212th Session Meeting Minutes

Chair David Van Wie ’79, ‘84Th opened the meeting and reviewed the agenda. Councilors introduced themselves around the table.

Van Wie introduced the candidates for vice chair and allowed time to review the candidates’ written statements. The two candidates – Jim Staros ’69 and David Silbersweig ’82 – also made verbal statements. A paper-ballot vote was taken. After tallying the votes, David Silbersweig will be the new vice chair.

Secretary Robin Albing T’81 reviewed the faculty award that was discussed at the last meeting. This award will be presented to the member(s) of the faculty who have done the most for the alumni and will be selected based on a number of criteria by the alumni with input from Alumni Relations. The members of the committee had been informed about the naming of the award (in honor of the late Professor John Rassias) and had taken a (positive) vote prior to the meeting. (The naming of the award was announced at a later session of the Council.) The first recipient(s) of the award will be discussed at the fall 2016 committee meeting.

Discussion continued about faculty diversity, an issue that concerns committee members as well as their constituents.

Van Wie informed the committee about a request made by one member of the Alumni Council to add more representation from the professional schools. The Executive Committee had earlier asked, how might we elevate professional schools as part of the Alumni Council? Should we add representation from the professional schools to the Academic Affairs Committee? After lengthy discussion, no action was taken on this; it will require more discussion at the next committee meeting.

Panel Discussion

“How the Work of Graduate Students Enriches the Undergraduate Experience at Dartmouth (and Vice Versa)”

Dean Jon Kull gave a quick update about the School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, then, a panel of current students (two undergraduates and two graduate students) discussed their personal experiences and interactions at Dartmouth. Everyone appreciated the insights provided by the students and it was suggested that we should get this type of reflection in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine so that the alumni body could better understand the relationship between undergraduate and graduate students.

The Alumni Liaison Committee (ALC) met in Hanover twice during the 212th Alumni Council meeting. Its first meeting was held on Thursday, May 12. The committee discussed the ALC’s annual report and timeline for production.

The committee discussed the expansion of social media coverage of the meeting by Alumni Councilors.  A communications toolkit was offered to councilors, including such tools as the pre-meeting email template, downloadable campus photos, and sample text for social media postings. Councilors have been designated to live tweet and post on Instagram during the meeting.

Jean Romeo, director of market research, discussed the Moosilauke Forum Alumni Service survey results. The following items, pertaining specifically to the Alumni Day of Service, were noted:

  • Overall appeal of the concept: It resonates with younger alumni deeply.
  • Need to increase current awareness of the program
  • Importance of messaging and communications about the event

Lou Spelios reviewed the agenda for the Saturday morning breakfast meeting with President Hanlon and trustee John Replogle ’88 in preparation for that gathering.

The second meeting was held on Saturday, May 14, with President Hanlon and trustee John Replogle. Alumni Council president Jennifer Avellino provided a recap of the 212th Alumni Council meeting, the theme of which was “Global Dartmouth.” A group of students concerned about faculty diversity and tenure contacted the Dartmouth Asian Pacific Alumni Association (DAPAA) alumni council representative and met with him over the course of the weekend. The students were invited to attend the Open Forum of the Council on Saturday morning to speak to councilors about this topic.

The committee discussed the tenure process for faculty. They also discussed the topic of diversity and inclusion on campus. 

John Replogle spoke about the layers of communication, and the committee discussed ways for councilors to inform their constituents directly about current events on campus.

Committee chair Nancy Woolf welcomed the Alumni Service Committee members and thanked them for their work on the recent Alumni Day of Service that was held on May 7, 2016. A debrief about the 2016 Alumni Day of Service followed. There were 34 service projects in 18 states, representing a 40 percent increase in projects over last year. 233 people registered to participate online, but there were six projects that used their own local registration tool so we are following up with them to gather their attendance numbers. 

The committee selected Saturday, May 6, 2017 for the 2017 Day of Service, which is not Mother’s Day Weekend.

