June 2010 Councilor News

Gentlemen of the Class of '60:

Our 50th Reunion is here: Friday, June 11 to Sunday June 13, plus, at one's option, a few days at either end. You still can register by calling our class treasurer Bill Moorman at 573-462-0009; or by e-mailing Bill Gundy (wegundy@comcast.net) or Dick Chase (sageanddick@msn.com), who have put together a great agenda for our 50-year-out get-together. Gundy calls it a "lifetime event" and it truly is: a grand combination of old friends, great issues, people you knew well 50 years ago and haven't heard from since, solving the world' problem from our safe 70ish-something perch. Don't miss it!

One other non-Alumni-Council item: we all have received our copies of Musings Unlimited and a wonderful book it is! John Mitchell has done a great job of editing and putting it together. We owe him a debt of gratitude . . . let's tell him so when we see him at the Reunion. Since, in an undertaking such as this, some errors inevitably creep in, let's establish a spot on our Class website to note such errata or clarify matters. I will lead off re snow sculpture.

The 200th Alumni Council (AC) meeting last week focused on a wide variety of topics. (I will expand on several of these items in one or two subsequent emails, as well as on our Class website and, I'm sure, face-to-face with some of you at the Reunion.)

The fraternities, sororities and co-ed organizations, aka the Greek Letter Organizations (GLOs), are highly popular among students and are in a perilous statea special AC committee reported. ". . . [GLOs] are vibrant, varied and important forces in student life . . . benefiting members and non-members alike . . . . Many 'houses' are in terrible physical condition [though],both structurally and in terms of cleanliness and upkeep" Other behavioral issues, such as underage and binge drinking (and in recent days, alleged drug use) have been, fairly or unfairly, associated with the GLOs.The report also notes that relatively few students fund the social life of "the great majority of . . . students," because relatively few GLOs throw "open parties" where as many as 500 people will come through a house. The GLOs also leave themselves open to significant fines (not by the College but by state and municipal authorities) for having under-21-year olds leaving the premises with alcohol in their blood. A further complicating and disturbing fact is "pregaming," the knocking back of a few shots of hard liquor in one's dorm room before making the rounds of fraternity parties on the assumption that it might be hard to get a beer at a fraternity if one is under 21. If my phraseology appears a bit foggy, it is due to the fact that the whole matter is foggy. The College places the emphasis on "harm reduction;" the Hanover authorities on "enforcing the law." Many of the AC Report's authors "doubt that they [the GLOs] will be able to survive long-term" without some sort of assistance from alumni, such as advice and money. The College certainly appears to want robust and responsible GLOs to thrive.

I want to stress that the above is my summary of the 38-page AC Report. I will post the full report on our Class website as soon as an electronic version is available.

Maria Laskaris '84, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, reported in her excellent, encompassing and rapid-fire presentation that only 11.5 percent of applicants to the Class of 2014 were accepted, the lowest rate in College history. Of the 2,165 (of a record 18,778-person applicant pool) students accepted, 1,161 will enroll as of May 12. 51% are men; 49% women. 49 states (North Dakota being the lone non-participant) and 40 foreign countries are represented. 14% are legacies and 206 individuals are recruited athletes. 47% will receive scholarships. The average scholarship is almost $35,000 p.a.

The Class of '60 posted a record participation rate in the recent trustee elections. 59.4% of us participated, well ahead of the 's (57.5%), the '51s (54.8%), and the '53s (54.1%). Mort Kondracke received more votes than any other candidate for trustee ever before. The supporters of the candidates also spent a rather indecent $350,000 on the campaign and lost their gentlemanly cool on several occasion . . . as I see it.

Bob "Cep" Ceplicas '78, Acting Director of Athletics, gave his usual comprehensive and unvarnished report, entitled State of Play: An Athletics Update. 1,006 students participate in 34 varsity sports, 1,250 in 35 club sports and 5,100 in intramural sports. Cep stressed three major priorities: 1) improve men's varsity sports, primarily football and basketball and maintain the high level of success of women's teams; 2) expand recreational options for all students; and 3) generate more sports-only resources through endowment, the Athletic Sponsor Program, Friends Groups, ticket sales and corporate sponsorships. The athletic facilities are now outstanding. Cooperation with the Admissions and the Financial Aid Office works superbly. Funding remains our Achilles' heel, although it is much improved through the active assistance and generosity of alumni. Our championship coaches, like Bob Gaudet '81 (hockey), Chris Wielgus (women's basketball) and several others, have been retained. Among several new head coaches hired (and he is now on the job) is Paul Cormier for men'sbasketball, who very successfully coached the Dartmouth team from 1984 to 1991. For the 2009/10 season we had 5 National Award nominees, 25 first-team All-Ivy, 68 total All-Ivy honorees, 2 Ivy Rookies of the Year and 7 All-Americans. Men's rugby continued its outstanding record of the past 50+ years. Last spring 45 athletes had a grade average of 4.0; 334 a 3.5 or better. Every varsity sport has an academic advisor. Two athletes recently had the distinction of being Rhodes Scholars. The NCAA Division I "Academic Progress Rate" (a measure of eligibility and retention of students) has rated Dartmouth 2nd for four straight years. Last year Yale was 1st, Penn 3rd, Brown 4th, Harvard 6th.

(I shall post Cep's entire presentation on our Class website shortly.)

The College's $100 million budget reduction is on target. 80% of the budget reductions have been clearly identified and are in the process of being executed. The decreases cover a panoply of actions such as lower expectations from endowment income, lay-offs, a more business-like procurement system, cuts and delays in capital outlays, and several others. There are also a number of revenue enhancements under consideration. As in all efforts of this sort there is no silver bullet; many little pieces have to be accumulated to make up $100 million. While only the eventual results can indicate final success,at this time at any rate, the effort appears to be rationally and professionally managed.

The recently completed Campaign for Dartmouth exceeded its goal by producing a little over $1.3 billion from 65,259 donors. As such campaigns go, Vice President for Development Carrie Pelzel '54a said, this was a very quick - and highly successful - affair. The money has been spent on a) current expenditures, b) new and renovations of physical facilities and c) endowments. The latter includes 18 new endowed professorships, some in traditional and popular fields such as history and economics and others in new, leading edge areas such as Digital Humanities. Carrie also provided a brief overview of the restructuring and cost reductions of the administrative departments of the College in connection with the overall $100 million budget reduction.

Carol Folt '78a, the College's newly appointed Provost, covered a wide range of academic items. She commented on the still existing but decreasing over-subscription of some courses, new hires in many departments, the increasing importance of inter-disciplinary studies, a noticeable emerging emphasis on the part of students' interests in the Pacific/Indian Oceans areas as compared to, for example, Europe, and new curriculum developments (particularly the Center for Health Care Delivery Science and Great Issues).

The presentation (and the following A&Q session) of trustees Sherri Oberg '82, '86Tu and Al Mulley '70 was wide ranging. Their contention was that the College's handling of the fall-out from the recent financial crisis was impressive. The Center for Health Care Delivery Service is the first result of President Kim's challenge to the Dartmouth community to initiate at least one program, concept, idea, etc. per year that is likely to fundamentally change the way people, society, the world, etc. does things now. Health care delivery certainly fits that bill. The comments by Sherri re parity on the Board of Trustees sounded like, to me anyway, as if no change will be made for at least a while.

I am looking forward to seeing about 300 of you and your better halves and guests at our 50th Reunion in a few days.

Axel