Lawsuit Withdrawn

As expected during the recent election, the new AoA Executive Committee has decided to terminate the AoA’s lawsuit against the Board of Trustees. The College’s press release is here.

  • cynic

    Very good news, this.

    If the idea was that the Alumni Association had a “contract” with the trustees, I don’t see how anyone else could sue the trustees on the same claim.

    It will be fun to see how much John MacGovern is able to damage Dartmouth with $200,000 in his pocket.

  • leo

    Braun Research is running a phone survey of alumni opinion in the wake of the election – just got a call this afternoon. Any idea who commissioned this study?

  • wondering

    What were the survey questions?

  • Ice-T

    Regardless of what one thinks of the lawsuit (whether it was a good idea, its likelihood of success, etc.), the people who won the AoA election ran on a platform of ending the lawsuit, and they won by a sizable margin.

    It would have been dishonest of them not to do this.

    I’m curious about the survey also… anyone remember what they were asking about?

  • Albert K. Henning

    Regarding the survey:

    Braun Research conducted the survey.

    The questions did not seem biased.

    However, the conduct and content of the survey were highly annoying and frustrating.

    One Braun supervisor, Tamara, claimed the College contracted the survey.

    Her supervisor, Malik Shannon, would neither confirm nor deny that the College contracted the survey.

    My contacts at the College report the College did *NOT* contract the survey.

    I want to know: did Dartmouth Undying contract this? If so, it’s simply stupid.

    Or, did the Dartmouth Review, Hanover Institute, or Dartmouth Parity contract this? If so, because of the aura of legitimacy, it smears the College.

    The questions included something about, ‘do you think Free Speech exists at Dartmouth?’ If TDR, Dartmouth Parity, or Hanover Institute is running the survey, I find this particular question highly annoying: one of the clear successes of the Petition Trustees has been to get Dartmouth a Green Light under The question of whether Dartmouth supports Free Speech can no longer be on the table.

    The complaint number for Braun is 609-279-0220. I will be calling later today. If you also found the survey to be annoying, I urge you to call as well.

    If someone would ‘fess up to this latest bit of inanity, I would appreciate it.

  • still wondering

    Albert: Thanks for the background. Why is a question about free speech annoying if asked by TDR but OK if asked by the College?

    Note that the question is not “does free speech exist”, but “do you think it exists”, which is a legitimate question for alumni, and one the College may very well wish to ask. If the administration are the ones asking, why do they remain anonymous when surveying the College’s own graduates?

  • also wondering

    If TDR is asking about beliefs about free speech, it is probably because it is trying to revive an dead issue to play again in a misleading way. I can see it now: “A whopping 40% of alumni believe free speech is nonexistent at Dartmouth. Never mind the belief is incorrect and FIRE agrees.

    If DU is asking, it is doing so for the purpose of research only. Even if people mistakenly believe free speech does not exist, DU is not going to try to parlay that mistake in its favor. It will just be sure to correct that impression in a future mailing, if it thinks the stats warrant it.

  • albert k. henning

    To ‘still wondering':

    The entire survey content and conduct was frustrating and annoying. It matters not who is asking.

    The Free Speech question was particularly annoying, because Dartmouth has already changed its policies relative to Free Speech (fact), in response to prodding by in particular TJ Rodgers (fact), and those changes have been vetted by a third party, (fact). Alumni who continue to believe that free speech does not exist across the board at Dartmouth are therefore misinformed, or ignorant of the facts (inference). If the survey stems from TDR, the Hanover Institute, or Dartmouth Parity, this question is particularly annoying, because the issue should be proclaimed as a success by TDR, HI, and DP, and not still used as a goad to stir up conservatives (my opinion).

    You seem to have specific knowledge of the actual content of the survey question relative to Free Speech. My recollection is not as specific as what you report. May I infer that you are connected to the entity that initiated this survey? Or is your recollection of the survey content simply better committed to memory (which is certainly possible)?

    I reiterate: the College did NOT initiate this survey (fact). Your last question is therefore specious and inflammatory (my opinion).

  • albert k. henning

    Further information regarding Braun Research:

    I gave the contact number as 609-279-0220. This number is difficult to reach: 9 times out of 10, it is busy. However, if you do get through, you’ll be given a second number to call, where you can leave a *short* message. This number is 402-439-5660. You will also be given a web site where you can ostensibly go and request your number no longer be called. This web site is The site appears legitimate.

    However, do not expect to communicate with anyone in person.

  • anonzyw

    To AKH: You wrote, “You seem to have specific knowledge of the actual content of the survey question relative to Free Speech. My recollection is not as specific as what you report. May I infer that you are connected to the entity that initiated this survey?”, in response to this comment from Still Wondering: “Note that the question is not “does free speech exist”, but “do you think it exists”.

    Earlier you wrote:”The questions included something about, ‘do you think Free Speech exists at Dartmouth?'”

    Does that clear anything up?

  • not wondering

    Until we know for sure who is behind the survey, let’s jump to as many conflicting conclusions as we can.

  • albert k. henning

    To anonzyw:

    I don’t see how your response clears anything up.

  • also wondering

    Since some of the losing candidates have invented a “lies and distortions” meme to explain their defeat (“it’s how we lost”), I wonder whether the survey is being done by the Hanover Institute in preparation for a suit against Dartmouth Undying and the Alumni Relations Office. MacGovern has shown a willingness to involve the courts in trying to overturn Association elections in the past.

