50/50 women/men, 94% top ten in class, 11.2% first generation, 12.6 % legacies, 18.4 % athletes, 37.6 % persons of color, 51.2% Caucasian, 8.1% international. 3.1% all other 

Reasons for not applying in order: 

1. Probably wouldn’t get in 
2. Too costly 
3. Not a typical Dartmouth student 
4. Location too rural 
5. Fraternities and social scene are concerning 

Laskaris and Beattie have formed Admissions/Alumni Relations Task Force to coordinate between the two departments. They plan to add one employee in each department with a target of 100% interviews, either in person or via Skype. 

Class attendance 

Just prior to the first plenary session, we were invited to audit a class. My wife and I sat in on an Italian III class, but there were a number of other choices including: 

Costume Design, Desperate Housewives, Gender in Science Fiction, Narrating Slave Rebellion, Uncanny Tales, Women and Gender African Diaspora, and (my favorite) Smartphone Programming (the Apple Store does this while you wait). Clearly today’s students have many more choices than we had. 

Phil Hanlon 

He started in June 2013 and so has been in office almost 1 year. His team is coming together with departures including Tuck School of Business Dean Paul Danos (retirement) and Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson (going to Scripps). 

Vision: Magnet for talent, both students and faculty, to help solve the world’s most pressing problems. 

Strategies: 

1. Maintain best in classroom teaching and learning. 
2. Experiential learning (new entrepreneurial center) and foreign study, especially in developing world. 
3. Learning technologies. Take passive learning out of classroom. 
4. Enhance research at Dartmouth. Program to bring post-doc students to campus (post PhD, pre job). 
5. Slow growth in tuition. This year’s increase was lowest since 1977. 
6. Each department’s budget should shift at least 1 ½ % to new initiatives. 
7. Build up reserve fund for next downturn and to protect the buying power of the endowment. $100M anonymous gift was the largest ever. 

Student Life: 

Switching back to permanent residence, dorm or cluster. 
Opening of 1st LGBT dorm 
Extreme behavior on campus (sexual assault, violence, binge drinking, hate speech) is holding us back and has to end. 

Breakout discussion 

The breakout groups discussed various problems on campus including high-risk drinking, fraternity/dorm social life, sexual assault, and hate speech. The plan is to generate many ideas, research them and propose the best ones to the Trustees in November. 

Michael Mastanduno, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences 

Wants to increase faculty by 80 professors spread over 40 departments. Cluster hiring approach focusing on problems rather than disciplines. Pick the problems where Dartmouth already has an edge, e.g. neuroscience. 

Trustee Bill Burgess ‘81 

Phil Hanlon tougher than you might think and has excellent clarity of thought. “Thank God for Phil.” 

Trustee notes: 

1. Academia: Excellence in teaching and research, not one or the other. 
2. Finance: 
a. Reduce the endowment draw from 7% to 5% 
b. Tuition increases during last four years: 5.9%, 4.8%, 3.8%, 2.9% 
c. Declining federal funding for research 
d. Endowment per student less than competition 
e. Admin expenses per student about right (?). 
3. Campus behavior: Reputation being sullied by a few. Need to work harder on this. Trustees spend much time on sexual assault issue. 
4. Housing: Program to tear down or upgrade dorms. 

Bob Ceplikas, Deputy Director of Athletics 

34 varsity teams with 1079 athletes vs. average Division 1 of 19 teams and 490 athletes. 33 club teams with 1057 athletes, up 74/93 % respectively in 10 years. School has invested $94 M in athletic facilities over the past 15 years. Dartmouth with a 99% graduation rate for athletes is #1 among the Ivies. 

Track star Abbey D’Agostino spoke to us. She has won 7 national titles, 16 Ivy League titles and has been named All-American 12 times. Should she qualify and you would like to watch her, here is the TV schedule for this year’s NCAA Track and Field finals (ET): 

6/11 ESPN3 6:55 pm 
6/12 ESPN3 6:55 pm 
6/13 ESPNU 7:30 pm 
6/14 ESPNU 5:00 pm 

Tommy Bruce, SVP Public Affairs 

Emphasizing electronic communications, e.g. social media, emails and web sites. 
19 employees in 3 groups: 1. Newspapers 2. Other media 3. Marketing. 400 stories per month about Dartmouth. Do not leave inaccuracies about Dartmouth unanswered. 

Other 

The new President-elect of the DAC is Jennifer Avellino ‘89. 

Most of the “open mike” session was taken up with the occupation of Phil Hanlon’s office by the Freedom Budget group. Many of the alumni reps thought the school was too lenient, but a few felt it was handled just right. With regard to the latter, here is an abridged version of two emails written by our own Jim Adler and by Martha Beattie: 

From James Adler to various classmates: 

Shortly after our email exchange in early April regarding the "Freedom Budget" group's occupation of Phil Hanlon's office, I spoke to Martha Beattie '76, the VP - Alumni Relations. I mentioned a reference that I had seen in a Class of '62 Listserv message that basically said: When students occupied Dean Thad Seymour's office, he didn't hesitate to call in the cops and have them hauled off to jail - Thad sure as hell would have handled this recent mess differently (i.e., a lot better). Martha and I agree the reference must have been to the 1969 occupation by students protesting over Viet Nam, the only previous occupation of that type we could remember. I suggested to Martha that she go straight to the source to find out what really happened 45 years ago. 

From Martha Beattie to Jim Adler re her conversation with Thad Seymour: 

First, he was delighted that I called because he said it made his “blood run cold” to see in the Class of 1962 listserve that he would have handled the situation differently. He would not have done so. His exact words were “I was so impressed – Phil did exactly the right thing”. He said how he was “so admiring of how communication was the goal – how solving the problem was the goal” and went on to say that the handling of the situation was “brilliant”. He stressed again and again that it could not be compared to the Parkhurst occupation he handled, where the students came in with hammers, boards and nails and were nailing doors shut. He himself was “physically evicted” from his office, which was a crime. He also stressed time and again that the world we live in now is so very different than what it was in 1969. 

Regards, 
Peter 

Dartmouth Alumni Council 
Class of 1960 

3 Copper Beech Road 
Greenwich, CT 06830 
203-629-1687