Almost everybody knows that Dartmouth College offers the best undergraduate education in the world. If Dartmouth is a bit of a cult, it is for good reason.
Alumni do not wear Dartmouth as a badge - they just care and stay involved and give money, and stop by whenever they can. Some of them decide to run for the elected alum trustee spots, and that is where the excitement began.
The excitement began because the folks who have been winning these trustee elections (voted for by the entire body of Dartmouth alumni) have been more independent-minded, more tradition-minded, and generally if not entirely more conservative than in the past.
The administration and the non-elected board aren't happy with that. Like any organization, they want support from the board, not trouble and intrusiveness. It's an Indian uprising. The administration and its allies are fighting back by trying to eliminate alumni voting.
Interestingly, a number of major-league bloggers are Dartmouth folks. They keep the campus political issues in the public eye, which is good for the future of the school. Most schools are run as fiefdoms, shutting out the views of the alums who support them. When alums have a voice, they use it. It's a shame more schools don't have a powerful alumni presence among their trustees.
Opinion Journal has a good summary of the history of Dartmouth's governance.
Trustee T. J. Rogers wants to stay involved, and finds himself up against a totalitarian mentality. The alums won't put up with that.
Joe's Dartblog is always on the story.
Image: The now officially banned (God knows why) Dartmouth Indian. That image derives from Dartmouth's 1769 founding as a mission school to Indians, hence the school's motto "Vox clematis in deserto."