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>  News Releases >   2003 >   November

Dartmouth Trustees vote to expand size of board

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 11/17/03 • Contact Roland Adams or Laurel Stavis (603) 646-3661

Dartmouth's Board of Trustees, currently 16 members, voted at its November 2003 meeting to expand the size of the board by six additional seats. These added seats will consist of three "charter" trustees appointed by the Board and three "alumni" trustees nominated by the alumni body and elected by the Board. The Board is drawing up a timetable under which this expansion would be completed by the end of this decade.

"The trustees have determined that expansion of the Board is in Dartmouth's best interests," said Susan Dentzer, chair of the Board. "Ours is an increasingly complex institution, and the Board's ability to govern it well requires the addition of members with specific skills, capacities and expertise. In addition we have long sought to have a balanced Board in terms of the different professions of our members, as well as their gender, age, race, ethnicity and state or country of residence. This modest expansion will better enable us to achieve all our goals in these regards."

The decision to expand the Board was made under the authority Dartmouth gained recently to amend its charter without prior approval of the New Hampshire legislature. The college sought and received that authority from the legislature in summer 2003. Previously, any changes in Dartmouth's charter had to be approved by vote of the legislature.

When Dartmouth's original charter was granted in 1769, the Board size was set at 12 seats. In 1961, the Board added four more seats, for a total of 16. Since that time the Board has consisted of seven charter and seven alumni trustees; the President of the College; and the Governor of New Hampshire, who serves ex officio, or as an automatic member of the Board by virtue of holding that office. As a result, the Board's latest move to add six additional seats marks only the second time that the Board has been expanded in Dartmouth's 234-year history.

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