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Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
The Dartmouth Board of Trustees, meeting Nov. 10-12 on campus, discussed plans for new life sciences facilities, approved construction plans for a new varsity house, met with student leaders and newly tenured faculty members, and took action on the College's policy on investments in companies doing business in Sudan.
The trustees received an update on the schedule and work plan for a new life sciences building. The project, currently in the conceptual stage, will be managed by a broadly representative Planning and Design Committee, with fall 2009 the target date for completion, according to Provost Barry Scherr. The building will be designed to facilitate greater interdisciplinarity among science departments and integration between classroom and laboratory activities, and to provide top-flight facilities for the life sciences at Dartmouth, Scherr said. The committee's planning is guided by six key project goals: value, timeliness, economy, functionality, sustainability, and flexibility.
On the recommendation of its Committee on Master Plan and Facilities, the board voted to proceed with a new varsity house, to be located on the east side of Memorial Field. The three-story building will house a varsity strength training center, a technologically equipped classroom and meeting rooms for the entire department, football locker facilities, and offices for football and several other sports. The existing east stands will be modified to comply with safety and accessibility codes, and the overall capacity of the stadium will be reduced from about 20,000 to about 13,000. Construction on the $19.4 million project will begin in the spring of 2006, with completion set for the fall of 2007.
The board also received a report that campus construction projects currently in progress, including the Alumni Gymnasium renovation, the Tuck Mall and McLaughlin Cluster residence halls, the Kemeny Hall/Haldeman Center building, and the MacLean Engineering Sciences Center, are on schedule.
Based on recommendations by the board's Investment Committee and the College's Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility (ACIR), the trustees voted to direct the College's Investment Office to avoid investments in six companies deemed to be directly complicit in what the U.S. Congress and Department of State have determined to be genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. As a result, Dartmouth will avoid investing in ABB Ltd.; Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company, Ltd.; PetroChina Company, Ltd.; Sudanese White Nile Petroleum Company; Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas); and Sinopec Corp., all of which are involved in oil drilling or oilfield services in Sudan. The College does not currently hold stock in any of these companies.
"Divestment and screening are steps that should be taken infrequently and only in the most compelling circumstances," President James Wright said. "This decision reflects Dartmouth's concern about the Sudanese government's campaign of atrocities against civilians, which Congress and the State Department have described as genocide. This campaign has created a humanitarian crisis of major proportions in Darfur and Chad."
Board Chair William H. Neukom thanked the ACIR and the students involved in the Darfur Action Group for bringing the issue to the board's attention, and for their work in researching and analyzing the Darfur crisis and the activities of companies doing business in Sudan. Neukom said the board encouraged the administration to support additional educational programs concerning the Darfur situation.
Members of the board also met with leaders of the Student Assembly, and with Palaeopitus (a group of senior student leaders that advises the President and the Dean of the College), the Panhellenic Association, and the Women in Science Program.
The trustees received reports from Carolyn Pelzel, vice president for development, on the Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience (which has received $621 million in gifts and pledges toward its $1.3 billion goal), and from Carol Folt, dean of the faculty of arts and sciences, on matters related to faculty recruiting and retention.
The board held the first meeting of its Working Group on Graduate Programs and Professional Schools, formed earlier this year as a follow-up to last year's Working Group on Academic Excellence.
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