November 2012 Alumni Council Meeting

Because Hurricane Sandy knocked out my family’s heat and electricity and had well-known effects on the rest of the NJ/NY/CT region, including Princeton where we live, at the lest minute, I had to cancel my trip up to Hanover for the Dartmouth Alumni Council meeting. (We got power back the following Tuesday). But there is a lot to report on, as I was able to get some summaries from those who made it.

But, first, the BIG NEWS: you may have heard that the College has selected its next President: Philip J. Hanlon ’77, PhD, currently the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan. More information on him: see link:
An interview with him: see link: .

Also, the 2012-13 year is the Year of the Arts at Dartmouth. There were tours of the new Black Family Visual Arts Center, the 50th anniversary of the Hopkins Center for the Performing Arts, and the announcement of a major expansion of the Hood Museum proclaim the importance of the arts to Dartmouth. Integrated into an Arts District, these three vibrant institutions establish a new 21st-century model for the integration of arts on campus.

And the Hanover Inn has reopened.

The Dartmouth Alumni Council meeting highlights:

1. Marty Lempres ’84, the president of the Alumni Council, had opening remarks.

2. Harry Sheehy, the College’s Athletic Director, provided an athletic department update. Dartmouth has 34 varsity sports teams including 1,039 athletes; 35 club sports teams including 1,265 athletes; and 20 intramural sports teams including 5,100 participants. The athletic department offers 55 different fitness classes to more than 4,000 participants. He said that his goal is to position the Big Green to win, on average, five Ivy championships every year. He noted that the athletic department now has four dedicated fundraisers and that athletic fundraising has dramatically improved in the last several years. There was a student-athlete panel; these students shared personal stories as to the challenges and successes of his or her Dartmouth athletic experience. Sheehy recommends the new book Mindset by Carole Dweck of Stanford University.

3. David Spalding ’76, senior vice president and senior advisor to the College president, spoke regarding the cost of higher education. He said that there is no question that the cost of a college education continues to outpace median family income and the cost of medical care, food, and housing. However, increases in the cost of higher education are very much in line with increases in the prices of most personal services offered by highly educated service providers such as doctors, lawyers, and dentists. Wages and benefits are the biggest cost component. If Dartmouth were to follow the trends in manufacturing, it could drastically reduce its costs by creating a series of 300-seat classrooms, making cuts in faculty, and requiring faculty to teach extremely large classes in order to maximize efficiencies. However, that is not the product that Dartmouth is offering. Instead, it offers a “high-quality, high-touch, small-class-size experience”. Although the sticker price of a Dartmouth education has risen in line with its peers. He noted that returns on investment in a college education are estimated to be consistently above 14 percent, and that today, a college graduate is almost 20 percent more likely to be employed than someone with only a high school diploma, the largest gap in U.S. history. The projected lifetime increase in earnings relative to a high school graduate was more than $450,000. He went to say the actual annual cost per student of a Dartmouth education is approximately $107,000, but that the annual sticker price per student for tuition, room, and board is only approximately $58,000, a figure in line with Dartmouth’s peer institutions. 41% (class of 2015) and 44.5% (class of 2016) are receiving aid. The student loan indebtedness of Dartmouth students has also fallen. In addition, last year Dartmouth increased the family income level under which a student qualifies for no loans and free tuition from $75,000 to $100,000.

4. Pete Frederick ’65, chair of the council’s Nominating and Alumni Trustee Search Committee presented the Committee’s recommended nominee, Mitchell H. “Mitch” Kurz ’73. Kurz is a leading education advocate who serves as treasurer of the Harlem Children’s Zone and academic dean of the Bronx Center for Science and Math. A retired president of Young & Rubicam, he also led Wunderman Worldwide, which he built into the world’s largest database marketing firm. Kurz graduated Phi Beta Kappa with majors in economics and psychology, lettered in lacrosse, and was in Alpha Theta. He received his MBA with honors from Harvard and holds a master’s in mathematics education. He serves on the Tucker Foundation Board of Visitors. Eighteen of his students benefit from Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth and five currently attend Dartmouth. He has worked in the South Bronx since 2001. Kurz and his wife, Sandy, have two sons and reside in New York.The filing deadline for petition candidates is January 7, 2013, and trustee balloting will take place online and by mail from February 12 through March 12, 2013. See link:

4. Martha Beattie ’76, vice president for alumni relations, updated councilors on Dartmouth’s goal of becoming even more engaged with its alumni. Dan Parish ’89 (brother of our class’s Beth Parish ’85) has just been appointed director of Dartmouth for Life, with the task of designing and implementing programs that will facilitate, for each alumnus, a lifelong engagement with the College. The alumni career network will be revamped to meet better the needs of alumni as well as students.

