We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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.
Excellent full page ad in the WSJ today from the good folks at savedartmouth.org - made me happy, anyway, especially after the article on Sunday, reprinted in one fo the links above. They are pissed, they have money, and some aren't giving any to Dartmouth until the President desists in changing the rules. He sounds like a Dem to me . . .
Now more than a year has passed and the dust has settled. What has changed? Nothing.
Has alumni voting been eliminated? No. Alumni still vote for eight nominees to the BoT, a number that still represents a significant minority of members. The five seats of the Gentlemen's Agreement of 1891 are preserved, as are the three extra seats given gratis over the last 45 years.
Todd Zywicki has so disgraced his office that he has become the only trustee since John Wheelock to be reprimanded by the BoT. That's the regrettable part about this episode.