  • Still W…

    To AKH: I think Anonzyw (and I am not that person) was trying to clear things up by observing that my comment on the question came not from inside knowledge, but from reading your own posting! You were the one who presented the question in the “do you think” variation. There was no need for you to jump to the conclusion that I am an outsider with inside knowledge; that was “inflammatory, in my opinion.”

    Also how do you know the College did not initate the survey? All you know is that one of your contacts there was unaware of it. The alumni relations office has done quite a few alumni surveys, which is a good thing. Doing some through third parties in confidence may or may not be appropriate.

  • albert k. henning

    To Still Wondering:

    I presented the ‘do you think’ question only as I recalled it, and accompanied my recollection with a qualifier indicating my recollection was imperfect. You took what I wrote as definitive, and added what appeared to be a substantive correction. I then inferred you may have had inside information. If I misconstrued, then I apologize.

    I did, and do, not intend to inflame. Quite the contrary.

    As for ‘how do I know the College did not conduct the survey?':

    I have given my name, in public. It’s easy to google me, and find out some of the connections and relationships I have and have had with Dartmouth. (Do not infer from such a search, however, that my stands or opinions are one-sided. They are not.)

    I tapped into those relationships, to get a definitive answer to this question. It is much more substantive than merely ‘one of my contacts had no knowledge of the survey.’

    You continue to suggest the College may have undertaken this survey. I have found, to my own satisfaction, that the College did not. If you distrust my satisfaction with my sources and their trustworthiness, that is up to you. Use your own contacts, and report back.

  • annonzyw

    AKH: Hang in here. You’ll find that we are not all liars and distortionists.

    I bet I know where that meme came from.

  • Anonx

    AKH: “Still Wondering” accepts your recent points. Thank you for the clarification. Let’s agree the survey was offputting to you and likely others (though I was not among its target audience and do not have a personal reaction) and learn more about it.

  • annonsat

    Let’s do a matching exercise:

    annonx = still wondering
    annony = also wondering
    annonzyw = not wondering

  • annontues


  • anony

    “Lies and distortions” indeed.


  • wandering

    Frank Gado came clean about his motivation in the Valley News Tuesday. The lawsuit was not really about protecting alumni rights or “contracts.” Its overall goal was to deprive Dartmouth of “the power to ‘plunge into a research university,’ which he said would hurt undergraduate education.”

    “Gado predicted that adjunct professors would teach more classes and too much attention would be focused on faculty members’ individual research rather than providing sufficient general courses for students.”

    So, since he didn’t have any legitimate way to make the board adopt his personal vision for Dartmouth, he tried to do it with a lawsuit. The gibberish about “contract rights” was just the best argument he could come up with.

    Gado now says he and others will explore their options with a new lawyer. But if the board made a “contract” with the Alumni Association, then how could anyone but the Alumni Association try to enforce it? I do not get it.

  • annonthurs

    “Gado predicted that adjunct professors would teach more classes and too much attention would be focused on faculty members’ individual research rather than providing sufficient general courses for students.”

    Is this not a legitimate concern?

    Gado wants to achieve his personal vision for Dartmouth by having a say in the elections of half of the trustees, and recognizes that all alumni should have an equal ability to do that. Nothing wrong there. Others have different visions, and seem to want to have theirs implemented without having to convince alumni trustees, and fellow alumni, first.

  • MOOSE123

    Dartmouth, towards the end of John Dickey’s presidency, instituted a strong policy on two specific counts. One was that the number of doctorate students in the Arts and Sciences (not to be confused with Tuck, Thayer and the Medical School)would not exceed 10% of the undergraduate student body. The second was that graduate students would NEVER – I repeat NEVER – be responsible for an undergraduate course. These policies, which I believe do not exist at any of the other Ivy League schools, still hold today. As a consequence Gado’s concern that Dartmouth will become a “research university” is impossible of attainment. It’s time he, along with John Donovan, accept reality and do something constructive for a change.

  • wandering

    It must not have been a legitimate concern to Gado, since he left it out of his lawsuit.

    You’re darn right Gado wants a say in the elections of half of the trustees. That desire is about as legitimate as Putin’s quest to have a say in the election of every president of Russia. Gado’s ambition is ruthless and naked and lacks any respect for honesty, fair dealing, or the rights of others.

    When Gado started the lawsuit he told everyone it was to protect alumni “rights.” Now he says the real reason was to change the very direction of Dartmouth from what the Trustees have decided, if that decision deviates from Gado’s personal vision.

    Where did Gado get his antiquated and parochial ideas about undergraduate education anyway? He says he did scholarly research and wrote books about movies at Union College, which is part of a university (not college) in New York. Dartmouth was a university in the 50s when he was here. He is living in a fantasy and he wants to use the courts to impose it upon Dartmouth, while telling you that it is simply about “rights”.

  • Annonfri


    If you are so confident, please explain:

    According to the Dartmouth Fact Book, the Fall 2007 numbers for undergrads was 4,164 and for Arts and Sciences graduate students 593. That’s 14%, or 40% higher than the “Dickey limit”.

