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June 10, 2013
To the Dartmouth community:
I am thrilled to be writing to you on my first day as Dartmouth's president.
When I arrived on campus nearly 40 years ago as a first-year student, I knew
that Dartmouth was a very special place. I feel just as excited and privileged
to return now to lead this institution at a time of such promise.
We are at a moment of great transformation and ferment in higher education,
with an increased relevance of the liberal arts to today's workplace, the great
promise of learning technologies to transform the way we teach and learn, and
the importance of globalization to our education and scholarship. Underlying
these issues is the imperative of ensuring that Dartmouth remains affordable
for all admitted students--something about which I care deeply.
Since my appointment in November, I've had the opportunity to speak with many
members of the Dartmouth community. I especially want to thank Interim
President Carol Folt for her insight and guidance. I've also listened intently
to what the College means to you, your hopes for its future, and how
Dartmouth--for all its strength and vibrancy--can be even better.
Together, we will ensure that Dartmouth maintains its leadership position
during this time of change. As part of this effort, I will look to enhance the
impact that Dartmouth has on world issues through scholarship and direct
engagement. This is the very embodiment of Dartmouth's dual mission. As an
institution that advances the frontiers of knowledge through research and
discovery, Dartmouth has a special role in addressing the world's major
problems. And as an institution dedicated to the liberal arts, we are uniquely
positioned to develop citizen-leaders with the creativity, entrepreneurial
spirit, and multidisciplinary mindset to put this knowledge to work for the
In today's global society, cultural awareness and an appreciation of diverse
perspectives are critical for success. This is particularly true of college
campuses, which must be sites of civil and open sharing of ideas. We have the
opportunity to be leaders in dealing with nationwide concerns about these
issues of student life. Dartmouth must offer a campus climate that all students
experience as welcoming and respectful. Consequently, I will place a high
priority on fostering an environment that is positive, healthy, and conducive
to open dialogue, debate, and learning.
As we approach the 250th anniversary of Dartmouth's founding, I am truly
inspired to return to campus and to lead us through that important milestone,
and beyond. Gail and I can't wait to begin working with the extended Dartmouth
family to ensure that this remarkable institution continues to achieve
greatness--in thought, in action, and in community spirit.
Last Updated: 6/10/13