Jean Romeo gave a presentation about the results of the Moosilauke Forum survey that she worked with the ALC on which was focused on Alumni Service and ran this spring. She shared the following information:

  • 66 percent of alumni are interested in new opportunities for volunteering
  • There is more interest in the Alumni Day of Service among alumni under age 30
  • Two factors that are most important are to help a specific cause and make a difference in the community
  • 39 percent of alumni had not heard about the Alumni Day of Service
  • 39 percent found the Alumni Day of Service appealing (as did 62 percent under age 30), 40 percent were neutral, 20 percent found it unappealing.
  • 71 percent who found it appealing said that was due to the opportunity to meet fellow Dartmouth alumni (especially the young alumni)
  • Lessons learned included:
    • There is an opportunity to brand the Alumni Day of Service (Connects alumni together with meaningful opportunities)
    • Messaging: Intersect impactful event and social interaction
    • Awareness: Increased awareness builds appeal
    • Consider a brand name: For example, “Dartmouth Doing”

The committee discussed the strategic direction of the committee. Much of it will relate to the Dartmouth Center for Service so there will be a more substantive conversation about this at the fall meeting. While the committee built upon its infrastructure for the Alumni Day of Service, there is still a lot of room for growth of this project. However, it is also time to consider how the committee can expand upon service opportunities for alumni. 

The committee approved Barbara Rollins as vice chair of the committee. Monica Higgins will serve as chair of the committee. 

Deputy Athletics Director Bob Ceplikas ’78 reported on the successful and busy year for Dartmouth Athletics. Five head coaches were hired in the past month, filling all vacant head coaching positions. He touted highlights of a successful 2015-2016 season, and announced that while the committee was meeting the Robert L. Blackman Head Football Coach Buddy Teevens ’79 was testifying before Congress on player safety.

The committee received updates on facility renovation and construction projects including a new field house, a pavilion expansion, surface replacement at Memorial Field and Scully Field, as well as other interior work throughout the athletics complex.

Martha Gerhan ’83 discussed the desire to increase interaction between athletes and Alumni Council using a three-pillar approach to Athletic Committee initiatives: DP2, on the road, and philanthropy. Subcommittees for these three pillars reported on the progress of their initiatives.

Amber Bryant ’12 reported that the DP2 subcommittee was focused on using the iModules platform; the opportunities for job/internship shadows; speakers and events; and areas to engage with the club teams. Mark Heller ’70; Mark Hoffman, director of communities in Alumni Relations; and Sam Hopkins, senior associate director for external relations in Dartmouth Athletics, discussed how to better inform alumni about Dartmouth team away schedules and ways to increase engagement with alumni regionally. Chair Russell Wolff tabled a discussion on philanthropy until the next meeting.

Keeping with the theme of “Global Dartmouth” Bob Gaudet ’81, head coach of men’s ice hockey, discussed recruiting and coaching international students. Three international students spoke on a panel: James Verhagen ’16, men’s swimming, from Randburg, South Africa; Kate Griffiths ’18, women’s rowing, from London; and Benji Hannam ’18, men’s rugby club, from London.

Committee vice chair Martha Gerhan will become the committee chair and Mark Heller the vice chair in 2016-2017.

Committee chair Jack Steinberg ’88 introduced Justin Anderson, vice president for communications, for his presentation. Justin discussed his recent work with Trustee Laurel Richie on creating a framework to use as a guide when talking about Dartmouth. This exercise in defining Dartmouth's identity and distinctiveness is a work in progress that will inform all communications from the College. This new framework highlights what sets Dartmouth apart from its peers, whether it is about Dartmouth’s history and timeless values or its innovating and global spirit.

Olivier Gilloux, assistant director for alumni leadership and secretary of this committee, and Judy Doherty, executive director of information management services and new media, presented an overview of the iModules communication tools available to alumni volunteers. The committee will explore this topic more in a conference call between the spring and fall meetings.