    And while graduate students are not “responsible” for the curriculum of undergraduate courses, they sometimes carry the majority of actual teaching. This is true in the sciences, in math (so it is not just lab assistance), and even in the humanities writing program, which at Dartmouth includes:

    “TAs provide students the opportunity for focused, individualized writing instruction…. The teaching assistants, meeting with each student for one hour each week, diagnose individual writing weaknesses and prescribe strategies compatible with each student’s learning style.
    “TAs show students how to be students.TAs are not simply writing instructors. They are also actively engaged in showing students how to read carefully, to think critically, and to undertake research. But it goes further still: TAs mentor students as they acclimate to college life – for instance, helping students understand academic expectations and etiquette; teaching them how to navigate the library; pointing them to academic support services; recommending books, lectures, and groups for students to join; suggesting strategies for managing time; and so on.
    “TAs promote the development of student communities.TAs offer opportunities for students to meet outside of class, in small groups, to discuss the course’s reading and writing assignments. Typically, these small group meetings encourage students to develop social relationships based on common academic pursuits. Frequently these relationships continue throughout the students’ years at Dartmouth.

    [Shouldn’t a writing class be small enough that students meet with the professor in the class without the need for “small group meetings” with TAs?]
    “TAs are engaged in important teaching partnerships with the 2-3 faculty.Though the Writing 2-3 instructors are exceptionally committed to their students, they nonetheless rely on the TAs to keep them abreast of their students’ progress. TAs regularly alert instructors not only to problems with individual students, but to shared confusion, anxiety, and concerns.”

    @Wandering: You claim Gado’s educational ideas are antiquainted. Can you please tell us what they are so we can judge for ourselves? My guess is you have no idea what they are, or what you are talking about.

  • annonfrinite

    The recent ruling by the Supremes on the Second Amendment distinguished between prefatory and operative clauses. The same applies above.

    Prefatory: “Though the Writing 2-3 instructors are exceptionally committed to their students,”

    Operative: “they nonetheless rely on the TAs to keep them abreast of their students’ progress.”

    RELY ON? If this is true, for shame. If it is not true, why is it included in“ REL=”nofollow”>the formal College writeup regarding TAs and the Writing Program?

  • MOOSE123

    @anonfri. You may have a point on percentages, but only if you are certain that all Arts and Sciences graduate students are in fact doctoral candidates. Seems rather unlikely to me…..

    TA’s certainly have a role, but not as prime instructors in the classroom. From your quoted description,their contributions (under proper professorial guidance)are invaluable. The proper combination of faculty and TA’s is something Dartmouth, by your own description, seems to be managing well.

  • Anonymous

    Relying on TAs to keep abreast of student needs seems a long way from proper professorial guidance. The old 10% limit was supposed to apply to all Arts and Sciences graduate students.

  • Tom Paine

    Wandering chose his/her name well. He/she is unmoored from fact, sense, and decency.

    >That desire is about as legitimate as Putin’s quest to have a say in the election of every president of Russia.<
    If there is any logic in that analogy, it is not detectable.

    >Gado’s ambition is ruthless and naked and lacks any respect for honesty, fair dealing, or the rights of others.<

    My, my. What, pray tell, does this mudslinger believe is my “ambition.” What justifies calling me “ruthless”? Where have I been “dishonest”? Provide one instance in which I have not dealt fairly or failed to respect the rights of others.

    Has Scott Meacham slipped his GPS-governed ankle bracelet again?

    >When Gado started the lawsuit he told everyone it was to protect alumni “rights.” Now he says the real reason was to change the very direction of Dartmouth from what the Trustees have decided, if that decision deviates from Gado’s personal vision.<

    The lawsuit WAS brought for the purpose of defending alumni rights, including the rights of alumni so short-sighted that they failed to see past the scurrilous propaganda and voted to throw their rights away. That intention does not mean I should not have the right to argue for my “personal” vision. (Wandering apparently finds the possibility that a mind is capable of holding more than one simple idea incomprehensible.)

  • A. J. Schlosser ’07

    Gado, if you’re going to froth and rant, and we know you are, at least change things up a bit. If I have to swallow another charge of “scurrilous propaganda” from you, I’m going to have indigestion.

    You’re a joke. You dirtied your hands, played with fire, and lost. Let it go.

    As for Dartmouth, in terms of its undergraduate focus, it’s somewhere between Middlebury and Princeton, which is not a bad place to be. Tell me, why is Princeton, whose graduate program is half the size of its undergraduate program, at once one of the best research universities and the world and a fine liberal arts college?

    Could it be that your stubborn thumping upon the mutual exclusivity of the production of knowledge and the conduction of knowledge is utter bunk?

    When I was at Dartmouth, I had many professors who were both fine scholars and excellent teachers. One of Dartmouth’s greatest strength is its capacity to offer students direct access to leading scholars in many different fields.

    But that’s not the point. Rather, the problem is your duplicity: for you, it is clear, the ends justify the means; in other words, you have no qualms about using whatever means at your disposal to force your vision upon an institution that is infinitely greater than you.

  • annonsun

    @Young A.J.: Get over it. You won. You do not need to continue your “You’re a joke.” name-calling. It is OK to be an adult.

    Some of us think Princeton is a great university and a very good place for an undergraduate education. That does not mean it can provide the same learning environment as a true liberal arts college, or that one is better than the other. Not all Dartmouth alumni have Princeton-envy; not all high school applicants prefer Princeton to Dartmouth.

  • anonmon

    Gado’s push to have a say in the elections of half the trustees was as legitimate as Putin’s desire to have a say in the elections of his successors. Gado’s goal seems to be to change Dartmouth in ways that its board does not want. He used his association office and the HI and other secret funders to file a law suit meant to strip power from the board. He knew all along the HI was source of the funds but lied when he was asked. He lied when he said the association was the client. Now that the engagement letter is out, we can see it was not. Gado signed that letter. Gado also lied when he said the Institute had no control over the way the funds were spent, when it did.

