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Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
During its winter meeting March 1-2 in Hanover, the Dartmouth Board of Trustees made a preliminary announcement about search plans for a successor to President James Wright, who recently announced that he plans to step down in June 2009. The board also set tuition, room and board rates for academic year 2008-09, increasing tuition 4.9%.
Board announces preliminary plans in search for successor to President Wright
The board released a statement on the upcoming search for a new president following President Wright's announcement in early February that he plans to step down in June 2009, after 11 years in that position and 40 years at Dartmouth. Chair of the Board Ed Haldeman said that the trustees discussed the qualities they would be looking for in the next president and the timeline for a search, which they expect will conclude early in 2009.
Haldeman appointed Trustee Al Mulley '70 to chair the search and will name the full committee in June. Mulley said, "I look forward to working closely with Ed and the entire Board of Trustees in the coming months to engage the larger Dartmouth community as we discern together the qualities of leadership that will best serve the College at this moment in its history." Before launching the search, the trustees will develop a statement of leadership criteria for the next president and will seek community input through a variety of mechanisms. Haldeman committed to having as open and inclusive a process as possible that also respects the confidentiality of the candidates.
In the 16 months that he has remaining as president, Wright plans to continue his work to expand and support the faculty, move forward with new life sciences, visual arts, and dining facilities, develop a program for the sophomore summer, and to successfully advance the Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience. He will also continue his work in support of veterans, for which he has received numerous awards. Following June 2009, Wright expects to dedicate still more of his time to the veterans project.
Tuition and other charges set for academic year 2008-09, with new financial aid package to take effect fall 2008
The board set the College's tuition for the 2008-2009 academic year at $36,690, an increase of 4.9 percent (or $1,725) over the current year's tuition rate. With room, board, and mandatory fees, next year's overall charges will be $47,694. The rates apply to all undergraduates as well as students in the arts and sciences graduate programs and Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering, which offers both undergraduate and graduate programs.
Dartmouth is one of only a small number of colleges and universities that maintains a "need-blind" admissions policy whereby the College admits students without taking into account their ability to pay when making admissions decisions, and commits to meeting 100 percent of enrolled students' demonstrated need for a full four years.
In January the College announced the latest of a series of enhancements to its financial aid package with four key points:
1. Free tuition for students who come from families with annual incomes below $75,000
2. Replacing loans with scholarships
3. Need-blind admissions for international students
4. Junior leave term with no earnings expectation
The new financial aid program will enable Dartmouth to continue to enroll one of the most economically diverse groups of students in the Ivy League. Currently, 13 percent of Dartmouth students are the first in their families to attend college and 14 percent are recipients of Pell Grants (a federal grant for students who come from low-income families).
In the current year, Dartmouth will spend $61 million per year providing financial aid, compared to $24.5 million in 1998 - an increase of 250 percent. The new initiative will cost an additional $10 million per year when fully implemented. The additional expense will be paid for through reallocation of resources and the use of funds generated by an increase in the distribution from the endowment to 6 percent approved by the Trustees last year. The College is in the midst of the Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience with a goal of $1.3 billion - $150 million of which will be for financial aid.
President Wright said, "The College has worked to ensure that a Dartmouth education is accessible to talented students, regardless of their financial circumstances. We want to ensure that talented students from across the economic spectrum can take advantage of one of the best opportunities in higher education." Tuition covers about half the cost of a Dartmouth education with the balance being met through the endowment and annual giving.
The board also spent time on a number of other topics and activities.
The trustees received an update on the Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience from Vice President for Development Carolyn Pelzel, who reported that as of Jan. 31, the campaign had raised $1.032 billion, representing achievement of 79 percent of the $1.3B goal in 74.4 percent of the campaign timeline with more than 66,000 Dartmouth alumni, parents, and friends contributing. (The campaign officially opened in November 2004 and is scheduled to conclude in December 2009.) Haldeman expressed his gratitude to the many individuals and organizations that have made this accomplishment possible. He said, "Dartmouth is fortunate in having so many friends who care so passionately about the good work that happens here. Their generosity makes the Dartmouth experience possible."
The board also reviewed and approved the College's 2008 Affirmative Action Plan, which shows progress in the last year on diversification of the institution's faculty and staff, and suggests goals for the coming year. All four faculties (Arts and Sciences, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business) saw an increase in the percentage of women and minorities.
The board heard reports from its committees on academic affairs, student affairs, alumni relations, governance, finance, and master plan/facilities. The report of the Committee on the Master Plan and Facilities included review of the progress of plans for the creation of a Visual Arts Center on the south side of campus and a presentation on energy conservation.
On Saturday, Board members also had an informal luncheon discussion with about 50 students who took advantage of an invitation to all students to meet with the board; and attended an informal dinner with members of the Order of Omega, a campus group that honors members of the Dartmouth Coed, Fraternity and Sorority System (CFS) for outstanding service to the system and the College. A number of board members also attended the Dartmouth women's basketball game against Columbia University on Saturday night.
As announced in February, James Wright will step down as president in June 2009 after eleven years of outstanding leadership. The Board of Trustees is grateful for the time he has provided to conduct a search for Dartmouth's 17th president. A presidential search once fully launched normally takes six to nine months to complete a comprehensive identification process to attract top candidates. I have appointed Trustee Al Mulley '70 to lead the search process. We will both be working together to ensure the search is as open and inclusive as possible while also taking the necessary steps to respect the confidentiality of candidates. A search committee will be announced following the June Board meeting.
The Trustees will now begin to develop a statement of leadership criteria for the next president to guide the search committee. The Board believes that it is critical that all Dartmouth constituencies have an opportunity to provide their input during this initial stage of the search. We will meet with community members on campus and locations beyond Hanover and establish a web site to collect comments and suggestions for the committee's consideration. Al and I look forward to these communications and to providing periodic updates as the search progresses.
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