196th Session Meeting Minutes

Guest Presenter: Lindsay Whaley, professor of classics and associate dean for international and interdisciplinary programs, attended the meeting and provided an overview of his responsibilities. He expounded on the implementation of the new Writing and Rhetoric Program. Dean Whaley noted Dartmouth’s desire to ensure that excellent writing and public speaking skills are integral parts of the undergraduate experience. The program was established after an extensive process of committee research and input from faculty across campus. Over the course of the next few years the program will expand to accommodate the changing needs of our students, including the inclusion of writing across disciplines, and better serving the writing needs of students in foreign studies courses and international students.  

New Issues and Topics of Interest:   Jon Kull announced that he had recently received tenure, which raised a topic for future meetings: councilors wanted to hear about the rhythm and pace of the campus from a faculty perspective. How do faculty keep up with the bright young students, and how do they integrate research into their course offerings? Councilors wanted to learn more about the tenure process.What are the external and internal processes? What is the pressure like as one goes through the tenure process?  

J.B. Daukas announced that Greg Chittim ’01, ’03Th, will be the chair and John Manaras ’67 will be the vice chair.There were no subcommittee reports.  

The ALC had two meetings over the weekend.On Thursday there was discussion concerning the feedback received from alumni and the organizational structures needed to manage it well.Further discussion centered on the distillation of the feedback and other information that will be part of the annual report of the ALC, which will be presented to the Alumni Relations Committee of the Board of Trustees as well as to full council.Diana Pearson, the new vice president of communications, also spoke with the committee, and a good exchange of introductions and ideas for future collaboration ensued.On Saturday morning the ALC had the opportunity to meet with Trustee Al Mulley, who is chairing the Presidential Search Committee, and with President Wright.A productive discussion concerning alumni governance issues and the upcoming presidential search was the primary focus of the breakfast session.  

The Communications Committee meeting began with an introduction to Diana Pearson, vice president of communications. While no formal roles were established, time was spent learning the specific responsibilities she holds at the College and clarifying the role of the committee for her. It is the hope that she will develop a good working relationship with the incoming chair, Chris Robinson, to collaborate on any complementary initiatives.The bulk of the meeting was spent discussing the councilor follow-up process and how to improve it.Ultimately, it was determined that the process would be kept as it is, with committee members following up with councilors and the vice chair following up with the committee members.Our current efforts will focus on helping councilors communicate regularly and effectively. In keeping with our commitment to executing two tangible projects per council meeting, the committee will be a) producing a “Why Vote” piece for immediate distribution for all councilors as well as the traditional council meeting wrap-up report and b) A “How to be a Good Councilor” cheat sheet.  

 Recurring issues discussed include 1) handling unsubscribe requests 2) producing balanced reports 3) communicating regularly vs. too much communications.Also discussed was the role of the committee in encouraging participation in the AoA election and the committee’s role in relation to the ALC, which is still to be determined.At the close of the meeting, Jon Murchinson ’91 was elected as the incoming vice chair for 2008-2009. The goal of the committee is to try to remain progressive and focus on tasks that will provide a material impact on the council as a whole and deliver meaningful service to alumni.Alumni Relations Communications Director Diana Lawrence urged the committee members to visit the upgraded Alumni Relations Web site (www.) to view the news and profiles of various alumni and to encourage their constituents to do so as well.   Enrollment and Admissions   Called to order by the chair, Cindy Shannon ’76, the meeting began with a report on the Class of 2012 by Maria Laskaris ’84, dean of admissions and financial aid.Maria addressed the impact of the financial aid initiative, including recognition by the College that, even as it provides significant help to low-income families, middle income ($75,000-150,000) families are struggling to afford Dartmouth.Maria reported that suggestions made at the previous committee meeting to be especially careful when communicating denials to legacy applicants had been taken into consideration.   Dan Parish, director of recruitment and outreach, provided excellent written materials and a verbal summary of efforts by admissions officers to reach out to potential applicants from under-represented groups.These efforts included visits to nontraditional sites such as community organizations and many visits to Native American schools.   Committee member John Moscarino ’82 described the Hudson Scholars program, funded by a group of alumni from the Los Angeles area.This program covers the costs of travel to the Dimensions Weekend for the top admitted students from the Los Angeles area.The committee discussed ways this program could be adapted and replicated to help recruit and retain other highly desirable students.   The committee discussed the urgent need to recruit more enrollment volunteers since on- campus interviews are no longer offered.Ideas for doing so include:leveraging the workplace, outreach to young alumni and affiliated groups, and the possibility of using MySpace/Facebook to spark participation.   Current vice chair Dennis Ryan ’81 has assumed the role of chair.  