    Gado was unfair to the association when he used it to further the interests of the HI, and when he boosted his personal standing in the HI by sending association contracts its way. He also had the HI send out propaganda on association letterhead, which does not seem fair.

    Even though the board has the right to determine its membership, Gado tried to get a court to strip away that right, or a major part of it. It seems that his support of alumni “rights” through the lawsuit was nothing more than a means to an end. I doubt he cares much about alumni “rights” per se, he were just grasping for anything that might catch the ear of a court. His insistence on his personal vision while being interviewed about the lawsuit makes it look as if that vision was his ulterior motive, not owned up to in the lawsuit.

  • annonmon

    Where in the engagement letter does it say that the Association was not the client, or that the Hanover Institute and not the Association was authorized to direct the legal activities?

    In fact, what does the letter say about anything? Apparently it was provided by the new Executive Committee to reporters for the D, without also publishing a copy for Association members to read for themselves. So much for keeping us informed… one guesses that might obstruct unity.

    Who started this a-double-n nonnsense anyway?

  • not scannell

    Tom P., is this true, that the Institute did not control the funds once distributed? Why would you do that when the IRS says “retain discretion and control over the use of the funds and maintain records establishing that the funds are used for charitable purposes.” That’s for all funds that benefit a nonexempt organization. Is the AA a tax-exempt organization? I don’t know.

    Question #2, will the IRS determine that suing Dartmouth supports the HI charitable purpose of making Dartmouth the best undergrad college around? I don’t know this either.

  • Anonymous

    “Former Association President Bill Hutchinson ‘76, who voted against the suit, said in an interview he had previously asked to see a copy of the engagement letter, but both Williams and Connolly and Gado declined his request.”

    So much for keeping us informed…

  • Anonymous

    Engagement letters are among the many client-attorney items that are not made public during a legal dispute, for good reasons. That is why it was not revealed to the Association’s members, or even to a president who was openly supportive of the opposing side, while the suit was pending. Those reasons no longer apply.

  • anonymous

    I thought the association’s Exec. Comm. was the client? Wasn’t it revealed to them? Or was Gado the client?

  • Anonymous

    I believe the executive committee was the client, and that they voted to authorize Gado to act as the legal liaison. That seems proper. Can anyone else provide more specifics?

  • cynic

    Did the committee authorize Gado to keep his role in the Hanover Institute a secret from the lawyers too?

  • Anonymous

    The committee voted, I believe unanimously including the one member who is also a College officer, that there was no conflict between Gado’s directorship in the Hanover Institute and his work for the Association. The details are in the public minutes somewhere.

    Why do you all care about this now? It seems irrelevant to the future. Isn’t there something more important to discuss, like presidential possibilities?

  • A. J. Schlosser ’07

    @Young A.J.: Get over it. You won. You do not need to continue your “You’re a joke.” name-calling. It is OK to be an adult.

    I did win, but I will never finish calling Frank Gado names. He treats anybody who disagrees with him with contempt and disdain, and deserves it. That said, I refuse to engage in ad hominem attacks. Gado’s arguments are duplicitous and contradictory on a much more transcendent level; it has nothing to do with the simple fact that he’s a jerk.

    Some of us think Princeton is a great university and a very good place for an undergraduate education. That does not mean it can provide the same learning environment as a true liberal arts college, or that one is better than the other. Not all Dartmouth alumni have Princeton-envy; not all high school applicants prefer Princeton to Dartmouth.

    Alumni who cry “envy” at anybody who dares to compare Dartmouth to one of its peer institutions have more of an inferiority complex than those who feel perfectly comfortable doing so, I’d wager.

  • wirgyo

    As usual, A.J. wants the last word:

    “I will never finish calling Frank Gado names. He’s a jerk.”

    “That said, I refuse to engage in ad hominem attacks.”

    Ain’t youth glorious!

  • A. J. Schlosser ’07

    An “ad hominem” is a logical fallacy. It’s when you use name-calling in lieu of an actual argument or in order to distract from an argument at hand. The fact that Gado is a nasty old man who would do better to interest himself in cribbage than in the affairs of Dartmouth College has nothing to do with the fact that his positions and his arguments also happen to be misguided or flawed. I apologize for depriving you of the pleasure of catching me in a contradiction. But, yes, youth is glorious. Thanks. (It apparently gives one the keen ability to distinguish between the expressing of a personal opinion and the postulation of a position.)

  • cynic

    Did the committee vote that there was no conflict between Gado’s directorship in the Hanover Institute and his work for the Association also vote that it won’t get wet when it stands in the rain…?

    Frank Gado’s own conflict of interest (obvious before the lawsuit, no longer in dispute today) is not what is meant by the reference to Gado keeping his identity secret from the lawyers.

    Lawyers are allowed to represent one person on another’s dime only if they scrupulously ignore any instructions offered by the funder. To avoid their own conflicts of interest, they have to take direction from the client alone. If Gado admitted he was representing the HI, the lawyers may have acted unethically.

    This topic is worth discussing now because more damning information seems to come out every day. If the client had been fully informed during the lawsuit, the letter would not be news now.

  • lhxberq

    What letter? The one we have not seen?

  • A.D. Hominem ’07

    Dartmouth is better than Princeton, because A.J. Schlosser is the smartest person in the world.

  • A. J. Schlosser ’07

    That’s more or less the measurement that I use, too.

  • cynic

    @ lhxberq: Yes, the letter that the D has seen.

  • Anonymous

    @Cynic: “We” and the “D” are not the same.

