Alumni Council letter to alums

This letter below was sent out to Dartmouth alumni yesterday. It is written by Rick Silverman ’81, who is the president of the Alumni Council (not to be confused with the Association of Alumni, or the AoA). In the letter, Silverman brings up the AoA election, and reminds alumni that the Council disapproves of the AoA’s lawsuit against the College. In his letter, Silverman cites the Alumni Council’s amicus brief, submitted to the Grafton County Court. The misleading content of that brief was later countered by the AoA’s own brief, also submitted to the court.

This AoA election, many know, will determine the fate of the lawsuit. The letter, after the jump.

From: Rick Silverman ’81
Date: Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 2:14 PM
Subject: Dartmouth Alumni Council President’s Message

Fellow Alumni:

As you know, the Dartmouth Alumni Association will hold its annual election
from April 28 through June 5 to select a new Executive Committee. This
year’s election is highly contentious. Please take the time to understand
the positions of the candidates by visiting

The Alumni Council has been an active participant in the discussion of
College governance, and I’d like to update you on our activities.

In response to the lawsuit initiated by six members of the association
against the College last fall, the council filed an amicus brief opposing
the litigation. The brief 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 and
her alumni. The council suggests that issues concerning the College should
be resolved within the Dartmouth family, and not by the courts.

In December, the council voted 62 to 1 (with one abstention) to issue a
statement condemning Dartmouth Trustee Todd Zywicki ’88 for inappropriate
and harmful remarks he made in October at a conference of the John William
Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in Raleigh, North Carolina. You can
view the text of the resolution and a transcript of Zywicki’s speech at

President-elect John Daukas and I were also among a number of alumni who
testified, at a January hearing held by the New Hampshire legislature,
against a proposed bill designed to end Dartmouth’s autonomous control of
its charter. Introduced by Representative Maureen Mooney, R-Merrimack, and
supported by Alumni Association Executive Committee member Alexander Mooney
’93, the bill would have repealed a 2003 law that gave Dartmouth the right
to amend its charter without state approval. That bill failed, thereby
maintaining the College’s independence.

In addition to its work on governance issues, the council also

-Updated its mission statement to reflect its commitment to communication:
“to sustain a fully informed, representative, and engaged exchange of
information and sentiment between alumni and their College, and to enhance
and inspire alumni involvement that furthers the mission of the College”

-Made important changes to its constitution, which we feel will help the
council collect alumni sentiment more efficiently and share it effectively
with administrators and trustees, and similarly provide feedback from the
College to alumni. Learn more at

-Improved the Alumni Council Web site, adding a “Council President’s Page,”
where I post details of important council activity

-Created an Alumni Liaison Committee (ALC), which will serve as the
communications hub for the council, administration, and trustees.

The Alumni Council and its members continue to work hard to keep you updated
on College issues and to gather and send your feedback to the administration
and the board. We appreciate the extensive communications we received in
response to the association’s lawsuit and the statement made by Todd
Zywicki. To reach us, you can communicate with your council representative
(class, club, or affiliated group) directly, or you can email me at We look forward to hearing from you.

For Dartmouth,

Rick Silverman ’81
President, Dartmouth Alumni Council