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Student life, facilities projects reviewed
During its winter meeting March 4-6 in Hanover, the Dartmouth Board of Trustees set tuition for the 2004-2005 academic year, approved the college's annual affirmative action plan, and received reports on student life, facilities and financial matters.
The trustees also met with the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital and Hitchcock Clinic governing boards and with the college's student leadership, and conducted informal discussions with undergraduate and graduate students and faculty members.
President James Wright said the meeting was highly productive. "The conversations with students were substantive and covered several important issues," he said. "We also addressed a number of financial matters and set tuition for next year. We agreed on a modest increase coupled with a continuation of our firm commitment to meeting the financial aid needs of our students."
The board set tuition at $30,279, an increase of 4.5 percent (or $1,314) over the current year's tuition rate. With room, board and mandatory fees, next year's overall charges will be $39,465. The rates apply to students in the Arts and Sciences at Dartmouth, including all undergraduates as well as graduate students in Arts and Sciences and all students in Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering, which offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. The rates represent a continuation of efforts the college has made to slow the rate of increase in its charges.
Ozzie Harris, special assistant to the president for institutional diversity and equity, reviewed the affirmative action report, highlighting several areas. "Dartmouth has done a remarkable job, relative to our Ivy League peers and other select institutions, when it comes to the percentage of women in our faculty," Harris said. Dartmouth has the highest percentage of women in all faculty ranks among its peers, and has maintained this position over the last 10 years. The board also reviewed the college's success in recruiting minority group members, and discussed ways to build on that success.
The board discussed various student life matters and received an update on the communication between the leadership of the Coed, Fraternity and Sorority system and Dean of the College James Larimore.
"The board had a good discussion with the students, and we are aware of their concerns and the challenges we continue to face," said Susan Dentzer, chair of the board. "It is clear that we are making progress toward enhancing the quality of student life on campus, and that there is effective work being done by the students and the administration. We are confident in the direction of the administration, and pleased to hear about conversations that Dean Larimore is having with the CFS leadership."
The trustees reviewed plans for new residential facilities for about 340 students at the intersection of Maynard and College streets, and received a presentation by Tony Atkin of the architectural firm Atkin Olshin Lawson Bell on the design for a planned residence on Tuck Mall for approximately 160 students. Both projects are progressing toward anticipated groundbreakings during the 2004-05 academic year. The board's committee on facilities also received updates on several other projects, including the selection of the architect for the arts building and the plans for the Engineering Sciences Center and the Kemeny Hall/Academic Centers project.
The board reinforced the college's commitment to need-blind admissions for undergraduates, which means that in making its admissions decisions the college does not take into account an applicant's ability to pay. For those who enter the institution with demonstrated financial need, the college commits to create financial aid packages that meet the full extent of demonstrated need for a full four years. Dartmouth expects to award more than $44 million in financial aid to its approximately 4,200 undergraduates next year, an increase of $6 million over the current year.
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