  • cynic

    An August 2007 attorney-client communication recently provided to The Dartmouth by newly-elected Association President John Mathias ‘69 indicates that The Hanover Institute entered into a contractual agreement with the Association’s former law firm, Williams and Connolly, to fund the suit. The communication, an “engagement letter,” also outlines a “common interest” shared by the Association and the Institute, and is signed by Institute-founder John MacGovern ‘80 and Frank Gado ‘58, the former Association legal liaison and an officer of the Institute.

    According to a transcript from the Association’s Oct. 2, 2007 meeting, Gado “noted that he does not know who is paying the legal fees. He never wanted to be brought into that discussion. He assumes the funds may be from more than one person, but does not know.”

    Former Association President Bill Hutchinson ‘76, who voted against the suit, said in an interview he had previously asked to see a copy of the engagement letter, but both Williams and Connolly and Gado declined his request.

    MacGovern publicly acknowledged the Institute’s funding role for the first time in January, when he sent a message to the Association executive committee indicating that his organization was soliciting donations from alumni and sending those contributions to the law firm. The message was transcribed in minutes from the Association’s Jan. 8 conference call.

    Mathias, in an interview with The Dartmouth, said the formal involvement of the Institute “had not been properly disclosed to alumni.”

    “It is revealing to see that Mr. Gado, vice president of The Hanover Institute and appointed liaison for this lawsuit, signed this engagement letter with full knowledge that John MacGovern, president of The Hanover Institute, was funding the lawsuit through the use of anonymous donors,” he said.


    Some alumni leaders have said they believe the letter calls into question whether the Association had total control over the direction of the legal action.

    “In the event that the Institute does not pay the fees and expenses, [Williams and Connolly] would be permitted to withdraw from [the Association’s] representation unless the fees are paid from another source,” the letter states.

    Gado said the Association was “not beholden to The Hanover Institute in anyway whatsoever.”

    -The D.

  • lhxberq

    The snippet does not show evidence that the Hanover Institute controlled the action. Only that if they stopped paying, the Association would need to obtain other donors in order to keep paying the lawfirm, and that the firm was not obligated to continue without pay. This all seems pretty obvious.

    Cynic: I am cynical about “alumni leaders” who say the letter calls into question the control issue, when the full text of the letter is not even known. Let’s see it.

  • cynic

    I would like to see it too.

    The letter confirms the control issue. It was signed by two Hanover Institute reps and no Association reps who weren’t beholden to the Institute. And the Hanover Institute had to control and document the way the money was spent to please the IRS. It’s a no-brainer that the Institute controlled every move the lawyers made. Do you think it’s a coincidence the liaison represents the same group that was paying the lawyers?

  • A. J. Schlosser ’07

    The snippet does not show evidence that the Hanover Institute controlled the action. Only that if they stopped paying, the Association would need to obtain other donors in order to keep paying the lawfirm, and that the firm was not obligated to continue without pay. This all seems pretty obvious.

    Ah! That must be why politicians who accept large donations from powerful special interest groups are never criticized as being beholden to them. After all, they could always get the money from somewhere else. People are always giving large sums of money away to non-charitable organizations without expecting anything in return. So, in essence, it doesn’t matter where the money comes from. It’s all the same!

  • isdvttzv

    Ahhh! Mister AJ believes that when Dartmouth accepts a 7-8 figure check from a large donor, even if it is for a designated use, the College should be criticized because the institution is thus beholden to the donor?

    The donations from the Hanover Institute went to a designated use that both the donor and the acceptee wanted. What matters is how the money was used; AJ didn’t approve and thus he and others began questioning the sources.

    Gado was a member in name on the HI’s Board. That did not give him authority to spend its money or formally represent that group in the direction of contractual relationships with attorneys. He did have such authority to represent the Association.

  • laconia

    AJ Schlosser seems like a total chump.

    Can we put him and Gado in cage match though?

  • cynic

    Last time I checked, the informal sense in which Dartmouth is “beholden” to all of its donors is different from having a legally binding “contract” with a law firm. You people should know how to recognize a contract by now.

    The Alumni Association was never asked whether it wanted to accept donations from the Hanover Institute. Do you mean to reveal new information when you say “The donations from the Hanover Institute went to a designated use that both the donor and the acceptee wanted.”? Are you admitting that the Institute had some control over how the money was used? How could the Hanover Institute retain control over its donation and stay a nonprofit?

    How the money was used definitely matters and it includes how that use was accounted for, and whether those in charge lied or skirted the law.

    A.J. didn’t approve and probably suspected that the funding could only be accomplished by sneaky, underhanded methods. If that’s what he thought, he was right. We were right to suspect Frank Gado was lying about the source of the funds. Most voters in the last election disapprove of the lawsuit, so A.J. is not alone on that one either.

    You write with confidence about Gado’s authority on the HI Board. Are you a member of the HI Board? If not, how do you know Frank was not authorized by the HI to monitor the progress of the lawsuit? Why couldn’t he have been authorized to formally represent the HI in the direction of contractual relationships with attorneys? He formally represents that group to the press, and he formally represents the Association in the Institute’s contractual relationships with attorneys, so why not assume he lived up to his obligation to the HI in this regard as well?

    I can see why you would want to say that Frank was not technically representing the HI to the lawyers, maybe to save them from unethical acts. But titles aside, he sure gave the impression that he was representing the HI.

  • mel g

    @laconia: Interesting idea. Two men enter; one man leaves.

