A Research University?

The College should give up any pretense at being an undergraduate-focused institution and become a research university, Mohamad Bydon ’02 writes in an op-ed in today’s Daily Dartmouth. To achieve these ends, he concludes, alumni should vote against Trustee petition candidates Peter Robinson ’79 and Todd Zywicki ’88.

Those who talk about Dartmouth’s mission as an undergraduate institution forget that the College has the nation’s fourth oldest medical school, the oldest school of engineering and world’s first graduate school of business. Recently, important research on cervical cancer and cognitive learning has emerged from Dartmouth’s graduate programs. Dartmouth is currently in a state of transition: Over the past few years, the College has seen research funding increase from less than $100 million to over $200 million. The efforts of some alumni to resist this trend have been well-intentioned but misguided. Research does not threaten the undergraduate experience at a university. It merely enhances it. . . .

Undergraduates at Dartmouth are truly fortunate, but they receive no better an education than their counterparts at research-oriented universities like Stanford or Princeton. Dartmouth would be well-served to increase the size of its faculty (so that students can benefit from smaller classrooms), to invest significantly in the Life Sciences, and to make available to its students the opportunity to be involved in cutting-edge research. For these things to become priorities, Dartmouth’s alumni need to vote and they need to reject the candidacies of Zywicki and Robinson.

Presumably, then, those who support the College’s undergraduate mission would vote for Robinson and Zywicki. Voting in the Trustee election ends April 22nd.