COUNCIL PRESIDENT'S PAGE: Alumni Leaders and Faculty Endorse Association of Alumni Constitutional Amendment



John Daukas '84
President, Dartmouth
Alumni Council, 2008–2009 

Alumni are now voting on a proposed amendment to the Association of Alumni constitution that will simplify and improve the way alumni nominate trustees. The Alumni Council has endorsed the amendment, and I urge you to help the association reach the two-thirds voting majority that is needed to pass it. A variety of alumni leaders and faculty have added their voices of support and I recently shared their thoughts in this message I sent to councilors:

Vote “YES” on the Proposed Constitutional Amendment 

Alumni leaders agree that the proposed amendment to the Association of Alumni constitution that is listed on this year’s association election ballot should be passed. The amendment will need support from 66 percent of voting alumni to be approved. Voting takes place from March 25–May 6, 2009. Here’s why they’re voting “YES.” 


The current constitution, which requires the Alumni Council to nominate three alumni candidates, has created a “churn and burn” phenomenon in which multiple, highly qualified alumni candidates are rejected in each election cycle. We believe that the proposed amendment to the constitution will resolve this problem. It will encourage talented and engaged alumni to serve the College by running for election to the Board of Trustees.

Martha Beattie ’76,  Former Chair, Alumni Liaison Committee, and Jim Beattie ’76

I urge all supporters of last year’s “Dartmouth Parity” slate of officers for the Association of Alumni Executive Committee – and all alumni – to vote FOR the proposed amendment to the AoA constitution that would revise the procedures under which alumni trustees would be nominated and elected to the board.  President John Mathias and his committee have presented a new system that is reasonable, fair, and transparent.  If adopted by the alumni, one divisive issue will be eliminated, and will allow the Executive Committee to devote full attention to the far more significant question of restoration of alumni trustee parity.

J. Michael Murphy ’61, Petition Candidate for President of the 2008-2009 Association
of Alumni

I hope alumni will vote for the proposed amendment, reducing the number of Alumni Council candidates, and instituting a one-person, one-vote process. The amendment proposes a clearer and more direct system, thereby encouraging something very important, that more alumni should actually vote in trustee elections.
Peter Saccio, Leon Black Professor of Shakespearean Studies (Emeritus)

This constitutional amendment will foster definitive majority victories in trustee elections and I believe that's important for Dartmouth.  Alumni-nominated trustees represent all alumni and they should have the clear support of the alumni body.

Ricki Fairley-Brown ’78, President, Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association

The proposed constitutional amendment will simplify and improve the alumni trustee nomination process.  It will create head-to-head contests, install a “one person, one vote” system, mandate majority election victories, and preserve the existing petition process.  I’ll be voting yes.

Ralph Manuel ’58, ’59Tu, Former Dean of the College; Past President, Class of 1958

It is important for all Dartmouth alumni to participate in the selection of alumni-nominated trustees. I support the proposed amendment to the alumni association constitution because I believe that it makes voting easier and clearer, and I believe this will encourage more alumni to take part in critical election decisions.

John Rassias, William R. Kenan Professor and Chair of the Dartmouth College Department of French and Italian

I believe the voting system for alumni trustee should be like every election in this country. We should vote for only one of the candidates. The approval method system of voting which allows voting for more than one candidate does not provide as definitive a result and winners can be determined by numerical minorities. We need a more decisive election system which will more fairly reflect alumni sentiment.  We should vote for the proposed constitutional amendment to change the election system.

Murry Bowden ’71, Past President, Alumni Council

I support the proposed Association of Alumni constitutional amendment.  Among other things, it preserves the petition process for nominations to the ballot. It’s important that the alumni trustee nomination process provides a way for all interested voices to be heard.

Kaja Schuppert Fickes ’95, Past President, Class Officers Association

Read the editorial  supporting the proposed amendment in the April 3, 2009, edition
of The Dartmouth.


To view a helpful Q & A about the proposed constitutional amendment, please visit