    @cynic: Where has Gado ever made a statement, in the press or elsewhere, where he said he was a spokesperson for the HI and he was representing that organization? Unless you can back up what you state as fact, some of us will remain cynical of you.

    The analogy presented by “isdvttzv” is valid unless you can show where the engagement letter, a legally-binding contract as you mention, gives the HI any powers over the proceedings or makes the attorneys beholden to the HI.

  • cynic

    @Mel: I didn’t say Gado “made a statement” saying he was the HI spokesman. He is the HI’s Secretary and has been acting as the spokesman since August 2006.

    Regarding the HI/MacGovern suit against the AA, The Dartmouth wrote “‘I still think we have a good case but it’s very hard in this state of New Hampshire to go against Dartmouth,’ said Gado, a board member of MacGovern’s Hanover Institute.”


    This has continued to the present. He is the spokesman for the HI.

    You admit Gado was working on behalf of the HI during this period and that he directed the lawsuit. You should assume he was directing the lawsuit on behalf of the HI. He might say otherwise, but his history gives us no reason to assume he is telling the truth.

    Why are you saying the HI did not control the use of the funds it gave the AA for the law suit? Are you saying the HI broke the law?

  • laconia

    @cynic: you’re ignoring the fact that Gado was elected to his position in the AoA, and that the AoA decided by majority vote to pursue legal action. They also chose Gado to be legal liason. although he had a clear agenda, that wasn’t exactly hidden (just the funding was), and he operated within the rules, if not in their spirit.

    Gado’s never made a secret of his motives, and frankly doesn’t need to have. People are elected based on what people think their agenda will be, and how they will execute it. The way I see it, Gado was fairly elected (low voter turnout is not his fault), and then fairly navigated the the system to pursue his agenda.

    I don’t happen to respect Gado all that much, and I’m certainly not as firebrand about his cause, but his actions on the AoA were within the rules.

    Too bad Gado couldn’t execute.

    Whether or not the HI broke any Regulations governing a non-profit, I just don’t know. Seems like they may have. Shady organization anyway.

  • cynic

    It makes no difference that Gado was elected to the AA, especially when he unfairly chose not to mention his affiliation with HI. Of course the EC [it was not the AA] decided to make him liaison. They wanted to sue the board. The fact that more than one person can be found to share the goal of an underhanded schemer does not redeem his scheming. He revealed the part of his agenda about suing the board, but he hid other parts even when AA officers asked about them. That includes his agenda to let the HI use the AA as a propaganda front. No wonder he claimed he did not know the source of the funds. Even some of his allies in the EC majority probably did not know that he had loaned money to the HI to pay for an AA mailing.
    He simply cannot have “fairly navigated the system to pursue his agenda.” Otherwise why would he have to request a ruling on his conflict of interest? Why would he repeatedly refuse to disclose his affiliation or the funding source or the party he was hiring to send out AA propaganda? Does it seem likely to you that someone who operates within the rules could accidentally jeopardize the integrity of the AA, the lawyers, and the HI at the same time? The phrase that comes to mind is “loose cannon”.

    “Too bad” he couldn’t execute? He did execute, and he only managed to do so by jumping the gun, by pretending to give legal advice, and by covering up his real loyalty as long as he possibly could. He is lucky the suit ever got filed.

  • wondering yet again

    Laconia: What do you mean by “too bad Gado could not execute?” He acted on the direction of the Association and obtained representation by a highly-respected firm. There is considerable debate as to if the case had merits or not, but the words of the judge in his ruling on the motion to dismiss showed great promise. The only “failure” of Gado was his inability to “out PR” the forces of the administration (David Spalding) and Dartmouth Undying (John Mathias). What “execution” would have made any difference?

    @cynic: Gado did not loan money to the HI to pay for a mailing. As is made clear in the minutes, the AoA did a mailing, and Gado fronted their costs in doing so, for which he was reimbursed to the level the Association treasury was capable of supporting. This arrangement was known and agreed to by the AoA EC all along; Gado is still out considerable personal funds, yet being vilified. One can disagree with his views, yet one wonders what causes the animus behind the personal attacks. “Get over Gado.”

  • Tim Dreisbach ’71

    The election is over. Gado is gone. I and the rest of The Gang also. The lawsuit is withdrawn. Dartmouth alumni have decided they are not willing to fight, at least through legal means, to maintain their level of Board enfranchisement.

    Let it go, let it go, let it go.

    Eyes now turn to further actions of the new Association leadership, following their “unity” platform.

  • laconia

    @cynic: he just told the D he didn’t know the source of the funds. we don’t know that he didn’t tell anyone on the AoA. I would assume he told everyone likeminded in the majority faction, but its inconsequential, as even if not the funding opacity didn’t matter enough for them to stop the lawsuit. correct me if I’m wrong, but these committees basically have one rule: majority rules, so as long as he wasn’t breaking that, he’s technically operating above board. so like I said, Gado isn’t caught in breaking any rules, he’s caught having pursued his agenda in fairly underhanded ways.

    I think wondering took care of your loan-to-mail argument, but again, a majority of the AoA supported his actions, so it wasn’t breaking any rules.

    @wondering: I said “too bad he couldn’t execute” meaning that he couldn’t execute his agenda. He just laid out what his agenda was in that article, and I think to an educated voter back in the former AoA election, that agenda was probably pretty clear. He, like his supporters (and like me to an extent), have a different vision for the College than the board. His agenda was to course correct the college as best he could. At least for now, it doesn’t look like he succeeded. Thus, “too bad he couldn’t execute”. I apologize if that was unclear.

