194th Alumni Council: ‘On a Mission’

Some highlights from the Alumni Council’s own summary of its Green Key meeting.

With the May 15 election of a new Dartmouth trustee in the headlines—petition candidate Stephen Smith ’88 won the seat over three candidates put forth by the council’s Nominating Committee—the councilors heard an impassioned report from Rick Routhier ’73, ’76Tu, nominating chair, on the structural challenges the committee faces in carrying out its constitutionally required role in the trustee nomination process. Three trustees took some time during the board panel that is a regular part of council meetings to speak to this issue….. “Given the rules [which mandate the nomination of three trustee candidates by the council for one vacant alumni trustee seat on the board] and now the demands of money and time spent in open campaigning, we believe we will not be able to get the best candidates to run for positions on the board of trustees,” Routhier said….

And later:

Councilors weighed in with a variety of suggestions, and many expressed frustration at not being able to get alumni who’ve supported petition candidates in recent elections to come to the table. Councilor Sarah Hoit ’88 asked Routhier what he thought a solution would be.

“We worked on it for four years. It was the alumni constitution,” he said.

“The trustee election process is a problem, and an urgent one,” Routhier said. ” I would ask the trustees to take a careful look at the process of how they choose their board.”

Fielding numerous questions about the election process in their panel discussion, trustees Jose Fernandez ’77, Al Mulley Jr., MD, ’70, and chair Bill Neukom ’64 referred to the work of a governance committee on the board of trustees that has for the last year been studying what sort of board best serves Dartmouth’s interests in the 21st century, and how that board should be elected. The trustees said they anticipated a report from the committee at their June meeting.