March 10, 2006
To our fellow alumni:
The Dartmouth College Alumni Governance Task Force (AGTF) today is releasing a new draft of a proposed alumni constitution that incorporates many of the changes that you and other alumni have suggested in the past six months.
We have received hundreds of comments via email, mail, blogs, phone calls, and face-to-face meetings. In this way, you have helped make the governance structure envisioned by this draft constitution more open and transparent. We thank you and look forward to hearing more from you about our new draft.
Here's a bit of background on the five-year effort to bring you this document. The AGTF was created by the Association of Alumni and the Alumni Council in January 2004 to carry on the work of the Joint Committee on Alumni Governanceand Trustee Nominations, whose proposed constitution narrowly failed in a December 2003 vote in Hanover. The goal for the AGTF was to build on that earlier draft and seek rapprochement among groups of alumni with widely differing views to create a constitution of accord and power for all.
Overall, our proposal would bring the roles of both the council and the association under the association's aegis, creating new structures to improve communications between alumni and the College and better engage alumni through leadership, service, and voting opportunities. Some 66,500-members strong, the association would provide a bully pulpit for alumni to speak their minds as well as create a representative advisory and service body open to anyone through class, club, at-large, or other elections.
Under the new draft, dated March 10, one of the association's most important duties- nominating nearly half of the 18-member Board of Trustees- would be simplified and made fairer for all. The new draft would promote one-person, one-vote balloting; halve the current number of signatures required for petitioners seeking to be trustees; and allow all trustee candidates substantially the same amount of time for campaigning. In cases where a vote involving three or more candidates was necessary, the draft would keep the current approval method of voting in which alumni may vote for any and all candidates.
To make sure that no one has an inside track to leadership, the draft also would remove service requirements for those wishing to lead the association and its component parts, leaving decisions about candidates' qualifications to the voters.
After making any last changes based on the feedback you provide over the nextfour weeks, we will present the final proposed constitution to the Alumni Council for approval at its May 19 meeting in Hanover. If the council votes to accept the new constitution, it will then be sent to the entire alumni body for a vote through Internet or mail balloting this summer. For the constitution to be enacted, it must be passed by two-thirds of those voting in the council and association.
We invite you to attend a public forum on the proposed new constitution that will be held in Boston on March 27 or log on to a simultaneous Webcast of the meeting. More information is available at http://webcast.dartmouth.edu.
You also are welcome to join the discussion about the proposed new constitution that is taking place in the blogosphere at http://dartmouthaoa.blogspot.com (the Association of Alumni blog) and http://dartagtf.blogspot.com/ (the AGTF forum).
The proposed new constitution is available online at http:///leadership/association/new_constitution.html and through the Dartmouth College Office of Alumni Relations at (603) 646-3929. Comments and questions may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the Alumni Governance Task Force, 6068 Blunt Alumni Center, Hanover, NH 03755-3590.
We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for participating in this process.
Jim Adler '60
Trevor Burgess '94
J.B. Daukas '84
Kelley Fead '78
Joe Stevenson '57 (Chairman)
Martha Hennessey '76
Bill Hutchinson '76
Joe Mandel '60
Anton Anderson '89