    @Dreisbach: Get over yourself. People have every right to complain that what Gado did was unethical, if they think it was. The past is only dead and buried when it leaves men’s lips.

  • Tim Dreisbach ’71

    Laconia: I have not questioned the right of people to complain. I do suggest there is more productivity in people of all persuasions focusing on a positive future, rather than dwelling on the past. Learning from history is instructive; not letting it go can be otherwise. Just my simple two cents; no great or special insight in this. Cheers.

  • cynic

    @ laconia: he didn’t just lie to the D, he lied to the Exec. Comm. of the AoA when they interrogated him about his knowledge of the funder. Fellow execs. asked him who was paying or whether he knew who was paying. Then,

    “Frank noted that he does not know who is paying the legal fees. He never wanted to be brought into that discussion.”

    But he did know, and he had known all along that the Hanover Institute was paying the legal fees. The HI was sending checks under a contract that Frank had signed.

    Read that whole discussion or any other minutes to see just how evasive and misleading he had to be to keep from revealing the HI’s control:

  • Anonymous

    Gado has clarified that, meaning he did not know the originating donors. Everyone knew that the HI was raising money and would serve as a conduit. So….

  • cynic

    @ wondering yet again:

    Do you have accurate info about the mailing?

    ‘Frank also reported he had made an unsecured loan of $23,875.00 cover costs of printing and mailing. He has handled the finances through his publishing firm.

    ‘Frank said that due to legal hitches or possibilities for problems that he would not reveal the name of the printing house or the owner of the list being used for the mailing. While he said he would like to be transparent, he just couldn’t.’

    That is from July 19. Frank’s “publishing firm” handling “the finances” is the Hanover Institute. Frank loaned or gave the money to the HI so that it could send out the mailing on behalf of the AA. I hope he didn’t take a tax deduction, since he is now trying to get repaid. I also wonder why the amount he says he is owed has risen to $30,000.

    It doesn’t matter if the majority of the AA EC agreed to this scheme. Organization officers conspire to help each other carry out self-benefitting transactions all the time.

  • Curious

    The new officers were elected with considerable financial support from Dartmouth Undying, another private organization. Other than saying that it came mostly from alums, as the HI also stated, the DU provided no more detail regarding the sources and amounts of their funding. Finding out who paid to end a lawsuit is just as germain as asking who paid to start it. Is no one besides this writer curious?

  • cynic

    @ anonymous:

    Gado has not clarified his denial of knowledge of the funding source. He has only attempted, once again, to obfuscate through pedantic misuse of language. He is almost to the level of William Clinton’s famous comment that it “depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.”

    No one was asking him for a list of all the hundreds of donors who might have sent checks to the entity that was paying the lawyers. No one was asking him for a list of donors. They were only asking him who is paying the legal fees.

    “Frank noted that he does not know who is paying the legal fees”. Frank was lying.

    If you asked someone you suspected of working for the Hanover Institute who was paying a bill, would you interpret a “no” answer to mean that he did know who was paying the bill, but that he did not know the names of all the individuals who were sending checks to that entity? No.

    This was not one isolated incident, either. Frank’s early tenure on the committee is rife with attempts to withhold and obscure information in order to mislead certain members of the executive and the alumni as a whole.

    @ Tim Dreisbach ’71: Too bad you did not ask to let bygones be bygones when the trustees decided to expand. Now that Frank is out of office is the ONLY good time to investigate his actions and try to hold him to account for what he has done.

    @ curious: who cares about how DU is funded? Has anyone on the AA Exec. Comm. lied to you about it in order to propel his scheme to file a law suit against the board? I don’t think so.

  • Robert Mugabe ’46

    @ cynic:

    Why not schedule some executions?





  • the friendly neighborhood lolr


  • DartBored

    The Association Executive Committee will do nothing further other than run the next election. Mission accomplished.

  • Let the Good Times Roll

    DartBored: “Next election?” How will there be a next election run by the Association? It is (was)scheduled for next spring, it cannot be run under new rules without a constitutional vote and amendment first, and the trustees have said they will administer alumni elections of trustees, not the Association, until the rules are changed to their satisfaction.

    Truth: As you know, the full committee, including Mssrs. Hutchinson and Spalding, stated there were no conflict concerns regarding Gado’s two positions. “Pathetic” is a pretty decent description for the dialog. Thanks for “setting us free.”

  • DartBored

    I stand corrected. The AoA EC will do nothing. Period. Mission accomplished. Long live Unity.

  • Good Times

    The King is dead. Long live the Ki… ahem… the unelected, unevenly and arbitrarily representative Council.

    Do they have one member of their new Board liaison group who is strongly and openly pro-parity? Just one?

  • Big Brother

    Including someone who represents 40% of alumni, if not a considerably larger percent, would not be conducive to Unity.

  • Anonymous

    Is there anyone at all in the entire Council that is pro-Parity? Even one person?

    This bunch almost always voted unanimously!


  • Anonymous

    The unanimous Council is the epitome of Unity.

    The stated agenda of the Party was ending the lawsuit. The non-stated agenda, readable between the lines of their words, is to reduce the Association to its place as a vestigial appendage of the supreme Council.

    Call for open elections of all Councilors.

    Remember that there is a “Pluribus” in E Pluribus Unum, not only an “E.”

  • Anonymous

    Sorry… I meant not only an “Unum.”

  • Imp Unity

    The popularly-elected John Mathias will become automatically a member of the Council and its Alumni Liaison Committee. What more does an alum need?

