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>  News Releases >   2007 >   November

Dartmouth Trustees implement new committee system to increase direct engagement with academic affairs, alumni relations, and student affairs

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 11/10/07 • Roland Adams • (603) 646-3661

Board also reviews status of important new facilities and current campaign, approves financial statements, and participates in celebration of "Women at Dartmouth"

At their fall-term meeting in Hanover on Nov. 9-10, the Trustees of Dartmouth College implemented a plan announced in September to increase the Board's direct engagement with the College's academic affairs, alumni relations, and student affairs through the creation of new standing committees focused on these critically important areas. 

Other activities of the Board at the fall meeting included:

  • Review of plans for the Thayer Dining Hall replacement and update on the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center.
  • Approval of 2007 financial statements and preliminary discussion of budget plans for the fiscal year that will begin July 1, 2008.
  • Review of the progress of the $1.3 billion "Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience," which has raised nearly $1 billion so far.
  • Participation in "Women at Dartmouth", a series of events marking the implementation of undergraduate coeducation at Dartmouth in 1972 as well as earlier graduate coeducation and the transformative impact these developments have had on the institution.
New committees on academic affairs, alumni relations and student affairs

At their September 2007 meeting, following the recommendations of the Governance Committee on ways to strengthen the governance of the College, the Trustees created new standing committees for academic affairs, alumni relations, and student affairs to encourage more direct communication and engagement with these important areas. These committees are in addition to the Executive Committee and committees on facilities, finance and investment, and governance.  At the November meeting, the members of the new committees discussed the focus of each committee and set their agendas for the coming year.  Members of the committees also met with students, faculty, and staff of the College to advance the work of the committees.

Members of the Student Affairs Committee, chaired by Trustee Karen Francis, had dinner with students in Palaeopitus, a senior-class organization. They also met with graduate students from across the College, and received a report from Interim Dean of the College Dan Nelson. The Trustees also attended a 90-minute open student forum on Friday evening to hear directly from students and to answer any questions students wanted to ask.  

The Committee on Academic Affairs is chaired by Trustee Al Mulley and met with the Deans of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Studies, the Dartmouth Medical School, the Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business. The full Board also attended a luncheon with faculty voted to tenure recently.  

The Committee on Alumni Relations, chaired by Trustee John Donahoe, is working with the Office of Alumni Relations to strengthen communications with alumni.  Vice President for Alumni Relations David Spalding reviewed previous alumni surveys and outlined the work done by his office to communicate with alumni.

Board chair Ed Haldeman commented after the meeting, "The new committee structure will clearly help the Board even more effectively support the mission of the College. The new committees reflect the Board's desire to strengthen direct communication and direct engagement with key constituencies of the College. Consistent with that goal, members of the Board particularly valued the opportunities to meet with students, faculty, and staff."

Update on progress toward a new Life Sciences Center and new dining facilities

The Board also received an update on the planned Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center, which recently received approval from the Town of Hanover Planning Board. In addition to providing state-of-the art laboratory and classroom space for the life sciences, the 1978 building is expected to use half the energy of the currently best-performing laboratory buildings in the United States. Innovative design elements include sophisticated heat recovery systems; the recycling of 100 percent of roof-collected rain water, which will save up to 1 million gallons of water a year; highly efficient lighting including occupancy sensors; and extraordinarily efficient heating and cooling systems. The College will apply for a building permit next week, and hopes to break ground on the building this December.

The Committee on Master Planning & Facilities reviewed the preliminary plans for a replacement to Thayer Dining Hall. The proposed new dining hall, to be located on the site of the current facility, will have seating for 750 diners and a large performance space. 

Approval of 2007 financial statements and preliminary discussion of budget plans for the fiscal year that will begin July 1, 2008

The Board approved financial statements for the College fiscal year that ran from July 1, 2006-June 30, 2007, as audited by KPMG LLB. Executive Vice President and Treasurer Adam Keller also provided the Trustees with an update on the current year budget and projections for the 2008-09 budget.  The Trustees discussed funding for key priorities including the expansion of the faculty, construction projects, and financial aid.

Review of the progress of the $1.3 billion "Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience"

Vice President for Development Carolyn A. Pelzel reported that the campaign is well on-track to achieve its $1.3 billion goal by the end of 2009, with $974.9 million raised as of Oct. 31, including three major gifts announced earlier this fall:

  • A $20 million gift from Peter and Susan Williamson to support the Dartmouth Medical School.
  • A pledge from the Class of 1978 to provide $43 million by the time of the class's 30th reunion in June 2008, including $40 million to support the Life Sciences Center and name it for the class, and at least $3 million in unrestricted gifts supporting the student experience through the Dartmouth College Fund.
  • $10 million from two Dartmouth families and an anonymous donor to support three new professorships: the Evans Family Distinguished Professorship, the Dartmouth Professorship of Biological Sciences and the Richard and Jane Pearl Professorship in Environmental Studies.

The campaign's priorities include financial aid, faculty expansion, and increased support for the academic program. 

Participation in events celebrating "Women at Dartmouth"

The weekend also featured an institutional celebration of 35 years of undergraduate coeducation at the College as well as earlier graduate coeducation in medicine, with members of the Board participating in various events. 

Trustee Emerita Ann Fritz Hackett '76 and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Carol L. Folt gave welcoming remarks at an opening reception for "Celebrating 35 Years of Women at Dartmouth," a series of events focused on undergraduate coeducation at the College, from the pioneers who entered the first co-ed undergraduate classes in the early 1970s to today's iGeneration. All Dartmouth alumnae were invited to meet and mingle in a weekend celebration featuring keynote speaker Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand '88 (D-N.Y); alumnae symposia, alumnae author book signings, an alumnae product/service gallery, a reception with Dartmouth women faculty, a look at works by women artists in the Hood Museum of Art, and other activities.

"Women in Medicine," a leadership and professional development conference open to all women and men of Dartmouth and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center house staff, brought colleagues in medicine, science and research together for a program devoted to personal and professional renewal. Discussion explored such topics as gender and generational differences, volunteerism, networks and support systems. Dartmouth Medical School admitted women in 1960.

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