Association Update to Alumni
Dear fellow Dartmouth alumni:
As the members of the Executive Committee of the Association of Alumni
of Dartmouth College who are opposing the trustees' planned governance
changes, we write to update you on recent developments.
As you know, the trustees announced in September that they intend to
reduce from one-half to one-third the portion of trustees elected by
Dartmouth alumni (excluding New Hampshire's governor and the College's
president, who serve ex officio). The trustees also stated that they
may reduce the portion of alumni trustees even further in the future.
In the weeks before the trustees' announcement, ten of the eleven
members of the Association's Executive Committee issued a statement
strongly urging the trustees not to depart from the 1891 agreement
between the Association and the trustees, under which Dartmouth's alumni
select one-half of the trustees. The Executive Committee--the only body
directly chosen in an election in which all 68,800 Dartmouth alumni may
participate--declared that reducing the percentage of alumni trustees
would not be in the best interests of Dartmouth College, its students,
or its alumni.
When the trustees announced that they would proceed with the governance
changes notwithstanding alumni sentiment, the Association filed a
petition asking the Grafton County Superior Court for a judicial opinion
as to the propriety of the planned governance changes under the 1891
agreement. The Association also asked the Court for a preliminary
injunction to preserve the status quo, pending resolution of the matter,
and, in particular, to prevent the alteration of the board's membership
at the board's scheduled November 9, 2007 meeting.
In response to the Association's request for a preliminary injunction,
the trustees announced on October 26, 2007 that they will delay
implementation of the governance changes until February 2008,
effectively consenting, for the time being, to the relief sought in the
that request. Because the College action effectively delivers what was requested in the preliminary injunction, the Association has withdrawn that request. The Association's request for a judicial opinion as to the propriety of the proposed governance changes remains pending.
We hope for a speedy resolution of this matter. We believe that the
selection of one-half of the trustees by Dartmouth alumni remains vital
to ensuring that Dartmouth remains America's finest undergraduate
college. We also believe that those who love Dartmouth the most--its
sons and daughters--should continue to share responsibility for its
future. We again urge the trustees to reconsider the decision to reduce
the prominent role that alumni trustees have played on Dartmouth's board