  • wondering further

    @ Truth Be Told:

    Gado’s conflict of interest was not known to all the voters and was impermissible whether or not his co-conspirators on the committee knew of it and enabled it.

    I hereby allege that Frank Gado did not fairly execute the will of the majority of the executive committee in his supervision of the lawsuit. The executive committee never asked him use his position to further the agenda of his corporation, and it never asked him to lie to the committee. If the committee really did ask him to violate his duties to the association, then its request was totally illegitimate.

    You probably thought the actions of the Committee to Re-Elect the President [Nixon] were legitimate as long as a majority of members voted for them. Right?

  • wondering further re wondering


    Are you labelling Spalding and Hutchinson as co-conspirators, as they were among those that voted that Gado’s actions were unconflicted?

    What exactly was the will OF THE MAJORITY of the executive committee that you allege Gado failed to execute? What duties did he violate? If he failed in the eyes of the majority, why did they not replace him?

    Your posting was full of opinion, but contained not one question; what are you wondering further about?

  • wondering further

    The committee vote to “do away with” Gado’s fundamental conflict was bogus. Some of the people voting for it knew it was an ineffectual joke and didn’t mind throwing their votes away as long as it saved face.

    The co-conspirators were the people who learned what Gado was trying to do and allowed him to get away with it. Some of them even helped him by keeping info out of the committee and declining to call him on his coverup. The lawsuit campaign involved a number of people over a period of months and has very little to do with the one vote where the committee tried to look the other way on Gado’s conflict of interest.

    Gado failed to execute the informed and legitimate will of the majority of the committee. No one knows what that will would have been, so whatever Gado was doing did not reflect it. The will he was carrying out was uninformed, misinformed, and illegitimate. He violated his duties of honesty and good faith, and he violated his duty not to use the association for personal gain (includes raking benefits to the Hanover Institute corporation)

    Gado failed in the eyes of the majority of alumni, and they replaced him. The margin of defeat shows how much he and the majority of the committee overstepped their mandate.

    I am wondering when the other shoe will drop.

  • wf re wf

    Wondering Further:

    1. How do you know that Gado had not fully informed the committee majority and that, so informed, they still supported his actions? What evidence can you present that the majority was uninformed or misled?

    2. Why do you care, at this point? What does it matter?

    3. Can you please inform us ignorant folks WHAT the other shoe is that is about to drop, regardless of the WHEN? It sounds ominous, and interesting; your clairvoyance will help us readers judge your own credibility!

  • Happy Wonderer

    I love to go a-wondering,
    Along the Dartmouth track,
    And as I go, I love to sing,
    “Get Gado off our backs.”

    “Get Gado off our backs.”

    I love to wonder with others,
    who think the same as me,
    So joyously we call alums,
    “Come! Join our Unity!”

    “Get Gado off our backs.”

    I post my hate to all I meet,
    And they post back to me,
    And sycophants call loud and sweet
    What we Board-packers see.

    “Get Gado off our backs.”

    But now and then I lie awake,
    A’trembling through the night.
    I wonder in my troubled dreams,
    “What if Frank Gado’s right?”

    “Get Gado off our backs.”

    Oh, may I go a-wondering
    Until the day I die!
    Oh, may I always rant and sing,
    Unobserved by Gado’s eye!

  • wf

    @ wf re wf:

    “How do you know that Gado had not fully informed the committee majority?”
    The minutes only have Frank Gado repeatedly lying and misleading the committee as a whole, including the majority. I would not put it past the majority to have held secret, illegitimate (non-quorum) meetings where he told them the truth. You appear to know more about such meetings than the public does. Needless to say, Gado can never have satisfied his obligation to tell the Association the truth by lying to only *some* of the executives.

    “Why do you care, at this point?”

    The other shoe: if there is to be any lawsuit by the Association or any complaint filed with the state Attorney General or the IRS, the investigation must take place now. Sitting around for two years until the Hanover Institute’s records become available or Gado comes clean will probably make a lawsuit against Gado too late.

  • wondering now

    Someone tell John MacGovern it’s all over. When he updated his election/lawsuit page between July 7 (“ REL=”nofollow”>cached version) and July 21, he announced that “Parity Slate loses” but left out the lawsuit, which was dismissed on June 27.

  • Rumours

    I have heard rumours that the parity slate is holding focus groups across the country and paying attendees to attend.

    Can anyone shed light on this?

  • wondering now

    Someone has been surveying alumni by telephone, but it is not clear which side.

    @ 1:14: tell us more. Did you hear from someone who had attended, or just someone who heard about it? Does it sound like the work of the parity slate, the H.I., “Save Dartmouth”, C.E.H.E. or someone else?

  • This Thread Lives

    The payment is free pizza and vitamin water. If the attendees stay until the end, they also get $100.

  • wondering now

    No, really, that rumor is pretty specific. It sounds like the kind of unsavory scheming that is the modus operandi for the H.I. set. It would be a pretty big deal if it were true because it would suggest that the H.I. set is preparing some extralegal means of attacking Dartmouth. But is it true?

  • this thread lives

    Let’s have more specifics on the “pretty specific rumor” that the parity slate is holding focus groups across the country. It sounds more to me like the administration touring alumni clubs, as they are wont to do. What’s the diff? Can you say more about the “paying people to attend” part?

  • conspiracy of silence

    Putting the truth on the Institute web site would hurt fund raising.

    If Macgovern solicited donations for the law suit after it was dismissed, then he deceived prospective donors and committed a disservice to his organization.