After conversations with many readers and Dartmouth Alumni over the past few weeks, I have decided to run as an independent petition candidate for the Dartmouth Board of Trustees this spring. I apologize to VC readers who may not be interested in this, but for Dartmouth alumni who are reading this, I would like to ask for your help. To be on the ballot for the election this spring, I will need to submit 500 signed petitions to the Dartmouth Alumni Office by February 23. This year there are two open seats up for election. Regardless of whether you agree with my goals for Dartmouth, I hope you will be willing to sign a petition to allow me to be on the ballot.
I have set up a web site where you can: (1) Read my Letter to the Dartmouth Alumni, (2) Get a copy of the petition (note that it must be signed in non-black ink and returned by February 17 to make sure I have it in time to get it to Hanover), and (3) the address to which you can mail the petition.
Dartmouth is unique among its peers in its focus on undergraduate education and development of well-rounded students. I believe that Dartmouth should embrace this traditional mission, rather than retreat from it. If elected to the Board of Trustees, my objectives would be the following:
Rededicate Dartmouth to its mission of undergraduate education: Dartmouth should rededicate itself to this mission and resist efforts to transform Dartmouth into a research university at the expense of its traditional undergraduate focus. As readers of the Conspiracy are aware, I am especially interested in working to protect free speech at Dartmouth.
Rededicate Dartmouth to the recruitment and development of well-rounded students: Dartmouth traditionally has been a leader in focusing on the development of well-rounded students. I believe that Ivy League sports competition is part of that mission (for a contrary view, see Dartmouth Dean Karl Furstenberg's comments in "Dean Knocked Football Culture" from the Valley News).
Align Dartmouth's financial priorities with its core mission of excellence in undergraduate education: Dartmouth's lack of focus on its core mission has led to confused financial priorities. In recent years, spending on the administrative bureacracy has risen twice as fast as spending on academic programs. The confusion over financial priorities was evidenced by an editorial last week the official student newspaper, The Dartmouth published an editorial, that criticized the growth in class sizes and the inability of students to even get into certain necessary classes.
Improve College governance through greater openness and transparency:I will seek to improve College governance through greater openness and transparency, and will work to insure that all stakeholders are fully informed about what is going on at the College and will have a voice in the governance of the College. I will not just "rubber stamp" the proposals of anybody.
If you are a Dartmouth Alumna or Alum, I hope you agree with my goals for Dartmouth. Even if you don't, I hope you will be willing to sign and mail a petition to me so that I can be on the ballot and be part of the conversation this spring. Please also forward my web site to your Dartmouth friends and classmates, as I need a lot of petition signatures in a short amount of time. The Administration and Alumni Council have made it increasingly difficult in recent years to run as an independent candidate, and I hope you will support my effort to have a choice on the ballot this spring. The actual election among the qualified candidates will take place in March. You can help make me the first blogger to earn a seat on the Dartmouth Board of Trustees. Now, if I get on the ballot, maybe I can convince them not to list us all alphabetically...