Mid January 2010 Councilor News

Gentlemen of the Class of ’60:

I trust that you enjoyed the holidays and I wish you a healthy and content 2011.

Before I outline the December Alumni Council meeting, here are two bits of information that you may not (or may) have seen.

Early decision applications for the Class of 2015 increased by 12% to 1,759 vs. the year before. 444 applicants were admitted and will constitute about 40% of the class. Their combined mean SAT I score is 2144. Of those who attend high schools that report rank, 25% are ranked first in their class and 87% were in the top 10%.

In late November the ‘Dartmouth Atlas project’ published a research report that shows that end-of-life health care (specifically for cancer patients) varies significantly depending on where one lives in the United States and often regardless of the wishes of the patient. Considering my (and our) age, I found the report both disturbing and worthwhile reading. (See below the related comments by President Kim on Dartmouth’s health care delivery initiative. For the map showing the levels of health care delivery in different parts of the United States, click here.

For additional up-to-date Dartmouth news you may want to keep in mind the following websites: Dartmouth NowAlumni Relations, and Dartmouth Athletics.

Detailed minutes for the early December 201st Alumni Council meeting are posted online. I thought the following were the highlights, or at least the most important items:

It was a real pleasure to get to know the new Director of Athletics and Recreation, Harry Sheehy, better. While his athletic and administrative background has been well publicized (if you have missed it, see the interview in the Fall issue of DartmouthLife. It was fascinating to see his enthusiasm and, perhaps more importantly, his ability to infect an audience with it. I came away with the clear impression that Harry insists of course on teaching athletic competence on the playing field, but that he also insists on teaching the skills that are essential for life after the playing field. He also, I thought, made it quite clear that Dartmouth must win championships, particularly in marquee sports.

Under the heading “Keeping Students Safe” (referred to in the minutes as “SEMP”) Acting Dean of the College Sylvia Spears and a ‘town and gown’ panel discussed alcohol abuse and sexual assaults. Both areas are nationwide (and international) problems and are of considerable concern at Dartmouth. 41% of Dartmouth students binged (5 drinks or more in one sitting) in one recent two week period. That is higher than the national average. It is, on the other hand, balanced by 60% of Dartmouth students who characterize themselves as abstainers or light drinkers. At Dartmouth there has been an increase in students that need alcohol-related medical attention but that may be due to an increase in the number of Good Samaritan calls.

As to sexual assaults, it is difficult to obtain accurate data. But there is no doubt, Dean Spears believes, that it exists on campus. As promised during the Alumni Council session, Dean Spears issued a revised alcohol policy (or to give it the official name: Social Event Management Procedure, SEMP, for short) on January 5. It has met with generally positive reactions from students so far. It obviously attempts to address current reality and is aimed at combating high risk drinking. Social events, hosted by students and student organizations, are divided into three categories (called tiers in SEMP) each with its own rules re attendees (who and how many), planning, type and amount of alcohol served, registration with the College, and walkthroughs by ‘Safety and Security.’ President Kim very accurately called the plan an ever-evolving process. He was quoted in The Dartmouth as saying, “dealing with alcohol is not a matter of sitting around for years and coming up with the perfect policy and then putting it into place for decades. . . . We’re going to continue to improve what we’re doing every month, every term, every year, so that we come upon something that really works.”

For more details, click herehere, and here

The various committees of the Alumni Council (nine in all: Athletics, Academic Affairs, Communications, Enrollment, Admissions and Student Affairs, Nominating and Alumni Search, Alumni Liaison, Young Alumni, and Honorary Degrees) held separate meetings and discussed specific topics. The report of the Athletic Committee is posted on our class website together with the stats for fall and early winter results. The other reports will be posted when available. You can find up-to-date athletic stats online

The Alumni-Nominated Trustee candidates, Gail Koziara Boudreaux ’82 and Bill Burgess ’81 were ratified by the Alumni Council with one abstention. Both Gail and Bill have impressive resumes. My brief conversations with them lead me to believe that they will make fine trustees. Each will run for a currently open trustee seat in an election scheduled for this spring. The deadline for submitting petition candidates for either trustee spot is February 3. If there are no petition candidates, Boudreaux and Burgess will automatically become trustees. Brief resumes for both candidates and links to further websites in connection with them can be found online. That website also features additional information about the trustee elections. Brief bios of both candidates also appear in the posted minutes.

President Jim Yong Kim '82a, under the heading of “Dartmouth’s Model of Innovation” addressed one of our country’s (and the world’s) most important issues of our day: health care delivery. By combining the intellectual and material resources of the College, Tuck, Thayer and the Medical School, he believes that a significant, if not game-changing, impact can me made both in the United States and in the world. Not only can this initiative improve the quality of health care but it can also make it available everywhere and more equitably. The effort will be channeled through the Dartmouth Center Health Care Delivery, under the directorship of Albert G. Mulley Jr., '70. MD, MPP. For details, click here

The preparation of a long range strategic plan, at this point in its earliest stage, was presented by Provost Carol Folt ‘78a and Professor Paul Argenti of Tuck. The preliminary model appears to be a fine blend of academic and business approaches and expertise. Two trustees, Sherri Oberg ’82, ‘86Tu and Brad Evans ’64 gave brief reports on current trustee activities and answered questions from the floor. Carrie Pelzel ’54a, senior vice president for advancement, presented “Advancement Strategy: Your Critique and Ideas.” Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the College Steven Kadish reported on the College’s financial status. The mechanism to balance incoming and outgoing funds is just about in place, he said, and while a small negative gap continues to exist, the decision, some time ago, to take drastic action appears to have been the correct one. Details are available at in the DartmouthLife issue to which I referred above. The posted minutes cover each of the foregoing items in greater detail.

Finally, please remember to send to Rick Roesch, our Class Nomination Chair, rickroesch@aol.com, or to me yournomination(s) for my successor on the Alumni Council.

Best regards,

Axel