Sean Plottner, editor of Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, gave an update on his editorial role at the magazine. Drawing on examples from recent issues of the magazine, including the “Why does Dartmouth cost so much?” from the May/June 2015 issue, Sean talked about the importance of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine keeping a journalistic and independent approach. Sean also shared some very positive metrics on a recent survey about the magazine.

The committee elected Alec Casey ’88 to serve as vice chair for 2016-2017. Cheryl Abbott '96 will be chairing the committee

Committee Chair Kim Buresh ’90 opened the session with a welcome and an introduction of the five District Enrollment Directors (DEDs) in attendance: Ish McLaughlin ’88, Andy Thompson ’89, Damian DiCostanzo ’78, Nigel Ekern ’87, and Alex Judson ’14. Kim then asked councilors to introduce themselves.

Paul Sunde, director of admissions and interim dean of admissions and financial aid, provided an overview of the Class of 2020. 20,675 students applied, 2,176 were admitted (10.5 percent admit rate) and 1,157 matriculated (53 percent yield). More than 92 percent of the Class of 2020 was in the top decile of their high school (up two points from the prior year) and standardized testing measures increased as well.

Meg Lysy ’99, director of the admissions ambassador program, and Will Corbett ’10, senior assistant director of admissions, discussed the program and the key strategies that have been put into place since the Admissions and Alumni Relations partnership began in 2014. The number of active interviewers is now at 5,400, a 51 percent increase from 2014; the number of submitted interviews grew to 14,445, a 29 percent increase; and the number of supported admitted student events around the country and abroad reached 40, an increase of 233 percent. A new virtual district, created and led by Alex Judson ’14, allowed interviews of an additional 358 applicants in hard-to-reach areas through online interviews.

The historic yield of 53 percent for the Class of 2020 may have been supported in part by the successes of the alumni outreach. All ambassadors were asked to reach out to admitted students, welcome them to the Dartmouth family, and answer their questions. Forty admitted student events were held across the U.S., as well as in London, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore. The yield of students who attended an admitted student event was 68 percent. The yield on students who attended Dimensions in addition to an admitted student event was 75 percent.

In conclusion, Kim Buresh ’90 was thanked for her strong leadership of the Enrollment and Admissions Committee. John Banks ’90 will serve as the new chair of the committee, and Ben Schwartz ’06 was elected to be the next vice chair.

Vice Chair David Hetzel ‘72 opened the meeting.

Roger Woolsey, Director of the Center for Professional Development (CPD) provided the following report:

  • The CPD will be hiring student interns who will focus on community outreach to increase engagement among first-generation and under-represented students. These new internships are supported by a gift from a generous parent and alumnus. 
  • Participation in the Professional Development Accelerator (PDA) Program jumped 61 percent over the past year, with 81 percent of the Class of 2019 joining the program. Participation in the PDA is tracked through milestones completed by the students and has resulted in a 152 percent increase in student engagement with the CPD.
  • 44 employers have joined the new “Dartmouth Circles” platform during the first year of a two-year pilot, and the CPD staff is looking at ways to expand student participation.
  • The CPD is moving DartBoard, their job listing and scheduling system, to a new platform as of June 1, 2016 which will result in a better user interface and increased features for employers and students, etc.  

Dan Parish ’89, director of Dartmouth for life, provided the following report:

  • The December Break Opportunities program attracted more than 170 alumni and parents who offered job shadows and projects to more than 120 participating students. 
  • Three “Off the Green” alumni-student career receptions have been held since our last Council meeting: Careers in Biotech, Cambridge, MA; Careers in Film and Television in Los Angeles; and Pathways to Medicine in Boston. 
  • A six-episode Career Pivot Webinar Series is underway this spring, having attracted more than 1,000 participants through the first four sessions (97 percent have indicated that they have been “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the programming). 
  • The Dartmouth Career Network search functionality has been updated, promotion to younger alumni has been launched again, and Gail Gentes ’77a is working on an engagement and marketing plan. 