In addition to selecting candidates for the College to review for the presentation of an honorary degree at the 2009 Commencement, our committee discussed new ways to expand our list of potential candidates. Suggestions include  

scout for interesting alumni in Dartmouth publications

have a committee member talk about the work we do at the September Class Officers Weekend meeting

remind councilors to ask for names in their write-ups to constituencies

continue to request names from class presidents

Tom Daniels ’82 was elected chair and Louisa Guthrie ’79 was elected vice chair.  

1. Discussion with Tom Crady (Dean of the College): Dean Crady, new to the College this past fall, noted that his top priorities include assessing student needs regarding life outside of the classroom in a way that complements the liberal arts education, and making sure that Dartmouth provides a safe environment.(Generally, unless there is a real issue of safety, Dean Crady does not contact parents about students. This approach creates greater trust between his office and the students.He noted that, compared with the past, there is generally much more parental involvement initiated by the parents when a typical student interacts with the College administration.)Dean Crady also noted that a periodic evaluation of various programs and regulations is crucial since the student body and student behavior changes quickly.This includes a review of the Committee on Standards, which handles violations of student behavior and cheating.The standard of evidence for concluding that a violation has occurred has been changed from “preponderance of the evidence” to “clear and convincing.”Dean Crady’s PhD dissertation was on fraternity culture and its impact so he is quite knowledgeable regarding Greek letter organizations and their issues.There is a Good Samaritan policy in effect, whereby students can contact the Safety and Security personnel if a student has had too much to drink without anyone facing punitive measures.Sexual assault is underreported.Dean Crady would like to establish a good relationship between the College’s Safety and Security personnel and the Hanover Police and work out a “bill of rights” that students would have when interacting with the Hanover Police.There is a need to build gender-neutral social spaces on campus.These should be spaces that the students control.Currently, the College’s policy on student social events requires advance notice and imposes other restrictions.In Dean Crady’s view, the key is not to overregulate, so some of these policies might be changed soon. There are also plans to make the sophomore summer term even more unique and interesting from an academic viewpoint.Thayer Dining Hall is going to be renovated and possibly reconfigured.  

2. Student Presentations:   Representatives from the undergraduate and graduate programs provided their very interesting perspectives and related their experiences. As noted above, the issue of gender equity in social spaces is a high priority. There need to be more spaces and opportunities to diffuse tensions on campus.Part of that is increasing awareness of others and doing things like having diversity training. The graduate students are a diverse group and have issues that are different than those of the undergrads, such as housing opportunities, which are quite limited after their first year, and dental insurance. They would also like to have representation on the search committee for the new president of the College.  

3. Presentation by Director of Athletics and Recreation Josie Harper:   Participation in club sports continues to grow and is a great outlet for athletes not competing at the varsity level.Director Harper wants to make Dartmouth teams on the road more available to alumni and to encourage alumni attendance at away games/competitions. There is a need at the College for flat floor space since athletic/recreational activities still get displaced because of other use of available floor space.It was noted that half of the athletics budget is covered by the College, with the other half raised from alumni and other supporters.Alumni wishing to support either the various “Friends of ” groups (created for both club sports and varsity sports), the Athletic Director’s Discretionary Fund, or the Athletic Sponsors Program (funds travel to and from Dartmouth by athletes who are considering Dartmouth) can do so online by going to https://giving.dartmouth.edu.   Improvements in athletic-related facilities during President Wright’s presidency include: Scully-Fahey Field, Boss Tennis Center and Gordon Pavilion, Blackman Football Practice Fields, Leverone Fieldhouse renovation, McLane Family Skiway Lodge improvements, Hanover Country Club renovation, Berry Squash Court renovations, Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse and Fields (money raised by the Corey Ford Foundation and the Rugby Team foundation), Alumni Gymnasium renovation (this project included, among other things, the installation of exercise equipment at the top of the gym for all students to use, which had more than 250,000 users in the first year), resurfacing of the Memorial Field and Track, resurfacing of Leede Arena, and construction of the Floren Varsity House (10,000-square foot strength training center, 130-seat “smart classroom,” meeting rooms and study lounges for the varsity teams, football locker facilities, and offices for the football, baseball, softball, and women’s lacrosse teams.The facility is the finest of its type in the Ivy League.)Other projects quite recently completed include the Burnham Soccer Field and Sports Pavilion ($8 million), and installation of FieldTurf on the Scully-Fahey Field ($80,000).The baseball field will be renovated in the near future, and renovation of the west stands of the football field is scheduled for 2009.