The thematic focus of the Academic Affairs Committee meeting at the 207th Alumni Council was the area of curriculum review currently ongoing at Dartmouth. Efforts were devoted to an update on the current status of curriculum review as well as the potential applicability of the Dartmouth Peak Performance (DP2) program to the entire student body to enhance scholarly performance. To that end, we had two guest speakers address the committee.

Drew Galbraith, senior associate athletics director, provided an update on the status and accomplishments of the DP2 program from an academic performance perspective. We were pleased and proud to learn that, since the implementation of the program, Dartmouth has led the NCAA metrics (in both academic progression and graduation success rate) nationally in the No. 1 position! Indeed, this will be the third consecutive year for Dartmouth to occupy the top position when, prior to the DP2 program, we had never been higher than No. 3 and no institution has had successive years at No. 1. Interestingly, less than 20 percent of athletes had majors in the hard sciences. The “all in” cost of the DP2 program is estimated at $2 million annually, with an incremental cost of roughly $1 million to implement the program beyond what had previously existed. Discussion ensued as to the feasibility and desirability of rolling out a broader version of the program that encourages a holistic approach to academic performance and achievement for the entire student body.

Lynn Higgins, associate dean of the faculty for international and interdisciplinary studies and a member of the curriculum review committee, shared an update on the workings of that group. She offered that an in-depth review of the “D Plan” was under way and that “there will be changes.” Specifically, there is considerable discussion on the future of the distributive requirements. The committee expressed an interest in the transportability of the DP2 concept on a larger scale to benefit the entire student body and a generative discussion ensued. The committee expressed an interest in seeing a draft of the curriculum review work group report at an early time that would allow alumni review and comment.