The four working groups reported on updates and deliverables:

  • Having contacted a range of alumni volunteers and reviewed a “Career Toolkit” that was developed in 2010, the Alumni to Alumni working group (Meg Sommerfeld ’90, chair) plans to draft a new Career Toolkit for club, class, and group leaders over the summer. The group is also looking into the feasibility of creating a Global Networking event (other schools do this, and Dartmouth hosted one several years ago).
  • The Alumni-Student Connections Working Group (Jeff House ’86, chair) worked with the CPD to host another successful alumni-student professional development event on Thursday. Approximately 50 students participated. Moving forward, the group is looking at ways to expand the opportunity for hosting events that connect alumni and students and finding other ways to strengthen these connections.
  • The Diversifying Employment Opportunities Working Group (Jolin Salazar-Kish ’88, chair) has drafted email text that can be used by councilors to encourage classmates to hire Dartmouth students and to raise awareness among alumni of the opportunity to connect with students on campus through the Parents and Alumni in Residence program (PAIR).
  • The Technology Working Group (Mel Pastuck ’11, chair) has now completed two trial rounds of the Resume Review project and confirmed that there is a need among students for alumni feedback on resumes and an interest among alumni in supporting students in this way. This working group will likely change its name to reflect the role it plays in supporting CPD projects.  

The committee’s four working groups will likely be combined into three larger groups, each focusing on specific projects. The committee’s great interest in supporting traditionally under-represented student populations will be incorporated into the project work. Projects for the year ahead include: alumni-student networking events; video development; PAIR program promotion and recruitment; career toolkit completion; global networking event proposal; career network promotion; resume review project. 

Cuong Do ’88 T’89 was selected from a pool of three candidates to serve as vice chair for the 2016-17 year. 

Committee chair Laura Hicks Roberts '85 opened the meeting. Committee vice chair candidates, David Wagner '99 and Molly Van Metre '81, briefly addressed the committee to share their backgrounds and interests in the position. Committee members voted by paper ballot and it was announced later that day that Molly Van Metre will be the incoming vice chair. Tim Millikin ’05, current vice chair, will become the chair on July 1.

Liz Agosto '01, senior associate dean of student affairs, addressed the committee providing various updates about student affairs division services, programs, and initiatives:

  • Dean Agosto reviewed the division's goals for the coming year and noted that academic success remains the primary goal for students. The College remains committed to providing academic support for all students.
  • The student life unit was recently reorganized and includes Dartmouth Broadcasting, Greek life, the Collis Center, the Forensics Union, and the Outdoor Programs office. All of these areas within the division have shared resources and expectations.
  • The leadership for both the Tucker Center for Spiritual Life and the Center for Service will be in place this summer, ensuring that both units are thriving.
  • The new house communities will start their first year at the beginning of the fall term.
  • The College continues to look at diversity and inclusion. Much of these efforts will be centered within the Inclusive Excellence process. A specific effort within the Division of Student Affairs is Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA), through which the division will assess what more can be done internally to promote inclusivity and reduce barriers to student success.

Dean of the College Rebecca Biron then addressed the committee. She introduced herself and noted that she has been a faculty member for 10 years. In her new role she has come to more fully realize the amazing work of her Student Affairs colleagues, whose work requires much time and sacrifices. As Dean of the College, she has a more holistic view of this work and of the infrastructure behind the College and students' experiences that is often invisible.

One tool under development is a digital platform to capture what students are doing here at Dartmouth and through other organizations. The platform would serve to collect students' pathways and opportunities; as staff and students have that information they can better understand student experiences. As dean, this tool and other efforts will enable further prompting of student reflection throughout their experience at Dartmouth (I.e. selection of major, time management, setting priorities, etc.). The tool will also help facilitate advising. Lastly, the platform's content would be exportable, allowing students to capture and export their materials and experiences. The tool will likely be unique to Dartmouth, not a typical expanded transcript.

