• Alumni Council Files Amicus Brief in Association Lawsuit

    Friday, November 9, 2007

The Dartmouth College Alumni Council has filed an amicus brief asking New Hampshire's Grafton County Superior Court to dismiss a lawsuit filed against the College by the Dartmouth College Association of Alumni Executive Committee. The lawsuit, which was filed by the Executive Committee following a six-to-three vote, challenges the manner in which College trustees are elected. The lawsuit is being secretly funded, as the Association Executive Committee claims not to know who is paying its lawyers or if they are affiliated with Dartmouth's alumni.

The brief explains the differences between the 101-member Alumni Council and the 11-member Association Executive Committee. The Alumni Council is constitutionally charged to serve as the principal spokesperson for Dartmouth's 68,800 alumni, and to oversee acts taken on behalf of the alumni. In contrast, the Association Executive Committee is a largely vestigial body whose responsibilities historically are limited to overseeing trustee elections and holding an annual meeting. The Alumni Council was created by the association in 1913 to speak on behalf of Dartmouth alumni, leaving the Association Executive Committee with very little responsibility.

In its brief, the Alumni Council argues that the Association Executive Committee lacks authority and standing to sue on behalf of alumni, and urges the court to dismiss the lawsuit as contrary to the best interests of Dartmouth College and her alumni. The Alumni Council suggests that issues concerning the College should be resolved within the Dartmouth family, and not by the courts.