5. Charlotte Johnson, Dean of the College, provided an update on the progress of the College’s Harm Reduction Initiative, introduced in 2010 to reduce high-risk drinking, sexual assault, and hazing. The College has introduced new and enhanced hazing policies. The definition of “hazing” has been revised; new members of fraternities and sororities receive instruction about hazing; and, like most of Dartmouth’s peers, the College conducts random walk-throughs as a preventative measure. Dean Johnson spent most of her time talking about the College’s efforts to combat sexual assault. The College has instituted preventive education programs, including bystander intervention training. The College employs two fulltime counselors for sexual assault victims, plus a special investigator to investigate alleged cases. Victims of sexual assault are encouraged to access the counseling and forensic examination services offered by the College, and they are urged to file charges both with the College and the Hanover police. However, if a report of sexual assault is made, no charges will be brought unless the victim wishes to press charges. At Dartmouth, 15 cases were reported under federal guidelines during the past year, and Dartmouth’s numbers are in line with its peer institutions. On November 12, 2012, president Carol Folt issued a message to the Dartmouth community explaining the College’s initiatives to address the problem of sexual assault See link:

6. Carol Folt ’78a, the current president of the College, spoke to the Council. She noted Dartmouth’s relationship with the Beijing Normal University, established in 1982, is the oldest relationship between an American university and a university in China. The faculties of Tuck, Thayer, and the medical school have recently been expanded. The College receives more than $200 million annually in grant funding. Every laboratory at Dartmouth offers opportunities for undergraduate research. Ray Kurzweil, arguably the world’s most famous futurist, recently delivered the latest lecture in Dartmouth’s “Leading Voices in Higher Education” series. Dartmouth’s strategic planning process is charting the future of the College. Dartmouth is intent on enhancing its global reputation. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the admission of women to Dartmouth. This year also marks the inauguration of the new academic calendar, where the first trimester ends at Thanksgiving.

7. Dartmouth Alumni Awards. Council president Marty Lempres ’84 proudly presented Dartmouth Alumni Awards to Tom Daniels ’82, Leigh Garry ’84, and the family of Roger Aaron ’64, ’65Tu. (Don’t forget, our classmate Todd Cranford ’85 received a Dartmouth Alumni Award a week earlier at Homecoming. Congratulations, Todd!) See link:

8. Steve Mandel ’78,chair of the board of trustees, spoke as to
(i) the presidential search,
(ii) strategic planning, — he said this continues: see link:
(iii) student life — the Board has tasked C. Folt and Dean Johnson with the job of changing student social norms on campus, including education initiatives, changes in rules and sanctions, plus a second, more long-term goal of infusing the academic aspects of the College into residential life.

9. Janine Avner ’80, cochair of the Alumni Council Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, explained to councilors that the Committee was formed for the purpose of supporting and contributing to the College’s goals of (i) increasing the diversity of Dartmouth’s workforce through the recruitment and retention of faculty and staff of color and other under-represented populations and (ii) determining what structures, resources, and best practices are needed toward this end. She said that the Committee would need one to two years to complete its work and issue a report. She stressed that the Committee earnestly seeks input and comment from alumni. Input can be sent to

10. Danielle Dyer ’81, ’89Tu, chair of the Alumni Liaison Committee, spoke regarding the purpose of the Committee to serve as a bridge and point of integration between the alumni body and the Dartmouth College Board of Trustees. Councilors are charged with forwarding to the ALC input they receive from their constituencies; and the ALC obtains answers from the appropriate College officials for the councilors to share with their constituencies. The ALC meets regularly as a committee to review all input received from the alumni with the goal of identifying the various threads of sentiment and opinion that are expressed. On an annual basis, the ALC presents its findings in a written report to the board of trustees. The ALC’s 2011-12 annual report is now available online. See link:

Minutes of 205th Alumni Council Meeting:

Please send comments and questions!


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