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>  News Releases >   2007 >   October

Statement by Dartmouth President James Wright on Association of Alumni lawsuit

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 10/03/07, updated 10/04/07 • Roland Adams • (603) 646-3661

You may have read in The Dartmouth this morning that the Executive Committee of the Association of Alumni decided last night – by a divided vote – to file a lawsuit against the College concerning the governance changes adopted by the Board of Trustees earlier on September 8th, 2007 and to seek an injunction to prevent the Board from filling any of the new charter trustee seats authorized by the Board.

I am deeply disappointed that some members of the Association Executive Committee have decided to take this action, which can only harm the College. The College has been advised by its attorneys that the Board has full authority to enlarge the Board as it did and to make the other governance changes it authorized, and that there is no merit to the legal claims asserted by the Executive Committee members who voted to bring the suit. The College is well-prepared to respond to this legal action.

Ed Haldeman, Chair of the Dartmouth Board of Trustees, has asked me to share the following statement with all members of the College community:

“While I respect the many different views held by Dartmouth's alumni on governance issues, I think it's regrettable that a small group of individuals would cause the Alumni Association to file a lawsuit against the College, particularly when there is no legal basis for the suit. It's certainly not in the best interest of the College or its students for Dartmouth to be tied up with costly and counterproductive litigation. I would hope instead that thoughtful alumni and friends of Dartmouth would come together in support of our common goal of continuing to build on Dartmouth's world-class academic programs.”

While the action by some members of the Executive Committee to sue the College is ill-advised, I hope that it will not prove a distraction to the good work of the faculty, students, and staff. Dartmouth is in great shape and we need to continue to focus on continuing to provide the best experience possible for our students. That is the common goal that unites us all as members of the Dartmouth community.

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