Alumni Councilor News Dec. 2011

Class of 1960:

The 203rd meeting of the Dartmouth Alumni Council (DAC), my first as your representative, was held December 1-3 in Hanover. This email will provide you with a few highlights to be followed up in about three weeks when the Communications Committee of the DAC issues its official minutes.

There are currently 126 members of the DAC, of which about half are class reps. The other councilors represent regions/clubs, professional schools and various other alumni groups. Of the total 126, roughly 100 attended this session, the oldest from the Class of ’44 followed next by the Class of ’51. Other ‘60s that attended were Tom Andrews as a regional rep and Jim Adler and Dudley Smith as former councilors. 

Plenary Session #1: Provost Carol Folt ’78a spoke about the Dartmouth strategic plan that has been underway for about a year. Five hundred people are involved in the process which has a 7 year horizon leading to the school’s 250th anniversary in 2019. One of the underlying themes of this and a few of the other presentations was that while we are the only Ivy League school calling itself a college, our graduate schools and research capabilities also qualify us as a university. Provost Folt noted that when Dartmouth loses professors, it is nearly always to a research university.

Enrollment and Admissions Committee: Dean Maria Laskaris ’84 spoke about various topics including early admission statistics, the concept of net price (full cost of attendance less grants and scholarships), and recruitment efforts. There is a large gap between our image nationally, where we compare well with our peers, and our image internationally, where we are well below that group. A key objective of the committee during the coming year will be to assist the Dean in increasing the “yield.” The idea is to maximize the attendance rate of the prime candidates, namely those that receive “likely” letters in February.

Plenary Session #2: Diversity. The college spends a great deal of effort and expense to increase and support diversity in the student body and faculty. Speaking to us were Gabrielle Lucke, Director of Diversity Training and Educational Programs, Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity; and Nora Yasumura, Assistant Dean, Office of Pluralism and Leadership, as well as two undergraduates.

Plenary Session #3: Trustee nominations and Student Affairs. As you have already been advised by the college, the DAC nominated Nate Fick ’99, Rick Kimball ’78 and Ben Wilson ’73 for the three trustee spots allocated to the alumni. While all three were impressive, Nate Fick was particularly so given all he has accomplished is such a short amount of time. This was followed by Charlotte Johnson, Dean of College, talking about student affairs.

DAC dinner: President Kim addressed us and was at his usual eloquent best. Dartmouth Alumni Awards (the same one Jim Adler recently won) were given to David Eichman ’82, Susan Finegan ’85 and Curt Welling ’71 ‘77Tu.

Plenary Session #4: Trustees Annette Gordon-Reed ’81 and Brad Evans ’64 provided an update from their board. Al Mulley ’70 discussed the new Center for Health Care Delivery Science, a pet project of President Kim. Athletics Director Harry Sheehy gave an excellent and highly entertaining talk on the college’s Peak Performance program. If you have not already read the article on Harry in the Nov/Dec issue of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, I urge you to do so. Finally, Martha Beattie ’76, Vice President for Alumni Relations, spoke about the year ahead.

Footnote: The current undergraduates have not lost their taste for protest. At the corner in front of Collis Center (Wheelock and Main Streets) stands an “Occupy Dartmouth” tent with various paraphernalia. It was not entirely clear what the protesters did not like (Wall Street? Dartmouth?), but there they were nonetheless.