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The President's Plan

Moving Dartmouth Forward

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Campus Dialogue

November 13, 2014

To the Dartmouth community,

As we prepare to bring the busy fall term to a close, we want to reflect on our shared values and the kind of rigorous intellectual environment we work hard to create at Dartmouth.

The bedrock of any academic community is open-minded and thoughtful dialogue on all issues and ideas. The best learning experiences -- in and out of the classroom -- challenge our assumptions and push us to think about concepts and issues in new, sometimes difficult, ways. We benefit from leaving our comfort zone. We will disagree -- we should disagree -- but we cannot accept when individuals, rather than their positions, become targets.

Freedom of expression is a fundamental part of a Dartmouth education and an essential part of healthy debate. We work each day to achieve this by ensuring that our community is a place where debate is encouraged and different perspectives are celebrated. As an academic institution we must not drown out the voices of dissent, but provide them with a microphone.

These are our rights as Dartmouth students, faculty, staff and alumni. We are life-long learners who revel in discovery and seek rigorous, thought-provoking debate. The rights of this community bring a responsibility to listen to others, even when -- especially when -- we do not agree. Participating in open dialogue with people whose opinions differ from our own can be uncomfortable, but these times can also be when we learn the most.

As we look to the start of 2015 and the beginning of a new term, let us be bold, passionate, and opinionated -- and also kind, thoughtful, and civil.

Warmly,
Phil Hanlon, President
Carolyn Dever, Provost

Last Updated: 11/13/14