Changing the Rules—Again

Joe Asch ’79, writing in the Daily Dartmouth, argues that the current plans to change the Alumni Association’s constitution are a cynical ploy to prevent alumni from electing outsiders to the Board of Trustees.

At Dartmouth, when the Administration is unhappy with election results, it tries to change the electoral rules.

Having lost the last three trustee elections to anti-Administration candidates, the Wright Administration has now responded to these rebukes.

However, rather than addressing the fundamental reasons why the petition candidates won their elections, a process has been set in motion to change the way the alumni vote for trustees.

It should be noted that the College (or, to be precise, Alumni Association insiders with very close ties to the College administration) has successfully accomplished similar rule changes in the past. In 1990, the election rules were revised in an attempt to prevent future petition candidates from gaining traction. This followed the successful 1980 petition campaign to elect John Steel ’54 and a similar but less successful effort eight years later by Wid Washburn ’48.

The timing of this effort, though conceived before T.J. Rodgers ’70 successfully ran for Trustee in 2004, does appear suspicious.