Dean Biron will work to build reflection at a global level (across programs). She is exploring a four-year approach to student leadership that is coordinated and targeted. As all students will be part of the new house communities, those spaces could serve as a space to practice leadership in an inviting and optional manner. As dean, she is focused on coordinating strengths and opportunities already in place at Dartmouth, infusing current experience with coordinated thinking and efforts.

The committee meeting transitioned to a panel discussion with several student leaders who discussed their leadership experiences on campus. Panel participants included Jay Raju ‘18, Rachael Rhee '16, Mary Sieredzinski ‘17, Jordyn Turner ’16, and Austin Welch ’17. Collectively the student panelists reflected on their insights and lessons learned on campus, focusing on specific leadership experiences, which included the Greek Leadership Council, Dartmouth Peak Performance (DP2), Management Leadership Development Program, Residential Life and living-learning communities, Panhellenic Council, Rockefeller Leadership Fellows Program, and Army Reserves Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). Once the students discussed their myriad insights and great experiences as leaders, there was discussion with the committee members.

As the panel concluded, the meeting then transitioned to roundtable discussions with the student panelists, additional student leaders, and alumni councilors. Individual tables shared key points from their discussions, highlights included student leadership takeaways, discussion of the progression of leadership over students' four years on campus, acknowledgment that leadership development is currently ad hoc, as well as general discussion of the often intense process students go through in applying to College and once on campus the need to work with other exceptional students.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the incoming committee chair, Tim Millkin '05, thanked all for their participation, especially Laura Hicks Roberts '85 for her leadership as outgoing committee chair.

Vice chair Melanie Pastuck ’11 welcomed the committee members and opened the meeting. The first item on the agenda was the approval of Amber Bryant ’12 for the position of vice chair of the committee in 2016-2017. Melanie will automatically become chair for that year.

John Valdez ’07 and Shiv Chadha ’17, a member of the Hill Winds Society, shared the work they have done to reinvigorate the Class2Class mentoring program between the rising seniors and their 10-year counterparts during the younger classes’ junior-senior summer break. The goal of the program is to provide a meaningful volunteer opportunity for the ’07s and a Dartmouth connection to ’17s who may be interning or working in a new city. The structure of the program provides mentoring matches in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Each city will host a kick-off and closing event for mentors and mentees with additional meetings to be initiated by participants. To date, 98 students and 49 alumni mentors have signed up to participate. John and Shiv discussed their planning process – which began during the summer of 2015 – and outreach – which included email, social media, and personal interactions. Next steps included matching mentors and mentees, finalizing kick-off details, and beginning to plan for next summer with the classes of 2008 and 2018.

Assistant Director of Class Activities Nicole Losavio introduced herself and shared information about her work with students and young alumni before discussing survey results indicating the high rate of young alumni engagement, methods of engagement by young alumni (through friend groups, attending campus events, and attending regional events), and desired programming (academic, career and professional, public service, and personal finance). Nicole also shared ways in which Alumni Relations is providing outreach, resources, and support for young alumni programming in five key cities in addition to all other clubs with young alumni chairs. Examples included social programming such as the Big Green Affair, educational programming such as providing young alumni with discounted tickets to attend Dartmouth on Location events, career and professional programming such as the MBA admissions events held in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and service programs such as the Alumni Day of Service. She also indicated that financial programming may be the next topic for young alumni chairs to explore.

Jack Steinberg ’88, Jennifer Avellino ’89, and Lou Spelios ’95 discussed the social media toolkit that was provided to all alumni councilors prior to the meeting and asked for feedback from the committee.

Feedback included appreciation of the use of sound bites intended for Twitter in emails to classes because young alumni prefer short messages for communications. Some methods that worked well included Instagram posts with campus photos, emails, and use of the hashtag. It was noted that use of social media led to more public comments and discussion for some councilors. Members expressed appreciation for the Jake Tapper ’91 iPhone message and were interested in using messaging similar to this before future meetings.

It was noted that the Alumni Service Committee is interested in partnering with the Young Alumni Committee next year as a way to increase young alumni participation in the Alumni Day of Service.