204th Session Meeting Minutes

The Academic Affairs Committee met on the morning of Friday, May 18.

There were three sets of presentations.

The presentation on “The Intersection of Pedagogy and Scholarship” featured Jon Kull ’88, associate professor of chemistry, and Susan Ackerman ’80, Preston H. Kelsey Professor of Religion, talked about their recent research interests and how the undergraduate students are able to participate in their research activities.

The next presentation was a panel on “The Challenge and Opportunity of Technology in the Classroom.” This panel included Christiane Donahue, director of the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric and associate professor of linguistics; Katherine J. Milligan ’90, ’07Tu, lecturer at Tuck School of Business and director of the Master of Health Care Delivery Science Program; Mark Williams, associate professor of film and media studies; Karen Gocsik, executive director of the writing program and adjunct assistant professor of English; and Karolina Krelinova ’14. There was a wide range of topics covered as part of the panel. Included were things such as interactive class blogs to the use of technology and distance learning that is being implemented in the Master of Health Care Delivery Science Program.

The third presentation focused on “Popular Majors and Course Oversubscription.” Nancy Marion, associate dean of the faculty for social sciences and the George J. Records ’56 Professor of Economics, and Meredith Braz, registrar, talked about the challenges of registering for oversubscribed courses and the growth of popular majors. It is not always possible for students to receive their first choices in courses during the initial registration period. However, there is an awareness of these issues.

Vin Pellegrini ’77, ’79DMS was elected vice chair of the Academic Affairs Committee for next year. Patrick Martin ’73 will serve as the chair of the committee next year.

The committee met twice during Alumni Council Weekend. On May 17, members met to discuss the meeting they had with the board of trustees’ Advancement Committee on March 1 in Hanover; the format and production timeline for the 2011–12 Alumni Liaison Committee (ALC) annual report; and the recent elections for the Association of Alumni Executive Committee and the three alumni-nominated vacancies on the Board of Trustees. The committee met with Trustees Bill Helman ’80, Steve Mandel ’78, and Mort Kondracke ’65 on May 19. Topics discussed included a recap of the meeting the ALC had with the Board of Trustees’ Advancement Committee on March 1, an update on the 204th Alumni Council meeting, the recent elections for the Association of Alumni Executive Committee and the three alumni-nominated vacancies on the board of trustees, and the 2011–12 ALC annual report. Danielle Dyer ’81, ’89Tu, will chair the committee in 2012–13. Zach Chestnut ’08 will join the committee next year as the at-large representative from the alumni body. Cuong Do ’88, ’89Tu, was elected by the Alumni Council to join the committee.

Athletics Director Harry Sheehy provided the varsity and club fall, winter, and spring sports recaps, and announced the new endowment commitments to the head coach of the men’s and women’s squash teams and the men’s heavyweight rowing team. Deputy Athletics Director Bob “Cep” Ceplikas ’78 provided an update on recruiting, facilities, and fundraising. Drew Galbraith, senior associate athletics director for Peak Performance (DP2), provided an update on the program, which aims to help students achieve the highest levels of physical, intellectual, and personal growth during their careers as student-athletes. He reviewed the academic, athletic, and personal dimensions of DP2, as well as the summer leadership program, which strengthens leadership and teamwork skills.

There was a student-athlete panel comprised of Maya Herm ’13 (field hockey), Adam Rice ’12 (men’s soccer) and Dave Seliger ’12 (men’s fencing). Each student talked about why they came to Dartmouth, the values they learned at Dartmouth, and the challenges they have overcome as student-athletes. 

Mike Vidmar ’03 will be the next vice-chair of the Athletics Committee, and Paul Elmlinger ’80 will be the next chair.

Committee chair Derek Symer ’90 opened the meeting. The Communications Committee discussed the Alumni Council communications and metrics. Eighty-one percent of councilors with constituencies sent summaries of the 203rd Alumni Council meeting to their constituents. Communications between councilors and their constituencies have significantly increased both before and after each Alumni Council meeting.

Vice chair Jay Benson ’90, ’96Tu, gave a presentation about the Communications Committee Facebook group. He encouraged all committee members to join Facebook, if they have not done so already, and the CommComm Facebook group. The committee discussed using additional social media options such as Google Plus and Twitter.  

A “College Communications” panel presentation followed. The three panelists included Sean Plottner, editor of Dartmouth Alumni Magazine; Justin Anderson, assistant vice president of media relations; and Martha Beattie ’76, vice president for alumni relations. 

The committee completed its final business with the election of Greg Chittim ’01, ’03Th, as the vice chair for 2012-13. Jay Benson '90, '96Tu will serve as the chair of the committee during that time period.

The May 8 meeting of the Enrollment and Admissions Committee focused on two main areas: a dean’s report from Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid Maria Laskaris ’84 and a subcommittee report on a pilot yield project.

Dean Laskaris updated the committee on the Class of 2016, including the growth of the applicant pool, the profile of the Class of 2016, and other data relating to the composition of the incoming class. Given Dartmouth’s profile in the news during the spring, the topic of yield was discussed, including the impact on the Class of 2016 and plans for recruiting the Class of 2017 and beyond. Dean Laskaris also provide an update on the strategic planning process, specifically the Students of the Future working group’s thoughts to date.

Following up on a pilot launched after the December meeting, a subcommittee led by committee chair Tee Lotson ’82, Joe Riley ’85, and Colleen Wearn ’06 presented the results of the “Reach Out and Touch” pilot, a project intended to reach likely letter students in an attempt to increase yield. Volunteers were sourced from the committee and Alumni Council at large, resulting in 90 students contacted, with approximately 20 in-depth conversations. The committee had a conversation about the logistics of the program and its impact and will continue the conversation about how to proceed at the next Alumni Council meeting.

Lisa Cloitre ’94, ’02Tu, will be the next vice-chair of the Enrollment and Admissions Committee and Rob Kugler ’67 will be the chair.

This Student Affairs Committee meeting focused on the recent news about hazing allegations at Dartmouth, how to improve both the graduate and undergraduate student experience, and what the Dartmouth of the future will look like.

April Thompson and Wes Schaub, from the Dean of the College Office, presented to the committee and gave an update on the recent press the College’s drinking and Greek culture have been receiving. The committee was informed that Dartmouth’s Greek life problems are not as bleak as they were presented by Rolling Stone magazine and that hazing is something that is not unique to Dartmouth’s Greek system. They reported that funding to the Greek system has been increased, a new alumni-based advising program has been implemented, and a new Greek letter organization director has been hired to help restructure the pledge process.

The committee was introduced to Suril Kantaria ’13 and Julia Bradley-Crook ’14Adv, who are the presidents of the Student Assembly (SA) and Graduate Student Council (GC), respectfully. Suril said he is looking to revamp the structure of SA and make it something that more students would be interested in being a part of. He hopes to put into place a student senator system in which members from various campus communities are able to come together to share perspectives and issues as well as a peer-to-peer advising program for freshmen. Julia is hoping to bring childcare/nursing facilities to the graduate student community. She will be continuing the efforts of the GC president before her and trying to secure a centralized community space for graduate students while also looking to align with the shifting Dartmouth administration.

Associate Professor of Chemistry Jon Kull ’88 spoke to the committee about the progress of the Students of the Future working group within Dartmouth’s strategic planning initiative. Professor Kull shared his vision of a Dartmouth where intellectual vigor is evident in everything associated with the College. He asked whether Dartmouth could show an increase in external intellectualism; if it is one of the top colleges in the world, we should showcase and be proud of its merits. The Students of the Future working group is looking at the Dartmouth of today and finding ways to enrich the “Pan-Dartmouth” experience of tomorrow. One aspect of Dartmouth life that the working group is hoping to improve is the residential dorm system. If Dartmouth were to adopt a “residential college” model, where a student would have one place of residence/community to go back to year after year, we may see behavioral shift in the ways that students treat one another. Currently, students cycle through the dormitories as frequently as twice a year, and such radical change in residence can be disruptive to building community.

The next vice-chair of the committee will be John “J.B.” Daukas ’84. Lou Spelios ’95 will be the next chair.